PSC 2006 White Girls Team Wins GVSU Tournament

The 2006 White Girls team conquered the GVSU U12 division this weekend at Grand Valley State University. Starting the weekend with a heartbreaking 3-3 tie, the girls went on to win the next game 2-0. Heading into the final game on Sunday evening the girls knew they had to win. They had a rough start to the final game to get a hard earned win and secure the champion spot in the tournament.

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David Rice Honored by MSYSA

On March 9th, Portage Soccer Club's President and Coach, David Rice was inducted into Michigan State Youth Soccer Association's Hall of Fame.  His dedication and leadership over the years has helped grow the development and love of soccer for players, coaches, and other volunteers in our community and across Michigan!  David's commitment to the game of soccer and the community is evident from the countless hours spent coaching, leading the Portage Soccer Club, holding various positions with WMYSA, and maintaining the club's facilities.  He is an inspiration and role model to the soccer community!

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PSC 05 Green Girls Win Kalahari Cup

Portage SC 2005 Green Girls were amazing at the Kalahari Cup in Northern Ohio, October 28-29, 2017 in the cold, rain and sometimes sleet. They won their bracket and semi-final in four close matches and went on to the fifth match of the weekend for the U13 Girls final. A miraculous, literally last second goal by our girls tied the match 1-1 and sent it into overtime and a shootout. The girls won the shootout 3-1 burying three of the four shots taken with the fourth on goal but denied by a great save along with a save by our keeper to secure the win. Very proud of these girls for their team performance and support of each other on and off the field. Congratulations, girls!

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PSC 05 White Girls win Capital Area Classic

This past weekend the Portage Soccer Club 05 White Girls team won their division at the Capital Area Classic tournament in Lansing, MI.  The team finished first in the U13 Girls division, defeating West Michigan Storm 05 in an exciting championship match, playing to a 1-1 tie and then winning the shootout 3-2.  The team played excellent soccer all weekend, finishing with 9 goals for, and 1 goal against. The team is coached by head coach Jennifer Leone and assistant coach Katie McGruder. It was the team’s first tournament win, and we’re proud about how far they’ve come over the past few years!  Go Lightning!



September is the month of the Portage Soccer Club's Annual General Meeting.  It will be held on Wednesday, September 20th at 7:00 p.m. at the offices of Cornerstone Construction Management (450 W. Centre Ave. in Portage).  At the AGM, we will discuss the club's finances and current events.  We will also be voting to elect officers for a few vacant Board of Director positions.  

Vice President – Administration

The VP of Administration reports to the President of the Club and is tasked as the liaison between the President and the administrative functions of the club.  They maintain a comprehensive monthly monitoring plan of the administrative activities by overseeing all of the club's administrative functions including fundraising, social media, secretary, treasurer, communications, parent representatives, and WMYSA representative.

Communications Director

The Communications Director reports to the President of the Club and Board members and is tasked with communication with the coaches, managers, and parents regarding club wide information and the club newsletter.  The Communications Director will oversee club wide marketing activities including tryouts, camps, and news media releases/stories.  The Communications Director will communicate with other clubs utilizing the soccer complex regarding rules and responsibilities.

If you are interested in being considered for any of these positions or desire additional information, please contact David Rice by Monday, September 18th.  

We are a friendly group who enjoy working together for the betterment of the club...YOUR Club.  We'd love to see you get involved!

BEHIND THE SCENES: Tom Mellinger and Jessica Hilts

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 U13 team that their oldest plays on and he is the head coach for the U12 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!

PSC 05 Green Girls Premier Team Announces Open Training

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.


PSC 98 Green Boys Finish Runner-up in Memorial Day Challenge

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!


New Construction Announced for Portage Soccer Complex

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.


Behind The Scenes: Wayne Harpenau And Vu Le


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.

Coming August 2017 for U9/10 Players: The 7v7 Build Out Line

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.




The PSC is blessed to have committed, diverse, and talented volunteers serving on its Board of Directors, Portage Classic Committee, and at the Portage Soccer Complex.  It’s not unusual for volunteers to continue serving long after their children have grown and moved on.  It is unusual, however, to have volunteers remain when their child stops playing soccer and takes up new activities.  The PSC has several in that situation.  Sheila and Kevin Meyle came to the PSC in 2013 looking for a club where their daughter Kyla could play at a competitive level.  What attracted them to the PSC?  In Sheila's own words “we chose PSC based on the outstanding reputation of its coaches…we made terrific friends and truly felt that the PSC was an extension of our family”.  In September 2013 Sheila joined the Board as a parent representative and served until June 2015.  That’s when Kyla stopped playing soccer.  When that happens, most volunteers move on and understandably so.  But Sheila stayed.  That September she was elected Secretary and in 2016, she joined the Classic Committee as Tournament Treasurer.  She is employed by the W.E. Upjohn Institute as an accountant and human resources specialist.  In her spare time she enjoys traveling, photography, and scrapbooking in addition to her children’s activities.  A big PSC thank you goes out to Sheila for the many hours she gives to our club!

3rd Annual PSC Soccer Ball Fundraiser

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 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!