The Midfielder
Heartland Soccer Association Newsletter
February 2021

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. 
Heartland Spring Cup
GARMIN Olathe Soccer Complex
March 19-21, 2021

Registration Deadline:
February 22, 2021

The Heartland Tournament series is excited to add the inaugural Heartland Spring Cup tournament to the Spring 2020 tournament season. The Heartland Spring Cup will be an excellent early season opportunity for your team to test itself against comparable opponents and features multiple levels of play to ensure that every team finds itself matched against similar competition.

2021 KC Champions Cup
SCHEELS Overland Park Soccer Complex
GARMIN Olathe Soccer Complex
Apr 16 - Apr 18, 2021
     Registration Deadline:
           March 8th, 2021
The KC Champions Cup tournament is in its 14th year and is established as a top spring event and attracts teams from throughout the Midwest. This tournament will be open to teams of all levels of play within the following age divisions - Boys U8-U19 and Girls U8-U15. Seeding of teams ensures that everyone can compete against opponents of their own ability level.

2021 Midwest College Showcase Tournament
2021 Midwest College Showcase Tournament

The 2021 Midwest College Showcase tournament is an invitational showcase for young men and women soccer players who want to play at the college level. All who participate will demonstrate their talents and abilities to men's and women's college coaches from across the Midwest and beyond. More than 1000 collegiate coaches from Divisions I, II, III, NAIA, and NJCAA are invited to scout players.

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.

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


2020/21 Heartland Numbers

Fall league teams '20
Spring league teams '21
League players 
Tournament teams
Tournament players 
Sand Soccer Comes to Kansas
Kansas Youth Soccer is excited to bring the opportunity for youth players to experience the game of sand soccer!  This exciting game is perfect for all levels of players to participate in during future summer months and we hope your club or team takes the time to see what programming they can offer to help improve your overall game.
Please join us in welcoming Thunder Beach KC Sand Soccer to the Kansas Youth Soccer Family as our newest League Member!
Official announcement:  CLICK HERE

Questions or interest please email at: [email protected]

This Month in History: February

One of the saddest days in football
history - the date of the Munich air
crash. Manchester United were
returning from a European Cup
match in Yugoslavia against Red
Star Belgrade and the aircraft they
were travelling in made a refueling
stop in Munich. In the wintery conditions the aircraft hit a slushy area on the runway and failed to
take off, ploughing through the fence at the end of the runway and hitting
a house. The crash claimed 23 lives - players, club staff, journalists, crew and
other passengers. A tragedy for all the victims, a tragic day that will never be

This article was excerpted from .

SCHEELS is your retail destination this season.
Order New Apparel Today!
HSA apparel
 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.  

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

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
 Health Tip:
Are You Drinking Enough Water?
You've probably heard the long-standing wisdom that you should drink 64 ounces-that's eight, eight-ounce glasses-every day, no matter what. But the truth might be a little more complicated.

Since hydration needs can vary tremendously based on your body type or your physical activity level, just to name a few, many nutritionists believe it is better advice to drink half  of your bodyweight-in pounds-in ounces of water. Though it sounds complicated, we promise the math is easy!

An Individualized Approach 
Let's break down a simple example. Say you weigh 200 pounds. Simply divide that number by half, and you'll see that you should be drinking 100 ounces of water a day-significantly more than the recommended 64-ounce amount.  

What's nice about this approach is it's more individualized, which is important for those in higher weight ranges who may have larger hydration needs than someone sitting just slightly above 100 pounds.

However, there are even more factors to consider if you are physically active or live in an extremely hot or dry climate. In these scenarios, it's important to tune into your thirst cues and remember to hydrate both before, during and after any rigorous exercise. Note that the specifics can vary greatly based on type of exercise, length of exercise, height, weight and even gender. 

Another important way to stay in-touch with your hydration needs is to pay attention to the color of your urine. It should be light yellow or almost clear; dark yellow or brown urine can indicate you're not drinking enough water. 

Can You Drink Too Much Water? 
Though it's rare, you can  drink too much water. This is known as hyponatremia or when sodium levels in your body become dangerously low. Sodium is an electrolyte and regulates the amount of water that's in and around your cells. If you drink too much water, you can severely dilute the sodium in the same way that adding more water to a soup makes it less salty. As your body's water level rises and sodium diminishes, your cells will begin to swell; this condition can be life-threatening.

Because you lose sodium when you sweat, this is a major concern in the endurance community, where marathoners and triathletes will train for hours under rigorous conditions. This is why hydrating with electrolyte-infused sports drinks, powders or snacks is crucial for maintaining the proper sodium levels in the body. 

If you are concerned about artificial ingredients or sugar found within certain products, you can simply add a teaspoon of sea salt to your water bottle. Whatever your approach, it's important not to forget proper electrolyte replenishment in addition to hydration. 

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 

How to Drink More Water 
For those of us who are simply looking to meet our water needs during our regular day-to-day life, there are plenty of easy ways to up your intake. Start with these simple ideas:
-Remember that other liquids (milk, coffee, tea) and even certain foods  (watermelon, tomatoes, oranges) can count toward your hydration needs.
-Invest in a reusable water bottle that you can take on-the-go to continue hydrating. A "smart" bottle  or bottle that encourages you to drink around the clock  can be especially helpful. 
-Log your hydration until you get used to the amount you should be drinking each day; this can be done on paper or on a mobile app.
-Establish daily routines to remind you to drink. Examples include: Drinking a glass right after you wake up, drinking a glass before and after every meal, taking a few sips after every bathroom break, etc.
-Don't be afraid to infuse or carbonate your water if that encourages you to drink more; however, try to stay away from sugar-heavy ingredients or formulations.

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
Referee Corner:  
The Referee Coaching/Mentor Program at Heartland

The Kansas SRC certifies around 500 new Referees every year.  Entry Level training focuses on the Laws of the Game.  It is essential that all Referees know and understand these Laws because their primary responsibility is to enforce the Laws of the Game.  The Referee Coaching/Mentor program addresses the challenge of developing and retaining Referees by using  Referee Coaches to accelerate the development of Heartland Referees.  
We know from  experience that while Referees are certified in the classroom, they are developed on the field of play.  This is the driver for the "Grassroots Referee Coach/Mentor Program" sponsored by  Kansas State Youth Soccer.  
This program aims to deliver a consistently better soccer experience for the players, coaches, and fans.  Measuring Referee performance provides the Referee and Assistant Referees with specific feedback on key performance areas that have been shown to make a difference.  Documenting results confirms progress and assists the Referee Development team to understand where we can better contribute to success.
Referees, like players, improve with experience.  Most begin their careers on small-sided matches.  As their knowledge base and experience grows, they move from Assistant Referee to center Referee assignments.  If they are successful as center Referees in the small-sided matches, they are assigned to 11 v 11 matches on full size fields.  The Referee Coaching/Mentor program is configured in multiple stages.  Each stage focuses on specific skills and performance expectations and builds on the previous stage.  STANDARDS are needed to measure performance consistently.  The performance areas that have been identified for Referees/Assistant Referees represent Referee skills that apply to all levels of competition.  
For Center Referees:
  • Professional appearance/proper Uniform
  • Hustle (moving with play to be in an effective position)
  • Calling fouls
  • Performing correct restarts
For Assistant Referees:
  • Professional appearance/proper Uniform
  • Getting to the goal line when required
  • Positioning with the 2nd last defender and offside decisions
  • Correct signals
Referee Coaches are selected based on experience, performance, and completion of Referee Coaching Training.  These individuals have distinguished themselves through effective Refereeing performance which helps them gain the confidence of the Referees they mentor and of the coaches, players, and fans.  Using Referee Coaches when they are in the early years of their Referee career means they are better able to remember what it took for them to be successful.  The ability to tap into these memories and to effectively communicate what coaching techniques worked for them are characteristics we look for.  Seeing the game from the perspective of a Referee Coach also helps these Referees be even better when they next take the whistle.

The other characteristics of a good mentor are a willingness to give back, the ability to take directions and follow instructions, an understanding of the Laws of the Game, and correct and effective Referee mechanics.  
It is not possible to watch every match.  When you see the Referee Coaches/Mentors talking to your Referee team, please appreciate the investments being made by Kansas State Youth Soccer to bring you better soccer in Kansas.  See you at the fields.
2021 Kansas State Cup

Age Divisions:  Boys 13U - 19U & Girls 13U - 14U 
Group Play Game 1:  May 19th & 20th, 2021
Group Play Game 2:  May 26th & 27th, 2021
Group Play Game 3:  June 2nd & 3rd, 2021
Semi-Finals & Finals Weekend:  June 5th & 6th, 2021
Location:Compass Minerals Sporting Fields
1500 N 90 St. Kansas City, KS 66112
State Cup Website: Click Here

2021 Kansas Presidents Cup 
Age Divisions:  Boys 13U - 19U & Girls 13U - 14U 
Dates:  May 13th - 16th, 2021
 Location: Heritage Soccer Park
17255 S Lackman Rd. Olathe, KS 66062
Presidents Cup Website: Click Here

2021 Kansas Junior State Cup 
Age Divisions:  Boys & Girls 11U - 12U 
Dates:  April 22 - 25th, 2021
Location: Heritage Soccer Park
17255 S Lackman Rd. Olathe, KS 66062
Jr. State Cup Website: Click Here

The Referee Blog
Getting Ready for the Spring 2021 Soccer Season at Heartland Style ...

The weather forecast called for 1-2 inches of snow on Tuesday night.  Not exactly the kind of weather that makes us eager for soccer to start up again at Heartland.  But we will soon turn our calendars to February.  That is when we play soccer at Heartland starting with the Border Battle Tournament February 26- 28.  What are you doing to get ready for the Spring season?
  • The Heartland Staff:  Recording the applications for the season, getting the divisions set up, preparing for the seeding meetings, making sure that the game cards and lineup cards are ready is just the beginning of the activities the staff does in preparation for the season.  After the seeding comes the challenge of preparing the schedules and making sure that there will be Referees, Field Marshals and Medical staff to provide the safe environment we expect from Heartland play.
  • Coaches and players:  The days are getting longer (OK, I mean the sun is
     setting later), and in 6 weeks or so the days will be getting warmer.  It will not
    be long before practice schedules are posted, and the coaches and players get back on the field to build their stamina and work on their tactics and skills.  Coaches will be looking to see how much their players have grown in size, skill, and abilities.  Every team starts the season undefeated.  What a way to go into the spring.
  • Fans:  In Kansas City a popular winter activity has been rooting for the Chiefs.  Yes, they are in the  Super Bowl.  What will you be doing after February 7th?  Celebrating, we hope.  And then getting ready for the really big games, the ones that feature your kids as the players on the field.  The soccer community at Heartland has been practicing Covid-19 protocols for the past year.  We will have to continue this during the Spring season.  Some will be vaccinated by the time the season starts.  Others will be in line for their vaccinations.  Because we care for each other, we will continue to wear masks and practice social distancing at the various complexes.  We will cheer.  And, since we will be doing the right things your kids will be playing.  We will be getting closer to normalcy for the summer and fall seasons because of our attention to details in the Spring season.
  • Referees:  It is time to review the changes to the Laws to make sure we can contribute to the success of the spring season.  Even though the Law changes went into effect for the Fall season, Referees need to make sure they consistently apply the changes in the Spring season.  For example, FIFA continues to work on clarifying when deliberate and/or accidental hand balls are to be called.  Referees can play these kinds of scenarios in their minds.  But there is no substitute for experiencing the fouls and infractions in real-time on the fields.  Referees, like players, also need to be getting into match shape.  The players continue to get bigger and faster.  This means Referees need to get smarter.  We have been working on the Referee Coaching/Mentor program during the winter months to make sure we are ready to support the Heartland Soccer community with a Referee program that is focused on constant improvement.
Enjoy the rest of the winter.  Get ready for the Spring season when the Heartland Soccer community comes together to enjoy the beautiful game together.
A note:  we can always use more Referees.  Please think about joining the Referee family.  You can start your journey at

Coaches Corner
Improve the defensive pressure in the attacking third
Player Actions
Pressure/Cover/Balance, Pressing Situation/Cues
Key Qualities
Read game/make decisions * Initiative
40x40 area divided into 4 x 10x10 boxes. 
15 players are split into 5 groups of 3. 
5 different colored bibs.  
20 balls.

In one box, there will be 6 players (2 groups of 3) keeping the ball away from a defending team (of 3).  After a set number of passes, the ball can be played into another box (with another group of 3 waiting).  Defending team must apply pressure and the 5th group will support to create another 6v3 situation.  If defenders win the ball, they trade with the group that lost possession.

Key words
Offensively - Triangulate and support the ball carrier.  Utilize the space with movement on and off the ball.
Defensively - Pressure the player with the ball, cover and balance.  Get compact, stay compact.  
When would be a good time to press the ball carrier?. 
Show me how you make it more predictable in where the ball will go?  
Look for poor passes or touches by attacking players. 

Q&A with Isabelle

When did you start reffing? I started reffing in February of 2017. 
What made you decide to get certified to referee? I wanted a job, but I was only 14 so there wasn't much out there. One of my friends mentioned he was a referee and that they pay a lot per game. Next thing I knew I was certified and have kept the job ever since!
What is your favorite part about reffing? My favorite part about reffing is the flexibility of the job. A life lesson I have learned about reffing is that you have to find the positive in everything you do. Being a referee is hard and it really hurts your confidence and self-esteem, but you have to look past that. 
What level of referee to you aspire to be? I plan to stay reffing at the level I am at the moment. I think reffing is a great way to make money and a great weekend job, but I do not plan on becoming a professional referee. 
Do you play soccer? I played soccer from ages 7 to 17. I played rec and then played high school soccer. 
Do you participate in any sports/activities? At my high school, I participated in cross country, basketball, soccer, marching band, jazz band, honors societies, and a lot of clubs. I also have been recently loving to play sand volleyball during the summer. I love to stay active and meet lots of people. 
Do you have any other jobs besides reffing? Yes, I have had other jobs. So I ref during the spring and fall. I find a job during the summer, for instance, I worked at Dairy Queen last summer. During the winter, I work at Express at the mall every year. This summer, I plan to work at Starbucks. 
What was the last book you read? The last book I read was Tuesdays With Morrie. We read it in my English class and the moral of the story was to enjoy the little things about life because it flashes before your eyes. 
What types of movies do you like? I honestly love most movies I watch unless they're rated really badly on rotten tomatoes, and even then, I still enjoy them. I just recently finished the entire Star Wars series, episode 1 through 9. 
What is your favorite sports team? My favorite sports teams are the Chiefs and KU basketball! 
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
Jersey Boyz Deli & Subs
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
TW Sportswear + Print, Ship & Signs
Urban Air
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]