May Newsletter 2022

Welcome to the Kings Hammer May Newsletter 2022! This edition features Tryouts Rescheduled, Summer Camps, Keeper Wars, Ryan Handbury Named Academy North Director, National Champions Celebrated, and more! If you have a player, coach, or team to be highlighted in future newsletters, please send photos and stories to

Welcome to the Kings Hammer May Newsletter 2022! This edition features Tryouts Rescheduled, Summer Camps, Keeper Wars, Ryan Handbury Named Academy North Director, National Champions Celebrated, and more! If you have a player, coach, or team to be highlighted in future newsletters, please send photos and stories to

Tryouts Rescheduled for U11-U19 Premier North, Sycamore, Central, & South

U11-U19 Premier North, Premier Sycamore, Premier Central, and Premier South Tryouts originally scheduled for May 25th & 26th have been rescheduled to Tuesday, May 31st and Wednesday, June 1st. Please double check your tryout schedules below:

Summer Camps Begin June 20th

Looking for an opportunity to stay sharp this Summer?

Register today for the Kings Hammer Summer Camp Series! Camps will be offered at our North, Sycamore, Central, South, and Bluegrass locations for boys and girls U4-U15 beginning June 20th and running through July 28th.

For more information on Summer Camps and to register click here.

Keeper Wars Ink City Tour June 18th-19th

The Keeper Wars Ink City Tour is open to boys & girls U9-U19 and is a 2-day Goalkeeper Showcase & Tournament. All players are welcome, regardless of skill level or team, club or league affiliation! Games will be played on Saturday & Sunday from 9am-4pm at Town & Country. The registration deadline is June 3rd.

For more information on the event and to register today click here!

Lindsay Basalyga offered Position with United Soccer Federation – Ryan Handbury to Take Over Academy North Role as Director

LEBANON, OH (May 16th, 2022) – Lindsay Basalyga, Kings Hammer Academy North Program Director, has recently accepted a scouting position with the United States Soccer Federation (USSF). Lindsay was instrumental in starting the Academy North Program during the 2021/22 season and we thank her for all her hard work. Lindsay will have a great opportunity in her new role and we wish her all the best for the future.

“We are all extremely excited for Lindsay to have an opportunity to work for the US Soccer Federation. On behalf of the club, I would like to thank her for everything she has done for Kings Hammer and especially our North Academy since its inception. We wish her all the best as she gets started in this new and exciting chapter in her career,” Paul Nicholson, Kings Hammer Technical Director.

Effective immediately Ryan Handbury will serve as the Kings Hammer Academy North Program Director. Ryan currently serves as the Premier Sycamore Program Director and most recently served as the Central U7-U10 Girl’s Director. Ryan also serves on the Technical Staff for the USL-2 Men’s Team at Kings Hammer. Ryan has coached and directed both girls and boys teams at Kings Hammer for over 10 years. He is currently pursuing his USSF ‘B’ License, holds his NSCAA Advanced National Diploma, and the UEFA C Alternative.

“Ryan has been a director with the club for over 10 years and will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the North Academy. We have full confidence that he will be able to build on the good work that’s been started in the area and take Kings Hammers North Academy to the next level,” Paul Nicholson, Kings Hammer Technical Director.

Ryan will be continuing his duties as Premier Sycamore Program Director. His new role in the Academy North will allow him to connect the North and Sycamore Programs to create a stronger pathway to the Academy North Program.

Click here to view the full release.

ECNL Boys Announces New ECNL Regional League – Great Lakes Alliance in Ohio Valley

RICHMOND, VA (May 13, 2022) – ECNL Boys is excited to announce the launch of the new ECNL Regional League – Great Lakes Alliance (GLA) for the 2022-23 season with 16 clubs from Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Western New York.

“The development of an ECNL Regional League in the Ohio Valley has been a priority for us during this past year, in response to both strong desires of our member clubs for additional competition and from quality clubs performing in the GLA to have an established pathway to ECNL,” said ECNL Boys Commissioner Jason Kutney. “Partnering with the Great Lakes Alliance allows us to align more clubs and leadership within the ECNL and US Club Soccer pyramid and to provide more players with tremendous experience and opportunities throughout their youth careers.”

“The primary reason for creating the Great Lakes Alliance was to produce a predictable and logical next-step environment focused on the players and their development,” added Ed Bernstein, Great Lakes Alliance League Executive Director. “We are very excited about the new opportunities that the ECNL Regional League – Great Lakes Alliance creates for our clubs and players.”

The 16 clubs competing in the ECNL Regional League – Great Lakes Alliance are as follows:

  • Barca Academy Columbus (Columbus, OH)
  • Blast FC Soccer Academy (Columbus, OH)
  • Cincinnati Elite FC (Cincinnati, OH)
  • Cleveland Force (Cleveland, OH)
  • Club Ohio (Dublin, OH)
  • Flash Central (Rochester, NY)
  • Kings Hammer (Covington, KY)
  • Louisville City (Louisville, KY)
  • Michigan Wolves (Livonia, MI)
  • Nationals SC (Detroit, MI)
  • Ohio Elite SA (West Chester, OH)
  • Ohio Premier (Dublin, OH)
  • Pittsburgh Riverhounds (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • SCS United (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • SPIRE FC (Geneva, OH)
  • WNY Flash (Buffalo, NY)

National Champions Celebrated

Celebrating our champions! Our KHA B05 Red team received their 2021 National Championship rings ahead of the 2022 Blue Chip Men’s Showcase action. We are so proud of each of you!

USL2 & USLW Seasons Underway

Kings Hammer FC USL League Two and the new USL Women’s League kicked off their seasons earlier this month. All home matches will be played at Mustang Athletic Complex at Bishop Brossart High School in Alexandria, Kentucky. This will be a very family friendly environment for everyone in the club to enjoy and we encourage players, parents, coaches, and staff to attend these games to cheer on our USL-2 and USL-W teams.

Taking the next step!

Alongside current KHFC member and KHA alumni Roberto Burlew, we had several current Kings Hammer Academy players join Kings Hammer FC’s scrimmage earlier this month against FC Cincinnati 2. Great job by all!

May Education: Summer “Off-Season?”

Best practices for supporting your child’s development this summer.

By the time most of you are reading this article your son or daughter’s spring season will have concluded.  So, what is next?  Whether your child had their best season ever or found themselves still searching for their ‘best self”, what can families being doing to support their growth and development and prepare them for the next season.  Here are some quick tips to help guide these efforts.

  1. Mental and Physical Rest and Recovery-after a long season and the stress of tryouts, every player deserves a little R&R! Be sure your athlete has a chance to disconnect for a week or two (longer if possible) from the rigors of the sport. This includes high-level competition and formal coaching. It does not mean kids have to be laying on the couch for weeks.  See #2
  2. Engage in Alternative Activities-athletes of all ages benefit from cross-sport performance, doing something that stimulates different muscles, utilizes different movement patterns, and requires different decision making. Swimming, tennis, pickleball, basketball, and biking are all great ways to provide foundation fitness and reduce sport burnout (mental and physical.) Balance activities that can provide aerobic benefits with those that highlight agility and quickness.
  3. Creative Individual Technical Improvements-the season focus is on the team, the summer focus is on the player. Spend time (3-4x per week, 20-30 minutes per session) working on ball control and manipulation…dribbling, passing, receiving, shooting.  Can be done on your own or with some friends. Be creative in how this is accomplished.  Here are some suggestions:
  4. Participate in a CAMP– these can provide a new and unique experience, offering structured training and playing opportunities, as well as potentially providing opportunities to meet new players as well! Kings Hammer offers a variety of camp opportunities throughout the summer.  For details and to register click on the link-Kings Hammer SC Camps
  5. Watch SoccerMLS and NWSL seasons continue throughout the summer. In addition, Kings Hammer FC’s USL men’s and women’s will be playing.  Whether live or on tv, players should find time to watch 3-5 games this summer.  Analyze formations, determine styles (short/long passing, building out short v long, combining centrally or wide, pick the players in your position and take notes on things you can/should do.

Good Luck to all teams Participating in President’s Cup this Weekend!

Be sure to follow our social channels for updates on our teams competing in the Ohio & Kentucky USYS State Championships.

Spring Event Series Wrap-up

We wrapped up our Spring Event Series this month with our Blue Chip Showcase & Crown Challenge! Over the course of the two Blue Chip Showcase weekends, we hosted 662 teams from over 200 clubs around the country and Canada, over 400 College coaches, and 300 referees. We hosted nearly 1000 games at the two main complexes over the course of 6 days. During the Crown Challenge weekend, we hosted 462 teams from over 108 clubs from around the region as well as 195 referees. We hosted 762 games at the two main complexes over the course of 3 days. While we had a little bit of bad weather to deal with on Saturday evening, we enjoyed hosting some fantastic competition throughout the weekend! We appreciate everyones understanding and flexibility with any logistical challenges throughout both event weekends. We look forward to our Fall Events that will kick off in August with the Battle in the Bluegrass! Special thank you to our event sponsors: Nike, Trophy Awards, and PYB Sports!

GK Union Save of the Month

Congratulations to Anna T from KHA Bluegrass G05 & Cohen M from KHA South B04 Blue for being named the April GK Union Saves of the Month!

Did you make an incredible save or a game-saving block? We want to see them!

Post your best saves in the Kings Hammer GK Union Facebook group or share on Twitter using the hashtag #KingsHammer. Be sure to share throughout the spring season and YOU could be selected for our Kings Hammer Save of the Month! The May GK Union Save of the Month winner will be announced on Friday, June 3rd. GK Save of the Month winners will be announced the Friday of the first full week of the following month.

Kings Hammer Fan-wear & Event Gear

Kings Hammer fan-wear and event gear is available now on the Kings Hammer Online Shop!

Click here to check out the Kings Hammer Online Shop now!



Past Newsletters


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 ( 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 |
Academy South Boys: James Thomas |
Academy South Girls: Chris Black |
Academy Bluegrass Boys: Dan Ensley  |
Academy Bluegrass Girls: Megan Adkins |

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

Who is in charge of hiring coaches?
If you are interested in a coaching opportunity, please fill out the following coaching form –

Program Directors:

Academy North: Ryan Handbury |
Academy South Girls: Chris Black |
Academy South Boys: James Thomas |
Academy Bluegrass Boys: Dan Ensley |
Academy Bluegrass Girls: Megan Adkins |
Premier Xenia: Brent Lewis |
Premier North: Wil Cagle |
Premier Sycamore: Ryan Handbury |
Premier Central: Michael Ratliff |
Premier South: David Shemilt |
Premier Versailles: Brandon Cummons |
Premier Lexington: Fonyam Atanga |