Frequently Asked Questions
Greater Spokane’s Club for the Competitive Youth Soccer Player!
Who We Are
Spokane Soccer Club Shadow develops 7-18 year old youth soccer players from throughout greater Spokane who desire to compete at the highest levels of competitive play. Players who seek training from licensed, professional coaches - many from area college soccer programs, players who want to compete in the Regional Club League - the state’s most competitive premier soccer league comprised of the Washington’s 20 top-ranked clubs, and players who want a professional, developmentally-appropriate atmosphere focused on the player (not a coach, score or standings) will find a great fit in SSC Shadow.
Our Community Vision
By working together within a player-centered philosophy, SSC Shadow offers the highest quality coaching, training and competition available in greater Spokane. We focus on each player’s long-term development and passion for soccer. We keep things straightforward for parents to alleviate confusion. We keep expenses as low as possible. We are committed to honest leadership, collaboration and transparency.
Spokane Soccer Club Shadow is a 501(c)(3) non-profit club serving greater Spokane’s premier, select and developmental soccer families. We offer the highest standards of youth soccer advancement, delivering a unique package of development, competition, enjoyment and community by expert, certified coaches.
What We Offer
SSC Shadow is proud to offer three levels of youth soccer - Premier, Select and Developmental. Our players hail from 55 different zip code areas in Eastern Washington and North Idaho!
SSC Shadow Premier teams participate in the Regional Club League - the most competitive league offered in Washington Youth Soccer Association. We are proud of our charter membership in the RCL, our #7 Washington state club ranking, and success our players achieve in the most competitive Washington Youth Soccer State Cup Tournaments: the Championship Cup and Presidents Cup!
Premier soccer is a full-year commitment with the guidance of professional, licensed, paid coaches. SSC Shadow is extremely proud of its coaching staff, many who coach for local collegiate programs. They are committed to “giving back” to our community their love of and passion for the game of soccer. All are former high school and college soccer players and coaches with a wide range of knowledge, licenses, and experiences. Some are former college All-American players, Olympic Development Program (ODP) players and coaches.
Players practice 2-3 times per week for 1 to 1½ hours each, play in 2-5 tournaments per year and travel statewide. It is an expectation that when playing premier soccer, you will consider it a sport that you are committed to giving your best.
SSC Shadow Select teams are more competitive than entry-level recreational soccer teams. SSC Shadow Select competes in the Puget Sound Premier League, featuring teams from Spokane and other Eastern Washington cities as well as Northern Idaho. We form our Select teams based on skill level and geography:
- City of Spokane (SSC Shadow United Select)
- City of Spokane Valley (SSC Shadow Elite Select)
SSC Shadow Developmental Programs focuses on developmentally age appropriate youth soccer training for 8 - 10 year olds. When players are partnered with and against players of similar abilities, true enjoyment and development occurs. Our goal is to produce better soccer players so they can enjoy playing the game even more; winning is secondary at this age. We want to build soccer players for life—fans of the game for life. More importantly, we provide a friendly, educated, and enjoyable environment. We want kids to smile; we want kids to grow; we want kids to develop healthy habits; and we want them to have fun! - U9/U10 Sounders Discovery Program
How much travel is involved with Premier soccer?
For SSC Shadow Premier U13 - U18 teams, league travel is determined by the location of teams securing a spot in their division of Regional Club League. The typical league schedule is based on travel partners and will have a Spokane team traveling to the west side of the state 2-3 times during the season. Ideally, on each of these trips the team will play a game on both Saturday and Sunday, staying 1-2 nights in a hotel or with family/friends in the area you are visiting. Our team managers work diligently to coordinate double header weekends when our teams travel, keeping coordination and flexibility at the team level.
Summer travel will usually consist of a minimum of two out of town tournaments for teams U13 and older, which run Friday through Sunday.
Can my child still play other sports if they play for SSC Shadow?
Yes! The vast majority of our players at the younger age groups participate in multiple sports. We expect our players to make a full commitment to the schedule of games and training that has been established, and most importantly, to their teammates. Our program is designed to assist players striving to improve at the game we love.
If players choose not to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to them then progress will be restricted. While we understand that soccer is not the most important thing in life, we also recognize that as players get older, they will begin to gravitate toward one sport or another. As an example, some are able to strike a balance between soccer and basketball and remain competitive at both. Our job is to help players become better at soccer, to encourage talent when we see it, to make you aware of the opportunities available to those that could go far within this game.
The only sport which is a direct conflict with premier soccer is boys high school football. Usually, this problem takes care of itself as few players compete in both. However, this is one case where a player may have to choose one or the other due to direct scheduling conflicts in the fall.
What is the Club’s philosophy regarding Premier team playing time?
For age groups U12 and below, each player will receive a minimum of 20 minutes playing time in games. While some players will play more, substantial playing time will occur for everyone on the roster. At the conclusion of the fall season, any U13 teams participating in State Cup will be treated at U14+ with regard to playing time.
For age groups U14 and above the club will commit to you a spot on the roster, the rest is up to you.
A player is selected because we believe they can add value to the team, while reaping benefits from being a part of the group. Our club places an extreme importance on the time spent in the training/practice environment. This is where players and coaches will spend the majority of their time with the club. A player adds value by making the team better in training first, games second. The player reaps benefits by being in a better training environment. This is what must be of utmost importance to players, coaches, and parents.
Our club is based on player development, which comes from training, instruction and competition. The majority of instruction and competition comes within the training environment…the game is the bonus! The amount of game contributions a player is able to make to the team will be based on many factors, with the main factor being what the player makes of the training opportunities provided to them. In other words, “how” they do at training, how often they do it, and their attitude in doing so.
There can be game or tournament situations where results are paramount. During those times, it is possible that players may not play due to the circumstances dictated by the game. Playing time decisions will always be based on the best interest of the team in mind: evaluating training habits, individual abilities, attitude, prior contributions, strength of opponent, among other factors.
Again, it is important that our players, parents and coaches remember that the most critical part of the development process takes place during training/practice time. While competition is one component, paying club dues does not mean paying for a specific amount of playing time. We understand that every player wants to play. As former players ourselves, we also know how much satisfaction comes from knowing that you have earned it!
Where are practices held?
Team training locations vary depending on the time of year, availability and cost. We seek the most affordable and appropriate locations that can serve our teams. Our premier teams spend most of their time at the Spokane Shadow Polo Fields and Dwight Merkel Sports Complex.
How expensive is SSC Shadow soccer?
Premier soccer is more expensive than Developmental and Select programs because our players train and play year round with a high quality, paid coaching staff that must meet standards set forth by the Technical Director. Premier club dues cover the coaches salary, insurance, coaching education, membership expenses, equipment, and administrative expenses.
Over the course of the year, each SSC Shadow player will participate in 60 to 70 team practices (1½ hours long), plus tournament and league games - an incredible value of between $6-8 per hour for high caliber, experienced coaching. Review our Fee Chart here.
Is financial assistance available?
SSC Shadow has a Financial Assistance Program. Parents may apply for assistance, which will cover a portion of the club dues for an individual player. The application is available on our website under the "Parents" tab.
Players and families may also seek financial sponsorships from individuals or businesses through the Shadow Player Sponsorship Program. Any donations you seek and obtain will help offset YOUR Club Dues.
Who makes the decisions? Do parents have a say?
Technical Director Abbas Faridnia is in charge of carrying out the mission, philosophy, and purpose of the Club. All decisions relating to the direction of the Club are the responsibility of the Technical Director. The Director is held accountable by the SSC Shadow Board of Directors; volunteer members and non-members who are elected by the parents of the Club. All Board members and staff are held to the highest levels of transparency and accountability; all sign conflict of interest disclosures.
The Club values the input of all members. Decisions made about league schedules – from tryout dates to championship tournaments – are determined based on scheduling decisions made by the Washington Youth Soccer Association. Changes that occur in WYS scheduling over the course of a year may impact SSC Shadow schedules. Every effort is made to communicate schedules as far in advance as possible. SSC Shadow is filled with busy members, and we recognize the need for busy families to plan ahead.
What is the SSC Shadow Tournament Policy?
SSC Shadow requires all players to pay their fair share of tournament registration fees and coaches travel expenses for those tournaments advertised at the time of tryouts. Players with prior commitments who cannot attend a pre-advertised tournament are not responsible for their share of tournament expenses, providing they notify their coach and team manager within one week of accepting a spot on their team roster.
If a team chooses to add a tournament to their schedule and a player has prior conflicts and cannot attend, they are not required to pay their share of tournament registration fees and coaches travel expenses. If guest players are added to the roster to replace missing players for a tournament, they are required to pay their fair share of team expenses.
If a Shadow player has a conflict with an Elite Player Development (EDP) or Olympic Development Program (ODP) event (tournament, game, camp, etc.), that player will not be required to pay their fair share of SSC Shadow team tournament expenses, whether that tournament was scheduled prior to tryouts or added later in the season.