Shane Huff is co-founder, president, and director of coaching for Mendocino County Soccer Academy. 

MCSA has come a long way since our founding back in 2013. We started with sixty under 6 and 8-year-olds for a grassroots session in Ukiah. We’ve grown to a club with 10 select teams ranging from U10 through U19 both boys and girls teams, multiple grassroots sessions per year for our youngest players, and now the Youth Academy Soccer League which features teams from Ukiah, Mendocino, Covelo, and Willits. Today we serve over 900 kids and families throughout the county – and we’re just getting started!

Welcome to our new website. I’m glad you’re here as we move into the next phase of our development. In this brief article, I’d like to reinforce our values and clearly define our “style of play” because these are the things that are driving our growth and impact on and off the pitch. 

Throughout the world, local soccer clubs reflect the values and strengths of their local communities. You’ll even find this on the national level, too. Here in Mendocino County, we’re no different. The way we play and coach is a direct reflection of the strengths of our community. 

When I think of the people, culture, and history of our region, I think of creativity born out of our resilience. Our geography has us far away from major cities and we have a history of making it on our own to survive. Whether it’s growing our food, ranching, or producing our own energy (Willits was once the solar capital of the world). Mendocino County is widely known for its artists and creative minds. We aren’t given a lot so we have to innovate to find solutions and work hard to get what we want. I landed a college scholarship through hard work, grit, and strength of will. 

It’s from this culture that we’ve developed our style of play. 

We’re developing “Total Soccer Players” by teaching a creative, attacking, and possession-style based player who is a resilient “Master Artist” of the soccer ball. 

In adopting this style of soccer, we foster an environment free from the “fear of failure”, where our players can explore and be creative without the fear of making mistakes. We believe that such an environment, with no limitations, is where our players can grow the most and realize their potential both as players and people. The result is we develop creative, tough, and innovative soccer players. 

Mistakes are inevitable, and games are won or lost through players ‘trying things’ such as building up from the back. However, we never benchmark our players, teams, or coaches’ success purely on results, especially in U8 – U13 where players develop both physically and technically at much different rates (e.g., the most dominant player or team at U9 is seldom the most dominant player or team at U12).

We’re proud to offer different programs for kids of all ages, experiences, and skills. You can read all about our developmental pathway and learn more about our philosophies and programs. We intend to meet the needs of ALL kids in Mendocino County interested in learning to play the beautiful game of soccer. 

Come back often to the website, sign up for our email list, and join us on Facebook to stay informed and involved in the growth of MCSA. We have some fabulous success stories with teams and players succeeding on and off the field.