Artesians announce plans for youth soccer program


FC Olympia has finalized its intent to kick off a local youth soccer program tied to its existing men’s and women’s United Soccer League (USL) franchises, aiming to create a path to a professional avenue for local kids playing soccer in Thurston County.

This was announced as one of the club's long-term goals during the third annual Oly Soccer Foundation Gala night last Saturday, March 23, at Nicole’s Bar in downtown Olympia.

“My dream is that these players can start their pro dreams right here at the youth level and continue into pro opportunities,” said Artesians part owner Jason Smith. “The natural progression is to start with the fantastic youth players we have in the area.”

At the gala dinner last Saturday, the club presented a flow chart on the possible USL-offered pathways from youth to professional, beginning with USL Youth and following a pipeline to USL Academy. From there, they can advance to the college level of play with the professional-amateur level USL League 2 (Men) and USL W League (Women), with the end goal being a part of professional franchises under USL League One and USL Super League.


Caption: FC Olympia presents the USL pathway from youth to professional (Photo from FC Olympia)



The launch is expected to occur as early as 2025, as there are currently no USL Youth or Academy teams in the Pacific Northwest. Still, USL officials have affirmed their support for FC Olympia and the Artesians for their youth development announcement.

“With the success FC Olympia has had at the USL Senior Team levels and in helping grow the game locally, we’re in full support of the club beginning the process of developing their USL Academy pathways & programming,” said Liam O’Connell, USL Academy Technical Director. “We look forward to launching & expanding our official USL Academy League division in the Northwest in the coming years.”

Commenting on the announcement, gala night keynote speaker Kasey Keller, former USMNT goalkeeper and Olympia native, expressed his praise on FC Olympia’s commitment to local youth development in soccer.

“I love the idea of just being able to play at one club and have the fields, resources and coaching to do it.” said Keller “I was born at St Pete’s, went to North Thurston High School and was also that kid that asked his mom to find him a soccer team.”

“We look forward to sitting down with local youth clubs and partnering to orient this opportunity the best way possible to benefit the families that currently want this type of experience,” said Principal Artesian Soccer Owner Ryan Perkins.

The fundraiser night Saturday also celebrated the club’s feats last year, including the team’s expansion into youth clinics and summer camps that are. They also officially unveiled the rebranding from Oly Town FC to FC Olympia but keeping the “Artesian” name as the mascot. 

With the upcoming USL soccer season kicking off, the club has released on social media that if people are interested in supporting the lift of this youth soccer endeavor please email


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