The Board of Directors of Menasha Area Soccer Club, Inc. (more recently known as FC Menasha Soccer) has an exciting announcement to make. Effective August 1, 2022, we will be merging into and become part of the Wisconsin United FC family of clubs in Northeast Wisconsin.
This announcement and the benefits provided is the culmination of many years providing residents and families in Menasha and the surrounding areas the opportunity to play the game of Soccer for nearly 40 years.
In the mid-1980’s Soccer was first offered in Menasha through a partnership called Youth Sports. This group offered youth the chance to play baseball or soccer locally. In 1998, the two groups separated, and Menasha Area Soccer Club was born as a stand-alone soccer entity. Soccer grew in popularity for many years from that point, but plateaued in the mid-2010’s. With the development of areas throughout the Fox Valley, several new soccer clubs formed and the available players pools became more diluted. With Menasha’s borders becoming more restricted and defined, and population remaining in the area of 18,000 residents, the ability to expand our numbers was limited. Teams were not able to be formed at all age levels or were not completely full teams. We attempted smaller mergers along the way; absorbing players and teams from other programs such as FC Magic, the Avengers, and a couple other start-ups. These were short-term solutions, and our numbers remained flat for several years. Then the COVID pandemic struck and slammed the brakes on participation in many routine activities including youth sports. Coming out the other side, we realized we needed to consider other options to continue sharing the beautiful game of soccer and helping youth to discover and love the game as much as we have all these years.
What are the advantages of being part of a larger organization, specifically Wisconsin United FC? They are numerous. The ability to represent all youth players no matter where they are in their individual development with the chance to play with others in their proper age divisions and competition level is by-far the most beneficial.
The infrastructure offered by this organization benefits players and their families in having dedicated staff members with regular hours of operation to provide more efficiencies such as timely, detailed, and constant information than an all-volunteer small-sized club like ours.
In addition to the Menasha Campus fields (8 fields at the Earl Street and Wittmann Park locations), players will have available outdoor facilities in Appleton, Howard, and DePere (depending on the level of recreational or competitive play each family desires to attain). All these facilities are extremely well maintained, and will remain such as we move forward. Three of the sites have concessions facilities. Some exciting improvements and upgrades have already occurred, and are planned for the near future. Changes include lighted fields, site landscaping and tree planting, goal and team bench repainting or replacement, or potentially turf playing surfaces. In addition to outdoor facilities, players and teams will have the availability of indoor facilities for training or scrimmages during cold-weather months without having to make individual arrangements for school gymnasiums or other training sites.
Along with facilities, the new Club has expanded Coach staffing, additional resources for existing coaches to receive improved education, and additional resources in coaching expertise through affiliation with the Major League Soccer team Minnesota United FC (the Loons). These expanded resources benefit players with additional play and training programs.
More information relative to the affiliation with Minnesota United FC (MNUFC) includes a consistent training curriculum for all players age 7 thru 19, Coaching education both on-site as well as at MNUFC facility, parent education locally, Player Talent Identification days, Staff in-service training, summer camp held locally that is hosted by MNUFC, and MLS approved logo utilization.
The overall goal of this merger is to provide opportunity to all players. Growth in the club is growth for the sport of soccer in northeast Wisconsin; growth in soccer culture in this area.
As part of the merger activities, the try-out process for players wishing to join competitive league teams will be consolidated as well. Try-outs for ages 11 and 12 will be conducted at the four local campuses, and try-outs for ages 13 and up will be held at one central locations. Dates, times, and locations for the try-outs for all ages will be posted on the Wisconsin United website at: www.wiunitedfc.org
In addition to this announcement, we will be scheduling a Question-and-Answer session very soon. We will be able to answer specific questions surrounding the details of the merger, what will change because of the merger, and the new organization structure of the combined club.
See everyone out on the pitch very soon!
President, Menasha Area Soccer Club