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To Whom It May Concern:

The following analysis and commentary is with regard to the proposed merger between the Red River Soccer Club (RRSC) and the Moorhead Youth Soccer Club (MYSC) as explained in their merger document (MD).

Both clubs are at liberty to merge under a new, single club.  The new club is at liberty to affiliate with any United States Soccer Federation (USSF) affiliates of its choosing, e.g. US Youth Soccer (USYS), US Club Soccer (USCS), SAY Soccer (SAY) or AYSO.  However, each of those organizations are subordinate to the USSF and all have rules and bylaws regarding fairness, interplay and discrimination.  In 2008, RRSC, MYSC and the West Fargo Soccer Club (WFSC), along with their respective State Assocations, the North Dakota Soccer Association (NDSA) and the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association (MYSA), were found in violation of several USSF bylaws regarding fairness, interplay and discrimination.  The grievance decision is a national precedence.

Should the new club affiliate with either NDSA or MYSA and operate a recreational soccer program, the program will have to be "open" to other area clubs to join and interplay.  Besides being in accord with USSF bylaws and rules, it is also common sense.  USSF bylaws dictate that when two separate USSF Member Organizations, i.e. NDSA and MYSA, cooperate to operate, sanction or allow interplay between member clubs of their respective organizations or between the two State Associations, the resulting interplay must be open to other USSF Member Organizations such as the Fargo Soccer Club or the West Fargo Soccer Club.  Please refer to the appropriate USSF bylaws from the grievance decision.  In particular, the individual players in the new club from North Dakota would be registered directly with NDSA while the individual players in the new club from Minnesota would first have to be registered with MYSA before being allowed to "transfer" to the new club and participate in the new league.  If the new club chose to affiliate with MYSA but not NDSA, the reverse would be true.

Should the new club affiliate operate its recreational program under USCS, SAY or AYSO it may not be required to interplay with other USSF Member Organizations such as the Fargo Soccer Club or the West Fargo Soccer Club.  However, the loss of revenue to NDSA or MYSA would be the individual $10-$12/player fees normally paid to those respective organizations for registering a recreational player.  For MYSA, this revenue loss would be insignificant.  For NDSA, this revenue loss would be damaging.  NDSA programs and budget cuts would be forthcoming.

Logically, the simple solution would be the friendly solution.  The new club should welcome interplay with any area clubs' recreational program.  A Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo recreational soccer league that invites all area kids from all area clubs is what benefits the kids.

The MD contains many rosy assertions, claims and promises. 

Point 5 of their FAQ list implies some sort of philisophical impediment to merging with the Fargo Soccer Club or West Fargo Soccer Club.  The truth is that the West Fargo Soccer Club refused the merger invitation.  Among other things, it would have resulted in a loss of identity of soccer in West Fargo.  There are West Fargo parents who want to run a soccer program for West Fargo kids.  The Fargo Soccer Club was never approached about a merger because both RRSC and MYSC knew it was never going to happen.  The Fargo Soccer Club has been growing exponentially since it was formed in 2007.

The new club will essentially operate as the current RRSC with the addition of the MYSC players.  Moorhead will lose its identity as a competitive soccer program.  The so-called premier program will continue to operate as the expensive competitive program for those players who typically do not compete in many other sports and whose parents are willing to pay large sums of money for being on one of the premier teams.  Premeir teams do not compete better than non-premier teams.  On average, premier teams are less competitive than RRSC competitive teams.  The designation "premier" is also a source of confusion to clubs in Minnesota since the word, "premier" means that a team is one of the top 6 teams in Minnesota that compete in the U14 or older Premier leagues.  Without premier soccer, RRSC would have a very difficult time affording the full-time staff or coaching staff it employs.  The merger is essentially necessary in order for RRSC to exist in its present form.

The new club claims it will have improved performance at regional levels and will have highly competitive teams.  Unfortunately, there is nothing that suggests this since no North Dakota club that has competed in USYS Regional Cup play has been competitive for the past 10 years.  RRSC currently has all the Moorhead players it can recruit for their premier program and still produces the same results at regional play, ODP and other high level competitions.  Many teams have left the overbearing structure of RRSC and affiliated elsewhere in order to maintain their team structure, parent-coaches and independence, e.g. DUSC Renegades, Forman Central Coyotes Venom, Forman Central Coyotes Crush and the individual players now playing at South Dakota United.

The Fargo Soccer Club philisophy of caring, parent-coaches leading teams has resulted in 3 state championships in 3 tries, consistent winning teams, lower cost soccer and higher parent/player enjoyment of soccer.  We believe in an a la carte approach to year-round soccer.   Our teams have competed in high level tournaments, e.g. 2011 US Club Soccer regional in Chicago and done well.  We have won tournaments in the Twin Cities, e.g. NSC Cup, Tonka Splash.  We have sent the vast majority of players to ODP (Olympic Development Program) camps in our age groups and have had 2 players participate in the prestigous id2 camp/try-out run by US Club Soccer.  Our competitive teams won their respective GPSL leagues in 2011, never having lost to any North Dakota competition.  We have run the only eastern North Dakota offerings of coaching license clinics for the past 3 years and graduated more licensed coaches than any other club in eastern North Dakota.  The vast majority of these coaches are parent-coaches.  A parent-coach is far more reliable and committed than a young, paid coach.

The Fargo Soccer Club is embarking on new playing opportunities for our competitive teams in the high-level MN Club Soccer league.  We are the first and only North Dakota club to play in this league.  The Fargo Soccer Club has been a prime mover in the North Dakota Great Plains Soccer League through its heavy participation in the administration of league operations and its participation of teams.  The Fargo Soccer Club is the only North Dakota club using the new iSoccer skills development program.  The Fargo Soccer Club runs the largest pre-school recreational program in North Dakota with over 240 players playing on 30 teams.

The Fargo Soccer Club has consistently been a source of innovation and competitive push in the Fargo soccer community.  We use actual goals for younger, recreational soccer.  The other local clubs were forced to abandon cone goals for real goals as a result.  We actually allow people to register separately for spring and fall soccer.  The other clubs were forced to do that as a result of our leadership.  Our spring season is 10 weeks long but it costs the same as the RRSC 5-week season.  We instituted an annual SoccerFest in 2010 for our players where they could play soccer games and enjoy bouncy toys and other games in a festive atmosphere.  RRSC has now followed our lead with their first 'family fun night'. 

Some people believe paying more money for something translates in to receiving greater value.  If you are one of those people, you should consider the new club resulting from the RRSC / MYSC merger.  If you prefer higher quality and lower price with proven results, you've come to the right place.