SEATTLE, WA— (press release) The Seattle Youth Soccer Association (SYSA) has hired David Griffiths, a veteran of Seattle and Washington youth soccer, to replace retiring Executive Director Ed D’Alessandro.
“SYSA has one of the most successful and vigorous recreational youth soccer programs in the United States,” said incoming Executive Director Dave Griffiths. “I’m excited to continue and expand our recreational soccer offerings and strengthen our leagues by bringing in new players from every neighborhood and every income group in Seattle and Shoreline.”
With close to 12,000 recreational and select/premier players, SYSA comprises thirteen clubs that bring soccer to children in every neighborhood of Seattle and Shoreline. SYSA provides appropriately coached and joyfully fun soccer play for all skill levels and ages, from the 5-year-old kicking a ball for the first time to the highly skilled high school athlete looking to continue their playing career in college.
“I’m excited and pleased to have someone of Dave’s experience, worldwide caliber, and passion for the sport accept this leadership role,” SYSA Board of Commissioners president Steve Kuhn said. “SYSA has come a long way since its beginnings in 1969. As we enter our 50th year in 2019, Dave is well positioned to take the association into the next decade and beyond.”
SYSA has long-established partnerships with Seattle Schools and Seattle Parks, as well as Washington Youth Soccer. Griffiths wants to continue building those relationships as SYSA pursues its goals of making the benefits of soccer available to everyone.
“SYSA’s current outreach program partnership with Seattle Public Schools is just the start. We need to continue engaging young children who may not have access to organized soccer because of income, cultural, or logistical barriers. I also want to focus on growing our TOPSoccer program to bring children with disabilities into the SYSA fold, so they can experience the joy of playing The Beautiful Game.”
The transition for the new director will take place during November and December 2018, with Griffiths taking full responsibilities for SYSA in January 2019 as he moves out of his current Seattle United directorship position.
D’Alessandro was the first Executive Director in the organization’s history. Under his leadership, the association saw steady growth in the number of its recreational players; launched and grew the state’s top select/premier club, Seattle United; dramatically expanded its Spring Soccer league; started the Soccer In Schools program partnership with Seattle Public Schools; expanded staff services to its neighborhood clubs; and became a strong ally in the development of new soccer fields in Seattle and Shoreline.
“Ed D’Alessandro’s steady administrative hand has enabled SYSA to offer better services and soccer experiences to more children throughout the Seattle area. His leadership has put SYSA in the forefront of recreational soccer in the region. The organizational and financial stability of the association is a testament to the great work he has done over the past twelve years,” said Board President Kuhn. “We wish him all the best as he explores other opportunities for his talents.”