There are so many confusing options out there for youth soccer players that it can be overwhelming to players, parents and even coaches. SSC Shadow recommends that families take a long look at each club: view their website, watch their teams train and compete, talk with their alumni, current players and parents and look at how their history matches the goals of your player!
What to look for?
Quality Leadership & Coaching Staff - this is THE critical piece of a Club.
1. Do they have qualified leadership to oversee their program? Are their philosophies player-centric or team-centric? What is their reputation; what motivates them? Qualified=experience and licensing. US Soccer provides licensing in our country. The Lead Director of any club should have the highest license, which is an A License.
2. Are the club’s coaches licensed, what is their experience—both as players and coaches? What is their educational background? How many coaches do they have?
- Shadow’s coaching staff is second to none. 4 hold USSF National A licenses, 6 hold USSF National B, 7 hold USSF National C and 9 hold USSF National D. See for yourself! Our coaches meet and exceed these criteria; more importantly, they are great role models for kids!
Historical Success - what is their history of player, team and Washington Youth Soccer State Cup Tournament success?
1. Player success-- Stability, teams at every age, player development (where do players end up? College placement can be a criterion. Olympic Development and Elite Development Program placement is another. High School All-League, All-Conference and All-State teams yet another.)
2. Team success--What is their competition and how do they do? This can be the hardest one to decipher as there are so many monikers out there, it becomes confusing. We recommend that you look at the other clubs they play against.
- Here you will find that the Regional Club League hosts THE top clubs in the state; the traditional top 19 clubs all reside in this league (including Crossfire, Washington Premier FC, Pac NW, Eastside FC, Seattle United FC, to name a few). Shadow is proud to be original members of this outstanding league, earning the right by meeting stringent criteria.
3. Washington Youth Soccer State Cup Tournament success—this is where the top teams, even non-RCL teams compete; anyone serious about their soccer plays in this Washington Youth Soccer cup. The Championship Cup is the highest level, with the Challenge Cup being the second tier.
1. All youth soccer organizations desire your child to be a part of their program. But, are they really prepared to serve? What does it look like when you enter into their site? What do you see at their practices and games? What “real” information can you find? What is the depth of their program offering?
- From U6-U10’s and older, SSC Shadow has it all!
2. Are they a properly functioning business? A non-profit 501 (c)(3)organization that properly identifies itself to help ensure the proper handling of funds?
- Shadow is a 501 (c)(3) organization committed to financial transparency and accountability.
- Shadow has an elected Board of Directors, not an appointed Board of Directors. Our Board and staff are committed to professionalism and transparency. Each member signs a conflict of interest disclosure.