The pipeline connecting area youth soccer and the professional ranks expanded on April 19 when the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer announced the merger between Naples Youth Soccer Club and the Florida Fire Juniors program.
In bringing the NYSC into the fold, the Fire now have one of the area's oldest club programs from which to draw players. Nearly 350 youths will have the opportunity to climb the Fire's development ranks from league play to the team's soccer academy to, possibly, the Chicago Fire itself.
"I am excited by the opportunities that will be afforded to area players by the combination of the different organizations," said Gavin Spooner, the Naples Youth Soccer Club Director of Coaching and Operations. "Our players will be able to play soccer in a fully integrated full-service club. We now have the opportunity and resources to help our players reach their potential."
Spooner is now the Florida Fire's director of coaching, where he joins Dwight Morgan, the organization's administrative director and the boys head coach at Golden Gate.
In 2010, Florida Fire Juniors were formed by the union of Florida Premier Soccer Club, Gulf Coast Soccer Academy and Southwest Florida United Soccer Academy in an effort to provide a long-term development pathway for its players.
"We're very happy with the merger," said Brian Roberts, the Chicago Fire's director of player development. "We were very interested in Naples Youth Soccer because of their background and history in the community."
The expanded Florida Fire Juniors are one of eight clubs in the Chicago Fire Juniors family and one of five outside of the Chicago area. Nearly 10,000 youth participate in the program.
The Fire Juniors will be holding its Super Y tryouts today and Thursday for boys and girls at the North Collier Regional Park soccer complex. The Girls U12 and U14 tryouts run from 6 to 7:15 p.m. The Girls U 16s go from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m.
The Boys U13 and U14 tryouts are from 7 to 8:15 p.m., while the Boys U17 run from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m.
The Fire's Florida Juniors had two teams qualify for the national Super-Y finals and sent the most players, five, to the 2012 Olympic Development Camp.
For more information, call 888-955-FIRE or visit www.floridafirejuniors.com.
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Sports Club Center open gym: Pre-K through 8th grade. Choose from a variety of activities on trampoline, spring floor, tumble track and largest foam pits in Southwest Florida as well as other fun activities at the Sports CLUB Center. Fridays, 7 to 10 p.m. Contact: Kevin Lehman at 570-417-1121 or 239-566-CLUB.
Youth strength and conditioning class: Put on by Magic Benton and 24/7 Sports. 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. Cost is $30. Contact: Brian Dodd 277-0700, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Juan Romero Camp: Four camps — June 18 to 22, June 25 to 29, July 23 to 27, and July 30 to Aug. 3. Cost is $175 per week or $600 for all four sessions if registered by June 18 with full payment. To sign-up, visit JuanRomeroBaseball.com to print and mail the registration. Contact: 732-9664.
10U boys travel team: Seeking players and parents interested in forming a team to begin practice in early summer and play by late August/September. Contact: email@example.com.
Florida Prowlers/Team Easton: Seeking 9U players interested in travel baseball. Contact: Randy at 239-293-3081.
Golden Gate Hammerheads: 11U travel team seeking players for the fall, ages 10 to 11. Contact: Walter Rascher, 340-5025.
Naples Cyclones: 11U travel team. Contact: Coach Jon Ayres 398-1769, jonayresbaseball.com, Coach Mos 986-9118.
Southwest Florida Red Hawks: 13U travel team seeking players. Contact: 682-3299.
SWFL Hawks: 13U travel team seeking experienced players. Contact: Lou Marsala, 784-5965.
Mitch Woods Basketball Skills Camp: Session I, June 11 to 15, Session II, June 18 to 22. Community School of Naples Cost is $150. 8 to 11:30 a.m. Afternoon, 12:30-4 p.m. Register at www.excellenceinbasketbal.net. Contact: Mitch Woods 825-2899 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Naples Youth Basketball Camp: Weekly camps starting June 4 through Aug. 10. New Hope Ministries. Half day 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost is $99 per week.Full day 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. $149. Monthly rates available. Contact:l Bill Clark 239-330-4947 or register online at www.playnybl.com.
K6 Sports Future Stars Basketball Camp: For boys and girls entering grades 2 through 8. June 25 to 29. Community School of Naples. Morning session 7:30 a.m. to noon. Afternoon session, noon to 5:30 p.m. All Day session 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Limited to 135 players. Contact: Bill Carufe 290-3430 or email@example.com, www.sportsclubnaples.org.
FGCU Girls Basketball Camp: Overnighter $345, Commuter $295 (Early Eagle $20 Discount if submitted by May 21). Alico Arena. June 25, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; June 26, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; June 27, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Register at FGCUAthletics.com.
Gulf Coast Rebels: Boys travel team seeking skilled fourth-graders. Contact: Greg Urbancic 262-0270 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Florida Phenoms: Boys travel teams looking for sixth-graders. Contact: Chip Youmans 465-4789, email@example.com.
Naples Magic: Looking for seventh grade experienced travel players. Contact: Mark Chlebek 272-1451 or Sam Foggin 407-376-0502.
Adrenaline Naples: Free all-star cheerleading clinics from April 30 through May 5 with a team placement on May 5. No experience necessary. Girls and boys from beginner to advanced. Ages 3 to 18. Contact: 261-6221.
1-on-1 instruction: Skill position players ages 6-18. Individual lessons and instruction. Visit skillpositionpride.com. Contact: Mike Wexler 273-2693, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marco Island Optimist football and cheerleading: Open registration. Boys and girls. Ages 7 to 14. Contact: hometeamonline.com/mioptimist or call Coach Webb 394-0494.
Sports CLUB Gymnastics: Classes for 3 years and up. Monday to Saturday. Adult open gyms Monday to Thursday 7-8:30 p.m. $10. Friday Night Open Gym: K through 8th grade 7-8:30 p.m. $10 or 7-10 p.m. $20. Includes pizza. Contact: Kevin 570-417-1121 or Sports CLUB 566-CLUB.
Naples Progressive: Extended Open Gym, May 18th 6 to 10 p.m., $20, includes pizza and drink. Every Friday Open Gym 6 to 7 p.m., $10; 6 to 9 p.m., $15; 7 to 9 p.m.,$10. Summer camp information is available.Classes are in session. We start taking the children at 2 years old.Contact: 455-3700, naplesgymnastics.wordpress.com.
City of Naples Summer Camp: Girls ages 10 to 13. Tuesdays and Thursdays, June 12 to July 12. Fleischmann Park Football Field. 8 to 10:30 a.m. Players must have their own mouthpiece. $50. Register at the Fleischmann Park Community Center. Contact: 239-213-3020.
Roller hockey: Sundays 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Ages 4 to 8. Contact: 566-2367.
Pro elite hockey skating and skills clinic: Thursdays, 5 to 6 p.m. Ages 7 to 12. $120 for six weeks. Contact: Coach Joe 431-7090, www.proelitehockey.com.
Naples Community Sailing Center: Instruction for youths and adults. Summer youth camp starts June 11. Spring break and adult lessons also available. Contact: CC Cramer 403-7193, email@example.com or visit naplessailingcenter.com.
Mizuno Edge: Ages 10 to 14. Seeking coaches. Contact: Joe Sutherland, 561-436-1443.
Tropic Wave Fast Pitch (12 and under): Looking for a couple of players. Practices held at St. John Neumann High School. Contact. Andrea Peterson 239-269-4280, TropicWaveFastPitch@yahoo.com.
Southwest Florida United Academy: Ages 3½-19. First Kicks Academy (3½-6) training on Monday(s) or Wednesday(s) from 6-7 p.m.; Junior Academy I (6-9) training on Wednesday(s) only from 6-7:30 p.m.; Junior Academy II (8-13) training Monday(s) and Wednesday(s) from 6-7:30 p.m.; Senior Academy (13-19) training Monday(s) and Wednesday(s) from 6-8 p.m. Train for 12 weeks at Barron Collier High School, with league games on Thursdays at North Collier Regional Park for the Junior Academy ages. First Kicks/Junior Academy training runs until June 6. Contact: Dwight Morgan (239) 272-0218, www.swflunited.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Neal Studd FGCU camp: Ages 7 and up. Session 1: June 9 to 14. Intensive Swim Camp, Session 2: June 18 to 22 for all campers. Session 3: July 9 to July 13 for all campers at the FGCU Aquatic Center. Half day (8 to 11:30 a.m.) $200; full day (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) $375; overnight $525. Contact: Justin Glover, email@example.com.
South Florida Riptide: Fielding girls travel teams ages 10U-17U for USAV and AAU tournaments. Also looking for assistant coaches and junior coaches (volunteer and paid positions). Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, riptidevolleyball.net.
Bear wrestling club: Sign-ups Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 to 8 p.m. at Palmetto Ridge High School. Ages 5 to 18. Practices Tuesday and Thursday. $100. Contact: Josh McIntosh 938-6316, Dave Parmenter 353-0265.
Naples Sharks: Mondays and Wednesdays 6 to 8 p.m. Gulf Coast High School. $100 (no charge for first practice). Contact: Dominic Del Debbio 816-520-7617, email@example.com.
Naples Titans: At Golden Gate High School. Tuesday and Thursday, 6 to 8 p.m. $100 (no charge for first practice). Contact: Dominic Del Debbio (816) 520-7617 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wildcat wrestling club: Practices 6 to 7:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at Estero High School. Ages first grade through high school. Free. Contact: Matt Brock 851-7630, email@example.com.
To have an activity listed, mail it to Naples Daily News, Kids Calendar, 1100 Immokalee Road, Naples, FL, 34110. You can fax info to 263-4816 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Email preferred by 4:30 p.m. on Sunday