|It is my pleasure to accept the stewardship of the role of President of Washington Youth Soccer from Dan Popp, who selflessly dedicated countless hours alongside our team at WYS to bring a new focus on transparency and opportunity to the 93,000+ participants of our programming. I would also like to thank our volunteer Board of Directors, our executive officers including our new Vice President, Jill Christiansen, and the WYS staff, for their unfailing commitment to growing the game of soccer across our state and beyond.
We are in uncharted territory at this time in our soccer history, and we all share hope for a swift return to the daily routines of life, including enjoying the sport and company we have missed over the last couple months. We are enduring the challenges that come with unprecedented change and taking hope from the many examples of community that we see on a daily basis from our membership. At WYS, we are also working diligently with our national, state, and local partners on implementing a robust return to play framework as we move through the phased-in approach outlined by our Governor. We hope to get players back on the field as quickly and safely as possible, and we’ll be communicating all updates as soon as we have them.
As a resilient soccer community, we know that great challenges also bring great opportunities. At WYS we are proud to highlight a few recent national and local developments that will ensure our position as the preeminent youth sport organization in our state: on the national scene, US Youth Soccer recently announced a groundbreaking strategic partnership with Major League Soccer to bolster player development through novel soccer opportunities and development pathways for players throughout our tiers of programming. We have also doubled down on our focus on diversity and equity by utilizing the Innovate to Grow grant funding from US Soccer to expand our member association partnerships and programming in traditionally underserved communities like the Yakima Valley.
We are now, more than ever, committed to streamlining our soccer community connections through the US Soccer Federation, US Youth Soccer, our state and local partners, and our member associations, to bring the best programming to the WYS community. Despite our current environment, we are excited, optimistic, and determined to build on the successes of the past in order to establish a firm gateway of opportunities for the future.
President, Washington Youth Soccer