WPFC HS Boys participating in Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) spring soccer earned one league MVP Ray Sigala, Sr., Fife High School and over 6 other state selections. Congratulations to all our players selected you make WPFC proud.
Class 4A First Team
Midfielder - Alex Whiting, Jr., Curtis
Defender - Jack Sluys, Jr., Gig Harbor
Defender - Sam Ebner, Jr., Puyallup
Class 3A First Team
Forward - Nigel El-Sokkary, Sr., Capital
Class 2A SPSL League MVP
Midfielder - Ray Sigala, Sr., Fife
Class 1A First Team
Forward - Nick Iregui, Jr., Charles Wright
Defender - Grant Young, Sr., Charles Wright
When Bellarmine Prep soccer coach Joe Waters talks about Leicester City, he uses the word “we.”
Before joining Bellarmine, before playing for the old Tacoma Stars, Waters played at Leicester City. And in 1974 he made quite a first impression, scoring two goals in his senior-team debut in an FA Cup quarterfinal win against Queens Park Rangers.
“I managed to be lucky enough and be in the right place twice to help the team,” Waters said.
He played for the club until 1976, but the bond has lasted a lifetime. And he is clearly enjoying the Foxes’ ongoing run, one that has them shockingly atop the English Premier League.
“This is the most exciting time for Leicester since my days in the ’70s, and just before that in the ’60s,” he said. “It’s just totally unexpected. What a fantastic ride this has been.”
Since its founding in 1884 as Leicester Fosse, the club has never finished atop the country’s top league. Now Leicester City is five points up on second-place Tottenham with four games to go.
The Foxes opened this season facing 5,000-to-1 odds against winning the league title, and even the most rabid fans were more focused on the bottom of the standings than the top.
“They have a great sense of humor about it,” Waters said. “When we were at the top just over Christmas, they started chanting, ‘We’re not going to get relegated, we’re not going to get relegated.’ We were favorites for (relegation) last year, and from that time to this they have put on a fantastic run.”
The city is located about 100 miles north of London. In 1485, King Richard III was killed in battle nearby. His remains were discovered in 2012 and reburied last year, and since then the Foxes have become a juggernaut. Some have linked the two events, perhaps feeling such a magical season deserves a magical explanation. But Waters is more practical.
“When they brought (coach) Claudio Ranieri in, I wasn’t convinced that he was the guy for the job,” Waters said. “But … I think what’s really resurrected everybody, is just the exciting way that they play. … Steve Walsh is a great talent scout and he has got in some terrific players like (Riyad) Mahrez and (N’Golo) Kante and Jamie Vardy. They’ve got great experience in Wes Morgan and Robert Huth in the back. Danny Drinkwater was a fine player at Manchester United, he just didn’t get an opportunity and now he’s taking it with both hands here. They’ve invested in the club and in players.”
It isn’t the first time. Waters recalls that when he was brought to Leicester on trial, he walked into the chief scout’s office and saw a display on the wall. It was a framed check for 165,000 pounds, payable to Allan Clarke, who in 1968 became both a Fox and the best-paid player in English soccer.
Waters stresses that the club directors have regularly spent on players and facilities. And they have sometimes been rewarded — although more often in cup play or in lower leagues. The Foxes represent a city with a population of about 330,000, and play in a stadium seating 32,000. There have always been limits to their success. Until now.
“The problem we have with the Premiership is that there are three different tiers,” Waters said. “… If you want to break into that top six, you have to be very, very fortunate in your signings or very good at what you do and be prepared to spend. …. It is kind of a strange thing because a club like Arsenal are not doing well, Man United are not doing well, Man City are not doing well in the league. Liverpool have not made the charge that people have expected. So for Leicester and Tottenham to come forward and do this is absolutely great. It’s kind of a perfect storm, really, for Leicester City.”
Why the USSF Birth Year Changes and the Small Sided Games Mandate
Make WPFC a Destination Club or Families Looking to Have a Great Soccer Experience.
Throughout the country, clubs will be switching over to birth year-based age groups next season. At WPFC we are fully prepared and excited to embrace this new opportunity. In fact, we couldn’t be more excited. We’ve added 6 new coaches with National A or B licenses. Two former club DOC’s, multiple college coaches, and a European professional coach. We’ve also secured a long term partnership with BMW and are breaking ground on a third turf field (fully installed this summer). Simply put, it’s never been a better season to join our WPFC family.
Since the 70’s, Washington Premier has seen many changes in the soccer landscape and has the history, resources, and experience to push the game forward.
Our goal is to provide the best possible soccer experience for each player.
We pride ourselves in creating unique opportunities for your son or daughter to make those positive, lasting soccer memories that they can take with them throughout their lives.
Hundreds of state championships and more national championships than any club in the Northwest.
Our coaches care about kids and know how to create amazing soccer experiences for each and every player on their teams.
Highest level of play around: ECNL, USSF Dev Academy, RCL, NWCL, FWRL Northwest, EPD and US Youth Soccer National League.
Best coaching slate in the South Sound. Capable of staffing multiple teams at every age group with the finest, most qualified coaches.
Our private, 25-acre facility also makes a perfect fit for the small-sided games mandate that will get our players more meaningful touches on the ball and provide a better, more positive introductory soccer experience.
6 new coaches with National A or B Licenses.
Adding a third turf field (fully installed this summer).
Our partnerships with BMW, NW Physical Therapy, Alaska Airlines, and Marriott allow us to better invest into our programs and our players.
Below are FAQs about the new USSF mandates:
1. What does ‘Birth Year’ based age groups mean and how will it affect my family?
Birth year means a player will play in the age group of the year of their birth. The Birth Year calendar dates run from January 1-December 31. For example, if you are born between January 1 and December 31, 1999, you will play in the 1999 birth-year age group. If you are born between January 1 and December 31, 2002, you will play in the 2002 birth-year age group.
2. Why is WPFC moving to birth years?
This change is to be adopted as a best practice by August 2016 and will be mandatory in August 2017 for all youth member organizations affiliated with US Soccer. However, the US Youth Soccer State Associations, including the RCL, are proceeding with implementation in 2016.
3. Why is US Soccer Federation transitioning to the Birth Year?
The US Soccer Federation is transitioning to the Birth Year to align youth soccer in America with the rest of the world. The majority (if not all) of countries around the world conduct soccer in the birth year. US Soccer Youth National Teams will also make the transition as well. US Soccer recognizes that the change will also help players develop faster and at younger ages in terms of long-term development.
4. Can players play up in an older age group?
Each club is handling this differently. Some clubs are forcing players to play on age. Others will do whatever it takes to form teams. At WPFC, we’ll have multiple strong teams at every age group and are going to find the exact fit for each individual player. If a player is capable of playing up on one of our A teams, then they will be allowed to do so. Typically, the best fit for a player to play up is decided by if they’re a top 5, contributing player at the older level. If they’re not, we’ll find the level that will push them and allow them to maximize their development potential.
5. Will WPFC be holding “Birth Year” Trainings?
We will have open trainings the week before tryouts. As a staff, we decided that disrupting teams in the middle of the season would take away from our #1 mission which is creating amazing soccer experiences for our players. Right now we have teams working towards finishing their seasons strong and preparing for State Cup. Part of having a great soccer experience is bonding as a team and working together. Our teams will be focusing on writing their own stories and creating their own amazing memories.
6. I’ve heard that some clubs are having to combine age groups to form teams, or in some cases just fold teams. What will this look like at WPFC?
Unfortunately, that’s the reality for many clubs throughout the country. Any time there’s a big change that affects the entire soccer landscape, it highlights just how important stability is and finding a club that has an experienced staff of skilled coaches, administrators, and guaranteed access to top notch facilities. At WPFC, we’re excited for the future and plan on growing our teams so that we can help even more families have a great soccer experience.
7. How will the mandated small sided game format help develop players at the younger ages?
Small-sided games (SSGs) are a stair step approach to the adult 11 v 11 game as they allow players to grow technically, tactically, physically and psychosocially at a developmentally appropriate rate.
The move to SSGs for preteen players is based on educational research on the way children learn. Just as with their academic education, their soccer education is progressive. Empirical studies have been conducted into the improvements in the game environment for children in SSGs as opposed to the adult version.
SSGs aid in player development. They allow players to have a higher percentage of contact with the soccer ball than in the 11 v 11 game, both offensively and defensively, which indirectly improves a player’s soccer technique. SSG’s also exposes players to an increased number of soccer situations (game phases), which helps improve their tactical knowledge and ability to make good decisions with and without the ball.
Active participation, more playing time, less players on the field, more opportunities to defend & attack and simplified rules equals more fun and enjoyment, which directly impacts the player retention rate.
8. Are other organizations mandated to transition to the birth year and small sided formats of play?
Yes, all member organizations of US Soccer Federation will be required to comply with this US Soccer mandate.
9. How does this model of play look for older players and how does it affect them?
The English FA did a case study on this format of play and developed a video that demonstrates the benefits of this mandate. To view the video, please click here or visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1Lb5pDTaCg.
10. Will WPFC be able to implement the SSG mandates and the additional costs of new goals or repaint/structure the existing fields?
This is a great question as many clubs throughout the country are struggling with these very issues. At WPFC, we’ve been moving this direction for a while now. Having our own private, 25-acre facility has already allowed us to seamlessly make the transition. Our Junior program is a leader in the South Sound and our development platform has become the gold standard for our RCL League.
CHICAGO (Feb. 1, 2016) – Beginning with the 2016-17 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Season, 56 youth clubs from across the country will join 78 existing Academy member clubs at the U-12 level to create a total of 134 clubs that will develop players in key markets throughout the United States.
The expansion of the Developmental Academy at the U12 level of the is intended to reduce travel distances between clubs, while also allowing clubs to cast a wider net for committed players in existing and new markets that have the potential to develop into elite soccer players. The Under-12 age group is the youngest age group at which clubs will participate in Development Academy markets.
"Expanding to the U-12 age group and the addition of 56 new member clubs will improve the overall environment at an earlier development stage and help clubs create a more positive step-by-step learning pathway for players," said U.S. Soccer Director of Scouting Tony Lepore.
The Development Academy clubs reported a total financial commitment of over one million dollars amongst the 56 new clubs, in guaranteed player scholarships. Over 600 players will receive scholarships to contribute to their club, while over 400 players in the Academy will be able to play cost-free.
“The commitment of the new U-12 clubs to provide opportunities and reduce barriers for players is tremendous,” said U.S. Development Academy Director Jared Micklos. “In total, the clubs have committed over $1 million to players in this age group. We believe that these efforts will allow players the opportunity to pursue the sport in quality club environments at a critical young age in their development pathway.”
List of Under-12 New Academy Clubs starting in fall 2016:
Bay Area, Calif.: San Francisco Elite Academy, Santa Rosa United
Los Angeles, Calif.: Los Angeles Football Club, Total Futbol Academy
San Diego, Calif.: Chula Vista FC, LA Galaxy San Diego, San Diego Soccer Club, West Coast Futbol Club
Colorado: Arsenal Colorado, Colorado Storm Soccer Association, FC Boulder, Pride Soccer Club
Florida: Albion SC Plantation, FC Florida, Florida Rush Soccer Club, Players Club of Tampa Bay, Wellington Soccer Club
Georgia: AFC Lightning, Atlanta United FC, Lanier Soccer Association, North Atlanta Soccer Association, Southern Soccer Academy, United Futbol Academy
Illinois/Indiana: Campton United SC, Chicago Fire Academy City, FC United Soccer Club, Fort Wayne United FC, Indiana Elite FC, Sockers FC Naperville
New England: Bayside FC, Global Premier Soccer, NEFC, Valeo Futbol Club
New York/New Jersey: New York Cosmos, TSF Academy
North Carolina: Capital Area RailHawks – CASL Del Sol, Capital Area RailHawks – CASL South, Queen City Mutiny
Oregon: BSC Oregon, Capital FC Timbers, Crossfire Oregon, Eastside Timbers, F.C. Portland Academy, Washington Timbers FC Academy, Westside Timbers Soccer Club
Texas: Houston Express Soccer Club,
Washington: Eastside FC, Greater Seattle Surf, Pacific Northwest Soccer Club, Seattle United, Snohomish Youth Soccer Club, Washington Premier FC, Washington Rush
A number of the 56 new Academy clubs that will join the existing Development Academy framework have previously developed players who have gone on to play at the highest level with the full U.S. National Team, including: Clint Mathis, Josh Wolf and Ricardo Clark (AFC Lightning), Geoff Cameron (Bayside FC), Damarcus Beasley (Fort Wayne United FC), Jordan Morris (Eastside FC), Bill Hamid (McLean Youth Soccer) and Shane O’Neill (FC Boulder).
In addition to resources and player production, the new Academy clubs joining at the U-12 age level include a new group of qualified technical staff focused on developing youth players. The combined staff among all new clubs will include a group of over 100 U.S. Soccer “A” licensed Academy Directors and coaches.
About the Academy
Following a comprehensive review of elite player development in the United States and around the world, U.S. Soccer created the Development Academy in 2007 for male players in the U-15 to U-18 age groups. In 2013, the Academy expanded to include the U-13/14 age group, which has continued to improve development by setting standards and improving the everyday environment for elite players and clubs. Academy alumni have progressed to play at elite amateur and professional levels with 124 Academy graduates rostered in the MLS in 2015 and 17 Academy players earning U.S. MNT caps.
Additionally, to view the divisional alignment for the U-12 age group, please click here. Also view a list of U-12 Frequently Asked Questions click here.