Powered by MOJO: Utah North Youth Soccer

Lorinda Mayfield used the magic of MOJO to bring rec soccer back to Roy, Utah

Laura Lambert

| 3 min read

Lorinda Mayfield watches her 6U rec soccer team, with her grandson in goal. (Credit: Trent Bills)

The birth of global pandemic is an inauspicious time to start a soccer league. But Lorinda Mayfield was undeterred.

A lifelong soccer player and volunteer in Roy, Utah, Mayfield first played in the local league at age 10, refereed by age 12 and rose through the ranks of coach, coach administrator, referee administrator and finally regional commissioner. But by spring of 2020, Mayfield saw fewer and fewer opportunities for the kids in her community who just wanted to play recreationally, not competitively. She missed the grassroots nature of the game she loved, where every player was welcome, regardless of experience or income. And she wanted to do something about it.

Then Covid hit — and everything changed. She saw the burgeoning mental health crisis among the kids she knew from the soccer fields, and figured out a way to pass out soccer balls for at-home play — albeit masked, to families sitting in cars for social distancing. 

And then she held her breath, and started her own recreational league.

“I made the decision that if we didn’t have 400 registrations for fall, I would throw in the towel and say this wasn’t meant to happen,” says Mayfield. 

But through word of mouth, the power of Facebook and the dedicated volunteers who followed Mayfield, Utah North Youth Soccer (UNYS) drew 600 players in fall 2020 — and finished out spring with more than 800.

“We fell off the cliff together,” she laughs. And the league has grown ever since — with help from MOJO.

Mayfield discovered MOJO on YouTube, and used the app to help her newly-formed league run practices — including four U10 boys teams under her watch. 

“I had 48 9-year-olds — and I only had an hour,” she laughs. “We had to have it organized or I was going to lose the kids. So I leaned heavily on the MOJO app.”

What’s more, says Mayfield, is the way that MOJO has helped her retain volunteers, season after season.

“My favorite thing is, this year, I have over 60 returning coaches,” says Mayfield. “Coaches are the foundation to a rec soccer program. And I’ve gotta have material to help them, especially those that don’t know anything about soccer.” 

The MOJO app is a great resource for our coaches. MOJO not only simplifies practices, but it also helps with team communication, and is a great way for coaches to build on skills throughout the year. —Lorinda Mayfield

Mayfield’s passion for recreational soccer stems from her personal journey as a single mom. Though her eldest daughter, now in her 30s, was good enough to play soccer competitively, Mayfield couldn’t afford to pay for all three of her kids to play at that level. 

Now, with eight grandchildren aged 14 to 2, soccer is still a family affair. Mayfield coaches her 6-year-old grandson, and is playfully dismayed that her two granddaughters play club. Her 14-year-old grandson would be on the pitch, too, but he injured himself at the first soccer practice.

“When I started UNYS, I made a 10-year commitment,” says Mayfield. At the time, it felt monumental. Now, nearly three years in, she thinks to herself, I only have seven years left? 

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