FLATHEAD VALLEY UNITED
Flathead Valley United Program Details
Season Dates: December 1st, 2017 – July 30th 2018
Gender: Boys & Girls
Ages: 2004 (U14), 2003 (U15), 2002 (U16), 2001/0/99 (U18)
*Notice - US Youth Soccer mandates that age groups are determined by birth year. Take a look at the age group matrix to be clear what age group you’ll be a part of this season.
Flathead Valley United gathers some of the best coaches in the valley to provide high-level training for all high-school aged players during the spring season.
2004 (U14) - Vic Dalla Betta Premier, Daniel Wood Select
2003 (U15) - Steve Boone Premier, Branton Sorbel Select
2002 (U16) - Jay Guinn, Victor Kimera asst
2001/00/99 (U18/19) - Roland Benedict, Kraig Moore asst
2003/4 (U14/15) - John Lacey Premier, Jelisa Byl Select Jen Joern asst
2002/1 (U16/17) - Thomas Clark
2000/99 (U18/19) - Sean Connolly
After evaluations are over, our director and coaching staff will take a few days to look at our age groups in depth. Our goal is to provide all players a chance to play at their age/ability level. It’s important that we take time to make good decisions and find a good environment for your son or daughter. We hope families can support the club in our decisions and work with us to give your son or daughter a great experience.
1 - All players will be charged the first $50 of their registration fee upon registering for tryouts. This $50 is non-refundable, and will go towards your registration fees once you accept a team placement.
1 - Our goal is for every player to be offered placement on a team - you will not be told that you didn't make a team and be out the $50 tryout fee! If for whatever reason we just can't offer you a spot on any of our teams, you will of course be refunded the $50 fee in full.
The evaluation experience can be an intimidating process for our youth players. Our coaching staff is looking for players who are not only talented soccer players, but players that work hard, listen, are respectful to staff/teammates, follow instruction, are punctual, enjoy the game, and can be a part of a team. We encourage all players to work hard and showcase their talents throughout the process. Again, our ultimate goal is to find every player, at every level, the chance to play in a healthy environment to develop and enjoy the game.
The Flathead Valley United season structure falls in line with the MYSA league. Indoor training will begin in December for Premier Teams and January for Select Teams. Training will move outdoors as soon as the snow melts in March or April.
Practice locations will be determined by the makeup of the team. With access to both Smith Fields in Whitefish and Kidsports in Kalispell, each team can decide as a group on which days they would like to utilize either location.
Games will begin in April and end in June, with various tournaments throughout the season. Premier Teams will be entered into the MYSA Premier League, the winner of which receives automatic berth into the President’s Cup in Salt Lake City as the representative of Montana. Premier teams also receive guaranteed home and home matches throughout the season.
After the season is concluded in June there is the possibility of attending another large regional tournament. Teams have the opportunity to attend these tournaments if they so desire.
Select Teams: $450/player (less the $50 tryout fee!)
Premier Teams: $550/player (less the $50 tryout fee!)
*These prices DO NOT INCLUDE uniform costs. Each player will be expected to purchase a uniform for around $120.
** These prices DO INCLUDE 2 Tournaments for All Teams - 3 Blind Refs and State Cup - and 1 Extra Tournament for Premier Teams (President's Cup if Eligible, other options available if necessary).
** These prices DO INCLUDE 1 Tournament for Select Teams ($50 value) - 3 Blind Refs.
** These prices DO INCLUDE State Cup Tournament Registration Fees.
We’ll be providing a payment plan option for those that would like to spread out their payments.
After the conclusion of the season, FVU will purchase back any jerseys from graduating seniors that are still in good condition for $25 each.
If you would like to apply for financial assistance, please fill out and submit the form here.
The Executive Director, Head Coach, Assistant Coach, and volunteer assistants will be present at each tryout session to assist in team formations. We are focused on creating competitive teams that provide the best level of team competition and individual player development possible.
Playing up (above the player’s true age level) is a very rare occurrence, and will only be considered if it is in the best developmental interest of the individual player. This is determined during tryouts, though the player is asked to try out with their own age group. A panel, which consists of the Executive Director and other coaches, will be assembled to discuss the best placement for the player. Please note that playing up is not common and the vast majority of players will be playing their 'true' age group. Coaches may make a recommendation to a player to try out for an older team (based on a previous season’s performance), but players can ask to be considered for playing up as well.
Tentative Program Timeline
November 2nd/4th - Tryouts - Weather Permitting
Early November - team managers established, parent meetings scheduled
January - Indoor training begins
March - possible pre-season tournaments
March - outdoor training begins (hopefully!)
*April 7th - Spring Competitive season begins (U13-U19)
*Last weekend of May - 3 Blind Refs Tournament (price included in registration)
*May 27th & 29th - State Cup Tournament
*June - MYSA Season ends
*June 11th-17th - President’s Cup, Salt Lake City (price included in registration - if team fails to qualify, another tournament option will be provided free of charge)
June 22nd-24th - Intermountain Championship, Missoula
*unconfirmed dates, subject to change
Overview and Purpose
Flathead Valley United has been a program long needed in this area. The benefits of participating in a program like this are varied and tangible. For years, the two league clubs in the valley have tried various ways to collaborate to offer more soccer opportunities for families, and each attempt has taught us about how best to work together as well as how best to serve our members. Now, with a new structure to the MYSA league and an agreement on a vision for the future of soccer in the Flathead, the time is right to offer this program as a joint venture between the Force and the Rapids.
This program is open to all players born between 2004 and 1999. Depending on numbers, we will be forming Premier and Select teams at the 2003, 2001, and 1999 birth years. There are a number of reasons this is being offered for players in the valley, and we are excited to be able to form solid teams for everyone at these age groups.
Players develop at the fastest rate when training and playing with others at a similar developmental level. Top-level players need to play on a team with others who can contribute to their growth, not hold them back. Players fighting to reach the highest level need to play with others in the same place, all growing together to reach their fullest potential. With a limited player pool in the Valley, this program will offer a place for all players to train without the floor and ceiling being too far apart.
By combining resources, Flathead Valley United will be able to offer the high-level coaching while keeping costs for families contained. We have some amazing coaches here in the valley, and we want them to come together and help each other with a consistent message and mission. Working from the same developmental model as each club, players will be able to have a consistent message and path to victory from age 4 to 18.
The highest level youth clubs in the world acknowledge that the key to creating better players lies in having consistent games. The perfect practice/game ratio is 3/1, and this program offers a chance for players to play in consistent games throughout the season. The Premier team is guaranteed more home games and a more traditional one-game-per-weekend structure, and MYSA is looking at creating a similar structure for the Select league as well. While playing in high-level tournaments are always a draw, having a consistent league season is crucial in creating an environment for players to develop to their fullest extent.
With the combination of all players at the older age groups, Flathead Valley United will be a stable program offering consistent games and tournaments year after year. Families will no longer have to wonder what the program is going to look like each season, nor will they have to weigh the relative costs and benefits of separate programs as they know FVU will be able to provide the consistency and development their player needs.
Being able to field teams with consistent player development levels allows us to schedule competition against similarly competitive teams. Our aim is to eliminate lopsided victories or losses by creating competitive teams within each league of MYSA. All players will have the chance to play against similar competition, creating a better environment for growth.
All players and families of Flathead Valley United will have the opportunity to learn what it really takes to play at the next level. We will offer an educational program to all players interested in pursuing college opportunities, explaining exactly what it takes to find and obtain a chance to play at the next level. From parents of players currently playing in college to coaches explaining how best to showcase your skills, we will offer a full explanation of the processes involved in playing at the next level.
All players want to grow individually, but also find success on and off the field. Providing an opportunity for players in the valley to have a program aimed at creating that environment will allow players to find that success, not only here, but also regionally. With the MYSA league structure sending the winner of the Premier League to Regionals or the President’s Cup, age groups that have traditionally been diluted between two clubs can now find success as a single unit representing our beautiful area.
High-level clubs not only offer high-level soccer training, but also offer speed and agility training as well. We are excited to announce that Flathead Valley United training will include physical training as well, from our own trainers who can focus on specifically training to the athletic demands of the sport.
1 - Can my player still participate in a supplemental program, such as NSC or ODP?
Yes! We encourage all players to pursue any and all opportunities to develop their game to their fullest potential. However, when playing on a Flathead Valley United team, players are expected to be dedicated to the program. This means showing up consistently to practices and games!
2 - Who will run this program?
This is a joint effort by the two league clubs in the Valley, and as such a joint task force will be in charge of all programmatic decisions. Three representatives from each club, including the Directors, Presidents, and an invested coach or board member, will work together to ensure that the best fit for all players is found. Each club has agreed that the best way to provide better opportunities is found when all resources are pooled and all decisions are made when we work together.
3 - Who will the coaches be?
Please see above for a full list of Spring 2018 Coaches!
4 - How are teams formed?
An independent council will assist the head coach in selecting teams in a more traditional process than we have offered separately in the past. We will have observers using a consistent rubric to create a team of the most consistent developmental levels.
5 - How much will this program cost?
This program will cost $550 for premier teams and $450 for select teams. All fees will be clearly laid out before the season begins. Please stay tuned as we finalize the budget - know that we are working to provide the highest level soccer for a contained, fair price!
6 - What are the hidden costs?
We strive to be as open and honest as possible, and there will be zero hidden fees or costs. Everything that will be charged over the course of the season will be listed up-front, and families will know the costs and dates of payment before the program begins.
7- Why is this only offered to high-school aged teams?
Traditionally our clubs have struggled to field consistent teams at age U14 and above, and by combining resources at that age we feel we are able to offer something different than we have been able to in the past. At the younger ages, both clubs still have numbers and a solid identity, as well as wanting to maintain the social aspect of the sport. With both clubs now aiming towards a single program at the older ages, we will be more able to work together at U9-U14 to provide a consistent message and development plan for players throughout the valley. We anticipate including U13 teams in this structure beginning in the Fall of 2018.
8 - My player was born in 2004 - will he/she still try out?
Yes! At this stage, 2004 (U14) teams are the youngest teams we will field. We anticipate that in the Fall of 2018 we will continue to expand the range of FVU to include U13 teams (at that time - 2006 birth years)
9 - What if my player doesn’t make the team?
The mission of Flathead Valley United is to provide opportunities for all players to play on a team with others of similar ability. We will select a Premier team of 16, a Select team of 16, and provide pooled training and tournament opportunities for those players who want to continue to train in the spring for high school soccer in the fall through a pooled training environment.
10- Can my player move up to the Premier Team if they are on the Select Team?
Absolutely! We not only want to provide opportunities for growth within each team, but we are looking for players to seize opportunities and earn their spots at whichever developmental level will help them the most. If there is an opening on a team, we will look to fill that spot with a player who has dedicated themselves to earning their chance.
11 - When does it start/end?
This program is based around the MYSA spring season, as players are encouraged to play with their respective high schools in the fall. Indoor training will begin in December and continue with both soccer-specific and speed/agility training throughout the winter months. There are possibilities for regional tournament play throughout the winter which all players and parents will be informed of before the program begins. Both the Premier and Select seasons begin in April and end in June, with local and regional tournaments spread throughout the consistent league games.
12 - What does winter training look like?
Winter training will consist of both soccer-specific training with the teams and coaches of both Premier and Select teams, as well as speed and agility training for all players with our specific athletic trainers.
13 - What will the MYSA season look like?
MYSA is striving to provide a structure that is more consistent with USYSA and other state associations around the country. This coming season Premier teams will play in a season against only other Premier-level teams with a home/home structure (other than long distances - Flathead Valley United Premier will meet a Billings Premier team at a neutral site). The consistency of games with more home games guaranteed has long been necessary in the state. After this season MYSA will look to adjust and implement the same structure with Select-level teams as well.
14 - Will the Force and Rapids still offer high-school aged teams?
No. The Flathead Valley United Program pools all players in the valley, along with the resources of both clubs, to provide the best service for all families.
15 - Will the Force and Rapids still offer high-school aged training?
Yes! The Clubs will be offering a supplemental, training-based program throughout the late winter and through the spring for players that would like some extra training to keep their touch for high school, but are not fully committed to a league-season. These players will be able to sign up to attend any and all practices held by their age group for FVU, but will not be rostered for games or tournaments. This option comes at a reduced cost, which will be released before the beginning of outdoor training.
16 - Where will outdoor practices be held?
With access to both Smith Fields in Whitefish and Kidsports in Kalispell, practices can be held at whichever site the team decides, or a mix of both.