FLATHEAD VALLEY UNITED
Flathead Valley United Program Details
Season Dates: August 13, 2018 – October 14th 2018
Gender: Boys & Girls
Ages: 2006 (U13), 2005/4 (U14)
General Program Outline:
Fall 2018 will comprise of a season consisting of 4 tournaments, with possibly 1 Saturday of local games and another Saturday of an FVU 3v3 tournament at our home fields. Other weekends will be off, reducing travel and time commitments during the fall season.
Tryouts will be early August, and our aim will be to provide 2 teams in each age group - a Premier and a Select. This will depend on numbers of registrations. Practices will be held in both Kalispell and Whitefish, with the locations determined by team consensus and based on the makeup of the team.
The season will end at the Helena tournament October 13-14.
Our goal is to get as many like-minded players together as possible. The jump from 9v9 to 11v11 is a perfect age to merge and create teams of similar ability levels to play against similar competition. The first annual season during the Spring of 2018 successfully provided 11 competitive teams, with the Premier teams finding success in gold brackets and Select teams finding success in the silver brackets. 3 of our Premier teams won the MYSA premier league and are representing Montana at the Western Regionals in Salt Lake City.
Flathead Valley United is working on finalizing commitments for teams for Fall 2018.
2006 (U13) - Chris Fannon, Mike Himsl
2005/4 (U14) - Vic Dalla Betta, Daniel Wood, Jay Guinn
2006 (U13) - Patty Hughes
2005/4 (U14) - Elle Meulman, Kat Dickson
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.
Evaluation Dates: August 13th, 14th, 16th
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.
$495 - Includes All Tournaments
If you would like to apply for financial assistance, please fill out and submit the form here. (Link coming soon)
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 Fall Program Timeline
Early August - Tryouts
Mid August - Outdoor training begins
Late August - Nelson BC Tournament
Early September - Sanpoint ID Tournament
Late September - Kalispell MT Tournament
Mid October - Helena MT Tournament
Late October - Spring FVU Tryouts!
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 booklet 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 Fall 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 -- for premier teams and -- 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 offered to teams U13 and above?
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-U12 to provide a consistent message and development plan for players throughout the valley. When players reach the large field (11v11), there are numerous benefits to putting like with like.
8 - My player was born in 2007 - can he/she still try out?
Yes! At this stage, 2007 players are eligible to try out for 2006 teams. In order to make the team, these players must be rated in the top 5 players on the 2006 premier group, as is the case with all play-ups within Flathead Valley United. We will not move players up to sit on the bench of the premier team, or even to take a spot on the Select team. In those cases it would be much more beneficial to be a leader on their true age-group team and help those players develop for the future.
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 roster 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 or the tournament fall season for younger age groups. Older players are encouraged to play with their respective high schools in the fall.
In spring, 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.
In fall, the training sessions will begin in August and the teams will participate in local and regional tournaments until the middle of October.
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 in the spring?
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 - 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.