Originally Published: January 16, 2013
Last Updated: January 16, 2013
There have been numerous rumors floating around which started on or about January 14, 2013 regarding the Fargo Soccer Club (FSC) and the North Dakota Soccer Association (NDSA). Most of the rumors are founded in an intense desire to discredit, disparage and intentionally harm the Fargo Soccer Club. Some hope to draw members away from the Fargo Soccer Club to a different soccer club or clubs.
Each year, starting in late summer, members of NDSA can choose to renew membership in NDSA. The Fargo Soccer Club chose not to renew its membership in NDSA for the 2012-2013 soccer year. The reason for this decision was based on the relative lack of value in being a member of NDSA and the costs of being a member of NDSA. In the past, membership included (1) the right to play in the annual ND State Tournament, (2) the right to play in any closed league of NDSA, (3) the right to compete to play in the US Youth Soccer (USYS) Region 2 tournament and (4) the right to compete to play in the USYS Region 2 President’s Cup tournament. The costs associated with all of these benefits are steep.
The annual ND State Tournament no longer is held. The last tournament was July 2010. After successful runs in Fargo, the tournament was moved to Bismarck where it died a quick death, i.e. very few teams entered to play. The only league in ND is fairly non-competitive and includes an inordinate amount of travel to the western part of the State. The Region 2 tournaments are of little or no interest. Therefore, the benefits of belonging to NDSA are small to non-existent.
On January 8, 2013, the NDSA Board met and decided to essentially ban the FSC from NDSA for two years and imposed a $2000 fine should the FSC want to be re-instated as a member. Why?
In May 2012, the FSC played in the Dakota Rev tournament in the Lakeville, MN area. We entered and played as members of US Club Soccer (not affiliated with NDSA). NDSA did not respect or acknowledge our participation as members of US Club Soccer. NDSA decided we participated as members of NDSA and used forged documents; thereby breaking NDSA rules. Needless to say, we dispute their claim. NDSA made their claim based on the fact that the tournament was a “restricted” tournament. In their minds, US Club Soccer teams are not allowed to participate in “restricted” tournaments. Therefore, we must have forged NDSA documents. It is our contention that restricted tournaments are open to members of any USSF Organization Member unless the restricted tournament is (a) run and sanctioned directly by USYS or (b) open only to members of the State Association sanctioning the tournament. Our position is based on USSF bylaws, rules and the grievance decision won by the FSC in 2008.
The FSC was registered with 3 separate affiliates of the US Soccer Federation (USSF); NDSA (USYS), US Club Soccer and SAY Soccer. As of late summer 2012, we are now registered with just US Club Soccer and SAY Soccer.
Until such time the FSC directs or chooses otherwise, our teams will only enter unrestricted, national and international tournaments in addition to tournaments only open to members of US Club Soccer or SAY Soccer. Our strategy for challenging the practice of restricted tournaments by USYS State Associations is being developed with certain national affiliates of the USSF. In the meantime, the vast majority of tournaments are open to our teams, including the best tournaments in a 14-state region surrounding Fargo.
Any rumors that the FSC is not allowed to enter any tournaments or is banned from playing soccer are simply lies. Consider the source of the rumor when you hear it.