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Arlington Travel Soccer Looks to Arlington Kids as 2nd Class Citizens
  • enxr July 24, 2013 - 10:47 am #81122 Reply

    Last Try to Be Informative w a Limited Audience.

    The Point of this Topic was Awareness. Having lived in ,ultiple countries and US states, I have seen what seems to work and what does not. ATS, and likely other travel leagues, DO NOT work. If you read travel league missions they underscore development and opportunity. This is NOT about kids being stars as we all know 99.99% of these kids will not make it even if they play at the top of the league. It is about teaching the game, motivation, passion, team play, fun, etc. If a kid’s interests are to play soccer, you don’t really want to say, oh well, things suck, don’t bother. You work to find alternatives. That is what parenting is about. If you are not a parent, I’m afraid you won’t get it. And yes, all travel clubs do beg on the County for facilities and support and parents do pay for such fees – if you belong to a league, you pay twice – once through normal taxes and again as part of the club fees. But the travel clubs do also crowd out other recreational and hybrid programs, so don’t assume all is fair in love and war w any particular sport. If your kid desires professional coaching, travel play is one of the few and more affordable options. AGAIN – It is not about whether a kid makes it or not (not sure why some folks focus on that). Further, academics is part of the learning curve but not all. Clearly, one can go on about this issue. But this is merely about an awaress for folks who give a damn. Perhaps some of you don’t or don’t get it for various reasons. Really not that hard to grasp.


    Quoth the Raven July 24, 2013 - 10:54 am #81124 Reply

    While I’m not going to comment again on the point you’re trying to make, allow me to say this:  you began this topic with your post.  Now you seem peeved that the subsequent comments either a) don’t agree with you; b) are meant to be funny, or c) aren’t “informative” or whatever.

    So, sorry if the posts don’t meet your standards.  But when you post anonymously on a message board, that’s what sometimes happens.  Frankly, if you look at the other threads on here, this one is pretty good. It’s on topic, is interesting (at least to me, because I like soccer), etc.  So don’t get pissed when some of the posts aren’t what you wanted.  And, by the way, Random capitalization does not Make your point Any Better!

    vibrancy July 24, 2013 - 12:05 pm #81135 Reply

    From what I gather from your posts, you seem to be operating from the premise that all children, if they so desire, should be entitled to play select soccer for ATS as long as they are residents of Arlington.  I just don’t understand why you think that.  Travel soccer, by definition, is not all-inclusive, rather, it’s an exclusive league reserved only for players who can play at a certain level (and who’s parents can afford it).


    Also, here’s even a suggestion in order to meet your apparent requirements for commenting on this thread: form a new ATS team?  I understand  the team will likely start at the bottom division of the travel soccer league, but that shouldn’t matter to you b/c you’re apparently not concerned with “winning at all costs.”

    Swag July 24, 2013 - 12:26 pm #81139 Reply

    Read carefully. This is not about my kid but about many families who have similarly complained. My kid is fine playing very competitively w another Club, although playing in his County of residence is preferable. Don't miss the point - taxes equals services. Great sports comes from developing kids in multi-faceted ways. Just trying to shine a light. Perhaps this is of no concern to some - then I would surmise nothing is of concern. If you don't argue for good services, you deserve what you get! And if you are simply being argumentative or trying to be funny, don't bother. Simple feedback is of no value to anyome - you don't advance anything.

    So if we don’t care that little Jimmy didn’t make the travel team (or whatever you’re complaining about, because I really have no clue), we’re automatically nihilists?

    Anonymous July 24, 2013 - 1:09 pm #81153 Reply

    “ATS, like other programs, are to support and develop County kids first and foremost.”

    Your premise. Unproven.


    CrystalMikey July 24, 2013 - 1:46 pm #81157 Reply


    newty25 July 24, 2013 - 1:48 pm #81158 Reply

    I’m still uncertain what your concern or problem is and scratching my head.

    Is ATS a club that you have to try out for and make the team? If so, what’s the issue? I played soccer as a child and tried out for a club and my parents didn’t want to pay the extra club fees, so I didn’t play club. I played regular recreation soccer and I was happy about it. Playing club would have increased my skill level, but honestly, I was never going to be a professional soccer player, so I was unconcerned and obviously neither were my parents. With club soccer, you pay a lot more than recreational leagues, but they have better equipment, coaches, uniforms, etc. They put more effort into getting better. And, because it’s competitive to get a roster spot on a club team, they’re very selective in who they chose to be on their squad. They can’t play everyone… so they don’t need a team with 40 players. Club soccer has been around forever. And, it works great. If you don’t like it, do something else.

    In addition, you’ve already said your child is okay with it. So, I’m not sure why you’re so worried about it. If you don’t like club soccer, start your own recreational league that will allow everyone to join. Talk to the clubs and tell them if they reject players that tryout, to tell them about your recreational league. You can develop the players and then they can tryout for club again in the future. There’s the solution to your problem.

    justanothersoccerparent July 24, 2013 - 4:15 pm #81187 Reply

    I’m a current Arlington Travel Soccer parent. More than 85% of the 900+ players in the club are from Arlington. Arlington Travel Soccer is a private club that uses public facilities in Arlington – just like Babe Ruth, Little League, SAGE softball and Arlington Aquatic Club. Out of county travel soccer players pay a County Use fee that is more than 2x what Arlington County residents pay. Not sure what your beef is except that Arlington has become a well-run club that develops good players and teams, and that attracts talented players from outside Arlington who want to be part of the good thing that’s going on here. The original poster may be referring to a boys’ travel team that approached Arlington soccer last spring and asked to become an Arlington team (note: Arlington did not seek this other team out) – the new team was highly ranked at the time, and became another team in the age group, and the former “A” team became, in essence, the “B” team. However, the new team and existing teams played in the same spring leagues and tournaments they had already qualified for – there was no change at the time except that some Arlington players now had the opportunity to play in a higher league as guests with the new team – an opportunity they never would have had on their own. Teams affiliating with different clubs is a pretty common practice in travel soccer, and Arlington in no way “poached” this team. Come tryout time in the spring, everyone was allowed to try out – as is the case in every club in youth soccer – and players were assigned to the appropriate teams by the coaches, who are paid professionals. However, the success of Arlington teams across the board has attracted talented players from all over Northern Virginia. Tryouts are anonymous, and the coaches pick the best players they can, and assign players to the team they think will offer the best mix of development and competition. It sounds like the OP is a disgruntled parent from the age group that absorbed a new team last spring, and their kid isn’t on the top team anymore. But they should talk to parents on other teams and in other clubs - movement up, down and over is common and part of the landscape of competitive sports. Your kid isn’t always going to be at the top, and living in Arlington doesn’t give you some kind of right over a more talented player no matter where they’re from. For a real eye-opener, go look at Annandale – they have teams that don’t have a single kid from Annandale! In Arlington Travel Soccer, the great majority of the players are from Arlington County, but we also welcome talented players from elsewhere who are willing to make the additional investment in time and money to play for Arlington.

    vibrancy July 25, 2013 - 8:09 am #81208 Reply

    Very informative response.  Sound like the comment from my original post (not everyone gets a trophy every time) was apt.

    Quoth the Raven July 25, 2013 - 8:18 am #81209 Reply

    And if you don’t get a trophy, anonymously complain about it on the internet.

    newty25 July 25, 2013 - 10:46 am #81247 Reply

    Ah… this sheds light on everything. It’s a private club that someone is complaining about.

    This seems akin to asking the county to do something because Home Depot’s prices are too low. A crazy rant from a self-absorbed parent.

    It’s a private club. Your tax dollars mean squat to them.

    Either leave the club if you don’t like the club or stay. I’m sure they could care less about your tax dollars.

    halj July 25, 2013 - 11:04 am #81256 Reply

    It's a private club that someone is complaining about.

    I am not 100% certain, but I don’t think it’s quite this easy.  AFAIK, there are a limited number of “private clubs” per sport that get access to the county resources at far better rates than you or I might with an aim being to make things affordable for county residents.  If one can influence one of these “private clubs” sufficiently to make it suck, then more expensive “private clubs” draw more business drawing fees far in excess of what the “private clubs” with county affinity charge.

    prit July 27, 2013 - 12:37 pm #81587 Reply

    I am also soccer parent who has kids in ASA and Braddock. Seeing the threads of conversation impresses me how very un-constructive many of the comments are. Regardless of your point of view, visceral reactions and minimizing other comments is not productive. Perhaps this is a function of having to respond to this for the first time. Perhaps as I am told is the fact that there is no monitor to control the flow of conversation – an unfortunate sign of the time. But comparing my experience in these 2 leagues and some others before it impresses me that ASA is not quite the paradise the comment that “justanothersoccerparent” suggests. I do understand the initial commenter who started this conversation made, which was to simply make aware what is going on, not to make a legal, defensible argument. Having had my kids along with hearing other parents’ (and that is quite a number of parents) experiences with ASA travel soccer suggest there are serious concerns that are not being addressed. I too, along with parents in my child’s age group as well as others, have heard the response from the ASA travel administration that parents’ concerns are of little value – this despite the fact that parents not only underwrite club fees (and they are not cheap) but put in serious volunteer time. Many parents do not feel we are getting our moneys worth. Simply moving to other clubs is avoiding the issue, and not always a realistic option. And no this is not just about the one group of boys (I assume that the “justanothersoccerparent” alludes) but reflects a large influx of kids coming from outside the county at many age levels – not sure how reliable or current the other soccer parent’s statistic is. To me, as a mom, it seems that if you have a concern with a service, the vendor or organization should be interested in hearing out the concerns and weighing the concern, especially when coming from many families. This is not about some disgruntled parent or parents, although I suspect there are some. This is simply that if you pay for an experience as advertised, it should be afforded. Not like we can get our money back. Why not hear parents out? Why not perhaps do a survey of parents and maybe coaches to get a more realistic appraisal – one directed to all subscribed parents directly? I know it is difficult for parents to speak up, but maybe some others will and suggest more constructive dialogue and suggestions.

    wilked July 28, 2013 - 9:20 am #81600 Reply

    Ditto and koudos to prit. Also an Arlington travel soccer parent who experienced similar things here and above. Arlington should not take advantage of parents because events can reverse just as easy. Are Arlington parents supposed to now send their kids to outside clubs. Doesn’t make sense to me. Like the idea of a survey to parents etc. Might be very informative. Also seen my girl and some of her very talented friends move down because of a big influx of outside kids. I myself do not like the fact that coaching is inconsistent and not communicative on and off the field. They need to communicate directly to all – not thru managers, which is also a parent volunteer position. After all, that seems to be their job. Also as parent volunteers, we need to constantly re-invent what we are supposed to do. It seems the club should be providing instructions to parents, especially since these jobs by parents are strictly voluntary.

    soccerparenttoo July 29, 2013 - 2:45 pm #81745 Reply

    Agree! Agree! Especially the last 2 posts. Parents need to enusre they are getting their moneys worth. Arlington kids need to feel like they are getting sound guidance.

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