Youth soccer in eastern Idaho brought to new level

Courtesy Bonneville Youth Soccer League and RSL-AZ

IDAHO FALLS — Young soccer enthusiasts will have more opportunities to enjoy the sport they love, thanks to a new partnership of two clubs.

Bonneville Youth Soccer League and RSL-Arizona announced their partnership Tuesday. The partnership creates an important foothold for RSL-AZ to get into a new market, with the opportunity to work with an organization like BYSL that shares the same values and principles, according to a news release.

“It gives our players an avenue to reach the highest levels of youth soccer in the United States,” BYSL Executive Director Jason Child told EastIdahoNews.com. “RSL-AZ wants nothing more than to see homegrown products having equal opportunities to anyone in the country.”

The BYSL is comprised of 70 youth soccer teams, with hundreds of players. The organization works to promote youth soccer by organizing programs across eastern Idaho. RSL-Arizona — or Real Salt Lake Arizona — is a Phoenix, Arizona soccer club. They promote and help train kids, helping to bring some of them up to play on national or international teams.

Child explained the new partnership allows RSL-AZ staff to send local coaches weekly training programs to further young players’ skills.

“It’s not just us passing on curriculum, we are going to be there helping,” RSL-AZ Executive Director Brent Erwin said. “We will have a regular presence there in Idaho Falls helping with that coaches’ and player education.”

The partnership will also allow players to play for other teams within the RSL-AZ’s program seamlessly.

“When we have outstanding players that can’t go any further within our club … they can be seen by RSL-AZ and be integrated into their programs,” Child said.

BYSL has a teenage player that many consider one of the best goalies in Idaho. Child said this partnership will help her and other similar players potentially play for better teams. RSL-AZ currently has clubs and partners in Texas, California, Hawaii and Arizona. Among their teams, RSL-AZ competes with the MLS-NEXT and ECNL, two of America’s top youth soccer leagues.

“There is the old phrase ‘iron sharpens iron,’” Erwin said. “The best competition helps to create the best competitors.”

With the new partnership, BYSL and RSL-AZ will also hold an annual tournament in eastern Idaho, with the first matches played this summer. Future details on the new tournament are expected to be released at a later date.

“We all want to work together to provide better opportunities for the players,” Erwin said. “We want to provide better opportunities for these kids to be able to go as far as they want to go and be as good as they want to be.”

To learn more about BYSL and how to participate you can visit their website here.