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Fields4Kids is the official home River City Athletics.  The youth soccer program begins in November with a 10 week winter training session followed by a Spring Premier program for players U10 – U18.  To learn more about River City, email rivercitymaine@gmail.com, or visit facebook page.

River City has some great options to meet your soccer needs;

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Maine State Premier League Schedule (U12 – U18 Boys and Girls)

League play begins Sunday, April 2nd

Pine Tree League Schedule (U10 – U11 Boys and Girls)

League play begins Sunday, April 30th

About Us

Our Mission:  River City was established to meet the needs of the youth sports community of Eastern, Central and Northern Maine.   The goal is to provide affordable option for all families and athletes to develop their skills and ability while keeping the passion for the sport they love. We want to do this in a safe, and friendly environment with a highly trained staff committed to all players of all skill levels. We will provide teams to compete in leagues and tournaments against competitive teams of similar skill level within the state of Maine. The focus will be on skill and growth first, with competition secondary. We want to win if at all possible, not at all costs.

River City was formed when players and parents asked for another premier soccer option in the Greater Bangor Area. In the Spring of 2014, one local coach offered training sessions on his own and had a team play in the SoccerMaine Pine Tree League and another team played in the Maine State Premiere League and the State Cup, which showed there were more players in the greater Bangor area interested in competing at the highest level of soccer in Maine than were being served. Because of this growing interest, a few of us met in June of 2014 to discuss what spring soccer in our area could look like based on the feedback we received from these most recent spring programs. What was born from that meeting is River City, the new competitive home for spring soccer in the Penobscot River Valley.

The logo for River City is a visual representation of the way we hope young soccer players will come together in our club. The four white stars represent each of the four area fall travel clubs we plan to incorporate into River City: Bangor, Brewer, Bronco, and Old Town Black Bear Alliance. The blue flowing through the middle represents the Penobscot River, and while we expect the majority of our players to come from the four area clubs, we plan to serve all athletes from Katahdin to the Atlantic Ocean. The white across the middle bands us all together in our endeavor to put forth the best, most competitive spring teams possible.
The goal of River City is to be an inclusive club, one which offers a home for players of all skill levels and interests to develop their ability while keeping their passion for the sport they love. We offer extended winter and spring training programs for the player who wants to flourish and grow year round, but we also have less time-intensive programs available for the athlete who plays multiple sports, or takes part in other after school activities so they can continue to keep a sharp edge on their soccer talents while pursing their other interests.
Ultimately we want the players to improve and to be competitive. We want our teams to win and be successful. But most importantly we want River City to be a place where athletes can work on their game, continue with their passion for soccer, and learn those life long lessons of team work and effort that involvement in competitive sports can offer.
Meet Our Coaches

Director of Coaching / Head Coach – MJ Ball

MJ Ball is the Assistant Director of Coaching for SoccerMaine, Executive Director and founder of Fields4kids and the Girls Varsity soccer coach for Hermon High School, and holds a USSF “A” License.  He has the rare distinction of being named Coach of the Year at the Club, High School and College level.

He has coached many teams during the past 20 years including; Head Coach for ODP teams in Maine and PA West;  Founder and Director of Coaching/Head Coach for Blackbear United FC/ Seacoast United Blackbear, Pittsburgh Strikers, Penns Forest FC, Bronco Travel Soccer Club and Hermon Middle School.  His teams have won 14 state titles to date.
Previously, he was the assistant men’s soccer coach for two years at University of Maine and coached the men’s and women’s soccer teams at the University of Maine at Machias for four years (2000 – 2004).   He was a four year starter and two year captain at Westminster College in Pennsylvania and received his Masters degree in education from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.

He resides in Hampden with his wife Heather and their two children Aidyn and Kelsey.

Head Coach – Ben Sidaway
Ben was born and raised in England and has played representative soccer, & amateur soccer in England for the prestigious Loughborough University. He has also coached in England and he has coached travel soccer for Brewer Soccer Club.  Ben hold many degrees including a B.Sc. in Sport Science and Physical Education from Loughborough University, a MA in Kinesiology – Motor Learning and Control, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Ph.D. Kinesiology – Motor Learning and Control and Biomechanics, Penn State University, and a MPT degree.  He is currently a Professor of Physical Therapy at Husson University, the Director of the Kenduskeag Institute’s Human Performance Research Lab., Husson University and the Director of Dahl Anatomy Lab at Husson University.
Ben holds his USSF E license.  He also holds an English Football Association Prelim coaching badge.
Head Coach – Mark Dieuveuil
Mark has coached at many levels beginning with rec and youth leagues.  He currently is an assistant with the boys team at Hermon High School.  He holds the USSF Class “E” license, and is taking the Class “D” course in the winter/spring 2017.  Mark is in his third year studying Kinesiology Physiology and Education specializing in Exercise Science at the University of Maine.  Mark uses practices and games to help each athlete strive to reach their highest potential, he holds every athlete to a high standard and expects full effort in every practice and game.
Head Coach – Wayne Harvey
Wayne is the Secretary and one of the founders of River City and has been coaching youth soccer since 2009.  He has coached at the rec, travel and premier levels with Bangor Parks and Rec and Bangor Soccer Club.  He has coached a girls fall travel team with Bangor Soccer Club since 2011.  He has also coached teams in the SoccerMaine Pine Tree League and in the Maine State Premier League and State Cup.
Wayne currently has his USSF “E” license and is taking the “D” level course in the winter of 2015/2016.
Wayne graduated with a degree in Mass Communications from the University of Maine.
Wayne’s coaching philosophy is defense comes first, offensively he places an emphasis on passing, possession and team work.
Wayne lives in Bangor with his wife Courtney and their three daughters and their Catahoula Leopard Dog, Riggins.
Head Coach – Yates Murphy
As a former player, Yates played for the UMaine and SCSU men’s soccer teams while competing collegiately. His elite playing experience continued as he trained with both The Maine Sting and GPS Portland Phoenix.
As a coach, he has worked closely with both MJ Ball and Cid Dyjak to assist in the development of both youth and high school athletes in the greater Bangor area.
Working as the assistant girls soccer and goalie coach at Orono High School (OHS), in 2012, Yates helped lead his team to the Eastern Maine Class C Final. The following year, his team reached the Class C State Final. Yates continues to work with OHS girls in his third season as assistant coach.
Yates will be coaching our girls high school team “I am very excited to be working with River City Athletics. I look forward to aiding in the progress of local athletes within the the state of Maine.”
Frequently Ask Questions

Q  –  What are the most important factors when choosing a club for my child?

Q  –  There are so many choices for soccer in our area, what should I consider when making my decision?

A  –  It is River City’s position that players have a personal choice to decide whether to play for our club or another youth soccer program, and hope they understand and appreciate the position of River City as far as player development being at their core.

Our goal is to make sure that the decision being made by parents and players is being made so that the players’ personal, social and soccer development is always considered.  

 We have highly qualified coaches we feel comfortable saying have received a level of coaching education that improves their ability to present the game in a positive learning environment with the goal of making each player better, more confident at an affordable price.
Here is an excerpt from Soccer America that might help these families on the “fence”
How do I choose a soccer club for my child? While there is no easy answer to this question, there is one key principle that should guide your decision: the single most important external factor in any player’s development is the quality of the coach working with the player on a regular basis. The impact of this individual, especially at U8-U14, far outweighs the league the team plays in, the success of the team, or any other factor. Quite simply, great coaches at these ages help motivated players maximize their ability. Because of this huge impact and influence, consider the following in trying to evaluate your options:

* Being a great soccer player does not automatically translate into being a great teacher of soccer players. 

* Beware of any coach who takes credit for the success of his or her past players; the best coaches understand that players earn their own achievements.

* Beware of any coach advertising the number of college scholarships their players have received, (and run the other way if they promise one to you).

* Though earning coaching licenses doesn’t guarantee a great coach, it does show effort on the part of the coach. (That said, a license does not certify honesty or integrity.) 

* Be sure the “name” attached to the team will be the coach attached to the team; bait-and-switch is not uncommon. 

* Is the coach offering a training-based program with appropriate training-to-game ratios (at least 3-1), or is the coach promoting a program overly emphasizing competition? 

While these guidelines help narrow your choices, you may still have several options. If that happens, consider having your child attend a training session with the potential coach, and evaluate the session on the following criteria: 

* Did your child enjoy the session, and does he or she want to go back? 

* Is your child receiving coaching points that are detailed, personalized, and technical, or are they general, vague, and primarily focused on hustle and attitude? 

* Are the players consistently engaged and active, with frequent contact with the ball? 

* Does your child leave the training feeling that he or she has learned something new, or excited to try something new? 

While the quality of the opposition in games and training gradually becomes more important as players age, (and is very important at U14 and above), these factors are far less significant when the player should primarily be learning individual technique and decision-making.  

 

Q  –  How much does River City cost?

A  –  The ten (10) week training sessions is $150 per athlete.  You can add XL training (additional one or two days per week).  $150 per day added for 10 week session or pay $20 for individual day.  The teams in the Pine Tree League, Maine State Premier League and State Cup cost $400 per player and that includes the base uniform package, league play and one tournament.

Q  –  Can I pay online?

A  –  Yes – you can pay online with a credit or debit card in full or in installments.  Or mail checks to River City Athletics and mailed to either 129 Farm Road, Bangor, 04401 or P.O. Box 58, Bangor, ME 04402.  There is also a drop box at Fields4Kids for checks/cash and credit/debit cards can be swiped at facility.

Pay Online

Q  –  Can I pay in installments or do your need the payment all in one lump sum?

A  –  What ever is best for your budget.  If you can pay in one lump sum, we will of course accept that check.  If it is more beneficial for your budget to pay in installments we are more than happy to do that as well.  We have payment dates set up of November 15th, January 15th and March 1st.  Or you can break up the cost in monthly payments if that works better for you.  River City wants to have as many kids taking part as possible, and we’ve built our costs and payment structure to allow as many athletes as possible to join our club.

Q  –  Do you offer a family discount?

A  –  Yes we do.  The first child is the normal price, but each additional family member gets a 10% discount.

Q – Does my child have to take part in the winter training sessions to play on the spring team?

A  –  No but your child will still need to be registered with the club and will need to attend our tryouts being held on one of the following days, November 30th, December 6th, and December 7th (schedules to follow shortly).

Q – Does my child have to play on a spring team to take part in the winter training sessions?

A – No. We want River City to fit your needs. We designed our programs to be flexible and all inclusive. You can take part in the program, or training that best fits what your athlete needs. If your child wants to keep their skills sharp during the off season they can use either or both of our winter training sessions. If your child wants to compete on one of our teams in the Maine State Premier League, State Cup, or Pine Tree League, the spring session will allow them to play on a competitve team beginning in March. Or if your child wants to focus on soccer skill development and play on a competitive spring travel team, you can can take part in all of our sessions.

Q  –  When will my child practice?

A  –  All of our indoor training schedules are listed on the Fields4Kids website under the home page.  You can search by day, week or by month.

Q  –  When will the games be scheduled?

A  –  The spring games traditionally begin, weather permitting, the final weekend of April.  The schedules are created by Soccer Maine for all teams competing in the Pine Tree League and the Maine State Premier League and State Cup.  Those schedules normally are released in March.  River City will also take part in one tournament per season, that tournament will likely be held in June during Father’s Day Weekend.

Q  –  Where will games be played?

A  –  The schedule is set up by SoccerMaine.  River City will host our home games in the Greater Bangor Area, and half of our schedule should be home games for the Pine Tree League and the Maine State Premier League.  The rest of our games will consist of travel to teams around the state of Maine.  The State Cup tournament is normally played at a neutral site for both teams.  We will also take part in (at least) one tournament a year that will require travel to the tournament location.

Q  –  Can athletes play for a team older than their birth year age group?

A  –  All athletes will play with their age groups for training and teams.  If based on ability an athlete could play up an age level, it would be done only with an invitation of the coach of the upper age group and permission from the birth year age group.  The River City Coaching Director would also have input in the decision.

For instance, a player at the U11 level would need to be asked by the U12 coach and get permission from the U11 coach based on seeing the athlete in practice or games to be able to play up.  The River City Coaching Director would also have to agree the athlete would be successful at the higher level.

The only other way it would be possible for an athlete to play up with the older age group players, would be through a grade level waiver.

For instance, that same player in the U11 age category, which is primarily for 5th graders, is actually in the 6th grade, but their birthday falls after the Soccer Maine cut off date, but before the Maine Board of Education cut off date.  That player can ask for a grade level waiver to play with the athletes in his/her grade level.  Those will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Q  –  I have two kids, one grade apart, can they play together to make it easier for travel and to get them to practice?

A  –  The goal of River City is to form the most successful, and the most competitive teams at each age level, so all athletes will play with the teams of their birth year.  There are exceptions as stated in the answer above.  We understand schedules are filled, and family lives are hectic, but to make it the most rewarding experience for the athletes and for the teams our decision is to keep players within their same age groups to give all players the chance to have the most success possible and to be on a team that has the most potential for success.

Q  –  If my child is playing with another club, can he/she still participate in River City’s training programs for additional practice?

A  — Absolutely.  Our training programs are open to all community players regardless of club affiliation.  We welcome anyone interested in improving their skills and working on their game in the winter and spring months.

 

 

 

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