Let’s talk about soccer! Soccer seems to be the gateway sport for a large number of kids. It was the first shot we took at a sport with both of my kids before landing on hockey, and lacrosse and skateboarding respectively. We started out my oldest on Lil’ Kickers and then Kidz Love Soccer, which is what my youngest did before spending a couple of fun seasons on a Sno-King Youth Club soccer team. Edmonds Parks and Recreation still offers Kidz Love Soccer, which has been a win each time we’ve tried it. You can find all the Kidz Love Soccer options in Edmonds at RecZone.org.
Registration for Sno-King Youth Club’s fall season opened up this week, and I had a chance to talk to their Executive Director, Adam Quaintance, about the fall SKYC season and a summer camp featuring members of the Seattle Sounders. Quaintance and I talked mainly about rec soccer, with tryouts for their Premeir Soccer Club, F.C. Edmonds having passed already. “Rec,” short for recreational, typically means that there are no tryouts and all abilities are welcome. SKYC has rec teams for kids aged U5 to U19, the u stands for under. The younger teams are coed, and there are options for gender-specific teams by U7.
Quaintance and I talked about the community experience of playing on a SKYC soccer team. He says 90% of their players are in the Edmonds School District and they do their best to accommodate requests to be teamed with players from your school or neighborhood. My oldest son’s kindergarten class had a big group of kids that met and made friends at soccer as the school year started — I wondered how the parents all knew each other already and that was why. Given this social aspect paired with low commitment and a reasonable fee, we signed our youngest up for a kindergarten team and he was placed with some kids who ended up being in his class. He is still friends with some of those boys today, including his closest friend.
Thinking beyond the early elementary years, Quaintance and I talked about SKYC as an option for the athletes who want to play, especially as they get older, but a Premier or middle/high school team isn’t the right fit. He told me that last year, they had a team of 17-year-old boys who had played together for about 10 years. Even if you put the cost of a higher-level team aside, there are still the issues of time, commitment level and ability when finding the right fit for your player.
Having seen the costs of higher-level soccer, as well as seeing the heavy turnout for soccer tryouts at my son’s middle school, I appreciate the kind of soccer Quaintance is talking about even more. The most a rec-level Sno-King soccer team will be committed to is practicing twice a week for 10 weeks with a game each weekend and the highest fee is $180. It is so great to have a local option to benefit from a team sport in your community and play whether or not you fit on your school’s team or can afford the price and rigor of a year-round high level team.
SKYC will also be hosting a summer soccer camp featuring James Riley and Steve Zakuani from the Seattle Sounders, July 8th, 9th, and 10th at the Former Woodway High School Campus. This three-day coed camp, which runs from 9 a.m.-noon, is for incoming 1st through 8th graders and I confirmed that space is still available. To register for fall soccer or their soccer summer camp, you can stop by SKYC at 700 Main St., Suite 111 or go online at SKYC.net
Sound FC is another local club that has a Premier team. Starting this year, the club — formerly known as Northwest Nationals and Greater Seattle Surf — will be offering a local rec soccer league that will have their twice-weekly practices and home games in Mountlake Terrace — at Ballinger Park and Evergreen Playfields. One practice is with your volunteer coach and one is an “academy style training” with your age-group led by licensed professional coaches. They will also have one game per weekend and have a similarly low season fee, $150. There will be gender-specific teams for players born from 2009 to 2011.
Sound FC also has options for soccer camp at the Meadowdale Playfields the week of July 29. These coed camps are for players ages 8 to 15, with a Monday through Friday “Advanced Skills” option from 9 to 11 a.m.. This camp will help players “master ball control at game speed, build footwork skills, and fine tune the critical first touch.” The “Finishing School” option is Monday through Thursdays from 11:20 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. where players can “ improve striking technique, learn to create goal scoring opportunities, and master the attacking third of the field.” There is also a “full day” option to take both camps with a bit of a discount. For registration or for more information you can visit SoundFC.org.
Lynnwood Parks and Recreation has Skyhawks soccer camps, as well as a multi-sport option that includes soccer. You can find more information and registration at PlayLynnwood.com. Mountlake Terrace also offers Skyhawks soccer and multi-sport camp option, available at CityofMLT.com. I don’t know much about Skyhawks camps, though one of my kids will be trying one out this year. I do know that I needed to call them with a question and was successfully able to get someone on the phone who had the information. You can contact them directly at Skyhawks.com for additional information.
Edmonds Parks and Recreation is only offering the Skyhawks multi-sport camp; for a soccer-only camp, they have three different weeks of UK Elite Soccer Camp. This camp, for kids ages 5 1/2 to 14, includes “world cup style tournaments and skill challenges.” The experience we had with the spring break version of this camp was pretty great, especially considering my camper was the youngest and not so sure about the sport yet. Players each get a t-shirt, “receive instruction from the professional UK Elite coaches,” and get their own player evaluation. For more information and registration for UK Elite Soccer camps, you can visit RecZone.org.
– By Jennifer Marx
Jen Marx, an Edmonds mom of two boys, is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that makes them tired enough to go to bed on time.