The Midfielder
Heartland Soccer Association Newsletter       
                                                                                                                                                                               January 2016
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  
1,182 league teams last spring
1,265 league teams last fall
39,000 league players in 2015
 2,634 tournament teams this year
42,000+ tournament players this year
1,600 plus referees
1,400 plus coaches
2015 Tournament Numbers
(number of teams)
 KC Champions Cup : 391
Mothers Day Classic:  309
KC Invitational :359
Fall Kick Off Challenge:224
Sporting KC Affiliate Friendlies:125
Heartland Midwest Classic:202        
Midwest All Girls:300
Girls HIT:238
Boys HIT:382
NCAA Men's College Showcase:104

 In 2015 Heartland welcomed teams from a
total of 17 states and Canada.
Border Battle: First Spring Tournament
Registration deadline: January 27

This tournament has already been established and recognized as one of the top spring tournaments in the Midwest. It annually attracts ECNL, NPL, State and Regional Champion teams from up to 11 different states. We are anticipating another sell out event in 2016 with teams traveling form all over the Midwest!
Signup to be a referee!
Sign up to be a referee for Spring 2016 Heartland  league.
here is the link:


At Overland Park Regional's new ER of Olathe your family will have access to the lifesaving expertise backed by the largest physician network in the area along with an accessible, family-friendly environment. With short wait times, an array of amenities and the comfort of one-on-one attention, we provide a unique emergency room experience. If you or your family require hospitalization, Overland Park Regional Medical Center is nearby.                         

If you have a referee, coach, club, team or player accomplishment that you would like to share please email
If you would like to nominate a player for the play of the month for the February newsletter, please email
Record Breaking  Registration Numbers for
the Heartland Spring 2016 League!
Once again, Heartland Soccer Association is proud to announce that this spring season will be our largest one yet with 1300 teams! 

We have teams from all over the Kansas City metro area, along with  Columbia,  Lincoln,  Omaha,  Manhattan,  Springfield   and Wichita. 

League play will be hosted  at Heritage Soccer Park, Scheel's Overland Park Soccer Complex, Swope Soccer Village and Legacy Park.
Schedules will be posted on February 24th and the season officially begins on March 4th! 

Best of luck to all of our participants and thank you for your ongoing loyalty to Heartland Soccer.
Heartland Partners with
Sporting Lee's Summit & Legacy Soccer Park
Sporting Lee's Summit, one of the largest youth soccer clubs in the state of Missouri, will play all of their competitive soccer teams in the Heartland Soccer league as well as schedule games on 12 grass fields at Legacy Soccer Park in Lee's Summit.  Sporting Lee's Summit projects 150 teams to join the league this spring season.  The plan will be for Missouri teams playing each other to play at the Legacy fields and also offer Kansas teams the ability to play games there as well but at their option.  If you are a Kansas based team and would like to play at Legacy Park, simply indicate it on your spring league registration.  Special note:  One of our goals has been to continue to move play off of Heritage Soccer Park fields and not overplay them.  We have a major renovation planned for Heritage in 2016 and this partnership will help facilitate that renovation.
2015 NCAA Showcase
Heartland Soccer finished off the 2015 tournament series with a Boys College Showcase which was run in conjunction with Sporting Kansas City and the NCAA. This was the first time for Heartland Soccer to run a dedicated College Showcase event, but we were pleased that the event ran very smoothly. Fortunately the December weather, while not ideal, had little impact on the weekend schedule.
Games were divided between the fabulous Overland Park Soccer Complex and the Sporting Kansas City training facility at Swope Soccer Village, with the schedule constructed in such a way to allow teams the opportunity to watch the NCAA Final Four games played at Sporting Park over the weekend.   
While the 102 teams may have represented a smaller event than the typical Heartland tournament, the tournament featured many outstanding teams from all over the United States. This included groups from states as distant as New York, Michigan, Wisconsin and Texas. There were even a couple of players who travelled from Honolulu to guest play with a local team. Teams provided games of the highest quality while being watched by the largest gathering of college coaches in KC history who had come for the NCAA event.    
Many of the top soccer playing schools in the country were represented at the showcase, hoping to make contact with the potential future star of their program.
Heartland Soccer wants to thank all of the people who devoted so much of their time to make this an outstanding event.    
Kansas State Youth Soccer Association
would like to congratulate the
2015 Award Winners! 

Young Female Referee of the Year - Tatum King
Young Male Referee of the Year - Peyton Brown
Boys Competitive Coach of the Year - Jon Parry (Sporting Blue Valley/Sporting Kansas City)
Girls Competitive Coach of the Year - Max Cookson (Overland Park Soccer Club)
Volunteer of the Year - Pete Weaver (Overland Park Soccer Club)
Each year individuals are recognized in various categories and represent Kansas Youth Soccer at the Regional level (Region  II).  If individuals are selected as Regional award winners, they represent our region at the US Youth Soccer Awards Gala in conjunction with the US Youth Soccer Workshops. 
KSYSA appreciates the dedicated work and efforts of all of our members!

Dr. Lori Boyajian-O'Neill is a Sports Medicine Physician at Overland Park Regional Medical Center - part of HCA Midwest Health System - Kansas City's largest healthcare provider. She is a renowned sports and family medicine physician, a published author and team physician for USA Volleyball.

Concussion Management: What You Need To Know
The movie "Concussion" is shining a spotlight on concussions.
Brain injuries are more serious than broken bones because you can't see the impact of a concussion and symptoms aren't the same for every child. Sometimes a child may not have symptoms immediately.
Young athletes in my clinic are all different. Some have sustained injuries due to collision sports such as football, but others are related to soccer, lacrosse, cheerleading and simple play outdoors.
I recommend young athletes get a neurocognitive test prior to an injury. This test can access the cognitive process, including memory and reaction time.
The Sports Medicine Program at Overland Park Regional Medical Center, part of HCA Midwest Health System, uses ImPACT, a neurocognitive test developed by the University of Pittsburgh Neurosciences Center that is also used by MLB, NHL, NBA, MLS and NFL. ImPACT is a tool that helps track recovery of cognitive processes. ImPACT provides physicians a comparison between baseline and post injury data. This helps manage the concussion. It can also help your physician answer difficult questions about an athlete's readiness to return to school and play.
ImPACT is available to any child age 10 and up. Testing is recommended every two years. Each non-invasive test takes about 45 minutes. Baseline testing is available for groups and teams.
While there remains much the field of medicine doesn't yet know regarding concussions in sports, here is some of what we do know, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
  • Helmets are helpful to prevent serious head injury, such as fracture or bleeding in the brain, but do not prevent concussions.
  • Loss of consciousness does NOT occur in the majority of concussions.
  • Athletes with a suspected concussion must be removed from play or training. When in doubt, sit out!
  • Athletes should not return to play after a suspected concussion until evaluated by a medical professional experienced in the care of concussions.
  • Appropriate cognitive rest and refraining from schoolwork and screen time, facilitates recovery after a concussion.
  • Return to school is important and must take priority over return to sport and return to screens.
  • Return to play prior to full recovery may put an athlete at greater risk for chronic symptoms or catastrophic injury to the brain.
  • Standard CT scans and MRIs will appear normal in isolated concussion injuries.
  • Baseline testing of balance, cognitive function and computer-based neurocognitive evaluations can be a helpful tool for comparison post-injury and to determine readiness to return to school and play after a brain injury.
  For more information on concussions or ImPACT, please visit .
2014: Heartland Tops KC Attendance
The 2014 attendance numbers have been gathered and released, showing Heartland Soccer at the top. With the Scheel's Overland Park Soccer Complex and Heritage Soccer Park , HSA welcomed well over 2.8 million people last year. This is the highest attendance in the history of Heartland Soccer. With the continuous growth of Heartland, the 2015 numbers are expected to be even higher.

(And we do recognize that Royals attendance took a big jump in 2015.  We'll have those numbers for you soon.)
Tips from the Sports Medicine Experts at Overland Park Regional Medical Center  
Foot Pain in Young Athletes
Foot pain in the young athlete is a common problem encountered in all sports. Many injuries are unique to certain sports, whereas others are seen in all types of activity, especially those involving running. Injuries may involve bones, ligaments, tendons, or other soft tissue structures in the foot.
What to Do When an Athlete Has a Foot Injury
If you suspect that your young athlete has a fracture, he or she should be evaluated by medical personnel immediately. For most other injuries, try rest, ice, compression (ACE wrap, etc), and elevation. If no improvement is seen within two to three days and the athlete has a limp, swelling, or difficulties doing normal activities, he or she should be evaluated to rule out a more serious injury.
Treatment and Return to Play
Each type of foot injury has a specific treatment. Your doctor will begin this once the diagnosis is made. Your doctor may need to refer you to a sports medicine specialist or orthopedic surgeon for further evaluation and treatment. In general, athletes can safely return to their activities when they are able to pass the "5-step test," which can be done quickly and easily in the doctor's office. The athlete must be able to (1) walk/run with full range of motion, (2) walk on "tiptoes" without pain, (3) hop on both feet without pain, (4) hop on the affected foot without pain, and (5) show satisfactory balance while performing a single-leg stance on affected side. Although the athlete may not be fully recovered at this point, passing these simple tests usually indicates that the athlete can safely and effectively return to play.
Prevention of Foot Injuries  
Many types of injuries can be prevented from returning in the future.
Here are a few tips:
  • Stretch before activity.
  • Wear properly fitting footwear.
  • Wear the right running shoe.
  • Spend time in a running specialty store and ask for help from a salesperson who understands running.
Replace shoes every 300 to 400 miles. Even though they may look in good condition, the midsole will have lost its support and cushion.
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics
Our January Papa John's Heartland Referee Spotlight is on  a pair of brothers, Mitchell and Nick Fowler, who are both outdoor and Futsal referees.
Mitchell has played soccer for 14 years. He grew up playing club ball and played for Shawnee Mission South during high school. He continues to play pickup games while attending K-State. Mitchell's love for the game and need for a job made reffing soccer a perfect fit. "I love the challenge of reffing. It's not as simple as knowing the rules, it involves an understanding of the people and the situations." In 2011, he added futsal referee to his resume. "Futsal is a much faster paced game and I love the atmosphere."
Mitchell is attending K-State and studying engineering. When he is not reffing or studying, you can find him playing soccer and volleyball or cheering on K-State basketball and football teams. Mitchell is also part of the Human Powered Vehicle Design Team at K-State. "They build, test and race human powered vehicles." He told us about a book his grandfather recently gave him called "The Big Idea". "It goes through the history of various inventions and how they are developed."  Someday Mitchell would like to referee at the collegiate level for the NCAA.
Nick has played soccer since he was 3 years old. He became a referee for outdoor soccer in 2012. Like his brother Mitchell, the love of the game drew him to referee. Nick loves the relationships he has formed over the years with referees, mentors, instructors and even coaches and players through reffing. After a few months of working outdoor games, Nick began reffing for futsal. He enjoys the fast pace of futsal on the indoor court. "I feel there is more interaction between the referees, players and coaches since it is played on a basketball court versus and outdoor soccer field." Nick's goal is to one day earn his Pro badge.
When Nick is not reffing he plays tennis. This year will be Nick's fourth year playing for his high school tennis team. He also enjoys watching his favorite team Sporting KC play. When asked what movie he recently went to, he said "Star Wars".
We asked him to tell us about a funny story to do with reffing. Nick said, "I was at a neighborhood party and one of my mother's friends started to ask me about reffing. She knew another friend that had a son that refereed too. It turned out the referee she spoke about was a referee I had worked with during the Olympic Development Camp in Rockford, Illinois."  "I guess it's a small world after all."
Coaches Corner
The Four corner shooting game





Setup - Field 25 X 40. Regular sized goals and goalies. Cones at each corner.

The Game- the coach serves a soccer ball to either of two far players. In this example he served it O. O can either "one touch shot", dribble and shoot, or pass to his team mate. Once there is a shot or ball goes out of bounds, the players leave the field and switch lines.
Coach serves another ball to one of the far corners.

Coaching point - keep the lines short and have plenty of soccer balls available 

Kansas State Youth Soccer Association Announces Director of Coaching
Kansas State Youth Soccer Association  is very pleased to announce that Nathan Hunt will be joining our staff as Director of Coaching on February 1, 2 016. As the Director of Coaching, Nathan Hunt's responsibilities will include  Coaching Education, Kansas ODP,  Camps, and State tournam ents. Nathan is a Kansas native. Born and raised in Topeka Ka ns as, he grew up playing club soccer in both the Topeka and Kansas City  areas for the Topeka Select and Kansas City Legends respectively.  N athan attended high school at Shawnee Heights High School, lettering on the varsity soccer team for 3 years. Following high school, Nathan then attended Barton County Community College, playing with the team fo r a year. Upon deciding to no longer play at the collegiate level, Nathan purs ued his Bachelors of Art degree in Economics, graduating from the University of Kansas  in 2008. Nathan currently holds his USSF A License w ith the US Soccer Federation. Nathan has worked for several ODP associations at the State and Regional levels, along with various clubs in Kansas, Alaska and Arkansas. Nathan has also worked outside of the clubs as a high school coach and instructor of various coaching courses. Nate is joining KSYSA from the Arkansas Rush Soccer Club where he held the position as the President and Technical Director since 2013. 
Heartland Soccer Association's 2016 Calendar
Spring 2016
Jan 11-spring 2016 Online registration deadline
Jan 14-Recreational Seeding
Jan 15-Premier pre seed & Recreational Final seed posted 
Jan 15-20-Premier seeding challenges via email, deadline noon on 1/20
Jan 22-Final premier seeding posted after 5pm
Feb 24-Spring 2016 Schedule posted after 5pm
Feb 26-28-Border Battle Tournament
Feb 27-28-Dick's Sporting Goods discount weekend for Heartland
Mar 4-6-First weekend of League Play
Mar 11-13-League Play
Mar 18-20-League Play
Mar 25-26-League Play
Mar 27-Easter Sunday / No Games
Apr 1-3-League Play
Apr 2-3-Dick's Sporting Goods discount weekend for Heartland
Apr 8-10-Kansas City Champions Cup / League Play
Apr 15-17-League Play
Apr 22-24-League Play
Apr 29-May 1-League Play
May 6-8-Midwest Mother's Day Classic / League Play
May 13-15-League Play
May 20-22-Rainout Weekend
May 27-30-Kansas City Invitational Tournament
Jun 19-Division Winner Awards Night with Sporting Kansas City
Jul 3-Division Winner Awards Night with Sporting Kansas City
Fall 2016
Jun 01- Fall 2016 Online registration opens
Jul 01- Fall 2016 Online registration deadline by noon on July 1
Jul 07- Recreational seeding
Jul 08- Premier pre seed & Recreational Final seed posted after 5pm
Jul 08-13- Premier seeding challenges via email deadline noon on July 13
Jul 14- Final premier seeding posted after 5pm
Jul 27- Schedule posted after 5pm
Aug 06-07- League Play
Aug 12-14- Fall Kick Off Challenge Tournament
Aug 13-14- League Play
Aug 19-21- League Play
Aug 26-28- League Play
Sep 02-05- Heartland Midwest Classic Tournament
Sep 09-11-League Play
Sep 16-18- League Play
Sep 23-25- League Play
Sep 30-Oct 02- League Play
Oct 07-09- Midwest All Girl's Tournament
Oct 08-09- League Play
Oct 14-16- League Play
Oct 21-23- Rainout Weekend
Nov 04-06- Heartland Invitational Tournament - Girls
Nov 11-13- Heartland Invitational Tournament- Boys  





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