By creating TFA North as a satellite club of our main club in Albany, Oregon, the leadership at TFA Willamette has developed a structure that improves the player development environment for players in Polk County. This new model improves the quality of training/coaching and competition while also addressing unique needs of these communities such as:
Long-term TFA North is intended to be a stepping stone for committed players to stay engaged with their friends and soccer communities locally while also pushing themselves to higher levels on a daily basis. As such, TFA North players are intentionally integrated with TFA Willamette from the very beginning. In addition to their local practices, TFA North players can attend additional training with the parent club on a weekly basis through our Striker School, GK Training, and Fitness Friday sessions, and will also participate in other events such as our TFA Club Friendlies. These players may also be invited in to guest play with TFA Willamette teams on occasion.
In understanding that every player's and family's needs are different, all players will have the option to decide when the transition from TFA North to TFA Willamette for higher level competition is right for them (anytime between U11-U14). Those who do transition to TFA Willamette at younger age groups will still have the option to train one day a week locally to limit commuting requirements to/from Albany.
The ultimate goal is to integrate all players with the main club in Albany by the U15 age group with local training opportunities still available at locations in Independence and Monmouth to limit some travel requirements. Those players that want to integrate sooner for higher levels of competition are always welcome to do so.
There are a number of reasons that full integration with the parent TFA Willamette club makes sense starting at the U15 age group.
For a better understanding of these differences, please check out our comparison chart below.
|TFA WILLAMETTE (U9-U14)||TFA CASCADES (U9-U14)|
|SEASONAL LENGTH||8-10 months annually; Fall Season July-November; Spring Season January-May||6 months annually; Fall Season August-October; Spring Season February-April|
|PRACTICE LOCATIONS||Albany, OR||Independence & Monmouth, OR|
|LEAGUES/TRAVEL||OYSA State League (Premier or Div. 1); Home games in Albany with travel for away games to Portland and around the state. This is the most competitive league in the state featuring top teams from the largest clubs.||OYSA State League or Regional Willamette Valley Youth Soccer League (WVYSL) dependent on team's ability; Home games at Central High School with travel for away games limited to locations along I-5 between Eugene and Portland.|
|STATE CUP/PRESIDENTS CUP||All TFA Willamette teams participate in State Cup or Presidents Cup with the possibility of qualifying for regional and national tournaments.||Due to the shortened seasonal length TFA North teams will not participate in State Cup or Presidents Cup. Players from TFA North who excel may have opportunities to guest play with TFA Willamette teams in these events.|
|TEAM COACHING||All TFA Willamette teams are coached by licensed (USSF or NSCAA) coaches with oversight and direction from the TFA Director of Coaching and support staff. In addition to professional licensing, these coaches participate in monthly coaching education within the club, and are subject to multiple reviews and evaluations each season to ensure club standards are being followed and to help each coach continually develop.||TFA North teams may be coached by volunteer coaches with limited licensing by the USSF or NSCAA, but have undergone training from TFA staff at our annual 3-day coaching clinic each summer. These coaches also have the option of attending our monthly coaching education with their peers at TFA Willamette. To ensure club standards are being followed and to help coaches continually develop, every TFA North team and coach will be evaluated at two practices and at least one game each season. Additionally, all TFA North teams will have 2-3 practices each season with a visiting TFA Willamette Staff Coach.|
|ADDITIONAL TOURNAMENTS||In addition to State Cup/President's Cup all TFA Willamette Teams participate in our TFA Club Friendlies in August and 1-2 more tournaments throughout the year. With the exception of State Cup/Presidents Cup and the TFA Club Friendlies, which are both included in your fees, additional tournaments are optional to attend as they incur an additional cost between $45-60 per event.||In addition to the TFA Club Friendlies in August, TFA North teams will have the option to attend 1-2 additional tournaments during the course of the year. Additional tournaments are optional to attend as they incur an additional cost between $45-60 per event. Tournaments also present an opportunity for TFA North players to guest play with TFA Willamette teams.|
|COST||Due to the longer seasonal lengths (8-10 months), higher league fees, additional events (State Cup/Presidents Cup), higher facility costs, and more stringent coaching requirements, TFA Willamette team fees will be slightly higher than those of players with TFA Cascades. TFA WILL NEVER TURN A PLAYER AWAY FOR FINANCIAL REASONS. We have payment plans and fundraising available for all players, and a significant scholarship fund for families who need the additional help.||Due to the shorter seasonal lengths (6 months), lower league fees, fewer events (NO State Cup/Presidents Cup), lower facility costs, and less stringent coaching requirements, TFA North team fees will be lower than those of players with TFA Willamette. TFA WILL NEVER TURN A PLAYER AWAY FOR FINANCIAL REASONS. We have payment plans and fundraising available for all players, and a significant scholarship fund for families who need the additional help.|
|MULTI-SPORT ATHLETES||Multi-sport athletes are always welcome at all TFA clubs, and you will not be punished for conflicts with other sports (high school or club) as long as you communicate these conflicts with us proactively so that we can work around them.||Multi-sport athletes are always welcome at all TFA clubs, and you will not be punished for conflicts with other sports (high school or club) as long as you communicate these conflicts with us proactively so that we can work around them.|
As part of the TFA Cascades weekly training plan, all players will have the opportunity to attend additional optional sessions in Albany with TFA Willamette beyond their two team training sessions each week at the Crawfordsville facility.
These optional sessions give our most committed players additional opportunities to develop, gives them further exposure to the club's professionally trained and licensed coaches at the parent club in Albany, and allows them to begin integrating with players and teams at the parent club at a younger age.
Striker School sessions focus on individual ball mastery and finishing, skills that are usually associated with good attacking play, but are vital to all players playing the TFA Way. All players are welcome to attend these fun, learning-filled sessions regardless of position.
GK Training sessions help our goalkeepers to develop the position-specific technical and tactical skills they need to be successful in net. Experienced GKs or those new to the position are welcome to attend, but if you want to be a truly successful GK, attendance at these sessions is a must!
Fitness Friday sessions focus specifically on physical development for soccer. These sessions will include conditioning, coordination development, agility, speed work, and soccer-specific strength training using body weight exercises. Sessions run for an hour every Friday during preseason and league play,
Operations Director, TFA North