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FC Valencia – Updates during COVID-19 (July 2, 2020)

Hello Everyone,

First of all, we hope that you and your loved ones are safe and staying healthy. We all look forward to the day when we can completely get back onto the field again. The coaching staff – Charles, AJ, Ben, Justin, Andrew, Alfredo and Craig, miss you all.
As you all know from our updates along the way since March, things seem to change at a moment’s notice – from requirements for healthy training, proper distancing and masking, to field availability and our fall CSL season – and everything in between.  In light of all the unknowns, it is essential that we take time to discuss four important points:

  1. COVID-19 and our return to training

We are approaching 3½ months of this difficult and uncertain situation. Not one of us had any idea as to how much the COVID-19 pandemic would change our lives. In the same way that none of us knows what the school year will look like for our children in the fall, no one knows what club soccer will look like either. Therefore, we must remain patient and wait for direction from our state and local officials since guidelines for Los Angeles County (LACO) continue to restrict team training, as we know it.

Per LA County’s “Roadmap to Recovery,” it was believed that youth sports in LA County could possibly open up as part of LACO’s Phase 3, but that hasn’t occurred as of yet.  The LA County Parks system has further specified that:

  • Play and sports amenities ARE CLOSED until further notice, including: playgrounds, fitness equipment areas, skate parks, basketball/volleyball courts, baseball/soccer/multi-use fields, and lawn bowling…”
    • This means that City and County parks will NOT issue permits for field use (and thereby, certificates of insurance by Cal South)

Schools continue to remain closed and field rental is likewise not available.  College of the Canyons is also closed to only essential employees, with all courses being conducted online – meaning that the fields are not available for rental or use by anyone. Just today, the Hart School district and Foothill League postponed and will most likely cancel all summer high school sports camps.

As we noted in May, FC Valencia has been participating in the Cal South, District 4, Return to Play (RTP) Task Force.  Based on those meetings, Cal South produced a Phase-In approach to RTP, with everyone starting at Phase 0 (ZERO) which is training at home/remote training.  While Cal South did lift the suspension of play to move into Phase One (limited training numbers, physical distancing, temperature checks, contact tracing, etc.), this was based on the ability of clubs to obtain field permits. The bottom line is that training options/fields for nearly all of LA County do not exist and, to that end, FC Valencia is unable to move into Cal South’s Phase One training protocols nor is it our intention to violate those protocols.

Over the last week, the LA County COVID-19 numbers have significantly escalated making the idea of a return to any sort of team training completely unsafe, unhealthy and inappropriate.  And today, certain business restrictions have been reinstituted in an effort to slow the alarming rise in COVID-19 cases in over 19 counties, including Los Angeles.

With today’s rising pandemic numbers, we would like everyone to understand that our primary concern is the safety of everyone – players, spectators and coaching staff.  Secondarily, our ability to secure any field, even if the pandemic numbers were stable or diminishing, continues to depend strictly on the state, county and school districts’ determinations regarding safe re-opening protocols.

Things are moving in different directions and changing all the time, so we just need to be prepared to start up whenever it appears this will be allowed. Please know that once we get the green light and can secure training space, we will follow ALL anticipated Cal South youth sports protocols and guidelines. FC Valencia has a very specific training program that will provide a secure and controlled environment where our players can feel safe and where they can start experiencing some sort of normality – when that time comes.

  1. COVID-19 and the return to competition

Summer competitions and fall leagues are all questionable.  None of the leagues know for certain when they’ll be able to resume. We had a meeting with Coast Soccer League (CSL) officials a month ago and they’re pretty confident that they’ll be able to start games sometime in the fall, they just don’t know when or how. Today, CSL indicated that they hope the season will begin on September 12, however, they acknowledged the possibility of a modified season or cancellation — depending upon government mandates.

In anticipation of the CSL Fall season, our FC Valencia team applications were timely filed with CSL., pending fee payments.  We anticipate knowing more by around the middle of July or later as to how, when or if a season will begin and then taking the necessary steps to move forward.

US Soccer, Cal South, US Club and every other organization that governs youth soccer around the country all agree on one thing, “One size will NOT fit all.”  That means that each state/county will determine when it is safe to get back to competition and not everyone will be able to start up at the same time. If Texas starts up their leagues in the middle of July, it doesn’t mean that California will start up at the same time. In fact, because we are under LA County’s jurisdiction, we will probably be one of the counties that will start up later. A few weeks ago, some areas in the Ventura and Orange counties started opening up some local parks yet, with the rise in COVID-19 numbers, we should all be concerned about the wisdom of training almost anywhere at this point in time.

For Cal South COVID 19 updates or to read more, please visit their website:

https://calsouth.com/coronavirus/

We realize that you are all seeing full teams training in our parks or at schools without distancing and without permits.  Suffice it to say that FC Valencia is definite about following the direction of Cal South, LA County, our City and our health officials.  This letter from our Cal South District 4 Commissioner sums it all up – particularly when it comes to the suspension of coaches and clubs who aren’t adhering to the protocols.

Cal South Update (June 24, 2020)

  1. The 2020-21 FC Valencia contract season 

Under normal circumstances, our 2020-2021 FC Valencia contract commitment runs from April 1 through March 31, each year.

It’s also important that you know that our coaches get paid in arrears each month and they have been paid for the 2019-2020 season through March 31, 2020.  We are extremely grateful to them for continuing to maintain communication with their teams (virtual training, etc.) and for being ready to pivot whenever we have the ability to return to the field.  To date, and in light of the pandemic, we did not send out parent agreements/registration process for the 2020/21 season and will not, until we have more clarity.

Since we haven’t technically started the new contract season, and if we are able to start back up in August (for example), we will start the season at that time with a deposit and payment plans to cover training and operational costs through March 31, 2021.  Because of the uncertainty of when/if we are able to move forward, we can’t exactly articulate the total club financial commitment at this time.  If the start was to be August 1, we would have to differentiate between younger & older teams, high school play (if at all), holiday break (if any), etc.

The new budget will reflect a shorter season obviously, so that if we use the model described above, we would start the “NEW” year in August and it would run through March 31, 2021.

We know that this pandemic has altered everyone’s lives to one degree or another and we encourage you to reach out to us to discuss any concerns that you may have. We are trying our best to create a realistic scenario, but we’re sure you understand that we have no control over the potential start up date.

  1. Private training option 

While we cannot do any team or small group training at this time, parents have asked about private training to supplement their Google/Zoom classroom sessions. Many of you want to get your child back on the field to give them some amount of normalcy. Of course, you also want them to be back in shape, both physically and technically. We share your concerns and can completely relate – since, in one way or another, we are all experiencing these challenges together.

Obviously, we are in a very different situation right now and we are completely positive about your children training with their coaches in a private training scenario. Contact your coach directly to set up private training sessions if this is something you would like to do.

PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO THE FOLLOWING POINTS ABOUT PRIVATE TRAINING:

  • Any private training done during this time is NOT sanctioned by FC Valencia or Cal South, which is the governing body that provides our insurance for securing field permits.
  • If you arrange private training with your coach, please know that you will be training with him as an individual and NOT as a FC Valencia coach. This is extremely important for you to understand.
  • The trainer will make arrangements with you as to the time, location and cost.
  • Players should NOT wear FC Valencia gear for these sessions.
  • Please be aware that these private sessions will be INDIVIDUAL sessions and NOT GROUP SESSIONS (unless there are siblings within the same household who compete on a FC Valencia team or teams).

As soon as we have additional and updated information about the season and going forward in any way, we will let everyone know.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment and dedication to the FC Valencia family.  Please stay safe, be well and, as always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions at all.

 

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