Northwest Soccer Camp began in 1972 when Cliff McCrath and the University of Washington’s first men’s soccer coach, Mike Ryan, shared with each other that soccer was growing so fast that neither of them could keep pace with the scores of requests from players, coaches, and parents to assist them with player development, coaching seminars, and training sessions.
A field was found with ample space (albeit a farmer had to mow the overgrown parade grounds) and barracks, so Cliff approached the university’s administration to gain approval to use the facility. The farmer did his work and was paid in “product” (the hay he mowed) and Mike and Cliff followed with hand mowers to “cut” out two small soccer fields.
Thirty campers and four staff members gathered for one week of camp. The next year featured two weeks of camp, and by the following year camp was held in one-week sessions throughout the summer. Mike, who would become the first U.S. National Women’s Coach, moved on to other challenges but will always be considered the cofounder of Northwest Soccer Camp.
Hundreds and thousands of area youth have gained their start – or perfected their skills – at Northwest Soccer Camp. In addition, scores of the world’s best players – including Michelle Akers, Shannon Higgins (now Cirovski, whose husband Sasho has his Maryland Terps in the DI Men’s finals almost on an annual basis), Kasey Keller, and Marcus Hahnemann – spent their formative years at Northwest Soccer Camp.
NSC, in its 44th season, has always been on the “cutting” edge of the game. It was the first camp in America to offer Advanced Camps, Jr. Advanced Camps, International Tours, and Elite Week Training. It was also the first camp in the country to feature Adult Camps.
Northwest Soccer Camp’s future plans include interactive and video training as well as online coaching tips…an online store front and anything else that is designed to improve performance.