1. The Celtic Way
2. The Celtic Community
3. Our Location
4. Most Teams in Washington State
1. The Celtic Way
"Let us say that you and I coach two teams with kids that are 10,11 and 12 years old and are all about equally good. You try to teach them to play good football, a passing game with a tactical basis while I tell mine only to play long balls and try to shoot. I can assure you that [at first] I will always win against you, by using your mistakes. Break a bad pass and score a goal. If we however continue with the same training methods during a three year period, you will most likely win every game against us. Your players will have learned how to play while mine haven't. That's how easy it is" - Laureano Ruiz, the man who laid the foundation for the playing philosophy at Barcelona
In a nutshell, we aim to have our teams follow this approach. While it's of course fun to win, the manner in which we get results is far more important than the result itself. At Celtic, teams are encouraged to build out from the back and be patient in possession. Players are encouraged to express themselves on the pitch and enjoy having the ball at their feet. Coaches are supported in their quest to help players reach their potential, and we as a club are steadfast in the long-term development of players taking precedence over the short-term gratification of a positive result for the team.
2. The Celtic Community
Seattle Celtic is special because of our wonderful community of players, parents and coaches. On our home page we state that "we strive to provide the perfect mix of energy, passion and expertise" in our approach to coaching, and we are so fortunate to have such great coaches, and more importantly great people representing our club. The passion our staff have for the club and the game of soccer is unparalleled and never more evident than during the weekend of summer tournaments (or any given weekend for that matter), where there is often as many of 8-10 coaches in attendance on the sideline supporting each other's teams long after their own team has finished for the day.
Continuous education is very important to us and our coaches possess formal coaching qualifications from UEFA, USSF, USC and the FAI. Over the past few years coaches have travelled to Ireland, Northern Ireland, Spain, Baltimore, Kansas City and Philadelphia as part of their coaching development and we also run a yearly in-house coaching seminar at Magnuson to ensure all coaches are well versed in the Celtic Way of coaching.
From Monday to Friday, Celtic HQ in Eastlake is a soccer hub like no other. A typical day will begin at 9am with coaches working on match reports, discussing player development, updating and refining our core and junior curriculums, watching game footage from the weekend and planning sessions. Most days, from 12pm-2pm live action from the Champions League or EPL will take center stage, after which the final few items on our to-do lists are taken care of and we head to Magnuson to commence our coaching day. While our childhood dreams of playing the game professionally didn't materialize, each of us are thrilled to be doing the next best thing in coaching, and our love and passion for the game definitely shines through in how we approach every day!
Each year we partner with UW to host club nights with their Men's and Women's soccer teams where our players get to walk the teams out onto the field, be flag bearers and ball kids for the game. Our players are very lucky to have such a high level soccer program on their doorstep and we encourage them to get along to Husky Soccer Stadium as much as they can throughout the year to learn from some of the best college players in the country. We have also had some epic Celtic Sounders and Reign days in the past with players serving as mascots for the day and this summer we will hold a club day with Seattle's newest semi-pro team Ballard FC (USL 2) on July 17.
We also host an annual Celtic Cup Tournament (this will return in the summer of 2023) where every club in the state is welcome to participate, Celtic in the Community volunteering events (our charity soccer tournament in November 2022 raised over $20,000 for the Kids & Paper organization), Champions League watch parties, fun social media campaigns (Skillsmas, Favorite Soccer Memories) and competitions (various juggling challenges) as well as an annual Community Day for all our families in August (this year's event takes place on Sunday August 22) to help keep community spirit strong throughout the club!
3. Our Location
5. Our Micro Academy
6. Elite Level Competition
8. Supplemental Programs
Magnuson Park sits along the shoreline of Lake Washington in northeast Seattle, and at 350 acres is Seattle's second largest park. It is also the home of Seattle Celtic. For most of our teams (especially our youngest teams) the majority of our practices take place at Magnuson and we feel having a central base is crucial to fostering the community spirit we are so well known for. With three turf fields, as well as enough space for eight grass fields on the upper and lower meadows, Magnuson serves as a one stop shop for multi-player families, and also greatly helps facilitate neighborhood car pools. With ample parking, a dog park, various trails, an indoor soccer facility and the tennis center cafe next to the fields where players can do their homework before practice, our club is blessed to have such a fantastic location to call home. To keep up with the growth of the club, we have striven to add as much practice space as possible for our players and so we also utilize Lower Woodland, Washington Park and Miller Playfield as well as most of the local schools in the vicinity of home base.
4. Most Teams in Washington State for Spring 2022
In the spring 2012 season we formed three teams (B98 Green, B98 White, B01 Green) to meet the minimum requirements needed to enter the PSPL (now known as the WPL). Our April 2013 tryouts was the real tipping point for the club and saw us almost overnight go from nine teams and 100 players to thirty teams and 400 players. Since then we have steadily grown each season to the point where in the spring 2022 season, we have 130 teams competing, which is the most of any club in Washington State. None of this would have been possible without the positive word of mouth among our soccer community, and we are eternally grateful to everyone who has shared their Celtic experience with friends.
Having age groups with as many as nine or ten teams (and in some cases with our B2012s 15 teams!) means we can provide a team for players of every level, from the player who lives and breathes soccer, to the player who enjoys the game and being part of a team (but whose life does not revolve around soccer). It also provides opportunities for ambitious and hard working players to make their way up the levels and play on the highest team possible.
Of course having the most teams isn't necessarily the most important thing, but we feel that going from having the least amount of teams in 2012 to the most by spring 2022 speaks volumes for the quality of our program and the satisfaction of our members. With growth comes challenges in continuing to foster such a close knit environment. However, as a club we've made it our goal to be familiar with every player and know as many players' names as possible, which is of course made easier by how present our coaches are on the sidelines at the weekends.
5. Our Micro Academy
Our Seattle Celtic Micro Academy which caters to players aged 4-6 provides professional coaching to beginner players in the hope of sparking a life-long love for the game of soccer. Throughout the year, we offer six week programs which serve as an introduction to Seattle Celtic for young players who wish to eventually join our Development Teams. Each Micro Academy Program will have a fun weekly theme to help keep the children motivated and excited to play. These fun games will help introduce soccer fundamentals such as ball control, passing, dribbling and teamwork. And the best part of it all - if your child is new to Celtic, their first six week program is free of charge!
At this age it is often said that kids play near each other but not with one another and in this regard we've been thrilled with how our coaches have helped such young players see the value of passing and moving, and playing as a team. Such has been the progress of players from this program, that the majority of those on our Micro Academy Director Tyler Robbins's talented G2014 Green team are graduates of the Micro Academy!
6. Elite Level Competition
As a club we are constantly striving to find a challenging level for our most competitive teams, from playing a year up in regular season league play, to participating in the Crossfire Challenge, the Rainier Challenge and the Pac Winter Classic, Washington State’s highest level tournaments. At the 2022 Pac Winter Classic, Celtic had the honor of having more teams reach the final than any other club. At the 2022 Rainier Challenge boys weekend, all 9 of our teams progressed to the semi finals - a record for the tournament.
In terms of travel events, we compete in some of the most prestigious tournaments and showcases in the country from the Surf Cup and Silverlakes Showcase in San Diego in the summer to the Mayors' Cup and Players Showcase in Las Vegas during the Spring season. At the recent Mayor's Cup in February 2022, our B03/04 Green, B06 Green and B08 Green were all placed in the top division, with the B06s and B08s both winning three of their four games. Our Green teams at the G03/04, G05 and G07 age groups competed in the Players Showcase in March 2022 and all performed excellently, with the G07s going undefeated in finishing 3rd our of 48 teams in the top division. All four HS girls teams (with the addition of G06 Green) also had great showings at the Portland Timbers College Showcase in December. By virtue of winning the U16 WNPL league title, our G06 Green team will travel to Colorado in July for the NPL National Finals.
In June 2022 our B10 Green and B12 Green teams have also been invited to compete in the top tournament in the country for U10-U12 teams, the Premier SuperCopa in Salt Lake City. All our Green teams from 2013 and older have also been entered to compete in either the Surf Cup or Silverlakes Showcase which will be the most teams we've ever had at these events and we're really looking forward to seeing our players compete against the best of the best across the United States.
Finally, in a trip that has been delayed two years due to Covid, our B08 Green travel to Ireland this summer to compete in the Galway Cup which represents Seattle Celtic's first international trip for an event. The Galway Cup is regarded as one of the top underage tournaments in Europe (with Man City, Leicester City and even the Ireland national team among recent entrants), and the boys are due to play Ireland's most famous club Shamrock Rovers on their trip in a pre-tournament friendly.
Rainier Challenge - June 2022
Galway Cup Ireland - August 2022
Premier Supercopa, Salt Lake City - June 2022
NPL Finals - Denver, Colorado - July 2022
One of our aims at Celtic is to be as competitive as we can possibly be and play the most attractive soccer in the process. Therefore if a talented player wants to play for Celtic but doesn't have means to pay for program fees, we typically waive the fees and cover the uniform ourselves. The scope in which we have been able to provide scholarships has been relatively limited up to now (typically a player or two at each age group), but with the formation of the Seattle Celtic Foundation this should enable us to increase the number of players we can support in 2022 and beyond.
8. Supplemental Programs
We have a vast array of supplemental programs for players who can't get enough of the beautiful game, from our goalkeeping and freestyle soccer programs, to our winter SAQ, futsal and post-season skill sessions. Throughout the year, we also run a variety of camps, ranging from a focus on shooting/finishing and ball mastery, to our team and elite player camps.
We also regularly have scouts for the Seattle Sounders in attendance at our games, with five of our B08s and three of our B09s currently training with the Sounders Discovery Program, in addition to their club commitments with Celtic. Each year we have an excellent representation of Celtic players on the Washington State EPD and WPL Surf Academy teams, and given the talent coming through we expect 2023 to be the biggest year yet in this regard.