Posted On January 1, 2015 by PUSC
On behalf of your entire Placer United Soccer Club family, including our Directors, Paul O’Brien and Ron Benjamin, our coaching staff, our Club Administrator, Jodi Tarr, and your Board of Directors, we wanted to send our warmest holiday greetings. The Club break is a great time to recharge our soccer batteries and be ready to hit the ground in full stride, and we hope you are enjoying some relaxing time with family, friends and loved ones.
The turn of the calendars is a great time to take stock of the year just completed, and take a look at the year ahead. Placer United is a soccer club dedicated to always moving forward, and in our 33rd year now, you can expect even more of the same in the year ahead.
But looking back to 2014 first, it was a remarkable year for our Club and for the soccer community.
No doubt, the biggest news in the local soccer scene was the explosion of the Sacramento Republic FC. From startup, to stadium fillers with record attendance, to USL PRO Champions in their inaugural season, to the leading candidate for the next round of MLS expansion, the rise of the Republic is a testament to the fact that Sacramento is a soccer town. And Placer United was there shoulder-to-shoulder with the Republic every step of the way, from ownership to management to players to fans, Placer United has deep ties to our region’s leading professional soccer team, which is why we were honored to be the first youth soccer stop of the Republic’s Championship Trophy Tour. Sacramento and Placer County are #BuiltforMLS.
For Placer United, there are simply too many team accomplishments to list in an email. Of course you know about the successes of our U18 Boys Gold team with 6 major trophies including the National Premier League National Championship, but it runs much deeper than that. We’ve built this cool page on our website that highlights the top accomplishments of each of our teams, and we hope you will take a minute to review it.
In 2014, we continued to develop all of the elements of our Club that make us the best Club in Placer County and one of the top Clubs in Northern California:
We welcomed several new coaches to our staff that is already the most accomplished and credentialed in the region, and upgraded the licenses and training of many of our staff. We named Jason Gantt as Coach of the Year for his longevity with the Club and the incredible success he enjoyed with the U18B team this year. Hopefully, you have seen a lot more of our Directors, Paul O’Brien and Ron Benjamin, and our U8-U11 Technical Director, Kevin Unsworth, at your players’ training sessions and matches, as they show their commitment to helping all our coaches perform at the top of their game.
Our indoor leagues at Tinker, both youth and adult, saw record numbers, as did our camps and clinics. If you haven’t participated in these, have a look. While the core of our program for 33 years continues to be our youth competitive program, we also launched our first Recreational Soccer Programs in 2014, and these offerings will expand in 2015 with the designation of our own Emre Gencer as our Recreational Technical Director. Under Paul’s direction, Emre will continue to coach a competitive team, as well as build our Recreational Program so that players of all abilities and from across the whole soccer community can have a home at Placer United.
Programs, coaches, players, families and facilities are what make a soccer program great. In 2014, we worked hard to improve the pitch at Cirby, and we’re starting to see the results of that investment. Of course, we continue to enjoy a great relationship and partnership with Del Oro High School to host many training sessions and games there, and we’re proud to own and operate the premier indoor soccer facility in the Sacramento region with our Placer United Soccer Indoor Training Center on Tinker Road.
2014 was a great year for all our events, from a record-breaking number of teams at our Placer United Girls Tournament, the launch of our Juniors Cup, a great time for families at our Summer Family BBQ, and an evening of fun and fundraising at our “Kickin’ Back to Soccer” dinner/dance/auction. We also inaugurated our first member into the Placer United Hall of Fame – the legendary Gene DuChateau, and maintained our commitment to connections with our alumni by following their accomplishments in college soccer and beyond, and hosting several of them back for the Alumni Game in December. Too many of our alumni players had big years in 2014 to list them all here, but some highlights include Ryan Hollingshead making the squad at the MLS level for FC Dallas and Luis Martinez making a pro team for Costa Rica. Seth Casiple and Connor Hallisey participated in the MLS Combine and Seth was drafted by the Portland Timbers and Connor was the #10 pick in the first round of the MLS Super Draft headed to Kansas City Sporting. Meanwhile, on the girls side, Erika Garcia continued to train with the full Mexican Women’s National Team in preparation for the Women’s World Cup in 2015 and current U18 player, Sydney Pagador, remains in the player pool for the Phillipines Senior Women’s National Team.
Probably one of our favorite events every year is college signing night for our graduating players. Placer United puts more young women and men into top college programs that any Club around. You can keep track of all the signings on our website, and please attend our College Signing Ceremony on Wednesday, February 4, 2015.
Placer United boys players were consistently the leaders and top players on their high school teams this past fall, as evidenced by the huge number of our players making all-conference teams and dominating the Sac Bee’s top players list for the region. Our girls players will no doubt see the same level of excellence this Spring as they saw in 2014. The girls’ high school season kicks off in Spring 2015.
With 2014 in the books, it’s time for a quick look ahead at 2015, which will no doubt be our best year ever…until 2016!
In 2015, we will see:
While we have talked about this for some time, most of the work has been behind the scenes. This will be much more public in 2015, and has already started to make news. The complex is in environmental and planning review now with our partners at Richland Planned Communities and the City of Lincoln, and is ahead of schedule. With twelve tournament-quality fields, a stadium complex, additional indoor and outdoor training facilities, weight-training and locker facilities, community recreation and meeting facilities, and concessions, groundbreaking in 2016 will be a game-changing event for our Club and the soccer community. You will be hearing soon from us on how you can help us fulfill our share of making the complex a reality.
Our Coaching Directors will start to announce the 2015-2016 coaching slate soon, starting with the U8-U11 coaching staff. Look for that announcement soon. In the meantime, we remain committed to retaining the best soccer coaching staff in the region. We already have the highest credentialed coaching staff in the region, with more USSF “A”, “B” and “C” licensed coaches in our Club. Our returning and new coaches remain committed to their professional development under the watch of our Directors, and the Club will assist all our coaches achieve their next level of licenses.
Winning matches, tournaments, league titles, and cups at all levels is so much fun. Doing it while playing quality soccer based on a USSF curriculum and playing style of attacking, possession-based soccer and sound defense is priceless. At Placer United, we win while playing quality soccer. Expect more of the same in 2015.
We aspire to be the truly united soccer club for all of Placer County and surrounding communities, with soccer offerings for all ages and all abilities. With the full launch of our U6-U10 Recreational Program in 2015, we are taking the next step in that development. We look forward to the day when Placer United is recognized as the soccer club for the whole community.
Our members are our customers and our lifeblood. Without you, we would not exist. We made a special presentation to Tiffany Burns and awarded her Volunteer of the Year for her exceptional dedication. Expect even greater commitment to customer service, satisfaction, and communication in 2015. Let us know what we are doing well, and how we can improve. You have our personal commitment that if we make a mistake, we will fix it. If we do well, we want to reward it.
As you can see, we had a great 2014, and are planning for an even better 2015. With so much going on, we appreciate you taking the time to read this yearend report and look ahead. Enjoy the rest of your break, and we look forward to seeing you out on the fields soon!
Happy New Year!
Jeff Flint, President and Chairman
Placer United Soccer Club
On behalf of your entire team at the Club: