The Midfielder
Heartland Soccer Association Newsletter
November 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.
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 2021 Season.

Border Battle Tournament
SCHEELS Overland Park Soccer Complex & GARMIN Olathe Soccer Complex
Feb 26 - Feb 28, 2021

Registration Deadline:
February 1st, 2021

The 2021 Border Battle Soccer Tournament will be held in one of the country's finest soccer facilities, the SCHEELS Overland Park Soccer Complex, home of the 2020 USYSA National Championships and GARMIN Olathe Soccer Complex.

This tournament is well established and recognized as one of the top spring tournaments in the Midwest. It annually attracts ECNL, NPL, State and Regional Champion teams from up to 14 different States. We are anticipating another sell out event in 2021 with teams traveling from all over the Midwest!

CONTEST: Fall foilage, fall scents, fall activities.. The Fall season brings about so many enjoyable things. Share a photo of your favorite Fall memory for a chance to win an Academy Sports + Outdoors $50 gift card. Thank you to Academy Sports + Outdoors 
for providing the gift card.

WINNER: Heather Miles
Thank you to everyone who participated in the social media contest!

SCHEELS Overland Park Soccer Complex (OP)
13700 Switzer Rd Overland Park, KS 66221 Located at 135th and Switzer just south of the Blue Valley District Athletic Complex.
Click to View Field Maps and Location Details

 GARMIN Olathe Soccer Complex (OSC)
10541 S Warwick St Olathe, KS 66061
Click to View Field Maps and Location Details

Compass Minerals Sporting Fields (CMSF)
1500 N 90 St Kansas City, KS 66112
Click to View Field Maps and Location Details

 Swope Soccer Village (SSV)
6310 Lewis Road Kansas City, MO 64132
Click to View Field Maps and Location Details

 Compass Minerals National Performance Center
1913 Pinnacle Way Kansas City, KS 66111
Click to View Field Maps and Location Details

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 '20155
KC Champions Cup '19
Mother's Day Classic '19449
Kansas City Invitational '19282
Heartland Fall Friendlies '20
Fall Kick Off Challenge '20
Heartland Midwest Classic '20
Midwest All Boys '20
Midwest All Girls '20
Heartland Invitational Girls  '20
Heartland Invitational Boys '20
*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


2020 Heartland Numbers

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

This Month in History: November
A friendly match, England vs. Sweden on November 14, 2012 and a performance to remember. Sweden was debuting their new stadium, Friends Arena in Stockholm. England were up 2-1 until around the 75-minute mark. Then striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic stole the show scoring four goal during the game and three in the last twelve minutes. Zlatan scored early to give Sweden the lead poking the ball past the English goal keeper Joe Hart. England came back with two goals by Danny Welbeck and Steven Caulkner. Zlatan's second goal he controlled a pass to his chest and shot a volley from 35 yards out. Another shot with mower gave him the third goal that slipped into the corner of the net. The score was 3-1 Sweden and Zlatan were looking to seal the win. A long punt made its way near the English box where Hart went to go head the ball, it went over Zlatan's head. He twisted his body bringing his legs up to strike the ball launching himself in the air finishing a spectacular bicycle kick.
Miller, Nick. (Nov 17, 2017). Reliving Zlatan Ibrahimovic's wonder goal against England five years later
Order New Apparel Today!
HSA apparel
2020 Heartland Referee Meetings
2021 dates coming soon!
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.  

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:

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

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] 

Nov 2Spring 2021 online registration opens
Dec 4-6
Dick's Sporting Goods Discount Weekend for Heartland
Jan 4
Spring 2021 online registration deadline by noon on Jan 4
Jan 7
Recreational seeding
Jan 8
Premier pre-seed & Recreational Final seed posted after 5pm
Jan 8-12
Premier seeding challenges via email deadline noon on January 12
Jan 13
Final Premier seeding posted after 5pm
Feb 12-14Dick's Sporting Goods Discount Weekend for Heartland
Feb 17Spring 2021 schedule posted after 5pm
Feb 19-21Academy Sports + Outdoors Shop Event for Heartland
Feb 26-28Border Battle Tournament / First weekend of League play
Mar 5-7Midwest College Showcase / League play
Mar 12-14League play
Mar 19-21Heartland Spring Cup / League Play
Mar 26-28League Play 
Apr 2-3League Play
Apr 4Easter No Games
Apr 9-11Dick's Sporting Goods Discount Weekend for Heartland / League Play
Apr 16-18Kansas City Champions Cup / League Play
Apr 23-25League Play
Apr 30-May 2League Play
May 7-9Midwest Mother's Day Classic / League Play
May 14-16League Play
May 21-23
Rainout Weekend
May 28-30Kansas City Invitational Tournament Sponsored by First Watch

Visit SCHEELS, your retail destination.

To order tickets please contact Mike Rodriguez at 816-739-2274 or email questions to [email protected].

Division winner medals are available for all players on division winning teams. If your team is NOT participating in one of the award ceremonies, the medals may be picked up at the Heartland Soccer Association office, 9161 West 133rd Street, Overland Park, KS.  Office hours are 10 am - 3 pm weekdays.  If you want to pick up medals outside of official office hours, it is recommended that you call first to make sure someone is available to help you.  913-888-8768  Please have one representative pickup the medals for the entire team.
ALL U9 Recreational Teams receive participation medals for each player for the  fall league season to welcome them to the Heartland league.  All U9 recreational teams/players MAY  participate in the Heartland KC Comets awards ceremonies.

1) What are your overall thoughts on the fall season?  Part jubilation.  Part relief.  It was so great returning to the fields and getting our complete season in with no major medical issues in the midst of the pandemic.   

2) What have your sponsors meant to you particularly this season?  Quite frankly, it's been rough on sponsors. Many of their businesses are suffering. We appreciate everyone that has continued to support youth soccer and understand those that have paused or stopped sponsorships. As a non-profit, our goal is cover our operating expenses each year. We don't look to make a profit.   The sponsors play a very large role in allowing us to keep our league fees very low. I know we are proud that we haven't raised league fees in over 15 years. In fact, our league fees are almost half of what it costs to play in our neighboring St. Louis league. Sponsors play a big role in our league.  

3) Registration for the spring season is open now until January 4th. Why should someone participate in Heartland Soccer?  I think we have one of the best values in league play in the country. The large number of teams means regardless of the play level of your team, you can play like skilled teams in all age groups. We allow everyone to play from the highest levels of competitive to recreational teams. All are welcome. Combine that with the world class facilities of SCHEELS Overland Park Soccer Complex, GARMIN Olathe Soccer Complex, Compass Mineral Sporting Fields and Swope Soccer Village, some would say we are spoiled. But, sometimes, that's ok when it comes to our kids.  

4) How hard is it for your staff to wrap up a season and then start prepping for a new season immediately?  We end the fall season with two gigantic weekends tournaments - Heartland Invitational Girls and Boys.   After those weekends, everyone is exhausted and gets a few days to rest and recoup. It doesn't last long but is very deserved.

5) Registration for spring tournaments is open. Why compete in a Heartland tourney?  Personally, I think Heartland offers the best competition at the best facilities. All the tournaments are risk free registration.   If there is an issue with Covid or weather, 100% of your registration money is returned, in full. No questions asked. Our tournaments continue to grow as more and more teams from across the midwest travel to play here. Having a variety of teams to play is fun for the kids as well.   
 Health Tip:
HCA Midwest is your community healthcare partner. We care about the well-being of you and your family and this November, we're encouraging you to share the message of the Great American Smokeout with those who may still be trying to kick the habit of smoking.

The Great American Smokeout is an annual event sponsored by the American Cancer Society (ACS). It is held on the third Thursday of November. This social engineering event focuses on encouraging Americans to quit tobacco smoking. People are challenged to stop smoking for at least 24 hours assuming that their decision not to smoke will last longer, hopefully forever.

Today, more than 43 million people in the United States smoke cigarettes, that is about 1 in 5 adults. The Great American Smokeout evolved from a number of smaller-scale events that took place in the 1970s. The first Great American Smokeout occurred in California on November 18, 1976. According to the California division of the ACS, nearly 1 million people stopped smoking cigarettes that day. In 1977, the event was taken nationwide. Different people quit smoking in different ways. There are those who quit abruptly and completely and those who cut back gradually. Some people need substitutions and distractions to suppress cravings and others need special medicines. No matter which approach you choose, the Great American Smokeout is the perfect occasion to make the first step. Of course, if you have already decided to quit smoking, you don't have to wait till November.

To learn more about our services for lung cancer, please visit 
The Referee Blog
Another Fall Season at Heartland is in the books....
On Sunday, November 1st, we concluded the Fall League season with the completion of the Rainout Weekend.  You had to make some adjustments to allow all of us to successfully complete the season.  Thank you.  Masks were required and most of you decided that it was a reasonable price to pay to enable the kids to play soccer.  The Compass Minerals complex was closed (a reminder to everyone that Covid-19 was still around and awfully close).  This meant that some of the games had to be moved to the Heritage Soccer fields.  That reminded us all just how fortunate we are to play on our world-class turf fields and under the lights.  Kansas weather was usual - unpredictable.  You sweated and you froze, sometimes on the same weekend.  You won some game and lost some games.  There was cheering for the efforts of the players and even some jeering at Referee decisions.  It sounds like any other soccer season at Heartland.  But this one took place in 2020, a year unlike any other in my lifetime and I am sure in many of yours too.

Lessons learned:
  1. Playing soccer is a privilege:  Teams came from multiple states and cities to compete in the Heartland Fall season.  When you drive down from Omaha or up from Springfield or Wichita, you do it because you want to get better and play against the best competition in the region.  If this means we have to take some additional precautions (every hour we heard the announcements about the requirement to wear masks for example), we will do this to preserve the privilege of playing the game we love.  The player registration numbers for USYS Region II were down for the 2019-2020 Registration year because of Covid-19.  The Midwest Regional total was a decrease of 30%.  In Kansas the number was down only 6%.  Kansas understands that we must work to keep playing soccer safe, and your efforts were on display for the Heartland Fall season.
  2. The more dominant team does not always win:  There were games this season where one team controlled the ball for most of the game, had many more shots on goal than the other team but did not win.  And there were a lot of games where one goal was the difference.  One of the best things about soccer for the fans is the anticipation that something is developing and might lead to a goal.  These are the games where the fan noise is the loudest.
  3. Passion for a team means that Referees don't always make the same decision on the field that you would make from the sideline:  Every weekend you hear a lot of decisions being requested from the sidelines (both coaches and fans) that are different from the decisions made by the Referee team.  Consider the number of possible decisions a Center Referee faces.  There will be some mistakes (no one is 100% perfect in decision making, even at the levels of a FIFA Referee).  The game goes on.
  4. We build on each game to get better on the field and in life:  Winning a Division is an accomplishment that everyone can be proud of.  The League season is not the only prize we have to look forward to.  There are tournaments and there will be another League season.  Learning skills by practicing hard, giving your best efforts on the field, learning to work as an individual in a team setting, and learning to win and to lose are skills that will follow each and every player throughout his/her life.  We get this while we are having fun and are staying fit. 

Coaches Corner
Dortmund 2v1 Shooting Drill
The Dortmund 2v1 shooting drill is an excellent game for players to practice dribbling towards goal quickly and finishing.

Set Up
Set up a grid as shown in the diagram with a full size goal on either end. Have players line up at the posts and form two additional lines on either side of the grid. Players at the posts need soccer balls. 

How It Works
The soccer ball starts at one end with a player on a post. This player can choose to pass to either one of the side players. The player they decide to pass to becomes their teammate and the other player becomes the defender. The players play 2v1 to goal. Once the ball goes out of play a new ball starts on the opposite side. There are no true teams in this game. The first three players to score five goals win.

Coaching Points
When the ball is played to a side player, they can get an easy chance by dribbling towards the goal quickly while the defender is trailing. In a 2v1 situation, attackers should get a quality shot off every time.
  1. The passing pattern starts with one of the soccer balls being passed to the player in the middle.
  2. The player in the middle receives the pass, turns 180 degrees, passes to the opposite line, and follows the pass to go to the back of that line.
  3. After the first pass, the player who passed the ball then runs into the middle to receive the second soccer ball. This player will then receive the ball, turn 180 degrees, pass to the opposite line, and follow the pass to the back of the line. The same process as the first player.
  4. This process repeats itself for the decided upon amount of time.
One touch - Depending on the age of the players and their skills, have the players use only one-touch pass in the process.
Weak Foot - Players can only pass, receive, and turn with their weaker foot.
Different Turns - Give players different turns each round (i.e. inside the foot turn, outside the foot turn, etc.)

Coaching Points: 
  • Stress that players should pass the ball accurately on the ground.
  • Excite players to give a pass to their partner that they can handle.
  • Encourage players to use the inside of their foot to pass.
  • Depending on the age and skill of the players, vary the distance between the lines.
  • When working with more developed players, try to increase the tempo and speed of play in order to challenge the players to receive and pass the ball on the run.

Q & A with Alexis

When did you start reffing? 
I started reffing in the fall 2019 season.
What made you decide to get certified to referee?
I play soccer so I thought it could be a fun job. I also have practice 4 times a week with games on the weekends, so I like having the opportunity to chose when I work. 
What is your favorite part about reffing?
I enjoy interacting with the younger kids and it can be entertaining. 
What is a life lesson you feel you have learned from reffing?
I have had to learn how to stand up for myself and to be confident in my decisions.
When did you start reffing futsal?
The 2019-2020 futsal season.
What is your favorite part about reffing futsal?
I enjoy the fast play and the co reffing
What level of referee to you aspire to be?
I haven't really considered that yet. It is a wonderful way to stay with soccer even after college. I do enjoy reffing and I will definitely continue as long as I can. 
Do you play soccer? 
I play for Sporting Blue Valley 04 GA team.
How long have you played soccer?
I have played soccer since I was 4 years old.
Do you participate in any sports/activities/clubs/ youth groups/ community service? 
I participate in the youth activities and service opportunities 
in my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Do you have another job in addition to reffing? 
In addition to reffing I am also a dog walker! I love dogs and they are wonderful company!
What was the last book you read? 
I am a big reader and I read all the time. One of my favorite 
book series is called the Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger. The most recent series I have finished is the Harry Potter books. I picked the first book up during quarantine and I went through that series like candy, I loved it!
What types of movies do you like? 
I enjoy action movies and comedy movies. I am NOT a fan of horror movies! Currently, my favorite movie is Black Panther. 
What is your favorite sports team?
I don't really have a set favorite professional team, but I love watching and keeping track of the Premier League.
Referee Corner:  
Understanding what the Laws of the Game say about the decisions of the Referee.

The Laws of the Game say the following about Applying the Laws: The same Laws apply in every match, in every confederation, country town and village and, apart from the Modifications permitted by the IFAB, the Laws must not be modified or changed, except with the permission of the IFAB.

Those who are educating match officials and other participants, should emphasize that:
  • Referees should apply the Laws within the 'spirit' of the game to help produce fair and safe matches
  • Everyone must respect the match officials and their decisions, remembering and respecting that Referees are human and will make mistakes.
Decisions of the Referee:  Decisions will be made to the best of the Referee's ability according to the Laws of the Game and the 'spirit of the game' and will be based on the opinion of the Referee who has the discretion to take appropriate action within the framework of the Laws of the Game.
The decisions of the Referee regarding facts connected with play, including whether or not a goal is scored, and the result of the match are final.  The decisions of the Referee and all other match officials must always be respected.  The Referee may not change a decision on realizing that it is incorrect or on the advice of another match official if play has restarted ...

Let's apply this to some situations that have occurred during the past Fall season:

In an Under 9 match, an attacking player took a shot on goal.  The goalie was not able to stop the shot; however, a defender who was standing on the goal line did deliberately strike the ball with their hand preventing the ball from going into the goal.  Let's see how we would apply the instructions from IFAB to this situation:
  1. Did something occur that was against the Laws of the Game?  Yes, Law 12 says that only the goalie is permitted to use their hands and only in the Penalty Area.  We have a foul, that foul being a handball (deliberate hand to ball).  The prescribed restart is a Direct Free Kick, and for a foul by a Defender in the Penalty area resulting in a Direct Free Kick the restart then becomes a Penalty Kick.
  2. Do the Laws outline additional sanctions for a case where someone other than the goalkeeper uses their hands to Deny an Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity?  Again, Law 12 says that this action requires that the Referee send off the offending player and that the offending team will play a man down for the remainder of the match.
  3. Because the player was 9 years old, can the Referee change the Law for this situation?  The Laws do allow for some modifications.  These modifications are limited to the following:
    1. Size of the field of play
    2. Size, weight, and material of the ball
    3. Width between the goalposts and height of the crossbar from the ground
    4. Duration of the two (equal) halves of the game
    5. The use of return substitutes
Each of these allowable modifications was in play on this match.  The field was smaller as was the goal.  The number of players was reduced.  They were using a size 3 ball.  The halves were 25 minutes and unlimited substitutions were allowed.

However, there is no approved medication for not sending off the player.  Heartland plays by FIFA laws with the above approved modifications.  This is what we teach the Referees in their certification classes.  In this case, while it seemed harsh to the parents of the team, the specifics of the Law regarding Denying an Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity with the hand was being applied in the same way it would be in a World Cup Final in Overland Park, in Olathe and in Kansas City.  This is the directive from the governing body of soccer.

Yes, none of our certified Referees are perfect.  They are learning and they are being mentored to help them make more correct calls in every match.  We focus on their hustle, their being in an effective position to see the play so they can make correct decisions, and we evaluate the fouls they call and the restarts they award.  My challenge - if you think you can do better, please become a Referee.  

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]
AB May
Academy Sports and Outdoors
AC Print
BFAME KC Entertainment
Commercial Capital
Dick's Sporting Goods
Drs. Hawks, Besler, Rogers & Stoppel
Discount Tire
First Watch
Hasty Awards
HCA Midwest Health
Jason's Deli
Jimmy John's
Kansas City Comets
Krusich Dental
Land of Paws
Levine Advertising
Menorah Medical Center
Molle Toyota
Momo Bands
Museum at Prairiefire
Overland Park Regional Medical Center
Papa John's
Raising Cane's
Rob Ellerman and 
Reece Nichols Real Estate
Research Medical Center
Salty Iguana
Security Bank
Soccer Master
Sporting Kansas City
Sporting Kansas City II
Starting Point Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
Storage Mart
Taco Bell
The Rub Bar-B-Que
T-riffic T-shirts
Urban Air