This past holiday weekend the PSC 98 Green Boys team competed in the Memorial Day Challenge tournament in Schaumburg, IL. The team finished runner-up in the U19 division, defeating Elite SC Premier (2-0), North Central United SC (2-0), and Skomor SC Blue (2-1) before losing to the champion Northern United FC (1-3). The team is coached by head coach David Rice and assistant coach Maarten Vonhof. Congrats on your success!
Volunteers in Action!
Tom Mellinger and Jessica Hilts are the Club's Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer respectively, handling all of our financial and accounting duties. They attend all Board meetings and also volunteer in other ways including supporting our annual Portage Soccer Classic Tournament. Jessica is also a team manager for her daughter's U12 team.
Tom Mellinger joined the PSC Board as a Parent Rep in 2006. After just a few months, he volunteered to take on the soon-to-be vacated Treasurer role. With the exception of a year's sabbatical due to a work assignment in Philadelphia, he has been the club Treasurer ever since.
Tom has two daughters who have both played many years of soccer with PSC. His oldest daughter Stephanie started at U12 with the '94 Girls in 2005 and played with the same team through her senior year of high school, with most of those years being coached by David Rice. His youngest daughter Julia started at Academy and then U9 with the former '01 Green Girls (now '00 Green Girls). By a stroke of good fortune, she too has played most of her years under David Rice.
Along with his Treasurer duties, Tom has also spent a number of years coaching with the club. He assisted Coach Rice for a couple of years with the '94 Girls, and then also assisted Coach Rice and Coach Keith Kroll for several years with the '01 Girls. In addition, Tom trained goalkeepers of all ages within the club for a few years. Tom holds a USSF E coaching license as well as NSCAA Goalkeeper 1 and 2 certificates.
Tom lists among his soccer highlights watching Stephanie's team win their division championship on a last second goal in their final game ever with PSC, watching Julia score a game-winning goal on Father's Day in the Portage Soccer Classic a few years ago, and touring Camp Nou (the home stadium of FC Barcelona) last summer. Aside from his love of soccer, Tom enjoys golfing, SCUBA diving, and downhill skiing.
Jessica Hilts graduated from Portage Northern. She played AYSO when she was younger, but never pursued soccer any further than that. She is currently an Archives Associate at MPI Research - in a nut shell, she's a regulated librarian for a research company, in charge of a lot of confidential data.
Besides working at MPI and voluntering for PSC, Jessica is also going to college. She is currently nine classes away from an associates degree in Accounting, which led her to talk to Tom about volunteering for the Asst. Treasurer position. At the beginning of the 2015-2016 season she became the Asst. Treasurer, working with Tom to learn the ropes of all of the things he does to keep PSC accounting and financials on track.
Jessica started her volunteer work at PSC as a team manager for her oldest daughter when she was in U9 (currently U12). Her youngest daughter is seven and will be trying out for a Lightning team this coming year.
Jessica's husband Brandon is a coach for PSC, assisting the U12 team that their oldest plays on and he is the head coach for the U11 girls white team. Brandon played soccer all the way up to high school and he is the reason they got involved with the PSC. We're grateful for that and all of the effort Jessica's puts into our club to make it a success!
Congratulations to the PSC 04 Boys Green team, coached by Wayne Harpenau, on bringing home the 1st place trophy in the U13 bracket at the Cherry Capital Cup in Traverse City, Michigan on May 20-21, 2017.
Monday 6/5 and Thursday 6/8
Come out and join the PSC 05 Green Girls for Open Training on Monday, 6/5 and/or Thursday, 6/8 from 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM at the PSC Practice Complex on Cox's Drive in Portage on Field 2N.
The current team was promoted from WMYSA U12 Select in Fall 2016 to WMYSA U12 Elite this spring. The team has performed admirably finishing in the Top Third of the Elite Division.
For Fall 2018 the team will be moving to MSPSP Premier.
PSC offers competitive soccer, licensed coaches and a great developmental structure and environment at the most affordable cost in the area.
The 05 Green Girls are coached by Steve Abdo. You can read more about Coach Abdo in his Coaches Bio on the Coaches page of the site.
Congratulations to PSC 08 Boys Green who captured 1st place in the Blue (top) division at the Michigan Club Challenge held in Northville, Michigan on April 28-30, 2017.
The Portage Soccer Club (PSC) is unique in that it manages a first class soccer program and operates and maintains its highly rated soccer facilities totally by volunteers. Two of its unsung volunteers are the dynamic duo of Wayne Harpenau and Vu Le. Together they serve as Directors of Coaching (DOC).
Wayne serves as DOC - Administrative and is responsible for recruiting coaches, preparing the Practice Facility usage schedule, and organizing the annual Celery Cup preseason games. As if he didn’t have enough on his plate, he joined the Portage Classic Committee and will serve as its game scheduler. Wayne moved to the Kalamazoo area in 2009 from Terre Haute, Indiana where he served as president of the Vigo County Youth Soccer Association. Wayne holds a USSF D license.
Wayne is employed by Sonydadc as an IT manager. His wife, Julie, is a senior HR manager at Pfizer and their 3 children are Nathan (current WMU student and played for PSC from U12 on), Mitchell (drama, theatre, and forensics whiz at Portage Central), and Katie (freshman at Hackett Catholic and current member of the PSC 01 green premier team).
Vu serves as a DOC - Technical and is responsible for developing the PSC player curriculum and training coaches. He also organizes the PSC K-College Friendlies and PSC summer camp. Vu holds a USSF B license and his favorite past time is player training.
Vu is employed by Pfizer (31 years and counting) as its Director of Biostatistics. His wife, Anh, manages the four Le boys (Viet, Nam, An and Binh). The Le brothers played their entire careers at the PSC and Viet and Nam both coached at PSC. Four in the club at one time should have qualified the Le family for a multi player family discount.
Vu and Wayne coach multiple teams for the PSC (02 green and white girls, 04 green boys, and 08 green girls). Both are considered among the area’s finest coaches with strong technical skills and the ability to develop power house teams.
Vu and Wayne’s philosophy is summarized “as coaches, we like to teach players to make the right decisions at the right time and under tremendous pressure on the field...mentoring players to be successful and productive in life is not much different than coaching soccer.”
A big PSC thank you to Wayne and Vu for the countless hours they give to their players and the club. You are a major part of the PSC success story.
In August of 2017, some changes will take place in an effort to impact development philosophy and player standards for players in the U9 and U10 age groups playing 7v7 small-sided games. The new 7v7 Standards of Play call for the implementation of “BUILD OUT LINE”, as described below.
- The build out line promotes playing the ball out of the back in a less pressure setting.
- When the goalkeeper has the ball in his or her hands during play from the opponent, the opposing team must move behind the build out line until the ball is put into play
- Once the opposing team is behind the build out line, the goalkeeper can pass, throw or roll the ball into play (punts and drop kicks are not allowed)
- After the ball is put into play by the goalkeeper, the opposing team can cross the build out line and play resumes as normal
- The opposing team must also move behind the build out line during a goal kick until the ball is put into play
- If a goalkeeper punts or drop kicks the ball, an indirect free kick should be awarded to the opposing team from the spot on the offense
- If the punt or drop kick occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the nearest point to where the infringement occurred
- The build out line will also be used to denote where offside offenses can be called
- Players cannot be penalized for an offside offense between the half way line and the build out line
- Players can be penalized for an offside offense between the build out line and goal line
Ideally, the goalkeeper will wait to put the ball into play once all opponents are past the build out line. However, the goalkeeper can put the ball into play sooner but he or she does so accepting the positioning of the opponents and the consequences of how play resumes.
February 18th at 7:00pm
The time has come once again to "Save the Date" for the Portage Soccer Club's 3rd Annual Soccer Ball Fundraiser!
The PSC Soccer Ball is both a fun night out and the club's way to raise money to support the Player Scholarship Fund. The event is set for Saturday, February 18th, 2017 from 7pm -midnight at Niko's Landing in Kalamazoo. With our exponential increase in player numbers comes an increase in the need for scholarships so that every player has an opportunity to play.
Our 2015 event raised $3,700 and the 2016 event raised $5,700...let's keep the ball rolling (no pun intended)! This is an event for adults (21 yrs & older) to enjoy a fun night out with friends....eating, dancing, bidding on great auction items, chances to win awesome raffle prizes, and raising money for a great cause. In addition to team basket donations that everyone contributes to, we are looking for "bigger" items to auction off during the live auction which was a hit the past two years.
If you have anything or know anyone who would be interested in donating to the fundraiser this year OR would like to help out, please contact the PSC Fundraiser Director, Amy Areaux, at email@example.com or (269) 547-9765. Reminder: because the PSC is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, all donations are tax deductible. We look forward to seeing you at the Soccer Ball!
Multi-purpose storage and covered seating area ready by June 2017
This off-season will see construction activity as a building expansion project begins. Plans were approved by the Board of Directors at its October 2016 meeting for the construction of a multi-purpose storage building and attached covered seating area adjacent to the north side of the concession stand. The storage building will be used for equipment storage and will be the tournament registration and operations headquarters. It will replace the large tent that was located between fields 3 and 4. The covered area will be used for seating and shelter from inclement weather.
Construction has started with completion scheduled by the second week of June. The building should be complete and in use for the 31st annual Portage Soccer Classic. Construction supervision will be provided by Gordon Groves, PSC’s facilities manager, through his firm Cornerstone Construction Management.
The construction budget is $110,000 and will be funded by the PSC via existing funds and a fundraising campaign to area businesses and PSC families. A donor recognition plaque similar to the one on the north side of the existing garage will recognize donors. We hope PSC families will respond generously.
The Portage Soccer Club (PSC) is the largest not for profit soccer club in Southwest Michigan. It is 100% volunteer based organization and all of its activities (club and tournament operations, fields maintenance and concessions) are performed by volunteers. The cost savings from this business model flow directly to PSC families in the form of reduced player fees. Its fees are one third to one half lower than for profit competitors.
So who are some of the PSC volunteers working behind the scenes on your behalf? Cheryl and Joe Kucharski are the managers of the Portage Soccer Complex concession stand. Cheryl also is responsible for concessions and vendors for the Portage Soccer Classic. The Kucharski’s discovered the PSC in 2012 when their son Avery joined the Academy program. Avery is a member of the 05 Green Elite team and can always be found with a soccer ball.
Cheryl and Joe are employed by State Farm Insurance at its Portage service location. State Farm through its “Good Neighbor Grant Program” recognizes its employees for their volunteer activities. Cheryl and Joe have designated the PSC as the recipient of the annual donation. Thanks to State Farm and the Kucharski’s for this generous gift.
Outside of soccer Joe is an avid cyclist, member of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club and a local race team. He enjoys any outdoor activities including hiking, backpacking and camping. Cheryl enjoys crafts, scrapbooking and reading. All of these activities take a back seat to the enjoyment of watching Avery and his teammates.
A big PSC thank you to Cheryl and Joe for the many hours you give to our club.
Congrats to the PSC 00 Green Girls team and their second season in Premier with an outstanding 6-1-1 record good for 2nd place.
Over the past two years at the Premier level the team is 13-2-2 and will advance next Fall 2017 to a higher division.
The girls are decked out in their PSC training shirts with the team motto “One team One family”.
Congratulations to the 2006 Girls Green team for their 1st place finish in the U11 A division for WMYSA this fall. The team finished with a 7-1 record with 28 goal for and 5 goals against. They are coached by Jen Leone and Dan McCue. Nice job team!
Congratulations PSC 07 Boys Green for their top finish in the U10 A Boys division of WMYSA. The team is coached by Mark Murry. Great job!
This February, members of the PSC U13 girls premier team participated in a polar plunge to support Special Olympics. The girls dressed as superheroes to pay tribute to the fact that they recognize how hard special olympians work and that they are heroes to their fans!
As a special service to its players and families, the Portage Soccer Club is the first soccer club in the state of Michigan to commit to offering baseline concussion testing. Beginning with the Fall 2016 season, all players will receive a baseline test through ImPACT, which provides an important starting point for doctors after a potential concussion-causing impact has occurred.
ImPACT's test is computerized and takes about 25 minutes to complete. If a concussion is suspected at any time during the season, the baseline report will serve as a comparison to a repeat ImPACT test, which professionals can use to assess potential changes or damage caused by a concussion and the method of follow up treatment they will follow.
PSC is proud to use its resources to fund such an important service to its players.