Archive for January 2013

Four Divisions, But More of the Same   Leave a comment

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association has moved to add a fourth division to boys’ and girls’ high school soccer for purposes of the state tournament.  This move will essentially divide the current Division 1 in half, with the larger schools (based on enrollment) remaining in that division and the smaller schools moving to Division 2, with the current Division 2 becoming Division 3 and the current Division 3 being Division 4.  In a sport where enrollment is less a factor of success than basketball or volleyball, sticking with enrollment-based criteria (along with seeding the sectionals) will continue to make it difficult for Milwaukee schools to advance beyond their first games in the tournament.  As was mentioned in this post, these two issues place Milwaukee Public Schools teams at a serious disadvantage as nearby schools with whom they face off have vastly more resources (both in the school and the community at large) despite smaller enrollments.  The biggest complaint I have heard so far are from fans/parents from schools that will be dropping into Division 2 as they believe they have been and can continue to be competitive with the bigger Division 1 schools.  Schools may petition to “play up” a division, but there is currently no mechanism to my knowledge that would allow schools to “play down” on the basis of competitiveness.  I have asked Eric Anderson from Wisconsin Soccer Central to get me a breakdown of how MPS schools would fall under the new division structure as presently only Milwaukee School of Languages is in Division 2, with the remainder of MPS teams in Division 1.  I will update  this once that data is received.

What do you think?  Should schools be able to move up or down for competitive reasons, or should school enrollment be the only criteria?  Does seeding exacerbate the gap between the haves and have-nots?

Posted January 31, 2013 by Scott in Uncategorized

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Interview with Nick Hartman   Leave a comment

Nick Hartman, founder of KC Sports Journalism, has been doing a series of articles on the front office staff of his city’s newest sports entity, the Kansas City Shock of the Women’s Premier Soccer League.  As Milwaukee United SC and the Shock are clubs similar to one another in terms of mission and vision, the boss asked Nick if he’d be willing to do a piece on him.  Here is that interview.

Have you ever wondered who is behind Milwaukee United Soccer Club? The answer is Scott Viar, the club’s managing director.  He is the brains and backbone of the MUSC organization. He started Milwaukee United SC aiming to give women and teenagers low-cost, high-quality soccer experiences. With their inaugural season upcoming, Scott and company are getting prepared for a great season. Even with his very busy schedule, we were able to sit down and talk with him.

NH:  What made you want to get involved with Milwaukee United SC?
SV:  I founded Milwaukee United SC because there is a dearth of playing opportunities for girls and women in the Milwaukee area, especially among those who don’t have the resources to participate with a traditional club or who aren’t seen as having elite-level talent. Having coached high school soccer in Milwaukee at a academically-rigorous public school and seeing players of ours move onto collegiate play, I know that the players in this city CAN play on the biggest stages but are ignored or passed over in favor of those from more well-off backgrounds.

NH:  What do you do on a daily basis to help MUSC succeed?
SV:  A typical day can involve recruiting players or volunteers, connecting with others in the women’s soccer community, meeting with local businesses or non-profits, or doing the nuts-and-bolts of club development.

NH:  What have you learned the most from running Milwaukee United SC?
SV:  I have learned that operating this club as a one-man army isn’t easy. I do a number of things well, but other areas of the business have been slow to get off the ground because I’m not as skilled at them.

NH:  What advice can you give a young adult who wants to own, manage or work on a team?
SV:  Learn all you can, contact teams and get experience. Bring your passion for the sport to the table and don’t apologize for loving the game.

NH:  What has been your favorite part thus far?
SV:  That has to be recruiting players and seeing how happy they are to having been brought into this. Again, these are players that get overlooked by other clubs in the area and for whom opportunities to play aren’t as plentiful.

NH: Where do you expect Milwaukee United SC to be in ten years?
SV:  I expect to see Milwaukee United SC having teams in a regional/national level women’s league and our state’s women’s league, U16 and U18 teams grooming talent for collegiate and adult-level play, and having an impact both on the women’s game in this area and on the community through its philanthropy.

Posted January 31, 2013 by Scott in Uncategorized

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Our Newest Players   Leave a comment

Please welcome the newest additions to Milwaukee United SC.

MUSClogoBrittney Brown – A defender from Milwaukee, Brittney played her prep soccer at Shorewood High School, captaining the Greyhounds her junior and senior years.  Currently a sophomore chemistry major at Cardinal Stritch University in Glendale, WI, Brittney contributed two goals for the Wolves in 2012 despite missing time due to injury.

MUSClogoKristy Leopold – A goalkeeper from Fox Point, Kristy played her high school soccer at Nicolet and is currently a freshman exercise science major at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN where she compiled a 0.882 save percentage in her first season with the Mustangs.

MUSClogoKatherine Oleniczak – A defender from Wauwatosa, Katherine played her prep soccer at Wauwatosa East High School and is currently a freshman business major at St. Norbert College in DePere, WI where she was part of a Green Knights squad that made the Midwest Conference tournament final.

MUSClogoSarah Platzer – A goalkeeper from Whitefish Bay, Sarah played her high school soccer at Whitefish Bay High School and is a currently a sophomore psychology major at St. Norbert College in DePere, WI.  She was named second team All-Midwest Conference as a freshman and has backstopped the Green Knights to a pair of Midwest Conference tournament finals.

Posted January 22, 2013 by Scott in Uncategorized

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Coming Into Focus   Leave a comment

Following a great week in Indianapolis at the National Soccer Coaches Association of America convention, things are beginning to come together for our 2013 season.  We will play this year in the Wisconsin Soccer Leagues Women’s First Division and participate in the National Women’s Championships U23 Cup competition, believing that these two venues provide our club the best chance to succeed both on and off-the-field and providing a solid foundation from which to pursue regional play in 2014.  Additionally, I am looking to put together a couple of additional matches to be played in Milwaukee against teams from the Women’s Premier Soccer League and/or Women’s League Soccer (either nearby ones or ones that are coming to town to face teams in their leagues) as a means of testing the Milwaukee soccer market in advance of 2014.

Our first soccer event as a club will be a pre-season skills clinic for middle and high school players.  It will be held on Saturday, March 9 at the MLK Community Center (1531 W. Vliet St. in Milwaukee) from 9am to 12pm and will involve both skills training/development and a question-and-answer session involving our players.  Speaking about our players, an update on who we have added to the squad will be posted later today.

We are still looking for interns/volunteers to help with operations, community relations, social media, and sponsorship development.  For more information, contact me at milwaukeeunitedsc@gmail.com.

Posted January 22, 2013 by Scott in Uncategorized

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MUSC in 2013   Leave a comment

After an eventful 2012 that resulted in signing several players to be part of our first team, securing the necessary funding to get off the ground, and expanding public awareness of the club, 2013 is expected to be a breakout year for Milwaukee United Soccer Club.  Announcements of future events will be forthcoming as they are finalized, but here is a snapshot of what is in store for the coming year:

First Team

A decision on our home league for the 2013 summer season will be made following the NSCAA convention in Indianapolis (January 15-20), with Women’s League Soccer and the Wisconsin Soccer Leagues Women’s First Division being the two options on the table.  We will fill out the roster (currently set to be capped at 22 players) in due course by continuing to add locally-grown players who are competing at the college level (if you know any, send them our way).  The National Women’s Championships U23 Cup will be the highlight of our playing season, with our players having the opportunity to face off against teams from across the country in Kansas City at the end of June.

Business

Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be filing to officially become a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity and to affiliate with Wisconsin Soccer Leagues (the state governing body for soccer) and the United States Amateur Soccer Association (the overseer of adult non-professional soccer in the US).  Additionally, our website will be getting a upgrade, with more information, more pages, and a new address.  With those advances, we hope to be able to tap new revenue streams in the community to further our mission and allow for high school age youth teams to be added to the mix.

Manpower

All of these steps forward will mean that MUSC can longer be run as a one-person operation.  Below is a list of areas that will need to be covered as we grow in this next year:

–Business Operations
–Interns/Volunteers
====Social Media
====PR/Marketing
====Sponsorships
====Operations
–Board of Directors
–Coach
–Game day staff

Anyone interested can contact me (milwaukeeunitedsc@gmail.com) for more details and to set up a face-to-face conversation.

Community involvement

We plan to connect with and recognize a number of local non-profit organizations through Gold and Silver Sponsorship packages that were so generously donated to us by anonymous members of the women’s soccer community during our fundraising campaign.  These packages include tickets to Milwaukee United matches, advertising in the game day program, and pre/post-game events with the club’s staff and players.  Community service opportunities are still being evaluated and considered for 2013, with more details to follow.

Thank you to everyone who follows us on Facebook (http://facebook.com/milwaukeeunitedsc) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/milwaukeeunited), and if you don’t please consider doing so.  We look forward to what the new year has in store for the club, and we would love for you to come along for the ride.

Posted January 3, 2013 by Scott in Uncategorized

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