PO Box 43902 Louisville, KY 40213

Philosophy ♦ Staff ♦ Who should tryout? ♦ What does the soccer year look like? ♦ Fees ♦ Dates & Times

Valor: (noun) boldness or determination in facing great danger, especially in battle; heroic courage; bravery

Who is SYSA Valor?

We are the competitive side of the Sawyer Youth Soccer Association. SYSA is a true nonprofit, with volunteer coaches, enabling us to make decisions that are best for team and player without the concerns of making sure we can support a massive overhead.  While our costs are often a fraction of other clubs in the Louisville, KY area, our commitment to each player is not sacrificed.

At the moment we are composed of 2009, 2011 and a 2013 boys’ teams.  We will be adding a 2014 boys’ team in the Fall of 2024.  We will only add a team in a specific age group if we are able to identify coaches that share the philosophy the Valor program was founded on.  Because we are a non-profit, we do not need to compromise our values just to fill teams.  While we recognize that this model excludes players where we are unable to add teams, it does allow us to stay committed to the values we started the program with.

At this time we are a boys program.  We have not previously had the numbers of girls needed nor the interest to start a competitive program for girls.  We are not opposed to fielding girls’ teams and will explore that possibility should we be fortunate enough to have the numbers and coaches to support expanding the program in this direction.


  • We start our teams at U11.  Recreational soccer still has a strong place in the development of young players.  The non-competitive, less rigorous atmosphere and playing time requirements make it a great place for players to get their feet wet.  In fact, each of the 3 Valor teams in existence were largely sourced from the SYSA recreational program and all 3 teams are playing in one of the top 2 divisions in each of their leagues.  The success of the 2009 & 2011 teams paved the way for the 2013 team to automatically get placed in the second highest league from the start.
  • We are focused on developing young men.  While we train our players to compete at the highest level, we recognize that the most important development we can be part of is their formation into young men of strong character.Valor coaches recognize times are changing and players’ needs as well. (Valor does not offer a cookie cutter coaching approach), (we take each player and coach them to their needs). We require each player to take ownership of themselves and also hold their teammates accountable to the team goals.
  • We are committed to the player. We have coached long enough to recognize all players have peaks and valleys during their soccer development life cycle.  Once a player has successfully made a Valor team, they will not be cut at a future tryout if they are constantly working to improve and are a positive member of their team.
  • Value of the Volunteer Coach model. At other select clubs in Louisville, coaches are typically paid for their time, and most of our coaches have operated under this model previously. While we won’t argue that a coach’s time is of value, the volunteer coach places the highest value on the environment that he gets to create for his players. The volunteer coach at Valor’s primary objective is the growth of the young men and the teams we coach and is not influenced by personal financial concerns, nor that of a club. When you combine knowledge and experience with genuine dedication of a volunteer, you get the unique situation we have here at Valor.



Coach Mike Homer (HC 2009s & 2011s):

  • Has coached soccer for over 32 years
  • Holds a United States Soccer Federation National B license
  • Coached Club teams in Cincinnati, Upstate New York, and now in Louisville
  • Coached High School teams in Cincinnati
  • Coached a College team in Upstate NY
  • Currently serving as president of SYSA and has previously served as president of large club on the west side of Cincinnati
  • Former coaching director for Sawyer Youth Soccer Club

Coach Jason Harden (HC 2013s & 2014s):

  • Has coached soccer for over 20 years
  • Holds a United States Soccer Federation National D license
  • Coached all age groups between U8 to semi Pro Indoor with the PASL
  • Former co-owner of Louisville Legends
  • Former coaching director for an Oldham County soccer club
  • Current coaching director for Sawyer Youth Soccer Club

Coach Steve House (AC 2011s & 2013s):

  • 4 year college soccer player
  • Coached Club teams in Louisville
  • Assistant Coach at the College level
  • Holds a United States Soccer Federation National D license

Coach Ian Mattingly (AC 2009s):

  • Has coached soccer for over 3 years
  • Holds a United States Soccer Federation National D license
  • Served 4 years on the board for the HYR Sports League

Who should tryout?

If your son loves soccer and wants to be challenged at the next level Valor may be the right place.  We’re focused on developing players that learn to love and understand the game of soccer, create lifelong memories with teammates that become as close as family, while supporting their growth into young men of strong character.  We understand that the development of a player is not linear and has many peaks and valleys along the way.  Wins and losses are not our primary concern, but more interested that they are still enjoying and learning from this game when they are U16, U17 & U18.  The “wins” will take care of themselves with the proper environment.

“Looking back on my own playing experience when I was a kid, I remember my teammates, the practices, the travel, the camaraderie, and the fun.  I know we were successful, won several league championships and tournaments, but I couldn’t tell you our record, the number of goals we scored or who we beat when.  I can still tell you the names of the players I played with though.  Now I want that same experience and memories for my sons.” – Coach Mike Homer

What does the soccer year look like?

We practice twice a week for 90 min each session, typically Mondays and Wednesdays.  We have optional (but highly recommended) 4v4 Fridays for less structured play.  Our teams play in the KSSL (Kentucky Select Soccer League) and where appropriate, the KPL (Kentucky Premier League).

We travel for 1-2 tournaments and play in another local tournament each season.  The Valor teams typically travel together.

The teams are idle during most of both June and July and again late November and December.  For those without commitment constraints, we will practice indoor in January & February, just to get them on a ball ahead of the Spring season.  There will be an opportunity to play Futsal as well, but this will not be required.  Players interested in different winter activities are encouraged to enjoy those.  Having adequate “down time” from soccer (even when the players disagree) is critical to keep the interest level up and give the body time to recover and prevent overuse injuries.

What are the fees?

The fees are a little fluid and they’re based on activities and gear for each season.  Our coaches do not take any money to coach these teams.  We have minimal club overhead.  Including uniforms and tournaments this past year fees were around $400 per player per season.  We do have other nominal fees that come up throughout the year.  DO NOT confuse lower costs with reduced commitment.  We expect the players to attend practices and games.  Missing practices/games should be due to extenuating circumstances.  Other sports should not take priority over the Valor team.  Without this commitment, these teams are not possible.

If you have questions please feel free to reach out directly to Coach Mike Homer.  You can email him at or call/text at 513-374-9516