AYSO Region 69 Signups Underway; Two New Programs Offered

AYSO Region 69 registration is underway in Pacific Palisades. The program is open for all players born between 1999-2014.

One of AYSO’s most famous players is Landon Donovan, who joined an AYSO team at age 5 and kept playing with AYSO until he was 14.

“The beauty of AYSO was that you had kids from all walks of life who just wanted to be active and run around and play soccer,” said Donovan, U.S. Men’s leading goal scorer. “I started playing club soccer at the age of 10 but I wanted to continue playing AYSO because I enjoyed the camaraderie and the ability to just play for the love of the game.”

In that same interview with an AYSO writer, Donovan said: “One of my biggest pet peeves is youth team coaches who take winning too seriously. This has always bothered me, and I always tell coaches to forget about winning with young players. They need to create an environment where the kids enjoy playing and are developing their soccer skills. Winning should never be a priority.”

In AYSO, players get to play at least three- fourths of a game: a core philosophy is “Everyone plays.” By contrast, some club players practice with the team, but when it comes game time, they sit on the bench. AYSO believes that only when someone is actually in a game situation does that player take his/her skills to a new level.

The emphasis in AYSO is on exercise, sportsmanship and friendships; this organization doesn’t make the game a job, stressing kids out and making them feel like they want to quit.

Those who register early with AYSO are guaranteed a place on a team and for those kids born 2010 to 2013, there is one reciprocal friend request per player (making carpools easier).

There are two new programs this year.

The first is the AYSO Playground for three-year-olds. The program will be run by Steve Morris, the founder of Coast Sports (visit: coastsports.com).

Morris, the father of three, initially produced television commercials after leaving Yale University, before turning to screenwriting. When his four-year-old wanted to play soccer, Morris dived in and started his own program and then ran Region 69’s coaching division. Twenty years later, he’s still in the game—and still believes soccer should be fun. Morris provides a great environment for those who are just starting in the sport.

AYSO Region 69 Commissioner Janet Anderson said, “This new program will be so fun for our new families.”

The second program debuting this year is the high school co-ed rec league. Long-time referee and father of three boys, Tim Reynolds, will run the program. Games will be played on Sunday evenings as pick-up games, so there is no weekly commitment. Any teen who thinks he or she may want to stop by once or twice or more during the year, simply pays a one-time registration fee of $25.

“We are super excited for this program and hope it draws back some high school kids that have stopped soccer and want to just play for fun now,” Anderson said. The program is open to former club and AYSO players and even those who might like to try a new sport.

All registration is done online and there is a new computer system this year with AYSO National. Returning families will have to start over, and enter all player and parent information into the NEW Blue Sombrero Site.

It is important to use the same name used in eAYSO, so that previous ID numbers and records can be matched to your name – both players and volunteers. (One can still access eayso.org for viewing.)

To register, visit ayso69.org. Contact registration69@aol.com

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