The Midfielder
Heartland Soccer Association Newsletter
April 2020

Heartland Soccer Association 
Celebrates 40 Years of Soccer!
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.

2020 Kansas City Invitational
Sponsored by First Watch
SCHEELS Overland Park Soccer Complex
GARMIN Olathe Soccer Complex 
May 22 - 24, 2020

Kansas City Invitational is the single largest soccer tournament in Kansas City and consistently sells out. This tournament offers four different levels of competition: Gold, Silver, Bronze and Recreational. Teams have traveled from 14 different states to play in the Kansas City Invitational. Appropriate seeding of teams ensures that everyone can compete against opponents of their own ability level.

*Registration Closes April 20, 2020

Get Your Kickin' Chicken  at a Kansas or Missouri Restaurant Near You!  8 Local Locations

Concussion ImPACT Testing
2019/ 2020 Tournament Numbers
(number of teams)
Border Battle '20
Heartland Spring Cup '20 155
KC Champions Cup '19
Mother's Day Classic '19 449
Kansas City Invitational '19 282
Fall Kick Off Challenge '19
Heartland Midwest Classic '19
Midwest All Boys '19
Midwest All Girls '19
Heartland Invitational Girls  '19
Heartland Invitational Boys '19

*In the last 12 months Heartland welcomed teams
 from a total of 17 states and Canada.
Thank you to everyone for making Heartland Soccer recognized as THE LARGEST soccer league AND tournament host in the United States! Seriously, how cool is that?! We are so incredibly proud to be a part of this growing soccer community!
Heartland Soccer Association


2019/20 Heartland Numbers

Fall league teams '19
Spring league teams '20
League players 
Tournament teams
Tournament players 

Share a pic of your new gear for this season for a chance to win a $50 Academy gift card. Include #Academy #HeartlandSoccer. One winner will be chosen at random on March 31st.  Academy Sports + Outdoors

Announcing the March winner of our 
Academy Sports  'Social Media Giveaway'  
Congratulations, Denyse Schwarz Weigum! Your post is the winner of the Academy Sports $50 gift card!
Check out the Academy Sports Contest from March! 

US Soccer National C License Coming to Kansas!

Kansas Youth Soccer is pleased to announce that we will be hosting a US Soccer C License Course in Kansas City, Kansas!

  Click Here for more information & to register for the courses.

This Month in History: April

The fastest goal ever scored in an English Premier League match between Watford and Southampton in April 2019. It broke a previously held nineteen-year-old record of 9.82 seconds held by Ledley King. 7.69 seconds is the new record held by Shane Long. He blocked a clearance by Craig Cathcart and put the ball in the net past Ben Foster of Watford. "99 time out of 100 you don't block them clearances, but I did and took a touch across him," Long recounted his goal. The quick start did not help Southampton win the game drew 1-1 from a late goal by Watford. Do you think you can score in under 7 seconds, what is the fastest goal you have ever scored? 

BBC Sport. (23 April 2019). Shane Long: Southampton stricker scores quickest goal in Premier League history.
Order New Apparel Today!
HSA apparel
2020 Heartland Referee Meeting Dates Announced!
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, May 4
Monday, August 3
Monday, September 14
Monday, October 5

Mentors meet 6 - 6:45 pm and Referees meet 7 - 8:30 pm   
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:

Congratulations to all our SCHEELS gift card winners!

From Left to Right:
  Alexis Flint, Margot Tuttle, Aiden Comeaux, Bennett Parish, Mason Garlich, Chloe Cooper, Aiden Flint, Calvin Seithel, Dru Thomas, Dylan Thomas,
 Jay Severson

Other gift card winners:  Rick Zuzenak, Sean Overton
 Nico Lazo, Haley Sachan, Gordie Wetmore, Nate Colling, Alan Rosenak, Frank Deslagen, Lucas Cuejilo, Jash Patel, Nicholas Edwards, Thomas Edwards, Irina Mikos

First time checking out The Midfielder?
Executive Director Shane Hackett explains why this is a 
great tool for players, coaches and parents. 

Other 2020 Courses Coming this Spring 2020!

US Soccer D License - Wichita, Kansas

Dates:    Part 2 - May 22-24, 2020
Location:  Stryker Soccer Complex;
2999 N. Greenwich Rd. Wichita, KS 67226
Registration Details:     CLICK HERE

Get FREE Registration for the...

Grassroots In Person - 11v11 License
Date:    Saturday April 25, 2020
Location:  Pinnacle National Development Center;
1913 Pinnacle Way, Kansas City, 66111
Registration Details:   CLICK HERE

Why take this special BOGO Coaching Education Deal? 
For those wanting to take a US Soccer Grassroots D License, the requirements for entry are two Grassroots In-Person courses (one of which must be 11v11) and one online Grassroots Course in order to register for the Grassroots D License. These two courses would fulfill this requirement in time for a Grassroots D Course to be scheduled later this year in 2020!  Don't miss out on this offer!  
Sign the petition and show the world that Kansas City deserves to be a host city for the WORLD CUP!!!

Sign the Petition

Kansas City - In The Heart of It All

#KC2026 #United2026

"Why be a critic when YOU can be THE REFEREE!"

Register Now to become a referee! New Entry Level Referee Courses Available Now! Just click the link below to find one near you!

Go behind the scenes at Children's Mercy Park! Learn about the history of Sporting KC and take a look at the Pitch, Press Box, Broadcast Booth, Locker Room & more! For more information contact Kylie Perkins at
[email protected]  or 913-912-7578.

Coaching Courses for 2020 to be announced soon!

To get course details and learn how to register CLICK HERE

Matt Gordon
Coaching Education Department
10529 South Warwick St. | Olathe, KS 66061
[email protected]

Register Now for 2019-2020 Kansas ODP!

Kansas ODP is looking for the very best youth players looking to enhance their technical and tactical ability as a player.  Players born from 2003-2008 are eligible to participate in these player evaluation trainings that take place throughout the year.  Kansas ODP is separate from your club team and you train with players from across Kansas.  

NEED MORE DETAILED INFORMATION? CLICK HERE or contact the Kansas ODP Administrator. 
Amy Cramer
Kansas ODP Administrator
10529 South Warwick St. | Olathe, KS 66061
[email protected] D irect Line:  913-991-3690

We are continuing to work with our health partners, local and national government to navigate this health crisis. Accordingly, all Heartland games and tournaments are cancelled through  April 30th. In the past, we have experienced severely shortened and extended seasons due to inclement and severe weather. Based on those experiences, our staff is working to formulate plans for rescheduling league games that will include weekday play and an extended season once play can be safely resumed. We will send out further information as it becomes available. Please continue to be safe.

Dear All,

We hope everyone is staying safe and cautious during this very weird time.

As you all saw from our email and website posts, we are very hopeful to get the season in and will do whatever we need to do, to allow the players to get on the fields.

We are working tirelessly to come up with alternative scheduling based on different dates that we could start playing.

There are many meetings going on in regards to extending the season, but we will have to wait until we have permission to allow games to happen. Although we are desperate to get the kids playing again, we will always have the safety of our players and spectators as a top priority. We will be listening to the advice from local and national medical experts as to when we can return.

Please be safe and enjoy the bonus time you have with your loved ones at home, we hope to see you all soon,


Heartland staff
The Referee Blog
Spring 2020... How much do we miss this game?
The last week of February is the opening of the Spring soccer season with the "Border Battle" tournament.  The weather determines if we get to play that tournament, and this year we were blessed with good weather. A good start, but we are now living in interesting times.  A worldwide pandemic has created new required behaviors like "social distancing", orders to "stay at home", and the concept of "essential services". We are watching highlights from matches that were played in the past because there is no soccer being played right now.  This causes me to ask the question - how much do we miss this game? And, what will it be like when we do get back on the pitch?

Let's look at this from the multiple perspectives of the Heartland Soccer ecosystem:
  • The Clubs and Coaches
  • The Players
  • The Fans, and
  • The Referees


Clubs and Coaches:  Clubs are a business. You pay the clubs to hire the coaches who will help your players develop soccer skills.  The coaches study the game and add their experiences to mold a team. Clubs are much more than just a business.  They are a community. Players wear the club colors with pride. They work hard for glory and have pride in what it means to be a part of a club.  Each week you parents and grandparents wearing the club gear. Yes, clubs are more than a business. There are more than 170 clubs who play at Heartland.  Are you missing the community of your club? Remember, we are all in this together.


The Players:  This is the reason for Heartland.  Heartland is a place where the players can compete at their level of skill and enjoy the experience of the beautiful game.  The players learn the basic skills needed to play soccer (trapping, passing, dribbling, shooting and defending). They also develop fitness.  It is much easier to trap a ball when you are not winded. After 50 minutes of running around the field it gets a lot harder.

The players do more than learn basic soccer skills.  They learn to play as a team which means they must work to get open, to run into space, to create space for their teammates and to recover to defend against counter attacks.  They learn to deal with success and to deal with adversity. They develop confidence and critical evaluation skills. And, they learn that tactics and strategies are what is needed to achieve victory.  Being a team means that we are all in this together.

The Fans:  Soccer is possible because of you.  As I said earlier, you pay the clubs to hire the coaches who will help your players develop soccer skills.  You are paying for the fields and for the League Administrators and for the Referees. When you reflect on your experiences, the return is "priceless".  

I remember when I first became a fan.  I was a father. There may have been 14 players on the pitch, but my focus was on just one.  I looked forward to what he would do when he got close to the ball. Sometimes I cheered and sometimes I had to look away.  The thrill of riding home with a goal scorer was the reason to spend the day on the sidelines. It wasn't long before I was able to appreciate not just my son, but the team.  I would cheer for a well-timed and well-placed pass to a teammate. I would get excited when the team would win the ball back because of good defense. Yes, I wanted to win every game.  But I began to appreciate the selfless teamwork and how the team operated together. I recognized the life lessons that were being learned. Now, I can look back at my successful sons and know that their efforts at practice and on the soccer field during games helped them to become the successful men they are today.

Yes, there were parents who complained because their kids played 2 minutes less than some other kids.  There were many more who cheered for the team. And, it was really special when they cheered for a great play by the other team.  We were appreciating good soccer. And, we were all in this together.

The Referees:  Getting certified and earning your Referee badge is really the easy part.  Putting on your Referee gear and going out to the field and having to make decisions was the real test of character.  The first time you indicate the direction of a throw-in is a big deal for a new Referee. And, then you see the offside violation. If I raise the flag some parents might yell.  If I don't raise the flag, then other parents might yell. If I am in the middle, then I have to blow the whistle. Was it a foul or was it just trivial contact? Yes, the defender got the ball but then they got the player.  Was the foul careless? Was it reckless and requires a caution? 

Many of your Referees signed up because they love the game and want to stay close to it.  All of them know that it is a job. They look forward to their paycheck (thank you again fans).  Some of them are saving their money to help pay for college or to buy a car. They are learning life skills when they save their money.  They are learning life skills when they apply rules to a dynamic situation in a match. They are learning responsibility, respect for authority and the pressures of leadership.  They are looking forward to getting back to work also. Yes, we are all in this together.

It is a safe bet to say we all miss the game because of the current health crisis.  We miss it for different reasons, but we miss it. When we do come back to fields, how will we respond?    Let's remember the reasons why we love the community that is Heartland Soccer when we are able to meet again at the complex. 
We are all in this together.  

April Health Tip:
Don't Let Pollen Ruin Your Workout

Staying in the groove of an exercise routine can be challenging enough. Add seasonal allergies into the mix and between the runny nose, watery eyes, congestion, sneezing fits, fatigue and other annoying symptoms, it can be hard to be motivated to workout, especially outside.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, pollen is one of the most common seasonal allergy triggers - but you don't have to let allergies take control of your workout plans.

1.Use outdoor exercise to help control symptoms.
Although you can't exercise away your allergies, staying active may help keep symptoms at bay.

2.Time your workout right.
Pollen count varies during the seasons and time of day. Avoid the times of the day and the times of the season when the pollen counts are highest. Most pollens tend to be highest in the early morning hours and lower later in the afternoon. Those windy and warm days can bring about a surge in pollen counts, so check your local pollen count each day before heading outside.

3.Keep your peepers protected.
If you feel good enough to exercise outside, great - but don't give pollen a chance to trigger symptoms. Anything you can do to cover the surfaces or areas where the pollen is going to be entering the body is going to be a help. Sunglasses can help protect and keep pollen out of the eyes. Depending on how hot or cold it is, cover your nose or mouth. Some say that breathing in through your nose instead of your mouth is effective, since the nose acts as a filter. 

4.Try OTC medicine to ease symptoms.
While symptoms are a pain, they can usually be managed. For seasonal allergies, usually antihistamines or nasal steroid sprays are the most effective. They don't make you drowsy and dry you out. 

5.Exercise indoors when pollen levels are sky high. 
If the only time you can exercise on a given day is when pollen count is high or you just don't want the added aggravation, head for an air-conditioned gym. If you can't make it to a gym, an at-home workout (especially if the A.C. is on) will do the trick, too.

HCA Midwest Health is the official healthcare provider for Heartland Soccer Association and we work with parents and coaches to keep athletes safe and on the field of play year round, learn more about our services at 
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Enjoy your next slice of your favorite pizza on our nutritious AND delicious Spiced Sweet Potato Crust!  Substitute Minsky's Sweet Potato Crust on any small gourmet pizza starting now at all Minsky's locations.  Available in our small 10" size only.  Click here to order now!

Coaches Corner
Goalkeeper Shot Stopping

Activity #1:
Set Up:
Session Objective : To coach the senior youth goalkeeper (GK) how to successfully stop shots. Set up as shown in diagram using 15 balls, 10 blue, 10 yellow and 4 red bibs, 4 flags, 2 full size goals, 25 disc cones. Player begin with a warm-up including dynamic stretching and varying exercises.
Activity lasts 15 mins. (1A) GK to work with goalkeeping coach (GKC), lateral movements touching cones from side to side and working with ground balls and volleys. (1B) Incorporate a variety of footwork and handling exercises through the cones. hands and hamstrings warmed up and begin to build GK focus.

Coaching Points:
Football, handling, quick adjustments and set position (on balls of feet)  

Activity #2
Set Up:
As shown in diagram. Using a full size goal and 2 cones to make a mini goal on the 6 yd box. Work for 5 minutes.

GK in set position to receive a volley shot. GK then moves forward to stop a second shot in the mini goal. Coach to work both sides of the goal and the centre. Work in the bubble of the GK (match specific)
Coaching Points:
Different diving techniques, in line with the ball, forward movements to close down the angle, secondary cover and body shape. 

Activity #3
Set Up:
As shown in diagram. Work for 15 minutes.

Player 1 passes to player 2 who has a shot. The players then rotate positions.
Progression: Player 1 passes to player 3. 1 and 2 touch finishes.

Coaching Points:   
Near post consideration. Recovery from down to up.

Activity #4 
Set Up:
Set up as shown in diagram. Technical / tactical functional training. 4 v 4 + 2 floaters to overload team in possession + 2 GK's

Organise the players in to a defensive unit. The team in possession must pass the ball around utilising the neutral players to create shooting opportunities.
Coaching Points: 
GK positioning, ever ready and do not neglect other coaching areas. GK distribution as 1st attacker.
Progress to 8 v 8 + 2 GK´s on half a pitch.

Activity #5
Set Up:
Set up as shown in diagram. Match condition, 11 v 11 for 20 minutes. 

Both teams to play 3-4-3 formation. 
Coaching Points: 
GK to stay connected to the team, GK to ebb and flow with team, avoid shots on goal by good DCO, play percentages.

The Referee Corner
                                                     Player's equipment.... 

This month we will review Law 4 which deals with the "Player's equipment".  What does the Law say about Player's equipment? This Law is the instruction that is provided to your Referees and to the Field Marshals.  It 
is our pleasure to share it with you again.

Safety:  Players must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous.


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. The players must be inspected before the start of the match and substitutes before they enter the field of play.  If a player is wearing or using unauthorized/dangerous equipment or jewelry the Referee must order the player to:
  • Remove the item
  • Leave the field of play at the next stoppage if the player is unable or unwilling to comply
A player who refuses to comply or wears the item again must be cautioned.
Several years ago, there were questions about metal barrettes.  The decision was that they could be dangerous, so they were not allowed.  The same question came up regarding beads in braided hair. The decision again was that they could be dangerous, so they were not allowed.
Today the most frequent question deals with "pierced ears".  The Referee/Field Marshal sees the pierced earrings (or the tape over the earrings) and tells that player that they cannot play unless they remove the earrings.  
Almost every weekend we hear the excuse that "I just got them pierced, and if I take them out, they will close up.  Can't I play, please?" The response is NO. Why? Because the Laws of the Game first responsibility is to player safety.  And, Law 4 considers earrings to be potentially dangerous which is why they are forbidden.

Other equipment:  Non-dangerous protective equipment, for example headgear, facemasks and knee and arm protectors made of software, lightweight padded material is permitted as are goalkeepers' caps and sport spectacles.
The key is that protective equipment needs to also be non-dangerous.  Now that you know this is Law, what can you do?  
  • Consider player safety as a shared responsibility.
  • If you are going to get your child's ears pierced, do it before the soccer season.  Don't ask the Referee to make an exception for your child.  
  • If you are going to beads or pierced earrings and don't want to remove them, expect not to be allowed on the field of play.
We are all anxious to get back to playing soccer.  When you do, be smart and be safe with your equipment.

Papa J ohn's Heartland Referee Spotlight:

Q&A with Ethan

When did you start reffing? I started reffing soccer when I was 12 in Illinois for rec soccer. 
What made you decide to get certified to referee?   I decided to ref because the pay was really good and I was 12. Not a lot of places hire at 12 and I love soccer so it just fit in.
What is your favorite part about reffing?  My favorite part about refing soccer is teaching the game to the younger kids and enforcing rules that keep them safe but having fun while doing so.
What is a life lesson you feel you have learned from reffing?  One lesson I have learned is be confident and don't hesitate. If you put your whistle up to your mouth you did it for a reason so blow the whistle loud so everyone knows what you saw.
What level of referee to you aspire to be?  I want to be able to work my way up to high school maybe college soccer when I get older and understand more of the game.
Do you play soccer? I play soccer for Sporting Blue Valley U16 team. I have been playing soccer sense I was 4.
Do you participate in any sports/activities?  I am involved in soccer and youth group. I like them both a lot and look forward to continuing them on until college.
What was the last book you read?  I just read The Book Thief. It's about this little girl named Liesel and she loves reading but her family doesn't like it when she reads so she steals books and reads them. My favorite part about this book is no matter how many people try to stop her from learning she blocks them out and keeps reading and getting smarter.
What types of movies do you like?  I like comedy movies. 
What was the last movie you saw? I just watched Grown Ups 2. My favorite part is when they go to the store and Lenny falls off the treadmill. 
What is your favorite sports team?  My favorite sports team is Chelsea.
Visit SCHEELS, your retail destination.
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.
Send Photo submissions to: [email protected]
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 2020 Season.
If you have a referee, coach, club, team or player accomplishment or a  photo that you would like to share please email:
 Katie Falco at  [email protected]  
AB May
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