Close to 400 ambitious soccer players arrived at Liberty High School Stadium over the period of three weekends, in the rain and under the sun, to show off their skills for the league’s evaluators.
Many families arriving were curious to see the new training formats brought to EDYSL by Director of Coaching and Player Development Rick Morin. Morin, girls varsity coach at Carondelet High School, came to EDYSL two years ago as the lead trainer for the highly successful organization run by local MLS veteran John Doyle.
“Over the last few years, EDYSL has grown steadily as a club,” said Morin. “Our teams compete with some very strong area clubs: Mustang, Ballistic, Rage. We needed to get the coaching program up to speed with the rest of the country to give our players an even playing field.”
On the recreational side of the league, major changes abound as well. The new Associate Director of Coaching and Player Development Randy James was brought on board to develop a curriculum for the U6 through U19 Recreational Division. James brings to EDYSL his seven years of experience as director of coaching for Ballistic of Pleasanton. Currently he is a teacher and junior varsity boys soccer coach at Heritage High School.
“There are training plans for coaches to use from the first practice of the season to the last,” said James. “Coaches will learn how to teach soccer and even how to talk to the players during the exercises. I’m here to assist coaches and players in becoming better people as well as better soccer players.”
To symbolize the impact that the new programs will make, the competitive side of the league is getting its own name. Starting this year, teams will be known as “IMPACT (insert team name).” This parallels many of the more successful programs around the area, such as Mustang in Danville, Pleasanton Rage and Ballistic. Along with a new name will be a new logo, colors and uniforms.
“It is moving toward a club identification vs. an individual team identification. “IMPACT” symbolizes a major change in the culture of our club and in how we are perceived as players. When you see our name, our logo, our uniforms, we’re going to make an impression. You’ll know that you’re getting a certain high level of soccer, across the board, that’s going to make a strong impact on the game.”
Competitive team selections for high school players, Under 15 through Under 19, start April 4 and 5 for girls and continue on April 25 and 26 for boys, at Liberty High School. The Recreational and TOPSoccer Divisions will hold their registration day on April 18 at Ron Nunn Elementary in Brentwood from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call 925-513-8260 or visit www.edysl.net.
– Contributed by Jennifer Charvet