The Midfielder
Heartland Soccer Association Newsletter
Happy Holidays!
Heartland Soccer Association
9161 W 133rd Street, Overland Park, KS 66213
Phone: 913.888.8768

Heartland Soccer Association is recognized as one
of the largest soccer leagues and tournament hosts in the country. We offer recreational to premier divisions, ages U8 through U19.
2016 Heartland Numbers

league teams this fall
league teams last spring
league players in 2015
tournament teams this year
tournament players this year
2016 Tournament Numbers
(number of teams)

Border Battle
KC Champions Cup 410
Mother's Day Classic 407
KC Invitational
Fall Kick Off Challenge
Sporting KC Affiliate Friendlies
Heartland Midwest Classic
Midwest All Girls
Girls HIT
Boys HIT
NCAA Men's College Showcase

In the last 12 months Heartland welcomed teams from a total of 17 states and Canada.
Concussion ImPACT  Testing

Open to all Heartland Soccer participants
for more information contact :
Betsy Kellerman
(913) 541-3365

Overland Park Regional Medical Center
Heartland Spring 2017 League registration is now open!
Registration closes January 9th.
No late registrations will be accepted.

2017  Spring Tournaments
We have the right tournaments for your team! Heartland Soccer Association tournaments are some of the largest in the Midwest, at some of the finest fields in the nation. We make sure competition levels are tailored to your needs. All tournaments will be played at the world's finest soccer complexes.


Border Battle

Feb 24-26, 2017 



Kansas City

Champions Cup

Apr 7-9, 2017 




Midwest Mother's Day Classic

May 12-14, 2017 



Kansas City


May 26-29, 2017 


Futsal Central Regional Championships Jan 13-16

From the Heartland League Director, Richard Davies  
  Dear All,
We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends and are looking forward to similar celebrations over the Christmas period.

Hopefully, the mild weather that we have been experiencing will continue through the winter. That will allow construction to continue on the new soccer complexes that are being built. We are hopeful to have 2 of those venues at least partly usable for games, sometime this coming Spring 2017.

There are already a lot of teams signed up for the Spring season and as a reminder, the deadline is January 9 th . With so many teams to be seeded and scheduled that is the very latest we can go. Coaches and Managers, please give us as much information as possible for seeding as we really aspire to make the divisions as competitive as possible.

With the recent tragedy of the Brazilian soccer team who were involved in the fatal plane crash, it is unbelievable to see how a sport can bring people together in the toughest times. The outpouring of love and support from every corner of the globe has been remarkable. Rivalries are put aside and soccer/football/futbol/ ฟุตบอ can be the draw that brings everyone together!

Seasons greetings to each and every one of you.

See you in 2017.

Heartland Staff
Photo of the Year:

This Month in History: December
A look back at 1863...

October 26, 1863, the Football Association was formed when eleven London schools and clubs came together at the Freemason's Tavern to establish a single set of rules to administer any football match that were to be played among them. On December 8 1863, Association Football and Rugby Football finally split onto two different organizations. Later in the year, the first ever soccer match was played on Barnes common at Mortlake, London on December 19, 1863 between Barnes Football Club and Richmond Football Club. The game ended in a 0-0 draw.
A message from the  Athletic Department at Shawnee Mission West
The following letter is from Changing the Game Project.  It is a compilation of various stories heard from kids, not an actual letter received. It is, however, an accurate reflection of the things heard and seen every day on the sidelines. We ask all parents to please read this with your son or daughter, and share it with other parents you know. Ask your kids how they want you to act, how you can cheer in a helpful way, and when is a good time to talk about the game. When you ask, please listen to and respect their answer.

Dear Dad , I was afraid to say this to your face after the game today, but I was thinking that maybe you could stop coming to my games for a while. It doesn't seem that fun for you anyway, and I know it's not fun for me when you are there.

I used to love when you watched my play when I was younger, but now, I wish you weren't there. I think I am starting to hate playing soccer. I might quit. I bet you are wondering why.

I heard you in the stands today during my soccer game. I was going to say I heard you cheering, but that wasn't really what you were doing. You were coaching.

You were yelling about the other team, the other coaches, and at the officials. I also heard you yelling at me every time I got the ball.

I believe you think you are helping, but you are not. You are confusing me.

It's confusing when you coach me from the sideline. When I play soccer, I feel like I have to make so many decisions at a time. Should I dribble or pass? Should I cross or shoot? Should I step up or stay back? Where are my teammates?

Where are the defenders? I am trying to figure all these things out while out of breath, and fighting off defenders. With all this going on, you want me to listen to you, too? It seems no matter what I do, whether good or bad, you continue to yell at me. It is impossible to listen to you and play the game at the same time.

It is confusing when you and the coach shout instructions at the same time. I can't listen to both of you. Many times the things you say contradict what the coach teaches me at practice. My coach is trying to get me to pass it out of the back, but you keep yelling at me to kick it long.

My coach encourages me to dribble past players, but you tell me to get rid of it when I try to dribble. My coach tells me to pass the ball to feet, but you tell me to kick it over the top and our forwards will chase it down. I either get yelled at by my coach, or by you.

To make matters worse, sometimes the other parents join in and yell, too! I am so stressed out there. It's not a very good feeling.

It's confusing to me when you yell at the officials, especially since you teach me to respect teachers, coaches and my elders. Dad, some of these referees are kids that go to my school. I see them at lunch and in the halls and I am so embarrassed.

Would you yell at me like that if I was a new referee? Even when the officials are right, and you are standing 50 yards away, you yell at them. I wish you would just let the game play out and let me and my coach handle what is going on.

It's confusing when you are still upset about the loss hours after a game. How long is it appropriate to be sad and angry? I mean, I am the one who played, right?

We are supposed to win some and lose some if we play good teams, right? We got beat, but now we have to move on and get ready for the next game.

I am not sure how staying angry will help me get better for the next game. I certainly don't feel like learning much immediately after a loss.

The best thing you can do after a game is tell me you are proud of me for competing, and showing good sportsmanship, and that you love to watch me play.

What are we going to eat is helpful too. But that's all. I can get better next practice.

It's confusing when you talk badly about my coach in front of me. You tell me to respect my coach and listen to what he says, but then I hear you and other parents say he doesn't know what he is doing.

My friends say that their dads tell them not to listen to the coach, and they don't know who to listen to anymore. No wonder our coach gets so frustrated with us.

2016 Heartland Soccer Awards Night

Congratulations to all of our Fall Division Winners who were awarded at the Comets game on December 3rd!


Get certified to be a referee!
  Sign up to be a referee for
Spring 2017 Heartland  league.
Health Tip from HCA
First Aid: Frostbite

Exposure to below-freezing temperatures can cause frostbite, a rare but serious condition that requires emergency care. Frostbite can affect any area of the skin, and in extreme cold can develop within minutes.

Signs and Symptoms:
  • aching pain or numbness, most often on hands, feet, face and ears.
  • skin that feels hard and waxy, with a white or
    grayish yellow color
What to Do if you think your child is frostbitten, call the doctor right away.

Begin these steps:
  • Bring your child indoors immediately. Do not try to thaw frostbite unless you're in a warm place (warming and then re-exposing frozen parts to cold can cause permanent damage).
  • Remove wet clothing.
  • Do not rub frostbitten parts- treat them gently.
  • Do not use dry heat- such as a fireplace, oven or heating pad- to thaw frostbite.
  • Do not break any blisters.
  • Warm the frostbitten parts in warm (not hot) water for about 30 minutes.
  • Place clean cotton balls between frostbitten fingers and toes after they've been warmed.
  • Loosely wrap warmed areas with clean bandages to prevent refreezing.
  • Give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen for the pain.
Seek Emergency Medical Care If Your Child Has:
  • A body part or area of skin that is turning white and hard 
Think prevention!
Stay updated on weather forecasts. Keep kids warm and dry in cold weather. Loose-fitting, layered warm clothes are best. Have kids wear well-insulated boots, thick socks, hats, scarves, and mittens. Ice packs applied directly to the skin can cause frostbite- always cover ice packs with a cloth before applying to the skin.

Coaching Requirements
Heartland Soccer League is sanctioned by Kansas Youth Soccer. There is a minimum coaching requirement. All recreational and premier coaches must complete the F license course. It is online and can be found at the following link. 
Thanks and Congrats to our 2016 Refs!

Iron Man Awards: Alan Rosenak, Dick O'Leary, Sterling Hammett, Andreas Georgiou, Alan Gore
Rookies of the Year: Tiffany Ngo & Jarrod Mosher
Most Improved: Cheyenne Smith & Anthony Sobolevsky
Referee of the Year: Sean Perry
2016 Heartland Referee Meetings
This year, we invited referees of all ages and experience levels to attend monthly meetings. It was a great way for refs to meet each other and learn new tips and tricks! We had such wonderful attendance and feedback that we will continue this in 2017 and encourage all referees to join in on the fun!

Scheels December gift card winners: Mathew Tollman, Kyler Murphy, Joshua Curry, Kayde Caire, Patrick Whitehouse, Schyler Gondolfo, & Ryan Toon
A Huge Thank you to Scheels
for all their referee support in 2016!  
If you have a referee, coach, club, team or player accomplishment or photo that you would like to share please email Katie Falco at
101 Ladies Accessories
3 Women and an Oven
7 Eleven
AAA Insurance
AB May
Academy Sports and Outdoors
Arvest Bank
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing
Buca di Beppo
Burger Fi
California Pizza Kitchen
Chartroose Caboose
Chick fil A
Corner Bakery Cafe
Damsel in Defense
Dick's Sporting Goods
Drs. Hawks, Besler, Rogers & Stoppel
Dunkin' Donuts
Edible Promotions
Farmer's Insurance
FC Kansas City
Gift Gallery
Global Connections
Gordon Biersch
Hague Quality Water
Harlan C Parker State Farm Hasty Awards
Hayward's Pit BBQ
Heart of America Golf Academy
Huntington Learning Center
J&K Soccer
Jimmy John's
Johnny Cascone's
Jon Russell's Barbeque
Kansas Athletics
KC Running Store
Kincaid Coach Lines
Legoland/Sea Life
Lenny's Subs
Levine Advertising
Mary Kay
McCarthy Auto Group
Menorah Medical Center
Missouri Comets
Molle Toyota
Momo Bands  
Moneytalks Financial Foundation
Nature's Select
Oak Country Club
Origami Owl
Overland Park Regional Medical Center
Overland Park Soccer Club
Pacific Dental Services
Paciugo Gelato
Papa John's
Pizzeria Locale
Prairiefire Museum
Premier Designs Jewelry
Price Chopper 
Rasmussen College
Research Medical Center
Rock and Brews
Rosati's of Overland Park
Scott the Electrican
Simple Science
Slim Chickens
Smoothie King
Soccer Master
Southern Charmed
Sport Shake
Sporting Kansas City
Storage Mart
Sunflower Bank
Swope Park Rangers
Tastefully Simple
The Roasterie
The Storage Place
Thirty-One Gifts
Three Sisters
Tick Tock
Tiger-Rock Martial Arts
T-riffic T-shirts
University of Missouri Kansas City
Urban Air
Valley View Bank
Which Wich
Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun
You Oughta Be In Pictures
Young Living Essential Oils  
Zip KC

That's a wrap, 2016!
2016 marked another incredible year for Heartland Soccer. Our numbers were through the roof and we couldn't be happier with all the teams that participated this year. We want to thank all the players, coaches, staff, families, referees and sponsors for helping us make a difference in youth soccer.

 *check out our astonishing 2016 numbers in the left column!



Here we come, 2017!

We are so excited for the New Year! As spring registration is currently open, we anticipate even more teams to participate than we had in 2016. We, once again, are excited to host 8+ tournaments with teams coming in from more than 15 states. One of the things we are most excited for is the opening of the Gateway Sports Village...



Gateway Sports Village is scheduled to open
 in  spring 2017
As the construction continues, the Gateway Sports Village development team hosted a "Ground Moving Experience" for clients and friends on December 10th. It was a great way for everyone to get an inside look, catch up with the owners/developers and of course, play with the big machinery!

Soccer: A beautiful game that teaches life lessons
     The team traveled to play in the Heritage Invitational Tournament on Girl's
weekend. They had played hard and were near the top of their pool. Another team had also played hard and the points and tie breakers were dead even. How to determine the team that would play in the finals was outlined in the Tournament Rules - Kicks from the mark with the winners moving on and the other team going home.
This is a stressful situation for both teams, and the coaches and the fans. Let's get started so we can find out who advances. However, the fields were all in use at the time. The decision - wait for one of the matches to conclude and then conduct the Kicks from the Mark. More pressure as the girls try and stay loose. Two teams, but only one will advance.
The game on the selected field was over so the ultimate tie breaker could begin. The parents cheered their daughters on. The teams went to the coaches and the decision on the first five kickers was made. The Referee brought the captains to the side and completed the coin toss to determine which team would go first. Then the players took the field. Two groups at midfield and two goalies on the line.
Now, I want you to imagine that you are one of these players. You have played hard all weekend and now you must perform one more time with everything on the line. I think you would agree with me that it is easier to be a parent than a player at this point in time.
The first player came to the Penalty spot. The Referee handed her the ball and she put it down. She waited for the whistle and then took her shot on goal. She scored! Her team mates cheered for her success. Everything was good for this team. The pressure was now on the other team. The same routine - and after the Referee blew the whistle, another shot on goal and another score. 1 to 1. The pressure builds on the other players.
The next player followed the same routine. The same result and the same elation. The score was 2 - 1. Then the magic started happening. The second player from team 2 took her shot on goal and missed. Do you know what her team mates did? Yes, they cheered for her effort. They were a team and they had plenty of time to make up the goal.
Team 1's third player came to the spot. She missed the entire goal. Her team cheered for her. I sensed this was how the game is supposed to be, but we still had 5 kickers to go. The next 4 kickers either missed or their shot was saved by the goalie. The score is 2 - 1, and the team that was behind had one more opportunity to extend their weekend. Their player came to the spot and placed the ball. Her team mates were cheering her on... "you can do it!". The Referee blew the whistle, the player approached the ball and took her shot. She missed everything. The ball went over the goal. Their weekend was over.
Now it is not a surprise that the team that advanced was elated (players, coaches and parents). But what about the team that was going home? And what about the player who failed to convert on the final kick? This was a very lonely and traumatic time for her. The good news - her team mates rallied around her. And, the parents did the same thing. When we talk about life lessons - losing is very hard. The secret to success is getting back up and playing the next game. I would bet she will be ready for her next game because of the support she got from those who are important in her life.
I was the Referee who administered the Kicks from the Mark. I have been involved in many of these critical matches. However, I can think of only a few times when the reaction and support of the player who missed was as positive as this. This was an example of a soccer match teaching very important and positive life lessons that will contribute to a person's self-esteem and success in the future.
 Now, imagine that instead of a player under this pressure, we are talking about a young Referee. The stakes are high. The Referee, like the player, is doing their best job based on their experience. What happens when the parents think they made the wrong call? If we treated the player who missed the potential shot that would even the score by shouting at them, would the player come back? If they did, would they be willing to put themselves out there again?
The life lesson is that everyone makes a mistake (it is the price of being willing to get into the arena and compete). If experience will make a better Referee, then let's make sure we are giving the young Referees the courage to learn and to try again. Every State Referee started young, made mistakes and learned. Thank you for supporting our young Referees. We will continue to work with them to make them more effective. We need your support and your help to make this happen. See you in the Spring.
The Referee Corner: Things aren't always the way they look - Experience helps get it right
An interesting picture, yes?  Are we looking up, or are we looking down?  It is a matter of perspective.  But it is also ambiguity.

The same kind of ambiguity takes place in the soccer matches at Heartland.  For many, the question of perspective is based on the answer to the following question: "Is it my kid that is being fouled or is my kid that is fouling?"  Making effective Refereeing decisions requires a knowledge of the Laws of the Game, neutrality, and experience.  

This is the way that the MLS Assistant Referee of the Year, Frank Anderson describes it.  " Referees say we are only as good as our last call.  But I like to say we are only as good as our next call.  It's very simple, get my next call correct.  When you are working regularly, you're better prepared for the next decision.  

 Sometimes as officials we see the game more clearly and this comes with repetition.  When we are not seeing clearly it is because we are out of practice."
Many of you have been watching your kids' soccer matches for years.  This translates to the experience and repetition that Frank Anderson mentioned.  When you see something many times, you are better prepared to make decisions.  That is why parents who have seen hundreds of games can make excellent Referees.  Let's look at this in more detail.

The new Referee is 13 years old.  He or she has been playing soccer since they were 5.  While this represents 8 years of "experience".  But, it is experience based on the way 5 - 12 year olds play the game.  That is why our new Referees start on the small sided fields.  There is extreme value in understanding how the game is played if you are going to be responsible for managing the game and the players.
Now, what about you?  If you have been watching your kids for many years you have experience watching the Referees and the players at the higher levels.  For many of us we have fallen in love with the game, and the thought of not being at the fields is not a happy thought.  So, don't give up the game.  Instead find another way to stay involved - become a Referee.

When you are out at the fields, look at the adults who are officiating games.  Many of them made the decision to become a Referee because of their love of the game and their passion for helping young kids develop to their fullest as players and Referees.

We have posted our next group of Entry Level Clinics at .  If you want to certify in Missouri you can do this at .Check out the schedule and we look forward to having some of you join the Heartland Referee family.  It will keep you close to the game we all love, and I promise will extend your youth.

Destiny from Little Apple Soccer Club
Position: Defender
Player Experience: 5 Years

Caden from Wichita FC Premiera
Position: Center Midfield/Striker

Our final 2016 Papa John's Referee of the Month goes to Paul Culotta, a man who has dedicated nearly 2 decades of his life to reffing.

After playing the game of soccer for 40 years, it was hard for Culotta to hang up his cleats entirely, in fact, it was nearly impossible. In his mind, the best way to stay around the sport and be actively involved was to become a certified ref. So that's what he did. (Oh, and he still finds himself playing in the over 40 men's league on occasion...)

During the last 19 years of reffing, he has learned many life lessons, one being that you must have a lot of patience. "You have to be measured in what you do and be able to see things clearly before making a decision," Culotta said.

Yes, making a quick decision on the field can test a ref's patience, but luckily for all the young refs coming up, they have a role model like Culotta to look up to. Someone who hasn't just learned about patience, but has found pride in helping kids understand and enjoy the game. He finds so much pride in helping players that he is also an assistant coach for his son's soccer team.

Even though he has dedicated so much of his life to reffing and coaching, it's not his only gig as he manages an operations group for Waddell and Reed/ Ivy Funds and finds plenty of time to cheer on the K-State Wildcats!
Coaches Corner
Dribbling Basics Practice

Get the players warmed up...

Use any part of the foot - no restrictions, encourage the players to try and use all four parts of the foot and develop good dribbling basics.
- Foundation touches- stationary- if the players are proficient get them moving with foundation touches.
- Outside Foot- right foot first, then left foot... if they are doing well try both feet.
- Laces- an easy way to teach this method is to have the players dribble with laces taking small touches using the laces.
- Sole- to become proficient in using the sole of the foot, the coach has the players practicing toe taps.

Ask the players if they can look up and see what is going on around them, and maintain control of the soccer ball while looking up. once the kids have mastered the basics the coach can teach more advanced moves and techniques.

Winter Workouts:
Practicing in Cold Temperatures
By Betsy Kellerman, ATC/LAT, Manager of the Overland Park Regional Medical Center Sports Medicine and Concussion programs.
Sports practice and training doesn't take a break due to cold weather. If your young athlete decides to practice outdoors, make sure to follow some simple tips to keep them safe in the cold.
  • If your young athlete is  going outside in the cold, stay safe - and warm. Make sure she has a snack before going out. The calories will give her growing body energy in the cold weather.
  • Make sure to protect their face with sunscreen. The idea of a sunburn in January can seem odd, but snow can reflect up to 85% of the sun's ultraviolet rays.
  • Kids should dress warmly in layers of clothes. If the top layer gets wet from snow or freezing rain, they can peel off some clothes down to a dry layer.
  • Avoid cotton clothing because it won't keep the him very warm. Stick with wool or other fabrics. Dress him in long underwear, a turtleneck, and a sweater and coat.  Add more layers depending on the temperature.
  • Waterproof pants and jackets are great top layers because they don't let the wetness seep into the other clothing. The cold-weather ensemble wouldn't be complete without warm socks and boots to keep feet dry and a hat to top it off.
  • Teach your young athlete the warning signs for frostnip, frostbite's early warning sign. It usually affects areas of skin exposed to the cold, such as the cheeks, nose, ears, fingers, and toes, leaving them red and numb or tingly.
  • Frostnip can be treated at home and gets better with rewarming. Bring your child indoors immediately. Remove all wet clothing. Wet clothes draw heat away from the body. Immerse chilled body parts in warm (not hot) water for 20 to 30 minutes until all sensation returns. Don't let your child control the water temperature during rewarming. Numb hands won't feel the heat and can be severely burned by water that is too hot. Body heat also can be used to rewarm. Don't use heating pads, stoves, fireplaces, or radiators to rewarm because the affected skin can be numb and easily burn. Call your doctor if sensation does not return or there are signs of frostbite and/or hypothermia.
There's no set amount of time kids should be allowed to stay out in the cold. However, when being cold becomes unpleasant, it's time to go inside. Sometimes, though, kids may just need some dry gloves. It helps to have an extra pair of gloves or mittens tucked into their pockets if they plan to be outdoors for a while.

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