Oak Park and River Forest youth soccer clubs to merge

Strikers, Rapids to become Chicago Edge SC


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By Brad Spencer

Sports Editor

The area's two travel youth soccer clubs — the OPRF Strikers and the River Forest Rapids — announced recently that they will merge at all age levels.

The combined club expects to field over 40 teams of players ranging in age from 7 to 18. Officials from both programs said the deeper talent pool will allow the clubs to form more teams, and more competitive teams, at all age levels. The two clubs currently field a unified high school program under the banner of OPRF One.

"A complete merger of the OPRF Strikers and River Forest Rapids is a natural progression from the success we have seen with a combined high school program," said Tim Drane, president of the River Forest Rapids. "Having one club will enable us to develop and field more competitive teams, allow players to train and play with teammates of like abilities, and keep fees from increasing the way they have at other clubs."

The new club will be called the Chicago Edge SC.

"Our coaching directors Murray Findlay and Gavin Richards have been working together well at the high school level," said Steve Gillman, president of the OPRF Strikers. "This allows our communities to join together to build a premier soccer club for players at all ages with the opportunity for a higher level of achievement.

"I'd like to thank the Strikers and Rapids boards and our directors of coaching for working together to make this a reality."

The merger will be effective beginning in May 2012 when open tryouts for next season will be combined.

"Without a doubt this merger will greatly impact our high school program for the better — getting the best community kids playing together early on will not only help their development and chemistry, but will also create a smooth transition to the high school program," said Paul Wright, head coach of the boys program at OPRF High School.

For more information about the merger go to either www.oprfstrikers.com or www.rfrapids.org.

Email: bspencer@oakpark.com Twitter: OakParkSports

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Posted: December 5th, 2013 4:45 PM

I love Soccer so much and I think that Tri Star may not be done.


Posted: January 11th, 2012 9:45 PM

Does this mean that Tri Star will now merge with OPPD Gymnastic Program?

Rich Schurr from Oak Park  

Posted: January 11th, 2012 9:33 PM

I think a very important concept is being overlooked: choice. Rapids was formed years ago by parents looking for a local alternative to Strikers. Both clubs worked hard to provide a better value than the other, making both programs better. By merging the two clubs we are eliminating one option for local soccer which is a shame and will result in higher cost and no incentive to improve. Not all kids have the means to join elite clubs, now they'll have one less local option.

AYSO and Striker Parent  

Posted: January 10th, 2012 1:00 PM

@VioletAura - Nothing happened to Art. Its just not relevant to this conversation. I am happy to report that our AYSO/Striker also loves to create art, and we encourage this behavior. Just because the world chooses to divide itself into Jocks vs Artsy Types doesn't mean we can't evolve into a society where one can pursue both.

Jim B  

Posted: January 9th, 2012 3:16 PM

See new Spencer article... If Edge commits in writing to keep the new club make-up to 85-90% Oak Park and River Forest kids that would be awesome. Unfortunately, new club obviously seeks to be a regional premier club based on its new by-laws and FAQ. New club is designed for "city and near west suburbs" regional approach. A big change from 85-90% Op and RF kid based. Oak Park Park District and River Forest Park District need to get the 85-90% in writing.

Violet Aura  

Posted: January 9th, 2012 2:37 PM

I must say that I am disgusted by how obsessed people in the OPRF area are when it comes to their kids and sports. These over-booked CHILDREN (not little adults!) are being conditioned to win! win! win! What the eff ever happened to art? What happened to learning how to play an instrument? No, it's all about some stoopid game. And of course these are the same boneheads with their fantasy football and watching the pathetic Chicago teams, even when they are eliminated from making the finals! Ugh!

Rejected Rapid  

Posted: January 9th, 2012 1:20 PM

@Tom, bitter is not really the word. Bemused and amused. As a soccer person I want them to succeed and have no ill will but they are now stuck with a policy they created that reduces their affiliate status to just another nonresident entity. This will benefit the organizations you mentioned but it will not benefit the new club, their RF kids and their western suburbs or "Chicago's Edge" model. Field space is at a premium and RF fields are very good and desired by the youth sporting community.

JODD from Oak Park  

Posted: January 9th, 2012 11:59 AM

Sounds like a great concept to combine teams. I wish travel softball had a similar system.

AYSO and Striker Parent  

Posted: January 9th, 2012 10:57 AM

@Everybody - such unnecessary arguments : American football fans bashing soccer, competitive-play and recreational-play followers bashing each other's approach to athletics and life. To each his own!

Tom from RF  

Posted: January 9th, 2012 7:29 AM

@RR, approach you describe seems appropriate. I & all taxpayers from RF, pay taxes that go into the pd and the Village (lots). Feels right we should have priority when it comes to using things only we pay for. Those in OP do not pay RF taxes & vice versa. You seem very close & knowledgeable to the policy yet bitter. Such an approach you pointed out, protects all in the village - especially RF residents, RF Baseball, RF Youth Soccer and any other RF groups including looks like pd?

Rejected Rapid  

Posted: January 8th, 2012 9:55 PM

@OPRF Achievement. There is nothing preventing anyone from using park district fields. But there is a policy in place controlling its use for residents and nonresidents. It was designed to restrict non resident groups and to protect the fields. The merged club is now a nonresident group. They now have the lowest priority when allocating limited field space. I wish this was not the case but the soccer people were instrumental in 2006 in putting this policy in place to restrict use by nonresidents


Posted: January 8th, 2012 7:51 PM

The question I have is of the 129 comments thus far how many total people does that equate to. My guess is 5!! LoL

Nice People All  

Posted: January 8th, 2012 5:16 PM

I would like to thank all the wonderful people who have commented on this trivial sport . . . anyone can kick a beachball. And anybody can stand in front of a beachball and stop it. Stupid sport. Most of the kids just stand around watching. Just $ for the coaches.

Ron from RF  

Posted: January 8th, 2012 5:07 PM

@OPRF Achievement - besides the new club being tier 5, the field use policy says, "The RF PD Staff has the full and exclusive discretion to determine field availability for organizations wishing to use the RF PD fields. Nothing in this Policy shall be interpreted to mean that a field is available for permitting just because it is not being used or appears to be unused."

Ron from RF  

Posted: January 8th, 2012 4:53 PM

If Rapid/Strikers want non-resident regional status, my opinion is they have worn out their usefulness in the community. This mis-step could be a blessing in disguise. OP/RF park districts should team up, create new travel soccer entity to benefit OP/RF kids. New club could hire recent college grads who know the game for far less then current private coach's. It would keep fee's down. Any community clubs first focus should be what's best for local kids, not private club agenda or its coaches.

OPRF Achievement   

Posted: January 8th, 2012 4:11 PM

@Rejected Rapid - took a look at the field use policy you refereed to. Thanks for pointing it out (did not even know it was public - nice to see from the PD). Do not see anywhere in the policy where it prevents anyone from using fields - OPRF Strikers or any one else?

Rejected Rapid  

Posted: January 8th, 2012 2:09 PM

Where is this new club going to play? They will be a tier 5 nonresident organization according to the field use policy http://www.rfparks.com/assets/pdfs/FieldUsePolicyAdopted020607.pdf Remember a few years back when the Park Board was dominated by Rapids parents. They changed the field use policy to prevent those Oak Park Striker kids from playing on RF fields. What comes around goes around. Calling all Rapids parents, the next Park Board election is April 2013 so you can change the policy.

OPRF Achievment  

Posted: January 8th, 2012 7:50 AM

This issue is about adults and Well Paid Trainers, & how to ensure Well Paid Trainers make More $$$. No reason at all to talk about who achieved what. Playing at D3 in many ways is WAY more beneficial than D1. Also D1 in many ways works the other way. Parents - focus on Academics. Just remember, D1 is a BUSINESS. They expect the sport to come first ALWAYS. They own your time and pretty much your social life. Reason why numbers are down, is too much focus on club. Time grow PD Soccer!

if it helps..........  

Posted: January 7th, 2012 10:26 PM

@Ron. Exactly. I believe that RF has a 70% minimal number for RF residents on the Rapids teams. RF simply doesn't have the numbers to field teams at the older ages. Merger with Strikers/OP is therefore ideal. Robin and the few others that wish to can play elsewhere and let the 99% develop skills and play locally. In the meantime, in spite of efforts, R was only able to play D-3 at an unknown school. All that effort, time and money for this result? Why bother? Stop chasing after unicorns.

Ron from RF  

Posted: January 7th, 2012 5:10 PM

What % should be from outside OP/RF? Strikers has 2 boys teams at most 3rd to 8th grade levels (mostly OP kids). Rapids has boys teams at same levels with 1/2 RF kids. With merger new club can field competitive "A/B" teams at all levels with no need to open club to non OP/RF kids. Adding non OP/RF kids results in cutting OP/RF kids from "A/B" team, or adding "C" team which fields can not absorb. (Numbers are similar for girls') Merge, stay OP/RF, is best for community and field space.


Posted: January 7th, 2012 2:42 PM

"bring back park district soccer"? Where did it go? I think it's still around.


Posted: January 6th, 2012 7:19 PM

bring back park district soccer with an emphasis on fitness. the exclusive clubs can pare themselves down and the rest of the kids can get some exercise, learn a game, and have fun! oak park has too many competitive rich people. games are life skills people. winning/losing/playing. get yourselves therapy.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 5:58 PM

To: Why I Hate Soccer - I suspect it would be the same if the US was playing Ireland.

Ghost of Zuppke w/the final last word...really from Oak Park  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 5:43 PM

Oh, and thank you, Epic Putz. You are a great American! Let's all move to the Sertus comment section now, please.

Ghost of Zuppke w/the final last word...really from Oak Park  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 5:40 PM

D Money: Never challenge the Ghost! I looked; while avg ticket sales per game are a tad higher for MLS (not total tix sold), they also have bigger stadiums! What really counts is the TV audience. That's where the MONEY is. The Bulls pre-season game in Dec drew 10X the audience of the MLS title game. Hope Solo dancing also drew way more than same. Again, high level soccer is fine, but it'll never be Football in the US. Now, if Hope Solo became a Honey Bear, now we're talkin'! We're done here...

Why I Hate Soccer  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 4:50 PM

USA vs. Mexico last year at Soldier Field. Crowd cheering for Mexico. Nuff said.

Jim B  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 4:47 PM

AYSO and Striker Parent... to answer your question, for teams 3rd grade to 8th grade there is no reason to expand club beyond Oak Park and River Forest. That is what makes the merger so great.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 4:42 PM

We'll miss you, Epic. Have fun.


Posted: January 6th, 2012 3:49 PM

Whats the comment number record held by Ken Trainor?

Epic Putz  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 3:42 PM

This has become my favorite WJ comment section of all time. New talent and none of the boring regular characters like "Silly/Laughing", Mutaugh, Enuf, Coughlin, Epic Lulz, Violet Aurora and Gunz/Carz Kill on this one. "Ghost of Zuppke" is my new favorite WJ character. Keep it up, Ghost! You are fighing the good fight! 1st World Football trumps 3rd World Soccer any day of the week!

D Money  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 3:28 PM

Ghost, you are pretty offensive...as for your comment about soccer not being as popular as other "first-world" sports, if you actually looked at the data you would find that MLS ticket sales have already past those of the NBA and are getting closer and closer to the MLB. Soccer is the world's game, and America is starting to figure that out

Ghost of Zuppke w/the last word...really! from Oak Park  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 3:08 PM

Robin, I enjoy watching high level soccer, especially with an enthusiastic Spanish announcer. GOOOOAL! I also like the women's game, especially if the women look like Hope Solo. It's great that young girls can play soccer & other sports. But since it will never reach the interest level of football, basketball & baseball at the pro level, let's stop kidding ourselves. The only reason D1 soccer scholarships exist is due to revenue from FOOTBALL! Soccer has its place,far down the list. Forum over!

AYSO and Striker Parent  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 3:07 PM

@Ron from RF - I see your point. I guess we'll have to see who ends up on the teams. If it is a high percentage of non-OPRF kids on OPRF fields, that is bad. But what is an acceptable % to you?

Robin's Kicked Shin  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 2:58 PM

Don't attack me by putting my own words into my mouth!

Ron from RF  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 2:57 PM

AYSO/Striker Parent I am for merger, not for regional club that will only benefit small pool of local players at expense of OPRF kids who play local. Regarding your "protectionists" inference, OPRF lacks field space for large non-resident organization and should not get fields. The clubs agenda is to recruit from outside OPRF- Chicago western suburbs ect. where/who does not matter. If they want to be a premier regional club, its their business and should look for fields "outside the area".


Posted: January 6th, 2012 2:53 PM

Hey Ghost. I love football! I like watching it, playing it, and have many friends who played in HS and college. That being said, I don't like you coming on this forum and putting soccer down. I'll admit, it was fun going to a HS where the football team was so abysmal that the meatheads on the team never dared pick on anyone else. An idea for you- go look up graduation rates among HS/college football players vs soccer players before you insist on everyone getting their kids in to football.

AYSO and Striker Parent  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 2:52 PM

One thing people seem to be missing is that not just the best kids will play. The combined club will field at least as many teams as the two clubs did originally, if not more, at each age level.

Ghost of Zuppke w/the last word from Oak Park  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 2:32 PM

This infernal whining just reflects a silly game foisted upon the world by an incestuous, failing imperial monarchy. Go ahead & merge, select the best kids, & move along. The rest of you, get your boys into real football & let them play. They'll be better for it. The concussion issue is there, but overblown by the usual helicopter parents creating this soccer mess. And yes, Ghost also loves Rugby. It's perfect for the 18-24 yr olds who don't play college ball, & both teams drink beer postgame!

Jim B  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 2:22 PM

It's A Small Small World... and I enjoyed Robin's 5 first half goals against Proviso... (I may be making that up...)

Jim B  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 2:19 PM

Relax Robin. Just having some fun yanking your chain. By the way I do not even know the Huettels and I am a huge supporter of the OPRFHS soccer program. Two kids still playing there so don't get me in touble. I think OPRFHS soccer will be best served by a merger focusing on kids from OP and RF. We had some fun at Palatine indoor. Great memories. You were fun to watch.

AYSO and Striker Parent  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 2:19 PM

As a former AYSO coach and parent of an AYSO player who went on to play for the Strikers, this is a good thing. Not only will we be able to field more competitive teams, but also kids will end up playing with those at a similar talent level, leading to more participation for all. To those protectionists not wanting to use our fields for non OPRF kids, don't worry; Berwyn, Cicero, and other communities have their own very competitive clubs and won't become the barbarians at the gate..

It's A Small Small World  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 2:14 PM

Golz broke Robin Hargadon's school record for most goals in a season when the senior scored five in OPRF's 8-1 toppling of Curie in the regional semifinal a few days earlier. Golz surpassed Hargadon's record of 26 %u2014 set in 2005 %u2014 on his final goal of the game

Innocent Bystander  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 1:52 PM

Robin, you yourself used the word "frustrating" to describe your time playing OPRF soccer, and said the team and the players were "mediocre." No one put those words in your mouth. You may want to think more carefully about what you type in a public forum where everyone seems to know everyone already.


Posted: January 6th, 2012 1:51 PM

... and I certainly don't want to insert myself in that conflict. What I care about is the quality of soccer being made available to the boys and girls in OP & RF, and thus I am in full support of a (merged) club that offers a better option and draws from a deeper talent pool that the current structure.


Posted: January 6th, 2012 1:47 PM

Mr. Blaha- I'm appalled that you would put words in my mouth like that. In no way would I ever put a slight on any of my former teammates, especially those great players you mentioned (all of whom I still call my friends). As someone who has played with your sons for years (and even played under you as a coach!), I am confused that you would come at me like that. I don't know what is the big (political) problem with you and the Huettels and the OPRFHS program...

Jim B  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 1:03 PM

Robin...You were "frustrated" at quality of play at OPRF? You owe your teammates an apology for this slight. In my opinion, you were at best the 4th best player on the team your senior year (coach wrights first year). JG was goalie (D1 starter), DG was right mid (all time leading scorer at OPRF and D1 starter), JR was sweaper (in my opinion the best all round soccer player ever at OPRF), I would even put stopper AP up there with you. This defense shut out LT the game you scored 3 nice goals.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen   

Posted: January 6th, 2012 11:58 AM

Soccer Hooliganism is alive and well in OPRF. Start building the moats and fencing. Have some tear gas at the ready, also.

OPRF Achievement  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 11:49 AM

@Tom has also hit the preverbal "nail on the head" Both he and Jim B have the issue cornered it seems. Not only keeping the focus local "OP and RF" but also the availability and use of taxpayer assets - the fields. Look, last I checked on our tax bills, we all pay for the upkeep and availability of those open spaces and fields. Also, still waiting for someone to tell us why this is needed - as it works fine for Baseball to have separate leagues (OP and RF)? They then merge in 7th grade


Posted: January 6th, 2012 11:33 AM

Poor Brad Spencer seems to hit the jackpot every time he write a story.

What have we become? from Oak Park, IL  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 10:48 AM

It is too bad that we've gotten to the point where we have to pay thousands of $$ for our kids to be entertained/exercised/turned into superstars. In many other countries where sports such as soccer (or the glorious American football or beisbol) are more competitive & successful, I believe these elite clubs are completely unnecessary because the kids just play to play. It seems success is often as much about how much you can afford to pay as it is about how naturally gifted you may be.


Posted: January 6th, 2012 10:07 AM

When my kids were in Strikers, they practiced on the forest preserve fields.

K Mom from Oak Park  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 9:53 AM

Whether it's AYSO, Strikers or Rapids, field space is a huge issue. More than half of my son's OAK PARK AYSO games last year were played in Chicago (Sayre), and another location up Thatcher (a high school). I think Park District games are truly the only league guaranteed field space in the actual locale. Field space is indeed a very valid and ongoing concern.

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 9:46 AM

OP Parent: Your question raises questions about the availability of scarce field space in RF and OP. If this "super-team" is no longer comprised of a predominance of OP and RF kids, why should this entity be entitled to use the park spaces that are paid for by OP and RF taxpayers?

OP Parent  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 9:26 AM

Question: Isn't Strikers and Rapids open to kids outside the OPRF area? Also, if this super-team benches more kids, maybe that would only help AYSO, since some of those kids might choose to play in the instructional league.

OPRF Achievement  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 8:40 AM

@Ghost, Youth Football is not the answer here as it is cause of later in life problems - due to concussions. Take a look http://www.baltimoresun.com/explore/howard/sports/ph-ll-cns-concussions-20111207,0,4377291.story Youth soccer is great, just how the parents make it work - keep it local


Posted: January 6th, 2012 7:02 AM

One more thing: The idea that playing AYSO is somehow "holding kids back" is so laughable and shows that arrogance and entitlement of so many of the OP sport parents.


Posted: January 6th, 2012 6:57 AM

Zuppke, what do you think of rugby? :-)


Posted: January 6th, 2012 6:55 AM

Phil, it isn't quite as binary as you are saying, but if that makes you feel good, go ahead. I don't see Iman hanging out on this thread slamming AYSO, for starters. Just a casual google for Robin's name would show that he isn't a professional athlete either, despite his earlier achievements (unless he is using that moniker pretending to be the googlable oprf soccer robin).At some point, most have to deal with the hoi polloi, and character, teamwork, and, yes, humility go a long way irl.

Ghost of Jim Nudera  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 12:24 AM

Zuppke makes a good point about the superior benefit of the sport of football. Soccer breeds people like Robin; I thin some moms on here would say that we could use less people like him/her. It took you a while to clear up whether you were a male/female, I thought that was interesting. Concerning the competitive climate of AYSO, it fosters an attitude apt for sport while it also teaches kids the rudiments of functioning in a social environment, something it seems is not learned playing club.

Ghost of Zuppke from Oak Park  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 11:33 PM

All of these comments prove my earlier point. Boys the ages of 10-18 should be playing American football, not the silly 3rd world game of soccer. (If girls want to play soccer, that's fine. I'm a big fan of Hope Solo) Soccer, once more with feeling, is a disease spread across the empire by the imperialist British. It's time for the men of US society to stop being intimidated by feminists and raise their boys to be BOYS. Let them put on pads, run fast and run into each other. It's good for them!

Phil from Oak Park  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 10:50 PM

@mimi good thing Iman Shumpert's parents didn't hold him back because "very few people will grow to be professional athletes"

OPRF Achievment  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 10:12 PM

@Jim B. has it Nailed. There needs to be an OPEN and honest discussion of what is Best and most fair for the use of the very limited open space of River Forest and Oak Park. River Forest at this time has many more well prepared soccer fields I think. However, a local club serving local needs, that is one discussion that the Tax Payers are looking forward to having. Soccer passion is wonderful, but so is baseball. If this is so necessary, why is there not talk of merging OP and RF baseball?


Posted: January 5th, 2012 9:56 PM

" hopefully we can reinstitute a civil learning of a sport without dreams of professional sports and rather active bodies." Yes. Very few people will grow to be professional athletes, but as a parent, I hope my child will grow to love sport and being active. Also, to learn a bit about humility and teamwork.

Professor Peter Van Nostrand  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 9:10 PM

My statistical analysis shows Roller Derby to be a superior sport to Soccer.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 8:51 PM

Right. The ahole characterizes his personal attacks as "opinions", while characterizing everyone else's opinions as "personal attacks". The poor deluded child just can't take the heat.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 8:44 PM

and ayso destroyed the park district classes which didn't have that frenzied competitive parent crap that ayso/stikers/rapids have. hopefully we can reinstitute a civil learning of a sport without dreams of professional sports and rather active bodies.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 8:37 PM

and the dirty little secret of women's soccer is that it is rife with injuries. no cross-training and the winter indoor leagues promote the hobbled girl. good luck to you and your beautiful girls who don't know any better.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 6:08 PM

I don't feel the need to apologize for my opinions about the quality of soccer in AYSO, just as I have not asked for apologies from anyone for the personal attacks on my character.

Jim B  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 5:32 PM

If the merger results in a combined club for Oak Park and River Forest kids, the level of soccer would be excellent and greatly benefit our 2 communities. If it is a regional club like Eclipse and Magic, it will benefit the top 2 or 3 players in the area who would be able to play on this premier club with the rest of the players from from outside the area. We need an open discussion of what is best for our communities and for use of our limited field space.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 5:31 PM

if you don't like being told to stop, then you should leave.

David from Oak Park  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 5:30 PM

back to the real story.. It's sad to think there will be no more Strikers.. but best of luck to the new club it will be good for the community and I'm excited to see what kind of talent they can produce

Last I checked....  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 5:26 PM

no one is forcing you to read the comments so if you are bored, you can always leave. I don't see any personal attacks, just attacks on various organizations started by robin, and posters trying to give him life lessons in how not to be offensive. if this bores you though, again, you should just leave.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 5:17 PM

this is really boring and has turned to personal attacks rather than about comments about the story...so STOP.

Last I checked...  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 5:14 PM

people can comment on what they want here, when they want, and how often they want as long as the rules are followed. why does @Really and @I was not joking care who comments on what anyway?

I was not joking  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 5:10 PM

stop, really.

K Mom from Oak Park  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 5:08 PM

Robin, you apologize if your comments were "misconstrued?" Nothing to be miscontrued. Back-handed apologies are sometimes worse than none at all. I am confused on who exactly held you back? Seems like you went through all of the leagues available and found the competitive one for you. Were you FORCED to play AYSO? Also, every player gets a neck medal, but only the team that wins overall in the play-offs gets a trophy I believe. Like in OPBall, bobble heads for all, and trophy for the champs.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 5:04 PM

all this over two soccer clubs joining and not shutting down ayso? please comment on 500K for stupid software by d97, or building new admin offices or sertus our guy who cleans sidewalks being fired or gun shop or anything else... honestly, just stop.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 4:56 PM

@OP mom (are you my mom???) I have no beef with AYSO as an organization, and I apologize if my comments about the quality of the soccer being played (and coached) in AYSO were misconstrued. I do however, take issue with the fact that, for years, the AYSO "participation trophy" mentality has infected the more competitive soccer outlets in OP, stifling players, like me, who want more. This (I thought) was the whole point of my first comment.

OP mom  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 4:40 PM

to Robin - There;s nothing wrong with "wanting to excel in a sport that you love". That's good sprotmanship. But trashing another organization for the sport - AYSO for example - reflects poorly upon anything else you have to say. Looking over the thread of comments here, it seems your one point is being accepted, but we are WAITING for your apology for the tirade of ruse remarks you made as you attempted to display your obvious superiority.

D Money  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 4:34 PM

I prefer "Strapids" to "Chicago Edge"

Ron from RF  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 4:33 PM

Robin, for kids who want more, that is exactly why premier regional clubs exist. But, we should not create a premier regional club that will decimate opportunities for kids that want to play local, for a few who don't want to drive the extra distance. And our local park districts should only be supporting resident organizations with field space. Not a non-resident club that invites kids from outside the area that will take opportunity away from local kids. Isn't it obvious, the Chicago Edge.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 4:31 PM

@if it helps-I was given an academic scholarship as incentive to go to the school and play on the team there. That's pretty much how it works nowadays with D3 recruiting.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 4:29 PM

I wish I could say it was!

if it helps..........  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 4:29 PM

Robin, I thought that D-3 schools do/could not provide money for athletes? How could they make an illegal exception for you? I say this because, imo, too many parents are foolishly pursuing "college scholarships" for their children and, well, they'd be wiser to purchase a certain bridge in Brooklyn - especially if they are male. I agree 100% with the post from Ron at 4:05. I don't want our parks over-used/dominated by non-residents pursuing "college scholarship" dreams!

K Mom from Oak Park  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 4:28 PM

Robin, if you are not getting it yet, what people are telling you is that you are rude. And if you don't see how your snide comments about AYSO "parents who pretend to coach", etc...are the equivalent of trashing, you are also arrogant and oblivious to common courtesy. By the way, no one is disputing that those who want a more competitive environment move from AYSO to Strikers (which is the point you say you keep trying to make). I think you rudeness overshadows any productive conversation.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 4:27 PM

Seems like Robin...Robin? Is that you?


Posted: January 5th, 2012 4:26 PM

I am proud to call myself an Oak Parker and only hope that the boys coming through system now can share the successes I have had. Merging the Strikers and Rapids will definitely help with that.

Seems like Robin just schooled  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 4:25 PM

the commenters here...Who owns the Rapids and the Strikers anyway?

lmao@ idiots  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 4:23 PM

Just like every other ahole on the planet, Robin excuses his stupidity by claiming he is just "not PC". Here's a clue for you buddy: you're the only one who doesn't see this.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 4:23 PM

So ask yourself: What if I was your kid, and I was always a little bit better than the other kids on the AYSO/Strikers field. If I expressed my desire to excel further in the sport that I loved, would you allow me to? Or would you be satisfied by AYSO and sub-par club soccer, even if it meant throwing away countless opportunities offered through youth/high school/collegiate sports?


Posted: January 5th, 2012 4:20 PM

Robin, judging from your posts and the fact that, despite any successes you might have had in life, you are here on OP.com with a massive chip on your shoulder, I am guessing you might have been ostracized for a reason other than changing teams.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 4:19 PM

When I came back in the falls to play for OPRFHS, it was frustrating at times, playing for a mediocre team in a mediocre program. I knew that my goal was to play college soccer. I attained that goal through my work at my club soccer, where I had better coaching and played with better players. I even got a little scholarship money to my D3 school for doing so.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 4:13 PM

I grew up in OP playing P.D. soccer, then AYSO, then Strikers. When I was 12, my parents and I decided to move to the Chicago Magic where there was better coaching and I could develop more as a player. I won state and regional championships, played overseas, and played with a few names you might even recognize as professionals now. I was completely ostracized by the OPRF soccer community for "selling out" and switching clubs.

Ron from RF  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 4:09 PM

To see mission statement and FAQ go here: http://www.rfrapids.org/index.php My guess is they will pull it down fast after they read comments here. Their press release, info in this article are totally misleading to public.

Ron from RF  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 4:05 PM

If this is a merger of 2 local clubs, the idea is good. But everything in their mission statement/FAQ says regional club, like Eclipse/Chicago fire. It clearly state's they do not want to be perceived as local feeder club to HS. Regional club = non- resident origination looking for resident organization field use status. If OPRF wants their kids cut, dropped to the B or C team to support kids team hopping from Eclipse/Chicago Fire, then support it. If you want local club for OPRF kids, oppose.

if it helps..........  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 3:55 PM

Alright, posts from Ron make me absolutely livid! Why? Are we turning over OP and RF scarce fields to a large organization which has a main purpose of being a regional program?!? Then this has little to do with the positive benefit of friendship/teamwork/competitiveness and furthering those goals to lead in to OPRF. I don't care what fees these programs pay to PDOP/RF - I'd rather watch butterflies than have non-residents and their children pushing out my kids from parks and programs.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 3:54 PM

cont'd: In other words, you are not a parent, just someone who is slightly new to the adult world of polite discourse, particularly when we are talking about children. Now show a little sportsmanship, and apologize for your arrogant remarks to the many who have contributed to the AYSO program.

Ron from RF  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 3:51 PM

From Club FAQ:"a premier youth soccer club" -"program for area soccer players "-"opportunity to create a deeper talent pool"-"We don't want to discourage players from surrounding areas who want to play competitive soccer"-"The name and logo for Chicago Edge SC alludes to the fact that we are geographically located on the edge of the city of Chicago, which allows us to draw kids and families from the city and the near western suburbs."


Posted: January 5th, 2012 3:51 PM

Robin, it's not that you're being non-PC, you're just arrogant. I suspect you are a college kid.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 3:49 PM

You said you have never trashed AYSO and I cited instances where you did. Maybe you don't read so good.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 3:49 PM

Nothing will convince you, because your head is hollow. But you are wrong.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 3:47 PM

@mimi- Please convince me in 500 characters that neither of those statements is true...

Ron from RF  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 3:44 PM

More from FAQ: The name and logo for Chicago Edge SC alludes to the fact that we are geographically located on the edge of the city of Chicago, which allows us to draw kids and families from the city and the near western suburbs.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 3:43 PM

Then there's this: "For people who want to gain skills to work towards some goal (whether is to win championships, or to play in HS or college), let's face it, AYSO is not going to help with that. " Really. Huh.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 3:42 PM

Robin, where have you trashed AYSO? For starters, there is this: "Your KIDS can be KIDS in an AYSO rec league where you and some other dads can pretend to coach and make sure the players get their cupcakes after every game. "


Posted: January 5th, 2012 3:39 PM

You people are so obsessed with being PC, it's hilarious! (Okay Roy, the "small" joke was a little crass, but I know you laughed a little bit). Where have I trashed AYSO? I certainly will not laud the quality of soccer being played in that league, but I never implied it is without merit as a recreational organization. Tons of children and parents are perfectly happy playing AYSO, but there are some who aspire to play at a more competitive level.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 3:35 PM

" It is glorified babysitting run by parents who are either not interested or unable to teach the game of soccer." Really, this is nonsense. My kid was in Strikers and had the worst coach I hope he ever has the misfortune to have experienced. Nice guy, but had absolutely no leadership skills. It was a waste of money and time. My kids play AYSO in the spring, fall, and winter. They're pretty good. They play Strikers kids and definitely can hold their own.

Ron from RF  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 3:35 PM

From Chicago edge FAQ: What is the name of the combined Club? Answer: The combined Club will be called Chicago Edge SC. We seriously considered continuing to use the name OPRF One, but some players from outside the Oak Park River Forest community could perceive that OPRF One is just a feeder program for the high school. We don't want to discourage players from surrounding areas who want to play competitive soccer. This is no longer a local club.

if it helps..........  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 3:34 PM

I believe that "Robin" is male and is in college. He's obviously enthusiastic and bright and has a lot of pride in himself and sister. Congrats, but I think that when he is older he might take a more balanced approach to this issue. BTW, long overdue for the merger. Should have happened long ago, but the pettiness of adults, primarily Strikers (yes, I'm referring to the C's!) prevented it. BTW, somewhere between 0-2 kids, per sex/year, play D-1. And fewer are given one penny - like R's sis.

Not a futbol fan  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 3:29 PM

After 1 year in AYSO (and other sports in OP), I have to say I understand where Robin is coming from. If you do not want your kid to refine his/her skills or be in a competitive league, stay in AYSO. Nothing wrong with it. Also, nothing wrong if you want a more casual, AYSO approach either. Of course, I ultimately agree with Ghost of Zuppke as soccer stinks.

K Mom from Oak Park  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 3:09 PM

"It's an ABSOLUTE TRAVESTY that it has taken so long for these clubs to merge." Wow...a TRAVESTY!? Obsess much about kids soccer leagues Robin? I am not the biggest AYSO fan, but my kids do participate and it works for us. Conversely, we don't openly trash those who choose Strikers or the organization itself. Sad that you found the need to trash AYSO and those of us who participate. Snide comments about parent coaches, cupcakes and trophy-for-all mentalities only showed your immaturity at best.

D Money  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 3:03 PM

Why can't kids from Oak Park and River Forest be friends? This is going to be great for local soccer and will produce better homegrown players. @Ghost of Zuppke Based on your comment, it seems that you have forgotten that GIRLS are allowed to play sports now, except for the first-world sport of football that is. JOGA BONITO!!!!!!

Joan from Oak Park  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 3:00 PM

My daughter played AYSO all the way - never Strikers - and made the OPRF soccer team. She did NOT always have "great coaching" in AYSO (not all Strikers coaches are so great either, I have heard...)And she did enjoy the cupcakes sometimes more than the games! But she had other interests, and wanted to play with her friends more. Regardless, she had fun and this motivated her to play and get better. No need to trash either side: it should be what the kids WANT -- and the more options, the better

Roy Willy  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 2:59 PM

Robin is utterly pathetic for making "small willy" jokes but illuminates her persoanlity completely. Is this what she teaches her kids when she isn't making them win at all costs? The amount of time and money parents spend on their kids sports is their problem, not mine and not the communities. I want my property taxes to maximize academics, and if they win a few games along the way, it is gravy. Life doesnt end for mature people in high school.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 2:48 PM

@Wow: Well I, for one, feel better now that @Robin won.

mv113 from op  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 2:46 PM

@Ghostofzupke you have obviously been concussed by your years on the gridiron.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 2:31 PM

This will not be a local club - can't. Just look at the name, look at the FAQ. They toss in the HS coach to make it look that way - not the case. Oh, forgot to mention the $. This is all about paying trainers 125 an hour - for what? We now have enough young dads that have played the game - and loads of kids. What other sport to we shell out all this money (if if stayed at 60 ok).


Posted: January 5th, 2012 2:22 PM

Can kids from FP, Berwyn, Cicero and Maywood join? Why not open the talent pool to a larger group?


Posted: January 5th, 2012 2:22 PM

Robin, you're right, you win! Feel better now?


Posted: January 5th, 2012 2:17 PM

Robin, you're making the assumption that your child is better than mine at soccer. I hadn't even considered whether or not they might be, though it's funny that you jump to that conclusion. That's funny because that is the point I'm trying to make - Who cares which child is a better player!!! Your prioroties startle me.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 2:15 PM

I see I am never going to be able to win this argument, even though I am right. Bottom line: Merging the OP & RF clubs will be a boon to competitive players in the area. Isn't that what club soccer is about? Sure, it's not for everyone, and those not for the increased competition can make use of AYSO.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 2:11 PM

@almost-I can't believe you just used the word 'elitist' when talking about youth sports. Do you have that opinion of every kid who is better than yours at soccer? Are your ultimate goals for your child to be able to work with others and get some exercise? @RoySmallWilly-How about the students? They don't put in countless hours on the practice field or court(and hundreds of their parents' hours and dollars), to not care about winning. I love your enthusiasm for mediocrity, I just don't share it.

almost scared to nleash my kids to this mentality  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 1:39 PM

Gosh! What good can come from "participation trophy for all" mentality? Oh, yea, a kid gets to feel good about himself/herself for working with others and getting some exercise while they're at it. I guess that doesn't qualify as a goal for Robin. Glad there's something out there for everyone, even Robin and her family. But Robin, maybe you need to keep your elitist opinions to yourself.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 1:31 PM

Also, I happen to know that TEESHOT was a volunteer coach for one of the most successfull girls teams in the history of the RF Rapids. My sister was on that team before she left for greener pastures (and better coaching) at Eclipse. Now she is playing varsity soccer at an Ivy League school. @Roy and Often: You purveyors of the "participation-trophy-for-all" mentality are a lot of what's wrong with OPRF sports.

Ghost of Zuppke from Oak Park  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 1:30 PM

This entire string shows the folly of the Oprah-zation of our young males. These boys should all be playing real American Football, not the silly 3rd world sport of soccer. Put pads on them, let them smack each other around, build character & mental toughness, & yes, learn controlled agression. If they aren't big enough, then lacrosse & baseball are good options. Stop the madness. Soccer is a disease spread by the failed British empire! Get the boys back on the gridiron where they belong!!


Posted: January 5th, 2012 1:29 PM

Robin, your comments are offensive in so many ways; where to begin? Yeeeesh!


Posted: January 5th, 2012 1:24 PM

@jacek and often called: let's be clear here- I have nothing against AYSO as a recreational outlet for your kids to have fun. I'm just calling a spade a spade. For people who want to gain skills to work towards some goal (whether is to win championships, or to play in HS or college), let's face it, AYSO is not going to help with that. People who can't cope with the competitive environment of club soccer should by all means take advantage of AYSO.

Roy Willy  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 1:13 PM

Based on the comments here, I look forward to sending my kids to play in a league where they can have fun and exercise...AYSO all the way. They can learn to win when they get into better colleges than the "win at all costs" meatheads that competitive youth sports creates.

OP parent  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 1:10 PM

well said, Jacek Lazarczyk from Oak Park!

often called to coach while others.....  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 1:08 PM

AYSO is not a joke teeshot, though your comments and moniker appear to reflect something about you. I'm thinking that you are one of those people who pay others to do things for you - clean your house, raise and entertain your kids(nanny), etc - while you spend your time golfing or going to "the club". Oh yea, and I'll bet you've never volunteered to coach or lead a kids' sport or kids' group. Wow is right.

teeshot from oakpark  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 1:03 PM

I think the "keep it local" is ridiculous. My daughter played with a girl from Forest Park. I guess you would exclude her (BTW she is now playing college soccer at a fine college).

Jacek Lazarczyk from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 1:03 PM

@Robin, why so much anger in your comments? I am one of the dads that "pretend to coach" AYSO. While I am not worthy of tying the shoes of career coaches at Strikers I do try my best (studying manuals, dvds and observing Strikers' coaches). For many kids, AYSO serves as a jumping block to club soccer. Many others wouldn't make the cut at the club but still get to experience the sport. I think merger of Strikers and Rapids is a good thing, just like you said. I simply object to your dragging AYSO's name through the mud.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 12:59 PM

To teeshot and others of similar mind(less: Why don't you just admit you are living vicariously through kids - those who are yours and not yours. Then why don't you let kids be kids and find a league for ADULTS to expend that fight instinct and stress upon yourself...just a thought...

Jim B  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 12:52 PM

I am excited about River Forest Rapids and Oak Park Strikers merging. With the merger the new club should be for Oak Park and River Forest kids. We have combined communtity of over 60,000. This is much bigger than Hinsdale, Western Springs, Oak Brook and Clarendon Hills combined. Designing the merged club for "near west suburbs and Chicago" is a big change from Rapids and Strikers original goals. Keep the merged club local to Oak Park and River Forest. Just a thought.

teeshot from oak park  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 12:50 PM

I think this is great news for soccer in our area. When the clubs were split it divided the talent pool into two weaker teams that had trouble competing with clubs from Naperville and other places with a bigger population base. What this will do is improve the kids who show promise early and expose them to better competition. I agree with the other poster--AYSO in OP is a joke. It is glorified babysitting run by parents who are either not interested or unable to teach the game of soccer.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 11:54 AM

@Jim Your KIDS can be KIDS in an AYSO rec league where you and some other dads can pretend to coach and make sure the players get their cupcakes after every game. Those of us that value success would like to play for a club that focuses on developing winning players and teams.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 10:48 AM

@Robin - is winning everything. Face it, this is all about the HS Coach and parents, and has Nothing to do with kids being kids - in their respective hoods. On top of costs going up, this will be the beginning of other problems. As to Morton, they always have OPRF number, as they play a system - it is called let kids be creative.


Posted: January 5th, 2012 9:54 AM

Morton seems to have our number every year in Boys HS Soccer. Does Berwyn and Cicero have a combined AYSO league?


Posted: January 5th, 2012 9:19 AM

@OPRF Achievement Gap- Ummm, hello? Do you dislike winning? This is about making the club and high school soccer in OP & RF better, and Wright should be commended if it was his influence that made this happen. If your KIDS want to hang out with friends, they can play AYSO. Those of us who grew up having to travel all over the place to find good clubs will be glad to see a viable option in our home town. It's an absolute travesty that is has taken this long for the clubs to merge.

OPRF Achievement Gap  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 8:08 AM

Paul Wright - this should not be about you of OPRF HS. These are KIDS. Let them be with their friends, and stop the focus on "teammates of like abilities. As to fees, this WILL INCREASE the Fees, as there is less competition. This is nothing but an effort to make the HS program stronger. If that is the case, why should the HS not pay some of the fees for parents who are lending their kids - as they are sitting on 80 Million of our Tax Dollars?

OPRF Achievement Gap  

Posted: January 5th, 2012 8:07 AM

Paul Wright - this should not be about you of OPRF HS. These are KIDS. Let them be with their friends, and stop the focus on "teammates of like abilities. As to fees, this WILL INCREASE the Paul Wright - this should not be about you of OPRF HS. These are KIDS. Let them be with their friends, and stop the focus on "teammates of like abilities. As to fees, this WILL INCREASE the Fees, as there is less competition. This is nothing but an effort to make the HS program stronger. If that is

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