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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit facebook page.
River City has some great options to meet your soccer needs;
- Winter Training on Sundays only
- River City XLerated Training (RCXL) one day per week
- RCXL Training two days per week
- Spring 2017 Season
- Full Package (includes 3 days per week training option and Spring Season)
- Pay Online (must register first)
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
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.
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 resides in Hampden with his wife Heather and their two children Aidyn and Kelsey.
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.”
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.
* 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.
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.