Friday, December 19, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Davis Alliance: one-stop shopping for youth soccer

This photo, taken between games on a day when many of Davis Alliance Soccer Academy's teams were in action, features a little more than half of the club's players from various teams. Mike Smith/Courtesy photo

By
From page B1 | December 05, 2012 |

In 2010, three teams of Davis and Woodland kids and their parents went looking for a different kind of soccer opportunity …

Less than three years later, that humble beginning has blossomed into the Davis Alliance Soccer Academy — 19 squads strong, serving 300 players throughout Yolo County.

“Those (initial) three teams were very, very important to me,” DASA President David M. Zoldak told The Enterprise. “We wanted to develop players … with a different approach than AYSO or Davis Legacy.”

The group provided entry-level play, stopping just short of premier-level teams. It’s an organization that grows its own from beginning to the next level, according to founders.

So popular was the approach, Zoldak explains, that growth came far quicker than Alliance founders imagined.

Originally playing indoor soccer in Vacaville and finding fields for practices where it could in Davis and Woodland, DASA now fields boys and girls teams ranging from U10 through U16.

The two-season group has moved outdoors and plays at a variety of facilities, including Playfields Park, Sandy Motley Park and Nugget Fields in Davis, and Woodland Community Fields.

While not critical of Legacy, AYSO or Woodland YMCA soccer, Zoldak and his vice president, Phil Bachand, believe the Alliance is a perfect blend of all three.

“Our kids did a lot of AYSO, my son did Legacy,” Bachand said. “There were a few things distinguishing themselves in club: Legacy offered extended play — but you had to be a really competitive, skilled player, and there’s a lot of pressure that goes with that.

“So we were looking for an opportunity to have extended play where we could have a team together for a year and yet, we wanted a level that wasn’t quite as competitive.”

The success of those first three volunteer-driven, lower-key Alliance teams spawned the group’s breakneck growth.

During the past season, two U16 boys squads — Los Azules and Bayern Munich — captured regional tournaments as teams throughout DASA ranks won or placed in other competitions. The Sacramento Youth Soccer League is home for Alliance teams’ head-to-head play while group affiliation with the California Youth Soccer League gives local squads the chance to play for an eventual state title and entry into the various State Cup tournaments.

Alliance coaches are a mix of paid and volunteer personnel. Zoldak said “95 percent of the coaches are certified with E licenses” and the group’s goal is 100 percent certification, at that highest level.

Team parents can decide if they want paid coaches and it then is up to them to raise money to cover that cost.

Referees, unlike AYSO, are paid. Administrators all remain volunteers.

Of the 300 kids playing, according to Zoldak, “there are Davis players sprinkled throughout the teams … four are exclusively Davis and altogether we have about 75 Davis kids involved.”

Bachand says one of the beauties of Alliance soccer is that a team can be formed by “anyone” and delivered intact to the league. Alliance and CYSA will judge a team’s competence and place it in the appropriate division. All coaches receive background checks before earning trustees’ blessings.

“The nice thing about Alliance is anyone who is interested in putting the effort in can put together a team, run it and play,” Bachand continued, adding that often ultra-competitive club soccer “is demanding on family time … kids and parents have no control over it. We wanted to take some of that control back and still have extended play.”

The wide-reaching DASA goal is simple:

“We offer teams the option to play recreational, metro/select and competitive soccer,” the Alliance mission statement reads. “With the help of an experienced group of coaches, we hope to reinforce more advanced technical skills, tactical awareness, physical condition and sportsmanship.”

Where the many competitive soccer clubs can bring fees that top $2,000 annually, Zoldak says Alliance works to keep costs down. Facility-use fees, insurance and referee costs mean each competitive-level DASA player will be charged $125 per season (recreational players pay $100). Uniforms are $75 each.

So pick your playing level and enjoy, Zoldak says.

Notes: In addition to SYSL and CYSA, Alliance is run in accordance with the ethical standards of the United States Soccer Federation, the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and US Club Soccer. … Spring tryouts will be conducted in January with additional information to be found at www.davisalliance.org. … For the past 22 years, Zoldak has worked in wine-industry sales. Bachand, who coaches the Odyssey, coached AYSO teams for six seasons and works for Tetra Tech, an international company that provides engineering, consulting and technical services.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at bgallaudet@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8047.

Comments

comments

Bruce Gallaudet

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    UCD, UC team up to study effects of climate change

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Teens’ goal? Helping other soccer players around the world

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    There’s a plate for you at the Davis Holiday Meal

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Police seek suspect in hit-and-run collision

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Help sought in search for runaway Davis teen

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    Feds release ‘framework’ to rate colleges

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Gunfire leads to DUI arrest

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Creative women share food, friendship

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Konditorei presents free holiday concert

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Welcome 2015 with Mumbo Gumbo at a gala bash

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Luminaria display planned in West Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Willett bench is a labor of love

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A4

    Author! Author! UCD hosts talks, Q and A on Asia-focused books

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Blue Christmas service planned at Davis churches

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Libraries will be closed around the holidays

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    See diving ducks at city wetlands tour

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Downtown gift cards get a new perk

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

    Meditation, Buddhism classes offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    A home for the holidays?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    Nobel Prize winner will discuss research related to autism

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Traditional carols service is Saturday at St. Martin’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Explorit: Experience nano this spring

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Supplies collected for victims of abuse

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Grandmothers support group meets weekly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

     
    Soup’s On will benefit NAMI-Yolo

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Donate to STEAC at Original Steve’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    .

    Forum

    He needs them to pay up

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Kudos to Central Park Gardens donors and volunteers

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A14

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A14

     
    Cheers and Jeers: Have you ever seen the rain?

    By Our View | From Page: A14

    Defeating Ebola involves medicine, and prayers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A14 | Gallery

     
    .

    Sports

    Cousins is back in lineup but Kings fall

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devil boys hold off scrappy Rio Linda

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Lady Blue Devils rout an undefeated Liberty squad

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    UCD RB coach Wright heads to Florida; what next?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Aggies nab junior college defensive lineman

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Nostra-Dunning makes his college bowl picks

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: B2

    Tennyson’s first goal is the difference in Sharks win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    Name droppers: Trio elected to academy of inventors

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    .

    Arts

     
    ‘Before Midnight’ screening is tonight

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

    DMTC plans New Year’s Eve party

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

     
    Tom Rigney and Flambeau to play

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

     
    DMTC announces auditions for ‘Sweeney Todd’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

     
    .

    Business

    After 19 years, Alfa Romeo returns

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: A16

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Rena Sylvia Smilkstein

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Comics