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Recreation ("Rec") or Competitive Soccer?

How do I know when to make the transition, and how do the programs differ?

These are common questions that many soccer families inevitably face, and the fear of the unknown (traveling) can be daunting.

Here are the facts and a few tips to help you determine if your player, and your family, are ready to move from Rec to Traveling:

Just the facts:

  • MU offers Summer Recreational ("Rec") play as an option for players from age 4 through 14, with first come, first served registration for players in that age range. This option sells out every summer and is max'ed out at 1200 kids.
  • MU offers Competitive Soccer as an option to players ages 8U through 19U. Starting in July, players can register for tryouts (8U-11U mid July, 12U+ late July) and an opportunity to play on a traveling team for the following year (fall league and winter training, and spring/summer league).

Which to play? It depends…

The summer "Rec" program is aimed at offering an experience that includes lots of game play, with light instruction, during the months of June and July, at a very reasonable cost. It’s a good introduction to the sport for the younger players and offers soccer in a concentrated, fun, and casual playing environment. MU's Rec coaches are current MU competitive players and parent volunteers. This gives the MU member families and alumni players a chance to get directly involved in sharing their love of the game with a new generation. Some of our older Rec players also enjoy being able to play the game they love with friends, on a set schedule, in a single neighborhood location (Pearl Park), which leaves more time for other summer activities with friends. MU Rec players do have additional training opportunities by way of the MU summer camps, as well as select winter Rec programs for younger players.

Now, if your young player is looking for a more competitive and structured soccer environment to advance their skills, or if your child takes their soccer ball everywhere and just can’t seem to get enough soccer, that’s a good sign they’re ready to transition to MU's competitive program. The program involves a short Fall season and a Spring/Summer season with a winter training program in between.  Accordingly, the cost of participating in the competitive program is greater, due in-part to the committed team of professional MU coaches and trainers assigned to guide players through their development. The locations for games and training will vary depending on the team assignment, and can include the greater metro area. This, along with the increased cost comprises the greatest difference between the two programs. There is a much greater emphasis on technical skills development in competitive, which best translates into later opportunities to play competitive soccer in high school and beyond. Many MU players go on to star at the state, regional, and even national level.

If you wish to learn more about these MU programs, please feel free to contact us via the club website. Be it Rec or Competitive, we hope to see you on the pitch this summer!

Darley  (Class AA, Minneapolis Washburn) and Conor (Class A, Academy of Holy Angels) took home the trophy awarded to the top boys high school player in each division!

Girls

Class AA: Ella Endo, Minneapolis Washburn; Lola Baldwin, Minneapolis Southwest;

Class A: Maggie Haller, De La Salle; Mia Van Der Heide, Holy Angels.

Boys

Class AA: Jameson Charles, Minneapolis Washburn; Darley Florvil, Minneapolis Washburn; Sanat Iyer, Eastview; Hank Stechmann, Edina; ; Dylan Olson, Minnetonka; Max Hand, St. Paul Central.

Class A: Carlos Nicolas, Minneapolis Roosevelt; Howard Henderson, Blake; Will Mortenson, Blake; Dennis Mensah, Bloomington Kennedy; Ralph Smits, Breck; Walsh Kern, Breck; Yahya Bashir, Columbia Heights; Porter Ball, Holy Angels; Conor O'Rourke, Holy Angels; Miguel Leon, Richfield; Liam Vance, Totino-Grace; Steevenson Lamarre, Totino-Grace.


John "Sly" Sylvester

Dear Minneapolis United Family,

On 6/16/17 MU lost John Sylvester after a long struggle with ALS.  John, “Sly” to his friends, was appointed as the club’s first Girls Director of Coaching in 2008 and continued to coach until last year.  John worked with MU kids for more than 14 years.  

To compound this tragedy, at the time of John’s death his wife, Tessie, mother of his 5 and 6-year old sons Gus and Freddy, was diagnosed with a very serious form of cancer.  Tessie is 36 years old.  Please consider donating to John’s family and sharing the link below with your social network and faith community.

https://www.gofundme.com/sylvesterjoyandsunshinefund

John was a fundamental building block of the club.  He loved the game and all the kids whose lives he touched as a director, trainer, and coach.  From him, we learned how to be better athletes…and better human beings.  We will miss you, friend.

Brian Brom  /  President  /  Minneapolis United Soccer Club     

president@minneapolisunited.org  /  www.minneapolisunited.org

Message from President of the Board, Nick Brown

Hello MU Families,  April 2020

As we all continue to make adjustments in our lives, I, on behalf of Minneapolis United staff and Board of Directors, wanted to connect with everyone and tell you what we know as it relates to youth soccer, and give you an update on where things stand with our club. 

My guess is I won't be able to answer all your questions or concerns, so please call, text or email me with any follow-up inquiries. I mean that sincerely.

Will there be a soccer season?

In short, we don't know yet. Although we are planning with an optimistic lens, we are also planning in the case of the season being cancelled. 

Our teams play in two local leagues, Minnesota Youth Soccer Association (MYSA) and Twin Cities Soccer League (TCSL), and both leagues intend to follow the guidelines and restrictions put forth by the relevant national and local governments.   

  • MYSA sits underneath US Youth Soccer and is the largest soccer organization in MN. Based on Gov. Walz’s decision to extend distance learning, MYSA, while acknowledging this could change, updated its current plan to return-to-play to June 1, which aligns with Gov. Walz's current stay-at-home order. Under MYSA’s current plan, league games would begin around June 15 and the season would look "pretty normal". As long as return-to-play can happen by June 15, the intent is to play a shortened season that will conclude in late-July, a decision that is supported by a poll MYSA conducted of their member clubs (including MU).

  • TCSL sits underneath US Club Soccer. TCSL hasn't disclosed potential season plans beyond their three return-to-play options: May 15, June 1 and June 15, although May 15 is highly unlikely. TCSL will be updating their dates and plans within the next week based on expected updates from the Governor’s office as it relates to youth sports and summer camps/clinics.     

  • Based on a recent MYSA-hosted conference call, it appears unlikely that any season would extend into August, and tryouts for the 2020-21 season will occur near the end of July, as currently scheduled.   

Why am I still paying core fees? 

As of today, MU has not stopped collecting core fees from members. The majority of members pay core fees in installments; for most families, the most recent installment was drawn on March 15 and the final installment is scheduled to be drawn on May 15. Depending on what we know about any potential season come May 15, the club has the flexibility to keep, modify, or cancel, the final core fee draw. 

The biggest variable here is, what will the summer season look like? The possible outcomes range from returning to play on June 1 and playing all the way through July, to not returning to play at all. Based on where that lands, MU will do its best to determine what refund is warranted. 

To be clear: Members pay for a service. If that service cannot be provided, then MU will take financial action to remedy that and will be fair in doing so.  

Why, and how, is MU continuing to pay its coaches and staff?

  • In an email to members last week, MU stated that it will be paying its staff of Executive Director, Directors of Coaching, and Administrative support through July.

  • For MU’s 55 team coaches, the Board of Directors approved the first of 3 summer coaching payments. That payment happened on April 15. 

  • At MU’s next board meeting on May 3, the Board of Directors will discuss and vote on the second and possibly the third installments of coaching payments. There is a chance the Board waits to vote on the third installment until the June board meeting.

  • For a number of our coaches and staff, MU is a significant source of income and our intent is to take care of our employees as best we can during this challenging time. We believe that our coaches and staff are our most valuable asset and we want to do our best to retain them once we return-to-play.

  • The compensation decisions that the Board of Directors has made, and will continue to make, are not linked to members' core fees.  Over the life of the organization, MU has built a reserve in savings intended for events such as this. The rainy day has come and we intend to draw on this account.

  • MU has submitted an application to our bank for relief through the CARES Act. If awarded during the second phase of government funding, that amount would supplement the reserves in savings to cover a portion of the summer coach payments.

In the event of a cancelled or highly modified summer season and the Board of Directors determines to make the 2nd and 3rd installments of coach payments, those funds will come from MU's cash reserves and potentially from the CARES Act SBA loan, not membership Core Fees. 

MU's Financial Position

  • MU is on solid financial footing, irrespective of what shape the summer season takes or where dollars come from to fund payroll through the summer. 

  • The potential for refunding membership Core Fees is the most meaningful financial milestone in the near future. We hope to have enough information from the national and local soccer governing bodies in order to make this decision by May 15.

  • Whenever we return-to-play, whether it's this summer or some later date, MU will be ready to hit the ground running.

Know that MU’s Board of Directors continues to assess all of these moving parts and is taking great care to ensure that our members are treated fairly, our coaches and staff are valued, and our sound financial position is maintained.      

Again, I encourage you to call, text or email me at any time. I can't promise that I'll have a quick answer, but I'll get you one.   

On behalf of MU’s Board of Directors and Staff, thank you for being a part of MU. 

 

Nick Brown  /  President, Board of Directors  /  Minneapolis United Soccer Club 

president@minneapolisunited.org  /  612-251-1109