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Northwest Youth Soccer Associations Form Unique Regional Alliance

Soccer Pacific Alliance brings exciting value to members of Washington, Oregon and British Columbia Youth Soccer Associations

The state (and provincial) youth soccer associations of Washington, Oregon and British Columbia last month announced a new alliance that will bring exciting opportunities for development, partnership and growth for members of each of the three associations.

Called Soccer Pacific, the new three-way alliance brings together three of the largest youth soccer associations in the western half of the continent, with a commitment to develop common goals, share leadership resources and inspire the optimal growth of the game of soccer.

"With the growing partnership between the MLS teams in Seattle, Vancouver and Portland, and between each of those teams and their local youth associations, it made sense for our organizations to mirror that alliance and find ways to mutually help each other grow and develop," says Washington Youth Soccer CEO Terry Fisher. "As we continue to develop this alliance, it will be a remarkable resource for our players, coaches, Associations and clubs, and a valuable benefit to the members of all three states."

In fact, some of the alliance’s benefits have already been enjoyed by our state’s top competitive teams. Just last weekend, the Under-13 through Under-15 State Champions from Washington matched up against State and Provincial Cup winners from Oregon and British Columbia in the inaugural Soccer Pacific Tournament of Champions at Starfire. The tournament was designed to be the official kickoff event for the new alliance, and to give each association’s top teams the chance to match up against high-level regional competition in preparation for this summer’s Regional- and National-level Cup play.

In addition to friendly competitions, other events are being developed by leaders in each of the three associations to share resources and provide additional development and growth opportunities for players, coaches and members throughout the Pacific Northwest.

One such event will be the Soccer Pacific Exchange, a pre-season friendly for Under-11 and Under-12 recreational level teams that will include representatives from all three Northwest youth associations. A revival of a popular exchange first hosted by Karl Grosch, one of Washington Youth Soccer's founding volunteers, the Soccer Pacific Exchange aims to promote cultural exchange while providing a great team bonding experience at the beginning of the season." This free-to-play exchange will take place over two successive weekends in all three regions, with Washington teams hosting games on Aug. 20 and Oregon and B.C. teams hosting games on Aug. 27. All games will be of a 9v9 jamboree format, and hosting teams will be encouraged to organize group dinners or reception to build friendship and camaraderie between the teams, while helping the visiting team learn more about the larger region in which they live. For more information, visit http://www.wsysa.com/Events/SoccerPacificExchange2011/tabid/1779/language/en-US/Default.aspx.

"Oregon is excited at the potential of Soccer Pacific to leverage programs, resources and services on behalf of young soccer players in the Northwest," says Chuck Keers, Executive Director of Oregon Youth Soccer. "Oregon, Washington and British Columbia all have great youth soccer associations and with our new MLS partners, there is no limit to the things we can do together."

Further information about Soccer Pacific will be included in future editions of PlayOn!, and on the Washington Youth Soccer website, washingtonyouthsoccer.org, so be sure to check back frequently to learn more about how this new alliance will benefit you and your teams. For more information on the Tournament of Champions, visit washingtonyouthsoccer.org.

 
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