New soccer association replaces AYSO |

New soccer association replaces AYSO

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

South Lake Tahoe soccer leaders have decided to disband the local branch of the American Youth Soccer Organization and begin a new approach to the sport for area children and adults.

After a two-year formulation period, the South Tahoe Soccer Association has been created. It will provide structured teams for children ages 4 to 18 in recreational, developmental and competitive divisions. The nonprofit organization will also provide referee certification and training for its coaches.

Stephanie Hannah, a regional AYSO commissioner for the past three years, said that AYSO board members and supporting staff have been looking for ways to improve recreational soccer as well as competitive and select components over the past several years.

“We really needed to move in a new direction so we would satisfy all components and all aspect groups,” Hannah said. “South Lake Tahoe kids and adults weren’t getting 100 percent of the resources. We truly feel we will be able to encompass all aspects of soccer recreationally and all ethnic groups. Every child will be able to play.”

Hannah said there has been resistance from nearby directors in Carson City and regionally in San Francisco.

“We feel that those who live here know what is best for the children of our community,” Hannah said. “We don’t feel we should be told by the people of Carson City, San Francisco or nationally what we should do for the kids and adults in our community.”

The STSA has hired Amy Machin-Ward as its executive director. In addition to having coached at the youth, high school and collegiate levels, Machin-Ward ushered in a similar association in Summit County, Colo.

STSA representatives will discuss the new association’s plans and vision during a community meeting on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the multipurpose room at South Tahoe Middle School.

To learn more about the STSA and it’s mission, go to or phone 1-877-358-1207.

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