The Midfielder
Heartland Soccer Association Newsletter
September 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.
Thanks, Sue Swanson!
Sue Swanson has been the backbone of Heartland Soccer Association all the way up until her first day of retirement.

For  10+years, Sue has worn many hats. She has handled sponsorship, marketing, league and tournament operations, t-shirt sales- the list goes on. But most importantly, she has been a friend.  She has been there for all us and has never hesitated to give a helping hand. Her extraordinary ability to keep the team on task in a perfectly harmonious way is a good example of what every employee and coworker should strive for. Her professionalism, attention to detail and loyalty is what has helped make Heartland successful for more than a decade.

Congratulations on your well-deserved retirement, Sue. We hope we can live up to your example and continue to lead in the same way. As one of our most faithful employees, you'll be greatly missed. We already feel as if a part of us is missing. Thank you for everything, you have truly made Heartland a better place.

We love you! ~The Heartland Staff
All rainout games have been rescheduled.
Schedules on line have been updated.
click on logo for schedule
ImPACT Baseline Concussion Testing

Open to all Heartland Soccer participants
for more information click here.

Overland Park Regional Medical Center
2016 Heartland Numbers

league teams this fall
league teams last spring
league players in 2015
tournament teams this year
tournament players this year

A Big Thank you to Aldi!

Aldi is the Title Sponsor for the Aldi Heartland Invitational Tournament.

Tournament Numbers
(number of teams)

Border Battle
KC Champions Cup 410
Mothers Day Classic 407
KC Invitational
Fall Kick Off Challenge
Heartland Midwest Classic
Midwest All Girls
Girls HIT
Boys HIT

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

This Month in History: September

September 8, 1888- The first FL matches were played

September 12, 1964-  Football League referees handed out a single-day record six red cards.

September 8, 1969- F ormer Welsh national team captain and manager Gary Speed was born in Mancot, Wales.

September 10, 2008-  Theo Walcott scored his first hat-trick. And it just happened to make him the youngest player ever to do so for England.

September 9, 2016- Sylvia Gore, a legend of the women's game and scorer of England women's first-ever goal passed away.

From Heartland Soccer Association:

While starting a new school year is exciting and fun, it isn't   always easy −new teachers, different classrooms and a more difficult curriculum. As you are just a few weeks into your new element, it's important to remember to stay positive and motivated. You will do better in the classroom if you are comfortable, relaxed and "at home". 

The same goes for the start of a new soccer season.  Whether you are a returning player or a new face, the first couple weeks of a new season can be difficult. At Heartland Soccer Association, we want you to feel like the soccer field is your second home.

If you have a question for your coach, don't be afraid to ask! Remember, no question is a stupid question.

Take the time to observe your surroundings and teammates. Most of the time you learn best from watching your peers!

With that being said, get to know your teammates− team chemistry can be the key to success.

Don't be afraid to take on a leadership role. Every team needs leaders.

And lastly but most importantly, have fun!

Starting the season off on the right foot with your coaches and teammates can make this year that much more enjoyable for both you and your team. Best of luck this season and remember Heartland Soccer supports you 100%! 
Get certified to be a referee!
  Sign up to be a referee for
Fall 2016 Heartland  league.
Click here
Health Tip from HCA
Lower Back Pain in Athletes
Back pain is a frequent complaint in adults, usually a result of advancing age and spurts of over activity. However, back pain in children, especially in athletes, is an unusual symptom and should always be taken seriously. Sometimes it is due to muscle soreness from increases in training or bruises from direct contact. However, it can also be a sign of more serious problems.
The bones that make up the back have 3 jobs. Most important, they provide protection for the spinal cord. At the same time, they have to provide strength and stability to support our body weight as we stand, run, and jump. They also have to allow the flexibility for us to bend and twist in all directions. Back pain in athletes is most commonly caused by 1 of 2 mechanisms. The first is repeated hyperextension of the spine ("bending back" or "spinal overload syndrome"), as seen in gymnastics, dancing, lacrosse, diving, and other sports. Repeated hyperextension places a lot of stress on the structures of the back that provide flexibility.
Just as a paper clip will break if bent a small distance repeatedly, the bones in the back will get sore and eventually could develop a small break if the back is repeatedly hyperextended. The second mechanism of back pain involves either being hit in the back or stretching the muscles too far and occurs frequently in contact sports or when someone is trying to lift too much (weight training). Although common in adults, disc problems are unusual in children.
With the initial complaint of back pain, check for any other symptoms. If fever is present, or if the pain is severe, persistent, or associated with numbness or tingling in the back (or going down the legs), call your primary care physician right away. These symptoms could be the sign of a serious problem.
  • Initial treatment of pain should be complete rest (no sports participation until the pain is gone) and anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Ice is frequently helpful for acute pain relief. Although heat can eventually be used to relieve muscle spasm, it should never be used in the first 24 hours after an injury.
  • If the pain does not get consistently better over a few days and is not gone in 3 to 4 weeks or if the pain is worse when you bend backward, call your primary care physician. Further tests may be needed to determine the cause of the pain. This is especially true if you are involved in any sport that involves bending back, like gymnastics or dance.
  • Rehabilitation will never be successful until the back is adequately rested (pain free). Rehabilitating a back injury usually involves strengthening the abdominal and back ("core") muscles and increasing the flexibility of the hip and thigh (hamstring) muscles. Exercises that involve arching of the back should not be done during rehabilitation. Stretches should be done gently for 30 seconds without bouncing or pain and repeated for each leg. Strengthening exercises should be done in 2 sets of 10 repetitions, 2 or 3 times a day.
Hip flexors stretch: Kneel behind a chair. Bring one knee up to the back of the chair, while tilting your pelvis forward until you feel a stretch on the other side of the hip.
Hamstring stretch: Lie on your back with your knees bent. Loop a belt around one foot, and raise your leg up while pulling the foot toward you until you feel a gentle pull in the hamstring.
Abdominal crunches: Lay on your back with your feet against a wall so that your hips and knees are both at 90º angles. Lift up your head until you feel the abdominal muscles tense up, and hold it for a few seconds before relaxing. Moving the shoulders from side to side while the head is up will strengthen the lateral abdominal walls.
Planks: Lay on your stomach, resting on your elbows, and lift up your midsection so that all the body weight is on your elbows and toes. Try to keep the entire body perfectly straight. Hold for a few seconds, then relax.
Quadruped: Start on your hands and knees, maintaining a straight upper back, and lift 1 arm straight out next to your ear and then extend the opposite leg out behind you. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds, and repeat with the opposite limbs.
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics


One of the recent additions to the Swope Park Rangers may be a new face to the organization but not a new face to the Kansas City soccer community...

Midfielder Patrick Wilkinson, who signed with the Rangers on August 18, is a proud member of Heartland Soccer Association as he has played organized soccer since age 6 and with Sporting KC Academy since 2012. The 17-year-old made 25 appearances for the Academy in the 2015-16 season while splitting time between the U16s and U18s. He started three games while playing up with the U18s, including in the Development Academy Playoff Quarterfinal against FC Dallas.
Before playing for the Academy, he was a member of the Kansas City Legends.
"The KC Legends mean a lot to me. Without the coach's and organization's philosophy that is centered around skills, I wouldn't be where I am today," Wilkinson said. 
Growing up in Kansas City, Wilkinson knew he wanted to play professional soccer since the moment he started kicking a soccer ball. His dream now is quickly becoming a reality.

That August day that he received the call from the Rangers is a day he will never forget. 

"It means everything. I've grown up watching Sporting KC and dreaming of being a part of it. Now I'm one step closer."

But he knows it won't be a walk in the park.

"The biggest challenge is the physical one. Playing with grown men means that they are bigger and faster than you. You have to adapt to it, and learn how to play quicker. The rewards are the lessons."

While his dream is still to play for Sporting KC his goal is to help SPR make the playoffs.

"You have to have a winning mentality, you have to be able to bounce back, and you can never give up."

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. 
National C License Course
KSYSA is hosting a USSF National C license in Ottawa KS and then testing in KC at Swope Soccer Village,  Nov 18-20 respectively. 
Coaches Corner
The following activity and progression was observed at Manchester United during their treble winning season of 1999 when they won the UEFA Champions League, English Premier League and FA Cup. The session was conducted by manager Alex Ferguson. The idea was to get three players (Ryan Giggs, David Beckham and Paul Scholes) breaking from midfield to
c ombine with the forwards (Andy Cole and Teddy Sheringham). The activity demonstrates all the characteristics of Man United - counter attacking, speed on the break, quality passing, flank play, movement up front and off the ball and quality finishing. The session is one that can be seen in how United play today with Ashley Young, Nani and Scholes the three breaking from midfield
and Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck or Chicharito Hernandez up front.

Manchester United Football Club - 5v3

Activity Two...

Set Up:
Same set up as the previous activity, but now with 2 forwards
and 2 defenders. Play 3v5 to a 5v3.

Activity #1

Same conditions as before. Two forwards work together - one
checks  to the ball, the other runs away or behind and vice versa.
Defenders look to win the ball and clear long.

Coaching Points:
  • Forwards work together - one checks to the ball, one                        makes a blind side run
  • Play into attackers feet - quality of the pass
  • Quality support behind the ball and left and right
  • Look for quality lay off then wide pass
  • Quality of the pass or cross into the penalty area

Heartland Soccer 2016 Referee Meeting Dates
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, October 10th (Columbus Day)
Monday, November 14th (End of Year Party)
Meeting times:
Mentors  will meet 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  

A Special Thank you to Scheels
for providing gift cards as door prizes for the Heartland Soccer September Referee meeting. 
Winners: Brandon Westbrock, Thomas Edwards, Harrison Wendt, Michael Hooper, Patrick Whitehouse, Vel, Brad Cahoon, Brian Tilton,Terry Mcfarlane,  and Jim Guenther
Don't forget to watch Highlight Videos from 2016 State Cup
Don't forget to share videos from our Facebook and Twitter accounts!
KSYSA will be selecting a Player of the Month each month!
Please submit your application at click here
101 Ladies Accessories
3 Women and an Oven
AAA Insurance
Academy Sports and Outdoors
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
Edible Promotions
Farmer's Insurance
FC Kansas City
Gift Gallery
Global Connections
Gordon Biersch
Grey Grace Boutique
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
Overland Park Regional Medical Center
Overland Park Soccer Club
Pacific Dental Services
Paciugo Gelato
Papa John's
Pie Five Pizza
Premier Designs Jewelry
Price Chopper 
Rasmussen College
Research Medical Center
Rock and Brews
Rosati's of Overland Park
Salty Iguana
Scott the Electrican
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 KC
Urban Air
Valley View Bank
Which Wich
Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun
You Oughta Be In Pictures
Young Living Essential Oils  
Zip KC

ALDI partners with Heartland Soccer Association
ALDI and Heartland Soccer Association are excited to announce they are partnering together for the 2016 fall season.

ALDI will become the title sponsor of the ALDI Heartland Invitational tournaments, held Nov. 4 to Nov. 6, 2016 and Nov. 11 to Nov. 13, 2016 at the Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex and Swope Soccer Village.

The Heartland Invitational Soccer Tournaments are the biggest in the Midwest. More than 600 teams from throughout the central United States travel to compete in this end-of-the-year showdown. In 2015, Heartland welcomed 692 teams, which was a jump of 101 teams from the previous year. With the support of ALDI, Heartland is excited to bring in even more teams in 2016.

"We are thrilled to bring ALDI into the Heartland family," stated Shane Hackett, Executive Director at Heartland Soccer Association. "It's wonderful to have a company as highly respected as ALDI here to support our teams, players and coaches. This is a natural fit for everything both ALDI and Heartland represent and we are excited to take the ALDI Heartland Invitational Tournament to new heights in 2016."

ALDI has a different style when it comes to grocery shopping, and being different has helped make ALDI one of the fastest growing retailers in the US. With 72 stores in the ALDI Olathe Division, ALDI helps shoppers save up to 50 percent* on their grocery bills.

"ALDI is proud to sponsor the Heartland Invitational Soccer Tournaments," said ALDI Olathe Division Vice President Mark Bersted. "We've been part of the Johnson County community for 37 years and we're thrilled to be able to give back and support the young athletes and their devoted parents and coaches."

Shoppers will find the most commonly purchased grocery items at ALDI, including organic produce, USDA Choice beef, the liveGfree gluten-free product line and the SimplyNature line of products free from over 125 artificial ingredients and preservatives. All ALDI exclusive brand food products are free of certified synthetic colors, partially hydrogenated oils and added MSG. To find an ALDI location near you, visit or follow them on social media for more information.

About ALDI, Inc.
A leader in the grocery retailing industry, ALDI operates more than 1,500 US stores in 34 states. More than 32 million customers each month save up to 50 percent* on their grocery bills, benefiting from the ALDI simple and streamlined approach to retailing. ALDI sells the most frequently purchased grocery and household items, primarily under its exclusive brands, which must meet or exceed the national name brands on taste and quality. ALDI is so confident in the quality of its products, the company offers a Double Guarantee: If for any reason a customer is not 100 percent satisfied with any ALDI food product, ALDI will gladly replace the product and refund the purchase price. ALDI was honored with the 2015 Supermarket News Retail Achievement Award, recognizing the company for its ongoing business expansion and product evolution. For more information about ALDI, visit

About Heartland Soccer Association
Heartland Soccer Association is a non-profit organization that operates the largest tournaments in the Midwest and is recognized as the largest and most competitive youth soccer league in the United States. The league accepts players of all skill levels including recreational and premier level players and teams. Each year over 1250 teams from 170 different soccer clubs compete at Heartland. Both league and tournaments are held on synthetic soccer turf at the world-class soccer facilities of Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex and Swope Soccer Village. Grass games are played at Heritage Soccer Park.

*Based upon a price comparison of comparable products sold at leading national retail grocery stores

Gateway Sports Village continues to make progress

            The city of Grandview broke ground August 9 on what will eventually become home to the largest turf complex in the world.

Since then, Pod A with the first 5 turf fields are under construction!
Gateway is located on 150 Highway between Byars and Kelly Road. It is a $300 million dollar mixed-use sporting complex with over 7 million square feet of retail, hotel, dining, office, entertainment and residential accommodations.
Gateway is on track to open Spring 2017.

Your Referees - working to deliver FAIR and SAFE play
When you call a company with a question you have probably heard the statement that " this call may be monitored for quality assurance".  Customer Service Representatives are trained in the policies and rules of the company, and are there to provide you with effective service.  The same process is being used by the Heartland Soccer Association to help your Referees deliver higher quality and more effective service to your players and your coaches and to the fans.  Instead of monitoring calls, we are mentoring Referees.  

Each weekend trained Mentors go out to the fields to see the Referees in action and to help them get better at doing what they need to do for FAIR and SAFE play.  Referees come in all ages and sizes. Some have been officiating for years and some for only weeks.
In fact, during the Fall season there is a good chance that you will have a few Referees who are just starting their careers and are doing their first games.  And, this is good for all of us.  Together we are building the next generation of Referees to serve the game we all love.
Want to know more about how your Board of Directors is investing in Referee Development?  Check out the web page - .  
What is Peer Mentoring?
Referees have to make quick decisions based on what they see on the field, are responsible for managing multiple players, need to remain unbiased, and must deal with the emotions of the sidelines.


This is a big responsibility for any official, especially new Referees. To help these Referees be more successful, Heartland has tasked the Referee Development Program to recruit and train mentors.  The Mentors assist new Referees build effective habits and skills to deliver the safe and fair matches.  Peer Mentors are Referees who have demonstrated the skills it takes to be successful. They also have an interest in helping the new Referees get better.  The Mentoring program also provides continued skills development for the Mentors as they move to more advanced  matches.
The Referee Development Program team is fortunate to have some significant expertise.  The Director of the Referee Academy, a Heartland developed official, is a member of the Professional Referee Organization and does MLS matches.
Other contributors include several National and State Referees who regularly get assignments to upper level games in the USL, WPSL and Adult Championships.  They also came up through the ranks at Heartland. Assisting this team are members of the State Referee Committee, including a member of the National Referee Committee, a National Referee Inspector and multiple Emeritus State Referees.  
Thank you for letting us share our efforts to making the Heartland Soccer Association ecosystem the best in the country.
The Referee Corner:

There are many things needed to be an effective Referee.    For Referees to command respect on the field, they must look and act like a professional.  This is our starting point for the Heartland Referees.  
While looking professional may get a Referee started, knowledge and ability to apply the Laws of the Game is the next step for effectiveness.

How much do you know about the Laws of the Game?
In the Referee Corner we will introduce the Laws of the Game (based on the 2016-2017 rewrite).  The goal is to help us all (coaches, players, fans and Referees) work together to deliver a FAIR and SAFE game.  

Let's start with the kickoff.  The question - when is the ball considered to be in play according to the Laws of the Game?  

  • Law 8 states the ball is play when it is kicked and clearly moves.   There is no specification for the direction the ball has to be kicked in the new laws.  This is a change because last year's specification was that the ball was in play when it was kicked and moves forward.  Important to understand what kicked means also.  It is kicking with the foot (not stepping on the ball).

So we know what the Law says about when the ball is in play on a kickoff.  What does the Law say about the ball in play on other restarts that require a kick?  

  • Law 13 - Free Kicks (Direct and Indirect) - the ball is in play when it is kicked and clearly moves except for a free kick to the defending team in their penalty area where the ball is in play when it is kicked directly out of the penalty area.
  • Law 14 - Penalty Kick:  the ball is in play when it is kicked and clearly moves.
  • Law 17 -Corner Kick:  the ball is in play when it is kicked and clearly moves; it does not need to leave the corner area.

Another question would be when can you legally score?  Law 13 provides the answers:

  • if a direct free kick is kicked directly into the opponents' goal, a goal is awarded
  • if an indirect free kick is kicked directly into the opponents' goal, a goal kick is awarded
  • if a direct or indirect free kick is kicked directly into the team's own goal, a corner kick is awarded.  

An indirect free kick must be retaken if the referee fails to signal that the kick is indirect and the ball is kicked directly into the goal.

Next time we will look at another Law - either Offside or Handling.  Let us know which one is your highest priority by sending an email to


From the Heartland League Director, Richard Davies

Dear All,
I hope your season's are going well and the players are having a great time.
One thing that I did want to mention are the very positive reports we have been getting about player and coach behavior.
So far we have had 1 player red card, which was for mistimed tackles, plus no ejections for coaches. I know that may not seem like a big deal, but when you are talking about 1300 teams and around 18,000 players I think it is hugely positive.
Our goal is always to have zero, but that is almost impossible for the players, as it is a contact sport and the rules lead to ejections for many different offences. However, from an adult/coach situation we should never be satisfied until the number is zero for the season.
We are constantly trying to improve our referee standards and to do that we have to have the younger officials learn the game while they are officiating. That takes bravery from them and patience from the coaches and parents at the games. We all want the product to be better so please stay patient and let the progress continue.

Thanks for everything you do.

Heartland Soccer.
Click here and discover iFLY.

"As a certified ref, I started this summer season after years of looking for this dream to become a reality."
This month's Papa John's Spotlight Referee has been awarded to Jesus Medina. Although Medina is new to the United States, he isn't new to referring.
In July 2015, Medina and his 3-year-old daughter moved from Venezuela to Kansas. During his time in the South American country he found it nearly impossible to become a certified ref.  But after  just 11 months in the United States, his opportunity came knocking.
"I met a guy and during the conversation he told me that he was working as a soccer ref...and I's my moment and I don't want to wait anymore," Medina said.
Since then, Medina has become one of Heartland Soccer Association's most passionate and respected refs. His energetic and positive attitude shines through every time he walks onto the field.
"I like to give and do the best in all the things that I do. I like to help everyone have a better day."
When he isn't reffing, he is working at an insurance agency, watching mystery and action movies while cheering on his favorite team, FC Barcelona.
His aspiration? To be a FIFA referee.
"The sky is the limit."
Congrats Jesus and best of luck this season! 


Sports Sense:
Avoiding Common Injuries

By Dr. Dan Farrell
Today, kids are playing sports all year round and involved in multiple sports. Playing sports is great exercise, it provides discipline and encourages young athletes to achieve their best.
As parents, we want to see our kid score the winning goal or tackle the opponent on the field, but the pursuit of victory in any activity carries with it risks and responsibilities.
Coaches, parents and young athletes need to work together to manage the child's health. That is why is important that everyone understands the risk with playing sports all year round and playing multiple sports at one time.
"Parents and coaches should monitor for overuse injuries. Look for an athlete who is complaining of pain in the muscle, tendon, or bone after practice or a game, pain while playing or during practice, pain during play that affects the young athlete's ability to perform or constant or chronic pain, even when not playing," says Dr. Dan Ferrell , orthopedic surgeon with the Sports Medicine Program at Overland Park Regional Medical Center.
Dr. Farrell, who is fellowship-trained in pediatric orthopedic surgery and sports medicine, says overuse Injuries are by far the most common types of sports injuries.
"These types of injuries can damage bone, muscle or tendons and can put a young athlete at risk for long term damage if not treated correctly," says Dr. Farrell
Dr. Farrell says overtraining can lead to overuse injuries.
"A good rule of thumb is to have your young athlete participate in a single sport or team activity per season, train no more than five days per week and vary training exercises from day to day," Dr. Farrell says.
Schedule times throughout the year to check in with your young athlete to make sure the game is rewarding and not overwhelming.
"When a young athlete experiences burnout, they have lost interest in the sport," Dr. Farrell says. "As a parent, you need to understand what your child's goals are with sports and make sure the activity is driven by the child."
For more information on our Sports Medicine Program, visit

If you would like to nominate a player for the play of the month email Katie Falco
If you have a referee, coach, club, team or player accomplishment that you would like to share please email