Expanding TOPSoccer in Massachusetts

Making Soccer "The Game for All Kids"

By Ray Robinson

As of this date, we have approximately 480 players and families participating in TOPSoccer in Massachusetts. As exciting as this is, it represents merely a drop in the bucket, as they say. The fact of the matter is that we really need to expand the TOPSoccer program so that every child in Massachusetts is provided an opportunity to play.

With that thought in mind, I will be assembling a task force of dedicated TOPSoccer people who will help me create a plan for expanding the TOPSoccer program in Massachusetts. If you are interested in being a part of this group, please contact me at masstopsoccer@comcast.net.

Another subject which has come up quite frequently is the possibility of providing a more competitive situation for some of our TOPS players; this will also be discussed by the above-mentioned task force. Also on the agenda for discussion will be an annual TOPSoccer festival and, finally, the creation of a permanent committee to oversee and manage these new TOPSoccer activities. All of these new ideas and concepts may seem bold, but with the help of some dedicated people, are certainly attainable and will surly benefit our TOPSoccer players and families.

TOPSoccer - New Programs
I am happy to announce the start of two new TOPSoccer programs — one in Somerville and another in Lexington. The Somerville TOPSoccer program was organized and started by John Teves and is being held on Sundays at the James McCarthy field at the Capuano School. Lexington’s TOPS program was started by Danielle Athanasiadis and is being held on Saturdays from 1-2:30 p.m. at the Diamond School in Lexington. Both Danielle and John have done an excellent job putting these new programs together and I am proud to welcome them to our TOPSoccer family.

As of this date, we have begun working with the towns of Clinton, Easton, and Belchertown to help them start TOPSoccer programs of their own. Mass Youth Soccer will provide advice and guidance, administrative support, training for coaches and helpers for any new programs. If you or your town are thinking about starting a TOPSoccer program, just let us know and we will be there to provide any support you need.

Region I - TOPSoccer Meeting – Report
On Oct. 19 I attended the Region I TOPSoccer meeting in Hershey, Pa., to discuss the various programs being offered in the Region and to plan for the Region I TOPSoccer Symposium, to be held Mar. 28-29 at the Kirkwood Soccer Complex in Delaware. I am proud to say that, thanks to all our dedicated volunteer coaches and helpers, Massachusetts has one of the largest TOPSoccer programs in the region. We will continue to grow.

The TOPSoccer Coaches Course – Update
Among other items, the Region I TOPSSoccer Symposium will include the presentation of the new TOPSoccer coaches’ course to all the participants and Region I State Directors of Coaching. Once this has been done, our state director will become certified to make the course available to the Mass Youth Soccer membership. Optimistically, I would hope that we would be ready to present the course sometime in the spring of 2009.

TOPSoccer Thank You!
In closing out another successful TOPSoccer season, it’s very important to thank all of the dedicated people who work hard to make the TOPSoccer program so successful. Included in this group are the parents, coaches, administrators and our important TOPSoccer buddies. All of you should take a large measure of pride — not only for your dedication, but also for the time and effort you give so that our TOPSoccer players can participate in the beautiful game of soccer. Without you, where would our TOPSoccer program be? So, on behalf of all the kids who have had the chance to play TOPSoccer, I thank you.