Professional Soccer Teams Bring Alliance to Alaska
Portland Timbers (green) play LA Galaxy in Portland’s Providence Park
ANCHORAGE—One of Anchorage’s oldest youth soccer clubs has entered into a partnership with the MLS Portland Timbers and NWSL Portland Thorns FC. Anchorage Youth Soccer Club is Portland’s latest official Alliance Club, joining nine teams from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho beginning in January 2020.
AYSC will be the first and only soccer club in Alaska to have a professional affiliation. As an Alliance Club, players and coaches will receive new exposure and a direct connection with professional expertise from Portland’s men’s and women’s coaches, staff, and players. Alaskans will benefit from having Portland scouts at AYSC Club tryouts, the club-hosted Far North Invitational Soccer Tournament and its players will further benefit from instate coaching education and player clinics.
“AYSC has a long history of developing Alaska’s soccer players and this alliance opens a unique pathway for our elite players to reach a higher level of competition and improved exposure to play in college and beyond,” said AYSC Technical Director Jo Reid.
The Portland Thorns FC and Portland Timbers organization is one of only three in the nation to operate both an MLS club and NWSL club—the highest level of professional soccer in the United States. The Timbers also have a USL Championship team (Portland Timbers 2) and boys’ and girls’ academy programs competing in the US Soccer Development Academy League, again the highest national level.
AYSC players will continue to wear the Anchorage Youth Soccer Club crest, carrying on the more than thirty-year tradition of the club. Beginning in January, players will add a Thorns FC or Timbers badge and teams will be named AYSC Alaska Thorns or AYSC Alaska Timbers, respectively.
The Portland Timbers and Thorns Youth Sporting Director, Mike Smith, is scheduled to visit Alaska the week of December 11 to meet with players and families.
In This Issue
Spreading the Word
When Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC) first aired TV commercials featuring the tagline, “A Place That’s Always Been,” the reaction was surprising. Not only because they received numerous accolades and marketing awards for the campaign but because, at the time, it was rare for Alaska Native corporations to market themselves through the media.