We are so proud of all of our players for their hard work and success. Enjoy our July newsletter which is filled with celebrations and achievements!
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.
Concussion ImPACT Testing

Now that our Inaugural 5K is in the books, mark your calendar for Heartland Soccer's first annual  
Fashion Show scheduled for  Sunday,
October 29th  at the Ritz Charles!

3 Days Left to Register for
first Tournament of the Fall Season!
Fall Kick Off Challenge
Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex
All Games on Turf! 
August 11th-13th, 2017

Click Here to Register!
Registration Deadline:
July 17th, 2017

Register for our Labor Day tournament!
Heartland Midwest Classic
  Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex
September 1st - September 3rd, 2017

*Registration Deadline:
August 7th, 2017

2017 Kansas State Cup

U13 Girls- Sporting Blue Valley Pre ECNL 04
U14 Girls-  Sporting Blue Valley ECNL 03
U13 Boys- Sporting Kansas City Academy 04
U14 Boys- Sporting Kansas City Academy 03
U15 Boys- FCKC Academy Comets Elite 02
U16 Boys- MUSC KC Fusion Academy 01
U17 Boys- MUSC KC Fusion Academy 00
U18 Boys- Kansas Rush Academy Blue 99
19/20 Men- Kansas Rush Academy 98
19/20 Women- OPSC Academy Velocity Cookson 98

U13 Girls- MUSC KC Fusion Academy 04
U14 Girls- Kansas Rush Wichita KRW 03
U13 Boys- MUSC KC Fusion Academy 04
U14 Boys- MUSC KC Fusion Academy 03
U15 Boys- Toca FC 02 MLS
U16 Boys- Kansas Rush Academy 01
U17 Boys- KC Legends Bill Goat Academy 00
U18 Boys- Sedgwick County SA 98 Wichita Cyclones
19/20 Men- Kansas Rush Wichita KRW 98
19/20 Women- Kansas Rush Academy 98

U-18 KC Blaze Academy Blue Angels 2017 State Cup Champions proudly representing the state of Kansas at the Region 2 Midwest Championship in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Adam Lamb and his SBV ECNL U15 Girl's team played among the top 32 teams in their age group at the ECNL Nationals in Rockford, Illinois going 2-1 in pool play. Congratulations!

2017 Kansas Presidents Cup

U13 Girls- Kansas Rush Wichita KRW 04
U14 Girls- Sporting Blue Valley AC Milan
U13 Boys- KC Legends Pre-Academy 04
U14 Boys- Sporting Blue Valley Man United 03
U15 Boys- MUSC KC Fusion 02 Rodriguez
U16 Boys- KC Legends Billy Goats 01
U17 Boys- Sporting Kaw Valley McGonigle 00
U18 Boys- Sporting Blue Valley Bayern Munich 99

U13 Girls- Sporting Blue Valley Espanyol 04
U14 Girls- OPSC Crush Phelps 03
U13 Boys- Kansas Rush Wichita KRW 04
U14 Boys- Sporting Wichita Rojos Red 03
U15 Boys- Puma FC Academy Seville
U16 Boys- OPSC Academy Holmes 01
U17 Boys- KCSC Blackstars 00 Academy
U18 Boys- FCKC Swansea City 99
GU16 Puma FC Academy Liverpool team are Kansas President Cup Champions, Coached by Niko Cakarevic

BU12 Puma FC Academy Dortmund team are Kansas Jr. State Cup Champions, Coached by Ryan Pow
GU15 Puma FC Academy Chelsea team are Kansas President Cup & Region 2 Presidents Cup Champions, Coached by Britt Million and are headed to Auburndale, FL next month for the Presidents Cup Nationals


 "So PROUD! Keep it up ladies!  #RDtoTX  #SBVProud  #WeTogether"
"HUGE CONGRATS to SBV alum players Cameron Duke, Massimo McGuire, Max Rugova and Dontell Gilyard for making it to the quarterfinals! Join us in wishing them and Sporting KC Academy GOOD LUCK this afternoon. Go Get Em! #WeTogether #1crest1club"

(about Awards night)
"This was so much fun last night. So many teams that we were still on the sidelines for the second half kickoff. It's amazing to see the kids walk on the pitch and their faces light up. Thanks  Sporting Kansas City for the opportunity to recognize our youth players."

(About the 5K run)
"My family had fun this morning, and appreciate all the volunteers and vendors."
"We had a great time at the 5k. Appreciate everyone's hardworking and support to make this event happen."

"Thank you so much! I worked with great people and we had great vendors, volunteers and participants!! This makes for a fun and successful event!"

Great Job #TEAMKANSAS at the Region II 
 Presidents Cup!
KS Regional Champions will be attending National Presidents Cup this July in Florida!
-U15 Girls Puma FC Academy Chelsea
-U14 Boys Sporting Wichita Rojos Red 03

#TEAMKANSAS won championships at the U18 level for both women and men!
-MUSC KC Fusion Academy Matthews
-Sporting Blue Valley Bayern Munich

Regional Refs- KS Refs that worked the 2017 Region II Championships

Phil Gomez- Awarded Region II Referee of the 2017 Championships

Regional Finals Refs- Jason Paepke, Phil Gomez, Lo Saunders- KS Referees that worked Region II Championship Final Games.

Congrats and Best of Luck to 
Sporting Blue Valley's Maycee Bell
U-18 WNT travels down under to play Canada, Australia U-20s

The U.S. Under-18 Women's National Team will travel to Canberra, the capital of Australia, from June 28-July 13 for a training camp and three matches.

U.S. U-18 WNT head coach Jaime Frias has called up 20 players for the trip Down Under that will see the USA play against the Under-20 teams from Canada and Australia (twice).

Frias' squad is made up of 13 players born in 2000, which is the current age group for the U-18s. He is also bringing six players born in 1999, the current age group for the U-19s, and one player born in 1998 (Natalie Winters of Iowa, who is the only college player), which is the age cut-off for the current group of U-20s.

The USA will face Canada on July 6 and then play Australia on July 10 and July 12. All the games will be played in Canberra.

U.S. U-18 WNT Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Claudia Dickey (Charlotte Soccer Academy; Charlotte, N.C.), Hensley Hancuff (Oklahoma FC; Edmond, Okla.)   
DEFENDERS (7): Kerry Abello (Eclipse Select; Batavia, Ill.), Maycee Bell (Sporting Blue Valley; Wichita, Kansas), Sydney Dawson (Internationals SC; Akron, Ohio), Madelyn Desiano (So Cal Blues; San Clemente, Calif.), Shea Holmes (Real Colorado; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Brianna Martinez (New Mexico Rush, Albuquerque, N.M.), Sarah Piper (Texas Rush; The Woodlands, Texas)                                                             
MIDFIELDERS (5): Coriana Dyke (Colorado Rush; Littleton, Colo.), Jenna Nighswonger (Slammers FC; Huntington Beach, Calif.), Taryn Torres (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Natalie Winters (Iowa; Plymouth, Mich.), Sydney Zandi (Penn Fusion, West Chester, Pa.)                                                      
FORWARDS (6):  Jordan Brewster (Internationals SC; North Canton, Ohio), Emina Ekic (Javanon FC; Fairdale, Ky.), Aleigh Gambone (McLean FC; Clifton, Va.), Rachel Jones (Tophat SC; Lawrenceville, Ga.), Alexa Spaanstra (Michigan Hawks; Brighton, Mich.), Summer Yates (Pacific NW; Pasco, Wash.)              

2017 Kansas Jr. State Cup

U11 Girls- Sporting Blue Valley Barcelona 06
 U12 Girls- Sporting Blue Valley Mallorca 05
U11 Boys- SDB Academy Galacticos
U12 Boys- Puma FC Academy Dortmund

U11 Girls- Kansas Rush Wichita KRW 06
U12 Girls- KC Legends Red 05
U11 Boys- MUSC KC Fusion Academy 06
U12 Boys- MUSC KC Fusion Academy 05

Get certified to be a referee!
As our local soccer community grows, the need for new and experienced referees continues.  Join America's Largest Soccer League.  More details on referee meeting schedules, training and education can be found on the 

Sign Up to Become a Referee for the Fall 2017 Season.

Fall 2017 Calendar
July 07-11
Premier seeding challenges via email deadline noon on July 11
July 12
Final premier seeding posted after 5pm
July 28
Schedule posted after 5pm
July 28-30
Dick's Sporting Goods Discount weekend for Heartland
Aug 04-06
First weekend of League Play
Aug 11-13
Fall Kick Off Challenge Tournament / League Play
Aug 11-13
Dick's Sporting Goods Discount weekend for Heartland
Aug 18-20
League Play
Aug 25-27
League Play
Sept 01-04
Heartland Midwest Classic Tournament
Sept 08-10
League Play
Sept 15-17
League Play
Sept 22-24
League play
Sept 29-Oct 01
League Play
Oct 06-08
Midwest All Girls Tournament / League Play
Oct 13-15
League Play
Oct 20-22
League Play
Oct 27-29
Rainout Weekend
Nov 03-05
ALDI Heartland Invitational Tournament-Girls
Nov 10-12
ALDI Heartland Invitational Tournament-Boys

2016/17 Heartland Numbers

Fall league teams
Spring league teams
League players 
Tournament teams
Tournament players 

Congrats to the July  Heartland Soccer Association Referee Spotlight Winners, siblings Scott & Megan Wiman!

Each will receive a free pizza party. And loads of respect from the club's soccer coaches and players. 

Megan said her favorite part of being a referee is "that anyone can do this job no matter your size, age or how fast you are as long as you know the rules and enforce them correctly."

Scott adds his favorite part is "watching all the little kids get better and grow in the sport."

Enjoy the pizza Scott and Megan, thanks for being great referees and role models!
2016/17 Tournament Numbers
(number of teams)
Border Battle '17
Sport Shake KC Champions Cup '17 407
Mother's Day Classic '17 407
KC Invitational '17
Fall Kick Off Challenge '16
Heartland Midwest Classic '16
Sport Shake Midwest All Girls '16
ALDI Heartland Invitational Girls  '16
ALDI Heartland Invitational Boys '16
In the last 12 months Heartland welcomed teams
 from a total of 17 states and Canada.
Health Tip
4 Best - and 3 Worst - Ways to Get Kids Fit

The perks of exercise are as vital to kids as for adults. Read on for tips on how to increase your child's physical activity.  
Healthier weight, greater self-confidence, higher grades, better blood pressure, a quicker brain -- the perks of exercise are as vital for kids as for adults. Too bad so many eight-to-18-year-olds aren't getting those benefits. Instead, tweens and early teens average nearly nine hours a day staring at screens, mainly TV or video games. But before you pull the plug, here's what researchers have found to be the best and worst ways to get kids moving... and loving it.
The four best
1. Get that puppy. Kids with dogs watch less TV and are more physically active than those whose families don't include a canine.
2. Act like they're the next LeBron James or Mia Hamm. Parents who believe their offspring have athletic ability are more likely to have kids who are physically active. And that belief-to-reality transition starts early: the researchers who found this connection were looking at preschoolers at home, not high school soccer jocks.
3. Be a role model. According to one large study, kids with active parents are five to six times more physical than kids with couch-potato moms and dads.
4. Limit screen time. Don't put a TV in kids' bedrooms or leave one on when no one is watching. Children whose parents set rules about screen time spend about three hours less staring at electronics each day than do kids with lenient parents.
The three worst
1. Don't depend on team sports. Only 24 percent of kids on football, baseball and softball teams get a full hour of activity -- the recommended minimum -- during practice. Most are inactive for 30 minutes or so.
2. Don't send small fry to school in fussy outfits or flip-flops. It'll keep them from zooming around the playground and swinging on the monkey bars. Follow school rules for recess-approved gear.
3. Don't expect kids to work out like you do. Young minds and muscles are built for stop-and-start action, not a long, steady jog. Think tag, kick-the-can or activities with lots of variety, such as walking on a trail dotted with exercise equipment or organizing a game of kickball or Frisbee. That holds until kids are tweens or teens, when rising sex hormones (testosterone, estradiol) prime muscles for sustained activities, such as hikes, swimming laps or long bike rides.
Learn more about the Sports Medicine professionals at HCA Midwest Health at   www.hcamidwest.com/sportsmed

KSYSA Coaching Licenses

National "E" License 
August 4-6, 2017; Topeka 

National "D" License
July 14-16, 2017; Overland Park
July 21-23, 2017; Wichita

go to the www.kansasyouthsoccer.org for more information and to register.  

2017 Referee Meetings

  Referees of all ages and experience levels
are encouraged to attend Heartland's monthly referee meetings! Join us to learn tips and
tricks for ARs and Referees, fun games, vital information, and fabulous prizes! Parents are always welcome.    

Monday, August 7
Wednesday, September 13 
Wednesday, October 11 
Wednesday, November  8 
Monday,  December 11

*Mentors will meet from 6PM-7PM
*Monthly Referee Meeting from 7PM-8:30PM

Meetings will be held at the "Steve D. Scheels" Training Center in the northwest corner of the second floor of the Scheels store located at 6503 West 135th St, Overland Park, KS 66223

Thank you to Scheels for providing gift cards to for our July referee meeting award winners.
winners: Raavik Kahn , Christian Landa, Chris Waldock , Adam Rickman , Asher Kurr,  Jackie McKay , Isabella Carroll , Patrick Gallagher , Andy Roy, 
Jonathan Young
July 12 referee training

Reimaging How the World
Manages Youth Sports
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. 
If you have a referee, coach, club, team or player accomplishment or photo that you would like to share please email Katie Falco at katie@falcocreativemedia.com
We Want your Photos!
Heartland Soccer Association is seeking action photo shots of kids of all ages and abilities playing soccer in Heartland League Games or Tournaments. Submitted photos may be included in Heartland Tournament, League and other promotional materials as well as social media posts.
Instructions for submitting photos:
All submitted photo files must be .jpg format, must be a minimum of 1,200 x 1,600 pixels, and no larger than 2 MB in size. Submitting a photo doesn't guarantee that it will be used.
By submitting a photo for consideration for use in Heartland Soccer Association promotional materials, you agree that:
1.      You are the sole author of the photograph and control all rights for its use. The photograph is original. You have the rights to grant usage of the photograph as stated below. There has been no prior sale, publication or transfer of rights to the photograph. The photograph shall not contain any libelous or scandalous matter. To the best of your knowledge, the photograph's creation, publication and use shall not infringe any copyright, right of privacy or right of publicity, or infringe or violate any right of any third party.
2.      You grant to Heartland Soccer Association all rights to use the photograph in any and all forms of media, including but not limited to electronic, digital media and print.
3.      You allow Heartland Soccer Association the right to edit, revise, adapt and crop the photo as necessary.
Please send all photo submissions to Amy Kimball at amy.kimball@heartlandsoccer.net  
3 Women and an Oven
4 Wheel Parts
7 Eleven
AB May
Academy Sports and Outdoors
Audi, Shawnee Mission
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing
Boy Scouts of America
Buca di Beppo
BV Crossfit
California Pizza Kitchen
Chartroose Caboose
Chick fil A
Columbia College
Cricket Wireless
Cycle Bar
Dave and Buster's
Dick's Sporting Goods
Drs. Hawks, Besler, Rogers & Stoppel
FC Kansas City
Freezing Moo Ice Cream
Fry Wagner
Global Connections
Go Ape
Grill Park Place
Hague Quality Water
Harlan C Parker State Farm
Hasty Awards
HCA Midwest Health
Huntington Learning Center
J&K Soccer
JF Consulting
Jimmy John's
Jon Russell's BBQ
KC Comets
KC Steak Company
Krusich Dental
Land of Paws
Legoland/Sea Life
Lenny's Subs
Levine Advertising
Market Leverage
Menorah Medical Center
Mickey Cotton Candy Man
Minsky's Pizza
Missouri Comets
Molle Toyota
Momo Bands
 Moneytalks Financial Foundation
Morrill & Janes Bank
Museum at Prairiefire
Noodles and Co
Overland Park Regional Medical Center
Pacific Dental Services
Paciugo Gelato
Papa John's
Pizza Hut
Pizzeria Locale
Price Chopper 
Raising Cane's
Research Medical Center
Ritz Charles
Rock and Brews
Rosati's of Overland Park
Scott the Electrican
Security Bank
Simple Science
Simply Soccer
Simplified Team Management
Slim Chickens
Smoothie King
Soccer Master
Spin Pizza
Sport Shake
Sporting Kansas City
Sprouts Farmers Market
Storage Mart
Sunflower Bank
Swope Park Rangers
The Foot Spot
The KC Steak Company
The Roasterie
The Sports Medicine Store
The Storage Place
Timber Challenge
T-riffic T-shirts
Twisted Fresh
University of Missouri Kansas City
Urban Air
Which Wich
Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun
Zip KC

Heartland Soccer Association's
First Annual 5K Run in the books!

Our first annual 5K run was a wonderful success

We want to thank all who participated in the 5K and the spectators that came out to cheer the participants on.
Congratulations to all the finishers. You can click here to see the complete results. 
We would like to give a huge thank you to all our community partners for their generous contributions and support of the Heartland Soccer Inaugural 5K. Heartland is blessed to have such an outpouring of community support.

HCA Midwest Health- Official Medical Provider for 5K
Molle Toyota-T-shirt Sponsor
Sprouts- Hospitality Pavilion Sponsor  
Dave and Busters-Awards Sponsor 
Dick's- Sporting Goods-Prize Sponsor for Individual winners 
Minsky's Pizza-Prize Sponsor for Team winners
Leawood Cyclebar-Silver Sponsor 
Kona Ice-Provided free Kona Ice for participants and spectators
Zaxby's- Hydration Station Sponsor
Dunkin' Donuts- Volunteer Breakfast  
Go Ape-Provided bananas for participants following the race
Kid Zone Kansas City-Bounce House 
Morrill & Janes Bank-Bronze Sponsor

A special thank you to all our volunteers. They are a huge part of Heartland's success and we would not have been able to have such a fabulous event without them. Thank you Cyndy Lank for opening the 5K with a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem. Thank you to Mill Valley Jaguars' Cheerleaders and Silver Star Dancers for cheering on the participants. Thank you to Hunter Bessey and Bob Samuelson for the amazing pictures you took. Thank you to Raceday Timing Solutions, Hasty Awards and T-riffic Shirts and everyone that supported the Heartland 5K.

HCA Midwest Health Announces 
Exclusive Three-year Partnership with
Heartland Soccer Association

KANSAS CITY, Mo.- ( June 10, 2017 )-HCA Midwest Health, Kansas City's leading healthcare provider that offers metro residents more than 150 access points-including 13 emergency rooms across the region- to convenient, top-quality sports medicine care, announces an exclusive three-year partnership with Heartland Soccer Association to improve the health and wellness of its youth soccer players, on and off the field.  Heartland Soccer Association is the nation's largest soccer organization. 

The partnership with HCA Midwest Health includes providing Certified Athletic Trainers on the soccer fields during tournament and league play to help keep thousands of youth athletes healthy on the field and offers immediate, professional and quality healthcare to athletes should an injury occur.  With the expertise of a strong physician network and award-winning hospitals across the region, HCA Midwest Health provides unprecedented, convenient access to care and peace-of-mind for athletes and their parents.

Additionally, the hospitals and its physicians will provide information on safe play through education and other programs, including a comprehensive Concussion Management Program dedicated to improving the understanding and proper management of concussion through community education, outreach treatment, and ImPACT pre and post-injury testing. 

"We consider our partnership with Heartland Soccer Association and its young athletes, coaches and teams a privilege and the right thing to do," says M.L. Lagarde III, Chief Executive Officer, HCA Midwest Health.  "The education component of the partnership is a benefit to anyone who has a child playing soccer, the coaches working with the athletes and the athletes themselves.  Concussion management is part of the national conversation and we're a leader in the local education, care and treatment of concussion.  In addition, as part of our physician network, we have more than 50 sports medicine and orthopedic physicians throughout the region, delivering immediate access for expert healthcare to athletes.  This prestigious partnership perfectly aligns with our mission and our commitment to the care and improvement of human life."

"Heartland Soccer Association's partnership with HCA Midwest Health is a win-win for parents, coaches, and athletes and underscores our dedication to providing safe, healthy and safe play for youth soccer players, whether in a club or recreational environment," says Shane Hackett, Executive Director, Heartland Soccer Association.  "We are known for our level of excellence and passion for sports, and to work side-by-side with the leaders in healthcare on our home turf is tremendous.  Heartland Soccer Association continues to be the fastest growing sports association in the country and its strategic partnerships with developers has helped us be at the forefront of growing youth sports."

Heartland Soccer is working with area developers to expand soccer programming of league and tournaments at Gateway Soccer Village in Grandview Missouri and Olathe Soccer Complex in Olathe Kansas.  

For more information about HCA Midwest Health and its family of hospitals, visit http://hcamidwest.com.  For more information about Heartland Soccer Association, visit http://heartlandsoccer.net.


About HCA Midwest Health 
HCA Midwest Health is the Kansas City area¹s leading healthcare provider consisting of seven hospitals, outpatient centers, clinics, physician practices, surgery centers and an array of other services to meet the healthcare needs of the greater Kansas City area.  HCA Midwest Health is one of the area¹s largest private sector employers with more than 9,000 employees, the largest provider of charity and uncompensated care, and annually donates more than $1.2 million to local charities. Since April 2003, HCA Midwest Health has invested more than $845 million to enhance and expand patient services and has paid more than $216 million in taxes to local communities. HCA Midwest Health facilities serving the Kansas City area include Belton Regional Medical Center, Centerpoint Medical Center, Lafayette Regional Health Center, Lee's Summit Medical Center, Menorah Medical Center, Overland Park Regional Medical Center, Research Medical Center and Research Psychiatric Center.  Midwest Physicians, which is part of HCA Midwest Health, is a network of experienced, multi-specialty physicians located throughout the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area.  Midwest Physicians currently represents 344 physicians, including 142 primary care providers and 197 specialists with 80 physician practices providing care in 146 locations to serve the community.  The physicians, licensed professionals and support staff who comprise the HCA Midwest Health team are dedicated to improving healthcare in the Greater Kansas City and outlying areas.  For more information, visit hcamidwest.com.
Starting August 4th Heartland Soccer Field Marshals will be sporting their new Minsky's Field Marshall Kits.

Minsky's begins with hand-rolled dough - never frozen - making our crusts from scratch, several times each day, with our own time-tested recipe. And, we make them even tastier (and healthier), with sea salt and olive oil. We flavor-it-up with our unique blend of aromatic herbs and seasonings and then add our crowd-favorite tangy and delicious house-made red sauce, fresh cut vegetables, the highest quality meats - all topped with 100% Wisconsin mozzarella cheese.

After a long day at the soccer fields, we invite you to enjoy a Minsky's Gourmet Pizza or any of our dozens of other menu choices at one of our 17 locations throughout the KC metro area. Or, order online and have Minsky's delivered hot and fresh - direct to your front door!
Minsky's. Eat well. Live Better. 
2017 League Awards Ceremony

On June 10 and July 1 division winning teams were recognized during a half-time parade at a Sporting KC game.

To see more pictures from these amazing nights, check out our Facebook page!

As seen in July's Kansas City Sports & Fitness Magazine (kcsportspaper.com)

Heartland Boosts Branding Through Youth Soccer
Contributing Writer

The youth soccer explosion has given thousands of area kids a chance to play the sport, and has also been a boon to business locally and regionally.
Branding and marketing have been extremely important in the promotion of youth sports events, and is reflected in how Heartland Soccer Association runs their tournaments.
Heartland's events attract millions of visitors annually, providing sponsors with a terrific opportunity for a well-tailored, targeted message about their products and services.
"We really like to approach each sponsor - we consider them our partners - in the community and really emphasize that each partner is an individual," said Bridgette Samuelson, Heartland team leader and director of tournament operations for Heartland.
"They have individual needs and we like to tailor a package that works for them. We do many things from paper distribution of coupons to all types of digital and social media, digital newsletters, banners, signage and uniform sponsors, just to name a few."
Samuelson and her team try to be creative in how they can help a partner reach its audience.
"Minsky's Pizza is going to be the official Field Marshall kit sponsors," she said. "These are our Field Marshalls that are out there for tournaments and league play, and their kits will have, along with the Heartland identification and logo, and their Field Marshall status, they will also carry a Minsky's branding logo."
The branding effort extends to non-traditional aspects.
"Heartland's really cutting edge, always looking to improve upon ourselves," Samuelson said. "We have a community partner with HCA Health Midwest. We have topnotch medical care onsite at all of our tournaments, all of our events, with their medical staff.  For a long time that was not really heard of, having medical on site, and we were one of the first tournament organizations to have medical onsite during tournaments."
This successful approach was also applied to league play.
"We want to provide a service that is above and beyond," she said.  "We want to be the best league and tournament host, not only in the region, but in the country. We want to blaze that trail with the partnership. We have surrounded ourselves with community partners that are leaders in their field, like HCA."
When Samuelson began working with Heartland more than 15 years ago, the marketing landscape was very different.
"In the beginning it was more of a challenge because people knew football, baseball, basketball, but what is soccer?" she said.  "High schools back in the day did not even have soccer, so it was really a challenge.  But now our partners in the city are seeing the economic impact of a tournament weekend and these teams from all over coming to play."
Said Greg Cotton, president and partner at XO Development, "We have seen tremendous growth in sponsorship in recent years due to the growth in soccer and acceptance of the sport by brand companies, brands and advertising agencies. Sponsorships provide a cost-effective and valuable way for businesses to introduce new products through on-site activation or for established products to compete with competitive brands, as well as connecting companies with the local communities through brand awareness."
Creating brand awareness has new challenges in the digital age.
"The challenge now is that we have a lot of digital outlets for getting the information out there," Samuelson said. "One of our challenges that we're always looking to improve upon is the unique ways to engage our audience with our partners, to create that engagement and get the audience walking through their doors. That's always something we're challenging ourselves to do. We're thinking out of the box."
Heartland's tournaments bring an estimated $1 million in revenue to the Kansas City area for each of the nine tournaments on their 2017 schedule. With the recent and future additions of even more state-of-the-art facilities in the area - such as Swope Soccer Village and Gateway Sports Village - the size and scope of their tournaments continue to rapidly increase each year.
"When people come to the tournaments, they are shopping at the area businesses, they are sleeping in the area hotels," she said.  "They are going to their shops, their restaurants. I think that (businesses) have seen that, so they kind of realize that soccer really does have a wide reach and we can be a good partner for them."
A multi-media approach helps reach a wide audience.
"For tournaments, we offer a wide range of packages and items that give our partners an opportunity to reach our audience," she said. "We offer lots of digital. We've got the registration portal; we offer digital presence on there. We also do a tournament guide that comes in paper and digital form. Banners, inserts in team packets. We can do email blasts and social media, of course."
Targeted messaging has a very strong impact.
"We have text alerts during our tournament events to teams' participants, coaches, managers," Samuelson said. "They have the ability to register for text alerts, so some of our sponsors have the ability to send out text notifications. It seems to be going well."
Branding can be enhanced by using more than one approach.
"Different types of advertising work for different types of partners," she said. "Many of them have a multi-pronged approach and we do encourage that.  Maybe a banner and an insert and a text-push notification, or an email and then a newsletter, and digital add-on on the tournament guide.  It seems the most successful do have a multi-pronged approach.  They choose to do a variety of items."
An interactive platform can also important.
"We have a lot of partners that like to come out and be onsite," Samuelson said. "They set up a tent and do onsite activation which might be inviting people to their booths, giving them a little information on their business. Those are real popular on tournament weekends."
The impact cannot be underestimated as more than 2.8 million people come to Heartland's events over a full year.
And the effect is felt not only in Kansas City.
"A lot of our partners are regional companies," she said. "For example, Dick's Sporting Goods have stores throughout the United States, and specifically they have a number of stores in the region where we tend to draw a number of groups of participants during our tournaments."
Partners interested in reaching this growing audience with an innovative, multi-media message can contact Samuelson and her staff at 913 888-8768, or via email at info@heartlandsoccer.net .
"We like to customize it to suit their needs," Samuelson said.
Heartland Soccer Association is one of the largest youth soccer organizations in the United States. For more information about Heartland, visit heartlandsoccer.net

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Kansas City Sports & Fitness Magazine
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Kansas City Star
By Alec McChesney
For any team in youth soccer, there's an agenda at the beginning of the season: Win the state cup, compete in the regional and advance to the national tournament. 

Sporting Blue Valley's 13U girls team had the agenda and completed it to perfection. Led by coach Steven Davies, Sporting BV of Overland Park won the Kansas State Cup and the U.S. Youth Soccer Midwest Region II Championships in South Dakota, advancing to the national tournament at the end of July in Frisco, Texas. 

"This is the pinnacle for youth soccer, and it's such an amazing achievement for the girls," Davies said. "I couldn't be more proud or pleased with the success we've had this year."

The girls, who have been practicing three times per week, competed in over 60 games this season to prepare them for the postseason run. Following their victory in the Kansas State Cup, Sporting BV represented Kansas at regionals. 

"We just wanted to go up there and represent ourselves well," Davies said. "Every game, we grow more and more confident with ourselves."
In the region championship game, Sporting BV beat CUP 04 Gold from the Ohio South Region 1-0. 

The two sides were scoreless though the first 45 minutes, but Sporting BV's Kenzie Hammontree found an open Mia Yang, who scored the eventual game-winning goal. 

"This is such a great group of girls, who are very talented and hard working," Davies said. "Their enthusiasm and love for the game is amazing."

With their ultimate goal of playing in the national tournament just weeks away, Davies, who is coaching the 13U team for the first time, said this experience is a stepping stone for future soccer experiences for the girls on the team. 

Starting July 24, Sporting BV will play in a round-robin tournament with the 13U winners of the other three regions. The top two seeds in round-robin play will play for the national championship.

"Whether we win or lose, it's been an incredible experience," Davies said. "We just want to leave everything on the field."
2017 Referee Night
On July 6, our referees were recognized during half-time at a Sporting KC game. Thank you for all your hard work, refs!
To see more pictures from this amazing night, check out our Facebook page!

Sporting Blue Valley's Felicia Knox secures a spot for
2017 G
eneration Adidas International
  Olympique Lyonnais Select
Felicia Knox will travel to Lyon, France to train with Olympique Lyonnais Academy coaches through invite only Generation Adidas International Select

Sporting Blue Valley's, Carson Schmidt has been selected for one of the 32 spots for the Generation Adidas International A.F.C. Ajax Select Program. 

Schmidt is 14 years old and plays for Sporting Blue Valley. From the program, he looks forward to training with the top coaches and players. 

 Welcome to the Fall 2017 Season:  
Continuing to get better at Heartland

It seems like it was only yesterday that the Spring season concluded and we started our "vacation" from soccer.  For many it was not much of a vacation.  State Cup (congratulations to the teams that represented Heartland in the Region 2 Championships), try-outs for 2018 and now we are getting ready for the Fall season with another record number of teams at Heartland.  It has been said that the 3 things that you remember most about a season are:
  • The fields:  Heartland plays on some of the best turf fields available in the United States.  For the fall season we will begin using the new and very excellent Wyandotte Sporting Fields as well as the Swope Park Soccer Village and Scheels Overland Park Complex.  The Scheels  Complex in Overland Park has replaced 6 turf fields over the summer as a part of Overland Park's commitment to soccer in the area.
  • The competition:  As Heartland continues to grow your teams are provided with the opportunity to develop by playing against equally matched competition.  It gives your players and your coaches the environment that exploits the fun of soccer as well as the challenge and thrills of winning.
  • The Referees:  Over 20,600 Referee assignments were made for the Spring season (Referee and AR's) which translates to over 6,800 matches.  1,225 different Referees were assigned.  When you add up the total number of decisions that had to be made by the officiating teams in this many matches there were some decisions that were better than others (e.g., we made many mistakes).  We are continuing the Mentor program and the Monthly Education meetings so that we can help your Referees make more correct decisions.  Their commitment to improving along with the investment the League is making in helping them improve means your players will have better Referees to support the competition and FAIR and SAFE play you expect at Heartland.
Soccer is a wonderful sport and a passionate game. Our attitude is contagious.  Our players, coaches, Referees, and fans come together to match soccer skills. The other team is our opponent for the day, not our enemy, and should be treated with respect.  While winning is important, we recognize that playing well and fairly is the essence of the game.  Most of the Referees are soccer players who, because of their love of the game have decided to pick up a whistle or a flag. We sent out a survey at the end of the season to our Heartland Referees.  In response to the question, what do you like least about being a Referee, the number one response was getting hollered at by the parents.  
A new season brings new expectations to everyone.  As you watch your kids develop life skills (winning, losing, being part of a team, and taking responsibility for their actions), become more skilled at the beautiful game of soccer (we would all agree that it is not as easy as it looks), and have fun.... Remember that your attitude has a significant effect.  A thought for the Fall season:
  • Let the Players play
  • Let the Coaches coach
  • Let the Referees referee
Coaches Corner
  • This activity has been setup to show how it can be adapted when working with a large squad (19 players in this example). Use 4 x mini goals or 7's goals with keepers.
  • One box features 4v4 plus 2 x neutral players 'floaters' and the other with 4v4 plus 1 'floater'. 4v4 +2 floaters in both boxes if numbers are balanced. Game should be played at 2 touch minimum.
  • 'Floaters' simply play with the team in possession.
  • Target is for players to make at least 5 successful passes in the box before playing a through pass or dribbling out of the box to try and score at either end with no more than 2 touches to finish.
  • Only one player is to leave the box to try and receive a pass or dribble out (breaking the defensive line). Rotate neutral players when necessary.
  • One touch for all players and first time finish.
  • When breaking out, one opponent can track run to defend.
3 Key Focus Points
  1. Players need to be alert to receive the ball whilst looking around to see passing options and make quick decisions. Especially if working on first time passes.
  2. Encourage players to look for gaps to dribble or play into on final pass.
  3. Timing of runs for players behind the defensive lines (can relate to offside).

The Referee Corner:
The Referee Corner:  Consider becoming a certified Referee
Soccer at Heartland is made up of an ecosystem (players, coaches, clubs, fields, fans, administrators and Referees).  Do you find yourself in need of a job to pay for your cell phone, gasoline, movies, food, sunglasses, etc.? When you step out of your player uniform why not step into a Referee uniform?

  1. Earn Money and build your resume with this job
  2. Develop life skills                                     
  3. Meet real people                                                                         
  4. Become a better player 
  5. Have fun while making money   
  6. Work outdoors/sunny weather   
  7. Stay fit
  8. Manage their schedule
Players have the potential to be the best Referees.  With the new fields and more tournaments, the demand for good Referees continues to grow.  And, learning to deal with adults and developing life skills builds your resume for work and for school.  We would like to invite you to consider joining the Heartland Referee family.  

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Referee, or know someone who would like to become a Referee, you can check out the opportunity on the Kansas Referee web page at
http://www.kansasreferee.org/instruction/newreferee .   If you want to register in Missouri https://www.mrdp.org/node/8  Certification in either state will allow you to accept Heartland assignments.

If your interest is in being a fan and spectator (a very important part of the ecosystem) then you can contribute also.  A key to successful Referee development is experience.  When we assign someone to your match we want them to provide a SAFE and FAIR management of the match.  They won't get every call right, but we want them to come back again next week and the next and the next so they do get better.  This is how we can help your Referees develop the skills to be better as the games get better.  Your role is to accept this fact.  If there are problems, let the coach take the lead in sharing the problems with us.  You should know that we do follow up on coach comments.  Thank you!
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