It has been a year since my last ‘State of the Club Address’ and, as promised, our club has continued to grow and evolve at a rapid pace.
Over the last 12 months, our teams have secured multiple league championships, 3 State Cup titles and our first ever Regional title. It truly has been a remarkable period in our club’s young history.
With so many exciting and ground-breaking developments, I felt it was important to reach out and bring you all up to speed on where our club is at and where we are heading over the next 12 months.
As you all should be aware by now, we will no longer be known as NPSA. As of June 1, 2018, our club name will be Titans FC and with this comes a cool, new logo. Our website has already been updated as well as our social media properties.
This rebranding represents the strength of our organization by switching the focus away from one individual who started the club and more towards the collective that is driving the club forward today. From our administration team to our coaching staff right through to our team managers and players, this club is built on community and a desire to provide the best possible environment for the players. Changing our name and logo is the beginning of the next chapter in our story and there are many more chapters to go.
After 4 years of providing our program across the Eastside, we have listened and learned from our members, identified what has worked and what hasn’t, and made adjustments where necessary. We are now at the stage where we know what we are looking to achieve and how we need to structure our program to better serve our members and ultimately make our teams and club stronger.
Moving forward into the 2018/19 season, this is how our team program will be structured:
Satellite Locations for U8-U10
We realize the importance of providing convenience and flexibility at the development age groups to allow multi-sport athletes to play premier soccer without having to choose. As a result, we will be providing 3 ‘satellite’ locations across the Eastside, namely Mercer Island, Medina and Somerset.
In these satellite locations, we will offer seasonal teams at U8-U10 so families can sign up their players for Fall season or Spring season or both. Keeping things local, providing flexibility, and enabling our youngest players to play with their friends is at the forefront of our thinking at the youngest age groups.
Combining our resources at U11-U12
At U11, we will bring all our players together at our central Bellevue location, Robinswood, so the players can take the next step on the premier soccer ladder. We will continue to offer seasonal commitment at the U11 and U12 age groups as it is still too early to make a multi-sport player choose. There is a little extra travel involved at this stage but the distances between our satellite locations and our central Bellevue location is minimal.
Taking it to the next level from U13-U19
Once players hit the U13 threshold, our teams move to a year-round commitment and are based in our central Bellevue location, Robinswood. This is the age that we look to ramp things up. The level of competition increases at this point so the commitment level increases accordingly.
Crossfire Premier Partnership
This is an amazing opportunity for our players and our program as a whole that we just couldn’t pass up. Crossfire Premier is one of the top youth soccer organizations in the US and can provide our elite level players the platform that we realistically cannot.
We are proud to be a development club that puts our players first and this strategic talent identification partnership is another example of our commitment to this philosophy.
Now, to be clear, we will only send players to Crossfire Premier that we believe are ready for the levels that we do not have access to. This would specifically involve the USSDA or ECNL teams that Crossfire Premier possesses. These teams compete at the very highest level of the youth game and are expected to produce national team players in the long term.
Essentially and most importantly, our core program remains unchanged. We are still the club that offers a quality, enjoyable environment for players of all ability levels. What this partnership does do is provide any serious, dedicated players with access to the top level of youth soccer through our program.
As part of our relationship with Crossfire Premier, our teams will compete in their summer tournaments which bring together the best teams in the state and beyond. Another big step for our club and something to look forward to this summer.
We are honored that Crossfire Premier have recognized the impact Titans FC has made on the youth soccer landscape in Western Washington. The fact that they have chosen to align themselves with us, for the elite players we produce, reinforces that we are providing a great soccer environment for player development.
At Titans FC, we pride ourselves on the quality and diversity of our professional coaching staff. We have coaches from a variety of backgrounds and ethnicities that bring their own individuality to the team whilst staying true to the club philosophy and curriculum.
We are committed to developing our coaching staff just as much as our players. Over the last 12 months alone, we have provided 3 separate ‘in-house’ coaching courses in partnership with the United Soccer Coaches organization. All Titans FC coaches are licensed and will continue to develop through our coaching education program to ensure that our members receive the highest standards of coaching anywhere in the state.
Titans FC is one of the only youth soccer clubs around that has a US Soccer Coaching Course Instructor on staff in Erik Oman. Erik has an incredible resume that is second to none in Washington. He regularly reviews our coaching standards and training methods to ensure that we continue to provide the very best developmental environment for our players.
Last year, we implemented a female-specific training program called Titan XX. We recognized that soccer isn’t one size fits all and that the female player requires a different approach than their male counterparts. This ideal applies to multiple aspects of the game including injury-prevention, training methodology and the overall approach to coaching todays female soccer players.
We also wanted to create an environment that brought all our female teams together to encourage the younger players to look up to the older players and for the older players to respect their role as mentors for the younger players.
We chose Erik Oman to lead this program due to his extensive experience in the female game from the youth all the way through to the college level.
Over the past 12 months, Erik has developed the Titan XX curriculum and philosophy even further and is ready to take this innovative program to the next level for the 2018/19 season.
We are actively looking to recruit high-level, female coaches to help us develop our female players and teams alongside Erik. Recently, we added Brianna Jackson to our Titan XX coaching team and she brings a wealth of experience at the high school level that will benefit all of our female players. Her experience will be particularly beneficial to those players in high school or those who are about to reach that milestone. Brianna will be the first of many female coaches that we hope to add to our coaching staff over the next 12 months.
All female players automatically come under the Titan XX program just by being on a Titans FC female team. There is no additional fee for this service.
The Titan XX program is another example of how we are leading the way for other clubs to follow when it comes to providing a genuine premier youth soccer club that represents the modern game and the modern player.
Our college pathway program is second to none. We have the most qualified person possible running this program, our VP and General Manager, Lee Hitchen. With over 15 years in higher education, Lee provides all our high school aged players and families with grade specific evenings to outline what needs to be done at that particular time and for families to have their questions answered. This program is free of charge for all our families to take advantage of. If any family wants even more help and guidance, Lee is available separately to help them. Other clubs would have to bring in five separate higher education professionals in order to compete with what we have in one person. For families of current 8th graders, please keep an eye out for our college pathway introductory evening later this spring. If you would like to contact Lee directly, please don’t hesitate to call our office line to speak to him: 425-285-5700.
Investing in the Community
We acknowledge that our club could not survive without the support and loyalty of our members as well as the local parks & recreation departments and school districts who provide the fields on which we play. Therefore, we try and give back as much and as often as we can to the communities in which we operate.
In the last 12 months alone, we have contributed $10,000 towards the Island Crest Park turfing project on Mercer Island, provided over $30,000 in player scholarships, and donated training clinics to numerous school auctions.
We are also the only premier club to my knowledge that connects with local schools to provide after-school soccer programs across the Eastside. The aim of these training programs goes beyond just soccer. We use soccer as the vehicle to promote health and fitness, social skills and important life lessons that will help the kids in multiple aspects of their everyday lives.
We will continue to give back to the community that has given our club so much over the past 4 years.
For those of you who aren’t aware of the NPSA Foundation, this is a non-profit organization that I started in 2015 to provide free, premier-level soccer to low-income families in underserved communities. Since its inception, the foundation has served over 1,000 families in multiple locations across the Eastside, formed teams that competed in the PSPL and developed several players that now play on Titan FC teams on donated full scholarships.
The impact the NPSA Foundation has had in this area is incredible and we have big plans for the future including expanding to more locations, serving more families and providing more opportunities for kids to play the beautiful game.
We have had some great support from our Titans FC family with donations, corporate sponsorships and volunteer hours. Thank you for your kindness and generosity and please continue to support the NPSA Foundation any way you can!
For more information visit www.npsafoundation.com
Every year we get stronger as an organization and improve the product we provide to our members. We are not perfect, but I can assure you that the Titans FC staff and I work hard everyday on the field and in the office to be the very best youth soccer club around.
The 2018/19 tryouts are fast approaching and we anticipate our largest turnout ever! We are very confident that we will form teams in all age groups and genders from U8 (2011) to U18 (2001) but we would still appreciate your help to make this goal a reality.
To all our current families, spread the word about our program to family and friends. Word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing so, if you believe in our program, let people know and invite them to join Titans FC for the new season.
To all interested parties, Titans FC is the present and future of youth soccer on the Eastside. We go above and beyond to provide our members with the best environment possible to develop as players and good young people. It is about more than just soccer and we respect the opportunity to work with your kids and guide their soccer experience. Come and try us out, you will not be disappointed!
We appreciate each and every one of our members and look forward to welcoming many new members into our soccer family in the near future.
I am excited to see what we can achieve as a collective in the next 12 months. GO TITANS!!
Together Each Achieves More
Director of Coaching