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Memphis FC Tryouts are over for the 2022-23 soccer year, but we are still accepting players who are looking for a team as long as they're not already committed to another soccer club.  If your player is interested in being evaluated, please contact Carl Schmitt at or 901-337-5974, and we will gladly arrange a session with appropriate age group coach.

Memphis FC Victories, Celebrations, and Pics to Share!


Logan Haddad Signs With Memphis 901 FC

Congratulations to former Memphis FC player Logan Haddad for signing an Academy Contract with Memphis 901 FC. Logan is the second former Memphis FC player,  joining Simeon Betapudi, to sign an academy contract with the professional club.

Congratulations Logan!

Carl Schmitt pictured with Ajax youth coach Mark Van Lith

Carl Schmitt pictured with Ajax youth coach Mark Van Lith

MFC Directors travel to Amsterdam to observe top professional academies

I recently spent a week in Amsterdam at the Ajax Academy and one day at AZ Alkmaar’s Academy. The purpose of the trip was to observe and learn from some of the best academies in Holland. Barkley Pryor from Memphis FC and Jimmy Garrett from Tennessee SC accompanied me on the trip.

We arrived on Tuesday morning and after checking in our hotel we went to the Ajax Academy facility which is called the Toekomst. This means the future. My good friend Mark Van Lith coaches the Ajax U8 team so he spent the week showing us around, introducing us to many Ajax staff, and talking youth soccer development with us!

We first watched the u12 Ajax team train. There was a lot of focus on 1 v 1’s and small sided activities. At Ajax they start to play 11 v 11 at u13. They will use several different formats at these younger ages. They just returned from a 5 v 5 tournament the past weekend. The session was good and it lasted about 2 hours. That is one of the things that stood out to me was the length of their sessions. The session was made up of the players from that age that did not play in the tournament. The other players had the day off. They have 23 players in the u12 age group. 

After the u12 session we were able to watch the u14 Ajax play PSV Eindhoven which was pretty neat as these are two of the biggest and best clubs in Holland. At the u14 age Ajax has a very strong team so 3 or 4 of their top players were playing up with older teams. The nice thing about a professional club is that their most important priority is individual player development, and how they can get those players to achieve the highest levels. The winning is not important at all for these ages so you constantly have the top performers, playing up and not with their own age. At PSV there seemed to be more of a focus on winning but they had some top young talents. This was a different philosophy than Ajax. It was nice to see some of the top young players in Holland at this age. PSV had several kids in the national team playing in the game. They won the game 5-1. It was a great first day.

On Wednesday we went back to Ajax to watch the u12’s train again as well as watch the u8’s. The u12 session was pretty intense lasting about 2 hours again. The entire 23 players in the age group were there that day. The session started with a small sided activity then progressed into some fitness. This continued for most of the session. We were able to spend some time with the head coach Rick after the session and discuss some ideas. 

After the u12 session we went to watch the u8’s play a game. Ajax play 5 v 5 at the u8 age. At these younger ages Ajax really encourages the players to take players on 1 v 1 and be comfortable with the ball. The idea is that if they get really good and are able to beat players on the dribble then they can always help the players make the right decision as they get older when you need to pass vs always taking on a player on the dribble. It was very evident in the games that we watched and it was incredible to see some of their kids move with the ball. 

On Thursday we went to AZ Alkmaar which is another big club In Holland located just outside Amsterdam. We were able to watch their u14’s train. The session started off with a small sided game activity and then they went into another small sided game activity which was 7 v 7 with two goals. Then the players did 30 minutes of speed and agility inside their bubble. Then they returned to the field and played 11 v 11. We were able to spend some time with the AZ head coach Bas. It was very nice to discuss some ideas with him. That evening we went to a local bar to watch the Ajax cup game with Mark and some of his good friends. It was a really neat experience to be able to watch a game in Amsterdam with some diehard Ajax fans at their local bar Cafe Kooper!

On Friday we did a food tour which is a great way to see Amsterdam. The tour lasted about five hours and you walk around the city to different stops to try samples of food and drinks and the tour guide will tell you a lot of history of Amsterdam. That evening we went back to Alkmaar to watch their first team play Excellsior. There’s an American international named Djordje Mihailović that plays for AZ but unfortunately he was injured. This was another amazing experience. 

Saturday we were back to the Toekomst to watch youth games. We were able to watch the u10 Ajax team play against another local team. Ajax play 8 v 8 at u10. The other team was a u11 team. Ajax lost the game, but there were certain things that stood out to me. One, you saw the emphasis on having players take players on 1 v 1. The coaches did not discourage them from doing that and when they make a mistake the coach did not yell at them or discourage them. Two, the amount of repetitions that the Ajax players got on the ball was probably double what the opposition got. Three, there are no referees and very few fouls were called. The coaches or the parents did not complain about any of the fouls. The parents are educated and told that yelling or coaching during the games is not acceptable. Ajax want their players to be tough and not make excuses so they start teaching this at a young age. So when a player goes down on the ground and is looking for attention, the Ajax staff does not give them attention and waits for them to get up and get on with it. Obviously if there’s a more serious injury then the players get attention.

After the u10 game we went to watch the streetball. This is a pretty cool experience and something that I think everywhere around the world struggles with. The kids in Amsterdam don’t play in the streets anymore so at Ajax they recreate this. On Saturdays for 1 hour they have the under 8, under 9, and under 10 all play street soccer at the Toekomst for 1 hour. Most of the kids also had a game that day as well. But during the one hour of street soccer they would bring in another club that was usually older and divide the kids up into 2 v 2 or 3 v 3 games and just let them play. There is no coaching. The players had to solve the problems and create the rules. The coaches just keep the times and walk around helping with any balls that need to be retrieved.

After watching this for a bit we went to watch some of the women’s talent team play at Ajax. This is a team made up of players ages u15 to u19 and this is the only youth team that Ajax has besides their senior women’s team on the women’s side. From what we were told, there should be more girls teams coming to Ajax very soon. The level was very good and there was an under 15 player on Ajax that is a duel citizen and she has been called into several US Soccer youth national team camps. 

We then went to watch the u17 Ajax play FC Nordsjaelland from Denmark. We saw several young players at Ajax playing up and several of these players were in the Dutch youth national teams. This was obviously a very good day and we were able to get much great information from the Ajax program as we were at the facility from 9am until 5pm.

Sunday was our final day and another great day to finish the trip. In the morning we went to go see the Ajax talent school. My friend Mark runs this program and they have scouted players that are not in the Ajax Academy from ages 8 to 11. The program runs for five weeks on Sunday mornings. Once per week, they bring these players in and train and evaluate them. The day that we were there was the final day of the program so they had made decisions on two or three players to bring into the Academy, several players they will invite back to do another five week cycle, and then there will be players that they will not invite back but they will replace those players with new players they have scouted in the area. We were able to meet Peter who is the head scout for these ages at Ajax. They have about 100 scouts in the Amsterdam area that work for Ajax. That afternoon we went to the Ajax versus RKC game at the Johan Cruijff arena. The game was a sell out and the stadium holds 55,000 people. The fans are extremely passionate at Ajax and it was a wonderful experience!

This was my third time visiting the Toekomst in Amsterdam. It is always very motivating and such a great learning experience to get to watch some of the top coaches and players in the world work. There are always so many ideas that I learn from these experiences, and I hope to try to implement these in our culture and in my work environments in the United States. 

See you on the field.

Carl Schmitt 

MFC's Simeon Betapudi Signs with Memphis 901 FC

Memphis FC’s Simeon Betapudi has signed with pro club  Memphis 901 FC in the USL Championship.  This will be Simeon's second season as an academy player for Memphis 901 FC.  Simeon has played for Memphis FC since joining at U10.  Last year, he was the second ever academy signing by Memphis 901 FC.  Congratulations Simeon!

Memphis FC Players to Play in College 

Congratulations to our 2022 seniors committed to play in college:
Simeon Betapudi - Belmont University
Johnny Droulliard - Christian Brothers University
Hayden Forest - Springhill College
Juli Gross - Southwest Community College
Christian Holman  - Itawamba Community College 
Gage Lashlee - Itawamba Community College 
Hogan Payne - Itawamba Community College 


    Advanced and Instructional Rec Programs

    Advanced and Instructional REC Programs

    • Read more about Instructional and Advanced Rec under the "Programs" tab
    • Designed and run by soccer professionals who are focused on individual player development. 
    • Created to be a fun but hardworking environment where players truly learn the game and get the skills to be successful long term. 
    • MFC does our best to ensure kids have a blast and improve!



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