The Changing Landscape of Youth Soccer
By Joe Ulm
Over the past two weeks, two events have caused a shift in the youth soccer landscape in South East Wisconsin.
The first occurred a couple of weeks ago, when two respected clubs – Bavarians and Inter North Shore – announced their merger. The second occurred just a few days ago when one of the Kickers affiliate clubs, Germantown soccer club, announced they were leaving Kickers to join The Wave.
From a personal standpoint, I wish all four clubs the best and brightest future. After all, we’re all part of a larger community to serve the kids in our clubs, the families, and our communities.
However, if you’re not deeply involved with the youth soccer community on a daily basis, this news may come as a surprise. Yet, recent history of youth soccer in this area tells us it’s an absence of mergers that would be surprising.
Over the past 10 years we’ve seen over a dozen mergers and acquisitions take place in SE WI. Strike has acquired and / or merged with Oconomowoc and Wales soccer clubs. Brookfield and Elm Grove merged to become Elmbrook United, and The Wave has acquired Greendale, New Berlin, Walworth, and now, Germantown. And let’s not forget that just 9 years ago, Pewaukee and Sussex came together to create the club we are today.
So these mergers and acquisitions aren’t surprising. In fact, in many ways, they’re required. It’s how soccer clubs work.
The good news is that we’re prepared for these changes – and have been prepared for them for some time. In fact, we’ve already made over a dozen changes to make sure our club will be healthy, vibrant, and strong for years to come.
We’ll be sharing these changes during our annual member meeting on March 23rd. Please consider joining us. Because there’s nothing we can’t accomplish together. United.
Stay United, everyone.