Happy St. Patrick's Day!
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
2018 Spring Season is Underway!
At the beginning of March, we kicked off the 2018 spring season!  This spring, we will have 1,276 teams from around the Midwest and Kansas City Metropolitan area competing.  Because of this, Heartland Soccer Association is the largest youth soccer league in the country with 21,000 league players, 2,600 tournament teams each year, 44,000 tournament players each year, 4,000 coaches and 2,000 active referees.  We are so excited that the season has started and we wish you all the best of luck.  Remember, if you ever need anything please do not hesitate to reach out to us.  And of  course, we would love to connect with you on social media throughout the season, so please share photos, memories and stories with us on Facebook, @heartlandsoccer.
Job Openings!
Heritage Soccer Park Concession
*Part time register attendant.
Must be 14 years old.
*Part time concession cart attendant.
Must be a minimum of 16 years old with
a valid driver's license.
If interested, email Ramiro: [email protected]
2018 Midwest Mother's Day Classic 
sponsored by Holiday Inn Express Shawnee
Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex
Wyandotte Sporting Fields
May 11 - 13, 2018
In 2017, the Midwest Mother's Day Classic reached a record number
of 310 teams including international competition.  Three levels of play (Gold, Silver, and Bronze) ensure that every team finds itself matched against similar competition. In addition to providing excellent competition, this newest addition to the Heartland tournament series is formatted to be particularly family friendly. The tournament will be hosted at the Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex and Wyandotte Sporting Fields, where siblings can enjoy the multiple playgrounds, the skate park, or the tennis courts. Mothers will be honored on Sunday, when each player will be given a flower to present to their mother.
Registration Deadline:
April 9th, 2018
Come out and cheer on your favorite players!
KC Champions Cup logo from Huw
Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex and
Wyandotte Sporting Fields
Apr 13th - Apr 15th, 2018
This tournament is in its 9th year and is established as a top spring event and attracts teams from throughout the Midwest. This year the tournament will feature all levels of play within the following age divisions - Boys U8-U19 and Girls U8-U14.  
Registration is closed
2018 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.  
Our Next Meeting Dates 
April 9
May 7
June 11
September 10
October 15
November 12  
Mentors meet 6-6:45pm and Referees meet 7-8:30pm   
  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
February Scheels Gift Card Winners:  
Ethan Langle, Ryan Souter, Gavin Kirchmer, Kaylin Kirchmer, Maria Adams, Ashlynn Engle, Michael Herscovici, Anay Patel, Christopher Savoy, Brandis Shore, Isaac Lovell, A.J. Maupin, Reid McDowell, Michael Yates, Aidan Morgan
Gift Card Winners (Slim Chickens, Dave & Buster's, Rosati's):
Skylar Gary, Alan Sargent, Irina Mikos, Addison Yinger, Jacob Adams, Ferrell Lewis, Alan Roy, Will Zeller, Nate Strong
Scheels has awesome kicks! 
  Thank you to our sponsors for all you do to support our Referees!
2018 Awards Gala 
Be sure to check out the amazing video and
 photo album from the 2018 Awards Gala!

Thank you to ProPotential & Olivia Reyes Photography for the wonderful memories! 
Spring 2018 Calendar
Mar 16-18 League play
Mar 23-25 League Play
Mar 30-31 League Play
April 1 Easter Sunday/No Games
Apr 6-8 League Play
Apr 6-8 Dick's Sporting Good Discount Weekend for Heartland
Apr 13-15 Kansas City Champions Cup /League Play
Apr 20-22 League Play
Apr 27-29 League Play
May 4-6 League Play
May 11-13 Midwest Mother's Day Classic / League Play
May 18-20 Rainout Weekend
May 25-27 Kansas City Invitational Tournament
Dave & Buster's, Overland Park is now open! Be our guest and get $20 in FREE Game Play! Eat. Drink. Play. Watch Sports

"Border Battle U14 Champions!!
Such a fun weekend watching these girls play."

 "F elt like Winter Olympics West this weekend. Lotsa cold...took home gold."
This Month in History: March
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
There are three main countries whose color are green, we the United States love green on St. Patrick's Day! Don't forget it, you might get pinched! Good thing for these teams, if they play they won't get pinched!
K nown as the "The Green Army." They have always worn their country's colors in any National Tournament. Under the guidance of  Jack Charlton , the team enjoyed its most successful era, reaching their highest  FIFA world ranking  ever at sixth in August 1993.
Now known as "The Super Eagles," Nigeria was well known after the African game under the name "The Green Eagles!"  During April 1994, the Super Eagles were ranked 5th in the  FIFA World Rankings , the highest FIFA ranking position achieved by an African football team.
Mexico has qualified to sixteen  World Cups  and has qualified consecutively since 1994, making it one of six countries to do so. The Mexico national team, along with  Brazil  and  Germany , are the only nations to make it out of the group stage over the last six World Cups.  
US Youth Futsal has launched a new logo and  website:
2016/17 Heartland Numbers
Fall league teams
Spring league teams
League players 
Tournament teams
Tournament players 
2017 and 2018 Tournament Numbers
(number of teams)
Border Battle '18
Sport Shake KC Champions Cup '17 407
Mother's Day Classic '17 407
KC Invitational '17 282
Fall Kick Off Challenge '17 246
Heartland Midwest Classic '17 228
Midwest All Girls '17
ALDI Heartland Invitational Girls  '17 311
ALDI Heartland Invitational Boys '17 435
*In the last 12 months Heartland welcomed teams
 from a total of 17 states and Canada.
The Referee Blog
We, your Referees, are ready for the Spring 2018 Season:
In early February players, coaches, administrators, Referees and fans gathered together for the 2 nd Annual Heartland Soccer Gala Awards.  The picture shows some of the Referee award winners checking in for the event.  They are regular teens who love the game of soccer and have elected to officiate as their contribution to the Heartland Soccer Association ecosystem.
At the end of February your Referees will put on their uniforms, get their flags and their whistles and take the field with your teams.  Their mission will be to ensure that the matches are fair and safe and that the players play within the Laws of the Game. Each of these officials has attended either an Entry Level Clinic (10 hours) or a Recertification Clinic (5 hours) to make sure they are current with the Laws and with the expectations for their performance for the Spring season.
There were 1,200+ Referees who worked the Fall season.  Some of them will not come back for the Spring season but there are many new officials who are ready to accept assignments. For many of these new Referees, this is their first job.  We have shared with them that soccer is a wonderful sport and a passionate game. They want you to cheer good skills and hustle and play. Your attitude is contagious. The passion brings out the best in the players.  When passion gets out of control it is no longer passion. Since this is the beginning of a new season, it is prudent to again share the Parents Code of Conduct - so we can have a successful season together enjoying the "beautiful game".
Heartland Parents Code of Conduct.
I/we will set a good example to my/our child in his/her soccer development by adhering always to the following:
  • We will not criticize the Referee openly or directly before, during or after games. Any criticism shall be done in writing (to the Referee Development Academy Director or the HSA League Director through the coach), not verbally.
  • We will only give positive feedback to players.
  • We will cheer at all games within the spirit of fair play and shall do our best to cheer the effort regardless of the outcome.
  • We shall show the quality of our sportsmanship during and after each match.
  • We shall do our very best to have our child prepared for every match.
  • We recognize many of the Referees are young and are learning to referee.   We agree to support their learning efforts as we do youth players.
  • We shall support the learning effort of both players and the Referees by demonstrating our patience.
  • We understand that improper behavior at a match; both league and tournaments may result in a parent being asked to leave the field or the event by a referee, field marshal or HSA Staff.
  • We shall leave the coaching to the coach during match. We shall do our best not to give our child instructions during the match.
  • We understand that (upon review) the HSA can, and will if necessary, suspend our individual privilege to watch our child play should we behave in a manner that is rude or otherwise offensive.
  • We agree to do our best to have as much fun watching the game, as the players should have playing the game.
When you have comments about the Referees, share them with your coach.  Then he/she can share the comments with the Referee management team. Thank you and we look forward to enjoying this Spring 2018 season with you!
Kansas Youth Soccer is pleased to announce that we will host a US Soccer "C" License this year along with United Soccer Coaches.
Part I - May 14-21, 2018
 Part II - July 20-22, 2018
Congratulations to Kansas Youth Soccer's 
March  Players of the Month! 
Gabrielle from Kansas Rush & Kael from Toca FC!
2018 Kansas State Cup/National Championship Series 
Who will be #TEAMKANSAS and on the #RoadtoTX?
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 Bridgette at [email protected]  
Coaching Requirements
All premier and recreational coaches must have a minimum of a USSF 'F" license to coach teams in the Heartland League.  All coaches must pass a background check prior to
being eligible to coach in the Heartland League. Heartland Soccer League is sanctioned by Kansas Youth Soccer.  
Coaching Courses
First Tournament of the Season in the Books!
Border Battle traditional logo
Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex, February 23 - 25, 2018
The Border  Battle Tournament, which was held February 23-25, brought in 191 teams from 8 different states. The event was held at one of the country's finest soccer facilities, the Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex, home of the 2013 USYSA National Championships. Once again, this tournament was recognized as one of the top spring tournaments in the Midwest.  Congratulations to all the players and coaches for another great tourney! Thanks to  our referees, staff, field marshals and sponsors for helping us with another successful event!
Mark Alford Group is Named
Preferred Realtor to Heartland Soccer
Mark Alford has been coming into your home as your morning news anchor for 20 years, and as a trusted real estate advisor with ReeceNichols for the past 3 years. The trusted face and voice of Kansas City is a strong supporter of youth soccer and has donated his time and talents to Heartland Soccer Association over the years. "Mark Alford has been an enthusiastic supporter of our youth soccer community and we are excited to have "The Mark Alford Group" as the 'Preferred Realtor of Heartland Soccer,'" explained Shane Hackett, Executive Director of Heartland Soccer.  "Mark continues to emcee many of soccer events throughout the year and has a passion for kids and families. That's a great trait for helping families find their next home."
Mark is a multimillion dollar producer for ReeceNichols, and has sold homes from $2.5 million dollars, down to $67,000.
"It's NOT the price, it's the EXPERIENCE that makes the difference," says Alford. "It's about changing lives and helping people make memories."
And it's because of Mark Alford's dedication, experience, passion and CONNECTION with youth soccer and the Kansas City Metro that Heartland Soccer Association is proud to name Mark Alford Group as our "Preferred Realtor."
"I'm deeply honored to take on this role", says Alford. "Heartland Soccer is about promoting family, building memories and developing talents, many of the SAME things the Mark Alford Group is about. I'm so excited to get to know the families involved on a much deeper level."
Because Heartland families are so important to Mark, he's now brought his niece, Katelynne Clizer, aboard. Also, a high producing Realtor with ReeceNichols and a mother of two future soccer players, Katelynne has a long history with Mark. Katelynne was the flower girl in his wedding 28 years ago and now joins her uncle to form a great partnership to take care of clients across the metro.
"My children are the most precious thing in my life, and I want to give them the best home environment I can," says Katelynne. "I'll focus on making sure Heartland families have a home where THEIR children will flourish."
Mark and Katelynn both understand the time demands of soccer families. Running from one field to the next, sometimes it is hard to make time to think about buying or selling a home.  Mark and Katelynn want to make that process easier for you, and promise to take the stress of buying and selling off your plate, so you can live your life.  
Get ready to start seeing Mark at more and more Heartland tournaments. Be sure to stop him and say, "Hi." And, as the "Preferred Realtor" of Heartland Soccer Association now, we encourage you to turn to Mark and Katelynne for all your real estate needs, whether you're looking to buy, sell, or invest.
For a FREE evaluation of what YOUR home is worth in today's exciting market, give Mark Alford Group a call or text, 816.446.6322 or 816.251.1563 (office) or email Mark at
   Papa J ohn's Heartland Referee Spotlight  
Q&A with Chris:
When did you start reffing?
I started reffing in the spring of 2005, but got my badge in fall of 2004.
What made you decide to get certified to referee?
I was looking for a part-time job, one that I could set my own schedule.
What is your favorite part about reffing?
Staying in Shape.
What is a life lesson you feel you have learned from reffing?
Life lesson I've learned is to make sure to be on time.  
What level of referee to you aspire to be?
I aspire to be a level six referee.
Do you play soccer? 
I used to play in high school, but no longer play.
Do you have another job in addition to reffing? 
My other job is working for FedEx Ground.  I've been with the company for 18 years.  I take care of any damages, repacks, or spills that may occur. 
What was the last book you read? 
Dayton Moore was the last book I read. It was about him and some of the obstacles he faced. I liked learning about his background and how he got to where he is.
What types of movies do you like? 
I like almost any kind of movie.  Action, suspense, comedy.  The last movie I saw was The Commuter.  My favorite part was Liam Neesom tracking down all the people responsible.
What is your favorite sports team?
My favorite sports team are  Kansas City Chiefs,  St Louis Cardinals,  FC Barcelona, O KC Thunder,  Kansas Jayhawks Basketball and Texas Longhorns Football
Congratulations to Chris for being in our Papa John's Referee Spotlight this month!
Health Tip: 
How Do I Know Whether to Use Ice or Heat for Pain?
Knowing when to use ice and heat for pain is knowing what type of injury you have.
If you have an acute injury or an injury that just happened - ankle sprain or ankle swelling. First, make sure that it is nothing more serious like a broken bone, and then apply ice. You never want to apply heat to an area that is swollen.
Heat can help an injury once swelling has gone down or if the injury is a chronic injury - runner's knee or chronic low back pain. Heat the area for about 20 minutes. If you plan to exercise, then you can ice the area after physical activity. You never want to apply ice to a muscle that has never been exercised or worked before; you only want to apply ice straight to acutely inflamed or swollen joint or area.
To learn more about HCA Midwest Health visit us online at 
Dear All,
Thanks as always for supporting Heartland Soccer Association.
We hope you have had a great start to the Spring season.
Just a quick reminder that we appreciate your cooperation in regards to our officials. They are human and will make mistakes just like we all do at some point. We don't have people standing over us in our place of work, screaming at us for typo's or other minimal mistakes in that situation. I am sure the officials do not appreciate that either.
The same goes for the players, they are minors and should never be spoken to by any other adults in any sort of negative way, apart from their parents and coaches. Let the players play, coaches coach and referees officiate. It just makes for a better environment for all of us.
We have some limited use of the turf fields this Spring for league games due to all of the tournaments, but we did fill the turf fields first. If you choose to reschedule there is a very good chance that the new game will be on the grass fields at Heritage Soccer Park.
Thanks again,
Heartland Staff

On February 7th, Andrew Kessel signed a letter of intent to continue his soccer career at Ottawa University.  Kessel has played in the Heartland Soccer Association since 2006, and has been on the U18 Sporting Blue Valley Mariners for the last several seasons.  
This Fall, Kessel played an integral part of leading the Blue Valley West Jaguars in their bid to win the Kansas State High School 6A championship.  Kessel was the starting Center Back on a defense that only allowed 1 goal during the entire championship run.  
The road to the State Championship and the college signing was not an easy one for Kessel, as he is in a constant battle with Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes.  Kessel, who was diagnosed at 16 months old, works hard on and off the field to keep his blood sugar in the target range.  It is not unusual to see Kessel eating fruit snacks at half time of a game, or checking his blood sugar during practice.  Diabetes has not slowed Kessel down in the least - if anything he has turned the disease into a strength - as he is in tune with what his body needs and when it needs it.  Having diabetes has allowed Kessel to be appreciative of his success - and is a constant reminder for him that nothing comes easy on the field, or in life. 
When Kessel is not on the field playing soccer, he is on the field as a referee for Heartland.  Kessel has been a referee for Heartland since 2015.  He enjoys the sport, as well as working with the younger players to learn the laws of the game.  Kessel is looking to continue reffing in college as he has found it is an excellent way to make extra money.  
Andrew is looking forward to the next step in his soccer, and academic career at Ottawa University.  Kessel is very appreciative of all that the Heartland Soccer Association has afforded him during the 11 years he as been a part of it as a player, and a referee.
  The Referee Corner
Player equipment and the Laws of the Game
Each season the Referees are asked to approve different types of equipment that players want to use in a match or to provide a decision on fit bits, casts and knee braces.  Let's look at what the Laws of the Game say on Player equipment with the goal of everyone knowing what is and is not legal before they come to the field.
The primary goal of the Referee team is player safety.  The Players' equipment is covered in Law 4, which states that " A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous".   The Law provides additional details:
  • All items of jewelry (necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, leather bands, rubber bands, etc.) are forbidden and must be removed.  Using tape to cover jewelry is not permitted. (This should answer the question Referees are asked all the time about taping up earrings... not allowed).
  • There is required equipment (the Law refers to this equipment as compulsory) - the 5 S's
    • A shirt with sleeves
    • Shorts
    • Socks
    • Shin guards
    • Shoes
  • Under the category of "Other Equipment" the Law states: " Non-dangerous protective equipment, for example headgear, facemasks and knew and arms protectors made of soft, lightweight padded materials is permitted as are goalkeepers' caps and sport spectacles".
The Law tries to cover every possibility under the guideline of safe.  But what about casts and knee braces that are orthopedic in nature?
Casts must be safe, in the opinion of the Referee.  We instruct the officials that this is their guidance.  Padding can make a cast safer but does not guarantee that a cast cannot be used as a weapon.  If it is, then we go to Law 12. The bottom line on casts is that the must be safe according to the Referee.
Types of knee supports vary greatly in their construction, condition, amount of padding and other factors which make it impossible to apply blanket approval for use in games. Referees again are instructed that if they believe the knee brace is safe they may allow a player to play with such a support based on an evaluation of the equipment on the day of the game including a visual examination. 
The decision of the referee may include:
a) acceptance of the player's equipment;
b) indicating needed adjustments (e. g. more padding); or
c) non-acceptance of the player's equipment.

Referees are advised that a fully covered (padded or with sleeve covering) knee support with no exposed metal or plastic should be accepted.
The Bottom Line:   We have shared this article with the Heartland Referees and with the Coaches.  If the Referee says you can't play unless you put a covering over metal hinges, then put the covering over the hinges.  If the brace looks like the ones pictured above, they are safe.
Thank you for this opportunity to share the Laws of the Game.  Have a successful Spring season.
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 Spring 2018 Season.
The Coaches Corner:
Tactical Practices Diagram 57
This week's session is from Tactical Practices of the Pros
Sequence Passing:
Four groups of four work in individual grids.  The players move one ball between them and move to a new space after the pass.
Coaching Points
*  Proper technique
*  Angles of passes
*  Timing of the pass
Developing and identifying creative young  soccer players for the 
Kansas Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program
ATTENTION all 2007 to 2009 Boys and Girls!
Registrat ion is now open for the 2017-18 
Centers of Excellence (COE) Training! 
L ocations: Kansas City, Salina, Topeka and Wichita
Fee: Winter Session (6) six for $120
{All players will receive a training top to be worn at all COE trainings}
The goal of our  Centers of Excellence Academy Training is to create a fun and challenging environment that helps develop and identify creative young soccer players for the Kansas Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program.  We want to help create a passion and love of the game in the players we work with.  We emphasize developing the complete player in all 4 pillars of the game including, technical, tactical, physical and psychological components of the game. 
Our Centers of Excellence Academy Training offers something different because our licensed coaches are innovative in their training techniques and foster playing environments for developing soccer players.  Our goal is to provide a great soccer experience emphasizing learning in a creative, fun and challenging environment where players have the opportunity to develop both as soccer players and as individuals. 
We want our participants to improve, have fun, make friends and look upon their time playing.
If you have a referee, coach, club, team or player accomplishment or photo that you would like to share please email Katie Falco at
3 Women and an Oven
4 Wheel Parts
7 Eleven
AB May
Academy Sports and Outdoors
All Star Video
Anthony's Plumbing, Heating and Cooling
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing
Boy Scouts of America
BV Crossfit
California Pizza Kitchen
Chartroose Caboose
Chick fil A
Columbia College
Commercial Capital
Cycle Bar
Dave and Buster's
Dick's Sporting Goods
Drs. Hawks, Besler, Rogers & Stoppel
Dunkin' Donuts
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
Heritage Tractor Supply
Holiday Inn Express Shawnee
Huntington Learning Center
JF Consulting
Jimmy John's
Jon Russell's BBQ
KC Comets
KC Motor Company
KC Steak Company
Krusich Dental
Land of Paws
Legoland/Sea Life
Lenny's Subs
Levine Advertising
Market Leverage
Menorah Medical Center
Minsky's Pizza 
Kansas City Comets
Molle Toyota
Momo Bands
Moneytalks Financial Foundation
Morrill & Janes Bank
Museum at Prairiefire
Overland Park Regional Medical Center
Oxford Animal Hospital
Pacific Dental Services
Papa John's
Pizza Hut
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
Tick Tock
Timber Challenge
T-riffic T-shirts
Twisted Fresh
University of Missouri Kansas City
Urban Air
Which Wich
Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun
Ya Ya's
Z ip KC