Beadling Soccer Club spent last year managing the challenges of a COVID season while entering a new league in the Girls Academy. Coming out of the pandemic, Beadling has added another opportunity for its members, this time on the boys side with MLS Next.
Recently, Denny Kohlmeyer, President of Beadling Soccer Club spoke with Pittsburgh Soccer Now about the challenges of the past year and moving onto a new
“It is challenging to maneuver and get through these moving parts to figure out what is best for the club, teams and individual players. It has been a challenging year to say the least,” Kohlmeyer said.
MLS Next just wrapped up their inaugural season earlier this month. Headed into season two, Beadling will be one of four teams in Pennsylvania joining founding members FC Delco, PA Classics and Philadelphia Union. They will also be joining familiar names in Ohio, Cincinnati United Premier, Columbus Crew, FC Cincinnati, Internationals and Kings Hammer.
As MLS Next was determining who to reach out to and offer acceptance into the new league, Kohlmeyer knew that there were some people who were familiar with the club.
“The club being recognized by the directors who played us in the past at the regional level, in the regional championships, they remembered playing against Beadling, we were a club that they had to circle; they had to worry about and knew they had to beat Beadling. It was a big compliment to the club, along with knowing the history of the club, the success it has had and part of why Beadling was awarded the opportunity be part of MLS Next.”
Knowing that a new league that is involved with the MLS is going to bring some challenges, Kohlmeyer feels confident the club will adapt accordingly.
“I have been involved with club for almost 60 years as a player, coach, administrator, family from my grandparents to my grandchildren. I believe the club is up for the challenge.”
MLS Next states it will focus on providing the best player development experience. The focus will be in five areas, competition, environment, coaching, individual growth plus player ID and recruitment.
- The Player Identification and Recruitment will help players focus on the following items.
- Creation of College Coaches Committee
- Youth national Team Advisory Committee
- Alternative Digital Media Evaluation Platform
- Virtual meetings among players, families and college coaches to discuss the current landscape
- Schedule competitions and events to showcase player
With 133 Club members in MLS Next, there are many clubs and teams in the region.
“They (MLS Next) want to be more regionalized. That could see us being part of the Midwest and competing with teams in Ohio and maybe out into Indiana, but that is yet to be determined,” Kohlmeyer said.
Beadling will start their journey into the MLS Next league with the 2008 and 2009 boys teams. The teams will be lead by Dave Kovalcik and Mike Dyer for the ’08 boys and Danilo de Oliveira will be in charge of the ’09 boys.
With MLS Next, it can draw the attention of players looking to be part of this experience and the challenge to play at a high level. Beadling already has players traveling to play from as far as two to three hours away.
“Having a pool of players to draw from and attract players from around not only South Western Pennsylvania but the all of Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. We are hoping for the serious player, that they know that this is where they need to be if they want to progress and develop to play at a whole other level. We need to make sure people understand Beadling has the MLS Next franchise and the programming for them to develop.”
In the last year the club has added the Girls Academy and now the MLS Next side for the boys. It is part of the USYS Great Lakes Division, USYS Great Lakes Club vs Club division, US Club Soccer and PA West.
“We have a program at every level for every player at Beadling.” Kohlmeyer said.