Save The Date: Staples Sponsors “Changing Face Of High School Soccer” Forum On May 17

The Staples boys soccer program — in conjunction with the Top of the Hill Team and Westport Soccer Association — is sponsoring a forum. “Choices and Challenges: The Changing Face of High School Soccer” will be held Thursday, May 17, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Staples auditorium. Admission is free.

The goal is to educate players (8th through 12th grade) and their parents about the benefits and challenges of various levels of boys soccer: high school, Academy, premier and travel.

A panel — representing all aspects of the soccer world (see below) will speak for 3 minutes each. The bulk of the time will be used for questions from the audience, and a thoughtful discussion and dialogue.

Panelists include:

  • Kevin Anderson, Columbia University men’s soccer coach
  • Kevin Bacher, Oakwood Soccer Club
  • Dan Woog, Staples High School boys soccer coach
  • Steve Waters, Farmington High School boys soccer coach
  • Mickey Kydes, founder and president, Beachside Soccer Club
  • Alex Cunliffe, director of coaching, Everton America
  • Steve Baumann, former high school and college coach, former chairman of the National Soccer Hall of Fame and current  president of the Starfinder soccer/educational program for inner-city youth
  • Matt Lamb, former Staples, University of Mary Washington and Beachside player.

One more college coach and an Academy representative will be added to the panel soon.

Moderator Mark Noonan is a former NCAA Division I national champion (Duke University). A longtime sports marketing executive, he has worked with the highest levels of US Soccer.

Panelists and audience members will discuss issues including what college coaches look for as they identify and recruit players the aims of the Development Academy; the goals of a high school soccer program, and the questions to consider when deciding which level of soccer is most appropriate for each individual player.

All Connecticut players and parents are invited. For more information, call 203-227-1755 or email dwoog@optonline.net.

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