Winona Youth Soccer Association
Member of the state of Minnesota Youth Soccer Association
Service Area: the city of Winona and the surrounding community.
Club Code: WNN
Overview: To improve the Winona Youth Soccer Association program as it develops the whole person, both in player skill and the quality of team play.
Affiliations: The club is affiliated with Minnesota Youth Soccer Association.
The Winona Youth Soccer Association (WYSA) sponsors a summer youth soccer program for ages 11-19. WYSA is a member of the state run Minnesota Youth Soccer Association (MYSA), the largest governing body of youth soccer in the state of Minnesota, which in turn is part of the US Youth Soccer Association and U.S. Soccer Federation.
As determined by the larger umbrella organizations, Minnesota Youth Soccer sponsors competitive league play beginning at the U-11 level. Each year through U-19 is represented as a separate competitive category, U-11, U-12, U-13, U-14, ect. U-11 and u-12 play 8 v. 8, whereas U-13 and above play 11 v. 11. A listing of all Minnesota Youth League Clubs, their acronymns, and even club logos is found at: http://www.mnyouthsoccer.org/ under the tab “clubs.” Likewise, this web page contains an archived, and during the season current, listing of league standings under the tab “League Standings.”
At the lower age levels, clubs may request to compete at the C-1, C-2, or C-3 levels, with C-1 the most competitive and C-3 the least competitive. From one season to the next, however, MYSA follows the protocol of professional soccer leagues as much as possible in so far as the top point teams or winning percentages move to the next level, for example champion of a C-3 division moves to C-2, while the lowest point teams or winning percentage move down, i.e. a C-1 team with a 1-7-2 record moves to C-2 the next season. Middle finishing teams normally stay at the same division.
Months before an official season begins, the individual clubs must determine where they will field teams and at what level. Although it is the long standing tradition for the Winona Youth Soccer Association to try as much as possible to not turn away players who have missed the original sign up date, the other side of the coin is that earlier sign ups help with the overall placement of players and organization of teams. The Winona Club is smaller in comparison with the metro and suburban clubs and therefore finds the need to combine age groups on occasion. For example, the “Dakota Rev” club of the south suburbs may have 70 boys and 70 girls sign up at the U-14 age group alone. As such, they may be able to form four teams for each gender. Their top players form team one at C-1, their next two teams may be at C-2, and the fourth team at C-3. If Winona had 10 boys or girls sign up at U-14 and 7 at U-13, the two age groups will need to be combined to form one team at U-14. The board reviews the number signed up and makes team determinations. A typical season might find Winona fielding boys teams at U-19, U-17, U-15, U-14, U-12 or girls at U-18, U-16, U-15, U-14, U-11.
Once the MYSA league office has received all of the entries, they will place the teams in divisions. Reviewing the map on the MYSA web page is helpful and will show Winona Youth Soccer typically plays in a South or Southeast division. Typical opponents include, but are not limited to: Dakota (south suburb), Bloomington, Lakeville, Farmington, Hastings, Eagan, Burnsville, Apple Valley, Rochester Youth Soccer, Northfield, Austin, Albert Lea, Owatonna, Minnesota Valley (La Cresent Area), and Coulee Region (this is the La Crosse Club). La Crosse and Eau Claire usually play with MYSA as the Wisconsin version is geographically oriented more to Madison and Milwaukee. Note, these are typical opponents and it does not mean Winona will play them. For example, Owatonna may have a team at U-15 girls at C-1 whereas Winona U-15 girls is at C-2, or visa-versa.
After teams are placed in a league, they are given a schedule which begins in May and must end around July 10. Clubs have a window to negociate with their opponents regarding any proposed schedule changes. For example, the Winona Youth Soccer Association hosts a general meeting for all of their players and parents at which time coaches collect any dates of conflict (band concerts, family vacations, ect.) This allows the coaches to determine if a critical mass of players are missing and a re-schedule is needed. It is therefore possible that one team may begin league games in May and have three or four games played while another team may be beginning the first week of June.
After July 10, teams may opt to participate in league play-offs. Individual MYSA teams may also opt to participate in additional weekend tournaments. Many clubs throughout the state host tournaments and will advertise the age groups and levels they are hosting. Coaches and parents from the individual MYSA teams need to take the initiative if interested in participating in any individual tournaments as they are not included in the regular league play schedule that is usually 10-12 games.