October 20th, 2017
Dear Members of FM United Soccer Club and West Fargo Soccer Club:
We write to you with exciting news for the future of soccer in the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo area.
First, we would like to thank our players, coaches, and parents for supporting our clubs and allowing us to be successful. Each of our clubs has worked to provide a player experience in keeping with its mission and key values, which means putting the interests of our players first and foremost. We each want our players to learn the tactical and strategic fundamentals of the game in a positive environment of integrity and respect. We also want players to learn that a fulfilled life is one of giving to others, both to the community (through efforts like FM United’s United to Serve program) and on the field by helping teammates and modeling good sportsmanship, win or lose. We hope that all our players are developing soccer skills and a love of the game, building self- esteem and self-confidence, and learning leadership lessons that they will be able to apply in life.
As we have talked over the last year, we have determined we can meet our goals better together than we can separately. Therefore, we are pleased to announce that West Fargo Soccer Club and FM United will be combining to create United Soccer Club of the Red River Valley, which we expect to have thriving competitive and recreational programs, as well as a developmental “academy” for young players transitioning to traveling competitive soccer.
The fundamental reason for our decision is that we believe the future of soccer in the area lies in bringing people together to help unify soccer in our community. In addition, the combination of our clubs gives us three specific key benefits:
- Better player experience – We will have a complete offering of age groups and more teams for each age group, and we can offer a range of programs for players of varying skill, experience, and commitment levels – Recreational, Academy, and Competitive.
- Better coaching experience – A combined club can offer more opportunities to develop as a coach, from beginners (volunteer recreational coaches) to highly skilled competitive coaches looking to advance their careers, and our coaching-friendly environment will allow coaches to focus on players and their development.
- Impact to the community – The club will seek to make a more profound impact in our community than either club could make by itself.
The club will be managed by a board of directors comprised of members of the current boards of each club. That group is working through details to allow the club to start the winter season on January 7, 2018. All members and players of each club will be welcomed on the club’s teams this summer. We look forward to having you be part of our future success as we move forward united in our commitment to our players’ development.
Fortunately, the clubs have similar governance and cost structures, making a combination possible. There will be one or more public meetings in December to discuss details and provide further information about this exciting opportunity. We will communicate details of those meetings via email and social media, and we will be better able to answer specific questions at that time.
Thank you for your dedication and support of our clubs over the years. We know that making everyone happy is impossible, and we won’t get everything right, especially such a major transition. However, we will always be guided by our “Players First” philosophy, and all our efforts will be devoted to maximizing our players’ tactical, technical, and personal development.
Joe Larson, President, FM United Soccer Club, on behalf of the Board of FM United Soccer Club
Michael Raum, President, West Fargo Soccer Club, on behalf of the Board of West Fargo Soccer Club