WYS logo, with white cartoon player kicking soccer ball through 50 year banner.

Washington Youth Soccer Celebrates 50 Years

TUKWILA, Wash. (January 7, 2016) – Washington Youth Soccer will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2016, marking a half-century of fostering the physical, mental and emotional growth and development of the state’s youth through the sport of soccer at all levels of age and competition.  Throughout the year, Washington Youth Soccer will host numerous soccer celebrations across the state, culminating with the 50 Year Anniversary Gala on Sept. 9, 2016.

Seattle Sounders FC Majority Owner Adrian Hanauer will serve as the Honorary Chair for the Gala, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue. Master of Ceremony and guest speaker will be announced at a later date.  For more information on the Gala, soccer celebrations and how to get involved, visit the About Us page.

“I am honored to be involved with this seminal event and to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of Washington Youth Soccer,” said Sounders FC Owner Adrian Hanauer. “Washington Youth Soccer is a pillar of our community, helping to generate the groundswell of support and passion for soccer our region has become known for over the past fifty years.”

In 2016, Washington Youth Soccer will launch a Foundation focused on leveling the playing field. Proceeds from the Gala will support the Foundation to provide grant funds for field development, increase opportunities for underserved youth through the Soccer for Success program, and invest in health, safety, and sportsmanship initiatives to improve the youth soccer experience in Washington State.

It has taken a passionate and dedicated TEAM to bring organized soccer to every corner of Washington State, and throughout the next year we are honored to celebrate every youth player, coach, referee, family, staff member, volunteer, Club and Association across the state that have been a part of the past 50 years of Washington Youth Soccer. 

Since 1966, the Washington Youth Soccer team has enriched the lives of 3,500,000 players, and educated 200,000 coaches, 50,000 referees and 700,000 volunteers.  Over $1,100,000 has been provided to help build soccer fields, $1,000,000 in sponsorship opportunities for players in underserved communities, and $950,000 donated for teams bound for regional and national competitions.

Washington Youth Soccer was the first State Soccer Association to form girls’ teams, the first to create a Youth Advisory Board, and led a nationwide discussion on concussion education leading to the legislated return-to-play policies in all 50 states.

While becoming one of the largest State Soccer Association in the country and the largest youth sports organization in the state, Washington Youth Soccer has helped to establish the Pacific Northwest as the soccer capital of the U.S., which includes Seattle Sounders FC, ranked among the top 30 clubs in the world in average attendance and Major League Soccer’s most valuable franchise according to Forbes magazine.