Local Youth Recreational Soccer League Set To Dissolve
Moorhead Youth Soccer Ends Years of Interplay with North Dakota Neighbors
Local League In Disarray
Fargo, ND, November 20. The Fargo Soccer Club (FSC) – www.fargosoccer.org – has learned that Moorhead Youth Soccer Club (MYSC) is probably going to be prevented from interplay in the Fargo-Moorhead West Fargo Soccer League (FMWFSL) by its parent organization, Minnesota Youth Soccer Association (MYSA). The move by MYSYA means that Moorhead players may be playing recreational soccer against teams from Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, East Grand Forks, Pelican Rapids, Crookston and Alexandria rather than Fargo and West Fargo.
The anticipated decision by MYSA probably means that North Dakota Youth Soccer Association (NDYSA) may try to block the FSC from competing in a new league comprised only of Red River Soccer Club (RRSC) and the West Fargo Soccer Club (WFSC). However, the FSC is applying to become a member club of NDYSA, which may preclude NDYSA from excluding the FSC from recreational league play in the community.
“The anticipated decision by MYSA makes it more difficult for Moorhead youth soccer players because it could impose a new travel burden to outlying communities,” said FSC President Matt Noah. Noah further states, “In the past, traveling soccer was reserved for competitive teams. It may also mean that more Moorhead kids will register with the Fargo Soccer Club because our recreational leagues will remain local, free from travel. We are the only club in the area which can freely register both North Dakota and Minnesota residents. Our travel teams will not be affected by this decision.”
The FSC competed incident-free in the local FMWFSL this past Fall. It fielded 10 kindergarten teams. Matt Noah said, “We meticulously followed every rule laid out to us by the FMWFSL. Our 60 kids enjoyed the experience and our friendly competition against the Moorhead, West Fargo and Fargo kids was beneficial to everyone. It turned out the FMWFSL had been operating outside the rules set forth in an interplay agreement between NDYSA and MYSA dating back about 7 years. Rather than correct that interplay agreement, MYSA appears to have decided to keep Moorhead players from playing in the league.”
The FSC prevailed in its discrimination and interplay grievance against the NDYSA and the MYSA. In its ruling, the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) – www.ussoccer.com - pointed to the actions of the RRSC, WFSC, the MYSC and both NDYSA and MYSA in making its determination. The decision can be found on the USSF website at http://www.ussoccer.com/common/stContent.jsp_51-greiva.html. Grievances such as that won by the FSC are very rare. The last winning grievance in the USA was in 2003.
The FSC has advocated for more local soccer opportunities for youth in the region. Matt Noah said, “The best solution would be for MYSA to allow MYSC to interplay and for both NDYSA and MYSA to allow the FSC to interplay in the FMWFSL. In that way, more, not less, playing opportunities can be had by area youth. However, MYSA knew that if MYSC was allowed to interplay, then the FSC would have to be allowed to interplay. One has to question if MYSA has the best interests of FSC and Moorhead soccer players in mind.”
The FSC has grown dramatically since its founding in May 2007. It began with 1 traveling team in 2007. It field 2 traveling teams in 2008. It has 3 teams currently formed for 2009 but may field more. The FSC fielded 7 recreational teams in 2007. It fielded 24 teams in the spring of 2008 and 24 teams in the fall of 2008. It anticipates fielding 30-40 teams in the spring of 2009. It’s 10 kindergarten teams played in the Fall 2008 FMWFSL following the ruling by the USSF.
The following email was obtained by FSC President Matt Noah:
From: Stenson Chris [mailto:CStenson@phoeintl.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2008 3:39 PM
To: Alex President (Ruth Lee); Crookston Coaching Dir. (Don Cox); Crookston President (Michelle Erdmann); Dave Carter; DL Coaching Dir. (Justin Wegleitner); DL President (Patti Cummins); EGF Coaching Dir. (Tim Schroeder); EGF President (Tara Degerness); FF Coaching Dir. (Tom Johnson); FF President (Jeff Hatlewick); PR Coaching Dir. (Dave Brown); PR President ( Linda Grefsrud)
Cc: Shannon Swenson; Darin J. Ulness; Stenson, Anna Marie Emma
Subject: Recreational Soccer
Good Morning Area Soccer Leaders, Supporters, and Coaching Directors,
With the possiblity of major changes in the Recreational Soccer Programs in Fargo, West Fargo, and Moorhead, Moorhead is looking to get input and ideas from our soccer neighbors. We are looking to improve playing oppurtunities, not only for our players but maybe yours too.
In the past, there has been interest in other NW district teams playing/ scrimmaging Moorhead recreational teams in the fall and spring. Is that interest still there?
A few years ago there was talk of having a fall 7/8 grade soccer league for boys and girls. Are area teams still playing each other and is there any interest in this?
In what ways can area clubs work together to improve soccer throughout the district?
We welcome your thoughts and ideas on how we can improve soccer oppurtunities for area players.
Moorhead Youth Soccer Club