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Elite 64 Welcomes Kings Hammer Girls

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FRISCO, Texas (April 20, 2022) — The US Youth Soccer National League is excited to announce the next two boys clubs and eight girls clubs that will compete as inaugural members of Elite 64.

Boys
Capital City SC (TX)
South Texas Surf Select (TX)

Girls
Atlanta Fire United (GA)
Dallas Cosmos Soccer Club (TX)
Fort Wayne United FC (IN)
Kings Hammer SC (KY)
Match Fit Academy (NJ)
Pittsburgh Hotspurs SC (PA)
South Texas Surf Select (TX)
WNY Flash Academy (NY)

Each of these Elite 64 clubs share a collective vision and are dedicated to providing an unmatched game-day experience, in addition to maintaining the highest standards, both on and off the field, to maximize the opportunities available to their players.

“The Elite 64 landscape is coming into shape, and these newly-announced clubs and their players will add to the strong collection of top-class organizations set to compete in the inaugural Elite 64 season,” said Simon Collins, USYS National League Commissioner. “We are exciting to work with these clubs and look forward to moving Elite 64 forward in a common direction that focuses on the putting the players in the best positions to reach their full potential and achieve their athletic goals.”

The newly-announced elite performance tier of the National League, Elite 64 will begin play this fall and feature club-based competition for the nation’s top boys and girls players in the 13U, 14U, 15U, 16U, 17U and 18/19U age groups. The 64 clubs in each gender will be geographically positioned into eight groups of eight clubs. Teams play a 14-game league season and have access to two national showcases (alongside National League P.R.O.) and the Elite 64 national finals.

Each of the inaugural Elite 64 clubs will benefit from world-class performance analysis from ProScore and new USYS partner STATSports, which will provide Elite 64 clubs with unparalleled access to the world’s most advanced performance wearable technology. All data and analysis collected will be shared with college coaches and professional scouts — making every Elite 64 game or training session a recruitable moment.

Acceptance into Elite 64 guarantees each club a minimum three-year involvement in the competition, with 18-month evaluations of every club taking place to ensure standards are met and Elite 64 maintains the highest possible level of competitive balance across the platform.

View the Club Directory to see all the inaugural Elite 64 clubs that have been announced to this point and continue to check back as more are announced.

HEAR FROM THE CLUB LEADERS…

ATLANTA FIRE UNITED (Elite 64 – Girls)
“We are excited to be a part of Elite 64 based on the importance that E64 puts on player development and playing against a high level of competition on a weekly basis. E64 is our final piece of the puzzle for our player development model. It will give more players in our club the opportunity to play against top clubs across the country. We are excited about the performance analysis platforms, so our coaches and players can track their performances through the season. This will help with not only player development but will also allow us to manage the players throughout the season. Our coaches will be able to see how players respond when they are losing a game and when they are winning a game. It will also allow us to see how each player performs against teams they have previously played. One of the great things about the analysis is how easily you can send the info to college and pro scouts. This will allow the scouts to see how a player has been playing throughout the season and not just a snapshot of one game.”
Chris Mahaffey, Executive Director

CAPITAL CITY SC (Elite 64 – Boys)
“Capital City SC is honored to be one of the inaugural clubs accepted into Elite 64. US Youth Soccer has really built an impressive national platform in E64 that offers such exciting opportunities to our boys teams and soccer players across the country. From the analytics through STATSports to the college and professional exposure — E64 is going to be so valuable to our club, and we can’t wait for the league to kick off this fall.”
Patrick Miller, Director of Coaching

DALLAS COSMOS SOCCER CLUB (Elite 64 – Girls)
“Dallas Cosmos Soccer Club is extremely honored and excited to have been selected as an inaugural member of the USYS National League Elite 64. Dallas Cosmos has a long-proven track record of excellence in the development of youth soccer players, and competitiveness of teams, in the DFW area. National League Elite 64 now provides our Cosmos players a chance to shine on the grand stage by providing a clear pathway forward to compete and showcase their talents at the regional and national levels. Furthermore, we are all very excited by the data-driven approach Elite 64 takes to tracking player analysis, improvement and development. With STATSports and ProScore, cutting edge technology, our coaches and players will now have the ability to assess and improve performances in ways that we’ve never seen before. These added benefits of Elite 64 will pay dividends when it comes to the college/pro recruitment and opportunities for our elite players. On behalf of our Dallas Cosmos coaches, team parents, and, most importantly, our players, we could not be more excited for the opportunity to compete in the National League Elite 64. We are looking forward to the start of play!”
Todd Wallace, Director

FORT WAYNE UNITED (Elite 64 – Girls)
“We are elated to be part of Elite 64. To be considered one of the nation’s top 64 girls soccer clubs, and one of only two clubs in Indiana, is humbling and a credit to the players, families and coaches at Fort Wayne United. We continue to raise the bar and provide a platform for our players. The opportunity to compete at such a high level will provide the players with an unparalleled experience and will also allow incredible exposure to those that wish to play collegiate soccer. E64 completes our development pathway from our recreational program all the way through to the top tier in USYS. There truly is a level for anyone who wishes to play the game, from the beginner to the elite-level athlete. The partnership with STATSports and ProScore will be a game changer for our players. To have a new level of analytics at their disposal, which in turn will allow for fitter, stronger, smarter athletes. The ability for our coaches to have all the data needed to properly compile periodization schedules will be instrumental in not only our team’s development but also the development of the individual players. With all of this we will be able to prepare our female athletes even more for the college level.”
Claire Ward, Girls Director of Coaching

KINGS HAMMER SC (Elite 64 – Girls)*
“I’ve been a part of the Lexington soccer community for many years and to now be part of a Lexington club recognized as one of the 64 most elite clubs in the nation is not only an honor but rewarding for everyone that has been dedicated to developing players and coaches in the area. I am beyond excited to bring this level of competition to the female players, coaches, and families with Kings Hammer Academy. These ladies are ready for it!”
Megan Adkins, Girls Director

“At Kings Hammer, we strive to provide as many opportunities for our players as possible. The addition of Elite 64 for our girls program is extremely exciting for us as it means we are now able to provide an elite platform for both the boys and girls programs in Lexington.”
Paul Nicholson, Technical Director

*Also an Elite 64 boys club, announced previously

MATCH FIT ACADEMY (Elite 64 – Girls)
“When we learned about the Elite 64 program, and the platform US Youth Soccer was creating for the youth soccer landscape, it was an easy decision for us to apply. With the decorated history of the Match Fit Academy program and our focus on player development, combined with USYS and National League’s focus on the player through a supportive infrastructure and environment, we feel that this is an incredible partnership and opportunity for us to be able to provide to our female athletes. The exclusivity, quality of competition, and infrastructure calls for the qualities of our program that are at the focal point of our player development model. In order to succeed in this league, we will need to focus on the elements of our program that have led us to this point on our history. This is clear with the league’s dedication to current player performance and proactive opportunities at the collegiate level with the integration of STATSports and ProScore for our athletes, providing access to proven technologies within the game. We are excited for, appreciate, and accept the opportunity to be a part of the girls’ Elite 64.”
Ryan Tetro, Technical Director

PITTSBURGH HOTSPURS SC (Elite 64 – Girls)
“We continually look at how we can move the game forward, not only in the Pittsburgh area, but in the States. When we [Pittsburgh Hotspurs and Arsenal FC of Pittsburgh] began our collaboration in 2021, we saw the opportunity to pursue greater levels of competition to expose our players to the highest level of play. Elite 64 is a great step for our girls program, providing a consistently high-level schedule year-round. Elite 64 helps bridge the gap and heighten the development path for our academy players looking to play at the highest level possible. As the first full development pathway for both girls and boys, from youth to adult, in the Pittsburgh area, we’ve been competing in local, regional and national competitions to develop and prepare our players for the next level of play. Elite 64 provides that next level that we need to set our players up to compete collegiately, with our First Teams and beyond. Technology is vastly improving the objective data players and coaches can use to reach peak performance. With greater insight into performance goals, provided by technology like STATSports and ProScore, our coaches are even better equipped to help players reach their goals and manage players’ health and fitness to keep them performing at their highest level.”
Tom Ovenden, Pittsburgh Hotspurs Club Director

“With the Elite 64 structure, the league aligns with both our player and club development — providing an opportunity for more consistency in playing style across the age groups. And, with the club culture we’ve grown and developed, being able to have the players and families support and watch the other teams within is a great bonus.”
Jonathan Velotta, Arsenal FC of Pittsburgh Executive Director

SOUTH TEXAS SURF SELECT (Elite 64 – Boys & Girls)
“We are excited to be a part of Elite 64’s inaugural season, and we love the structure and standards it has set for participating clubs. It’s an honor to be chosen and along with the opportunities it provides for our players, we are thrilled to be on the cutting edge of player development. Adding a national pathway solidifies our commitment to our players and families to provide the “Best of the Best, Experiences and Opportunities.” Our players have competed in competitive leagues and had many successes, but we’ve been looking for ways to further test ourselves. A national league will now allow us to test our development model at the highest levels, week in and week out over the course of the year. The data that we’ll be able to collect and analyze for our players allows us to drill deeper into each player’s individual development needs. GPS tracking provides us a lot of information regarding our players’ work rate and fitness levels, which are important insights into player performance. Film has previously allowed us to break down performance based on technical and tactical aspects, and we can analyze the decisions players made throughout the game, but GPS really shows us where the players are at physically. With ProScore, we can utilize this data to breakdown and analyze key moments in the games in ways that we couldn’t before. The fact that all this data is accessible to not only our staff but to college and professional scouts is a game changer for player development and will likely become a standard for recruitment.”
Rick Kuchka, Executive Director

WNY FLASH ACADEMY (Elite 64 – Girls)
“The WNY Flash Academy is extremely excited and honored to be selected as an inaugural member club of the Elite 64. The league’s trust and confidence in our organization speaks volumes of the club’s leadership and all those who have paved the way. This prestigious US Youth Soccer National League platform allows us to provide new and additional opportunities of high-level competition for our current players and future female players in the Western New York market, cities and surrounding communities. Elite 64’s partners STATSports and ProScore are the leaders in the analytics and sport performance industries and what tremendous developmental tools our players and coaches will have access to in supporting our players developmental pathways.”
Eric Dade, Executive Director

Tryout FAQ’s

How do I register for tryouts?
ALL soccer-athletes MUST COMPLETE the tryout registration online before participating in the tryout process. Click here to register now!

*Please make sure that you register online at least 24 hours in advance to ensure that the soccer athlete is in the system and we have your information to notify you after the tryout process.  There is a Registration Steps document on the Tryouts page that will walk you through the process. Each soccer athlete should attend both tryout days if possible. If you are unable to attend both days please reach out to the Program Director listed below.

Birth Years for the 2022/2023 Season
For the 2022/2023 season, Kings Hammer will follow U.S Youth Soccer’s guidelines and will organize its teams by birth year:

*Interested players must register to try out for their birth year.

Can my child play up an age group?
Any player playing up will be at the discretion of their respective director. All players need to register and attend the tryout for their correct age group.

What should I wear/bring to tryouts?
Please come prepared with a fully inflated soccer ball, proper footwear, shin guards, and water. Each prospective soccer-athlete will receive one free Kings Hammer Soccer Club tryout t-shirt with a tryout identification number on the back of the t-shirt.  Each prospective player will be identified by the identification number throughout the process and MUST wear this t-shirt at each tryout session for the 2022/2023 soccer year.

We will not be able to attend tryouts or are new to the area and missed tryouts. Is there a process in place to allow for an alternate tryout?
Yes! If you are not able to attend tryouts or missed the tryout dates, please register and then contact the Director for the Program/Age Group you wish to tryout for so that arrangements can be made. We also hold supplemental tryouts throughout the year. Roster openings may be limited after the initial tryout period.

What are the differences between Academy and Premier?
Our Academy provides a highly competitive environment for higher-level soccer athletes. This program provides those athletes with the best local training offered by our qualified and professional staff. Our Academy teams play at the highest possible level providing showcase opportunities to College, Professional, and National level programs.

The Premier Program is a community-based program. The Premier Program provides the opportunity for players to play other sports or have other interests outside of soccer. This program is designed to be flexible, convenient, and affordable.

Can I try out for multiple programs?
We encourage anyone who wants to tryout for all levels to do so. Current KHSC players can ask their coach/director for guidance if they are unsure about which program to tryout for. You will need to register for each tryout separately.

If I tryout for a program and don’t make it, can I try out for another program?
Yes. If you don’t make an Academy team, we strongly encourage you to tryout for a Premier team, attending tryouts for at least one day.

If you don’t make a Premier team, the Classic Program may be an option. Contact Michelle Okumura (michelle@kingshammer.com) if you’d like to pursue this option.

Will there be more than one team in each age group?
Yes, when possible, there will be more than one team per age group, per program. It all depends on the number of players at tryouts and their skill level.

If my child doesn’t make the top team, can they move up during the year?
Yes, there may be opportunities to move up throughout the year as long as the coach/director feels it is in the best interest of the player’s development. There may also be opportunities to guest play across all levels.

What can I expect after tryouts?
After tryouts you can expect communication from the club in the form of an email.  (Please double-check that your email is correct in the PlayMetrics system, this is the email we use) This will either be an acceptance email, offering your child a position on a team, or an email letting you know that they should tryout for a different program. Players who are offered positions on a team may also receive a phone call from their coach. All communication will come within 24-48 hours of the end of the last tryout. You will then have 24 hours to either accept or decline your email before your spot is offered to another child.

What are the next steps if my child makes a team?

  1. If you are new to the club, you will receive more information regarding your uniform ordering in your confirmation email.
  2. If you are part of the Academy or Premier Programs, you will receive the link to Demosphere to register your child in the state system in your confirmation email as well.

How long is the season?

  • Academy
    • U11-U14: August-November, January-May (possible post-season in June)
    • U15-U19: November-May
  • Premier
    • U7-U14: August-October, March-May
    • U15-U19: November-December, March-May

My child is in middle school but plays on a U15 team. Will there be a fall U15 program for trapped players?
Yes, we will offer a program for trapped 8th graders for the fall season depending on interest. The program will run from August to October and is open to players that are currently in the 8th grade that will be playing on a U15 team starting in November 2022. Questions please contact:

Academy North: Ryan Handbury | ryan@kingshammer.com
Academy South Boys: James Thomas | james@kingshammer.com
Academy South Girls: Chris Black | chris@kingshammer.com
Academy Bluegrass Boys: Dan Ensley  | dan@kingshammer.com
Academy Bluegrass Girls: Megan Adkins | megan@kingshammer.com

Can a team come to the club and join as a team?
Yes! The team can join the Classic Program. For more information please reach out to Michelle Okumura at michelle@kingshammer.com.

Who is in charge of hiring coaches?
If you are interested in a coaching opportunity, please fill out the following coaching form – https://kingshammer.com/interested-in-coaching/

Program Directors:

Academy North: Ryan Handbury | ryan@kingshammer.com
Academy South Girls: Chris Black | chris@kingshammer.com
Academy South Boys: James Thomas | james@kingshammer.com
Academy Bluegrass Boys: Dan Ensley | dan@kingshammer.com
Academy Bluegrass Girls: Megan Adkins | megan@kingshammer.com
Premier Xenia: Brent Lewis | brent@kingshammer.com
Premier North: Wil Cagle | wil@kingshammer.com
Premier Sycamore: Ryan Handbury | ryan@kingshammer.com
Premier Central: Michael Ratliff | michaelr@kingshammer.com
Premier South: David Shemilt | dshemilt@kingshammer.com
Premier Versailles: Brandon Cummons | brandon@kingshammer.com
Premier Lexington: Fonyam Atanga | fonyam@kignshammer.com