Travel Program Overview and FAQs

In August 2015, US Soccer, the governing body for the sport of soccer in the United States, announced mandates changing the registration of players from the August 1 to July 31 dates to the calendar year (birth year). This means that players will register and teams will be formed by birth years (the year the player was born). Birth year mandates took effect in fall 2016.

Birth year registration is based on the year in which the season ends. For example, if a season begins in the fall of 2018 and ends in the summer of 2019 (ex: 2018-2019 soccer year) the players would be registered based on their birth year in the year 2019. Age groups are referred to with the age before the “U” (i.e. 10U) or 10 and under.

What is travel soccer and what are its benefits?

Arlington Soccer Association sponsors a travel (select) soccer program.  This is a competitive program for players with above average skills and a strong drive to develop their soccer abilities and love of the game. Boys and girls that are ready to play competitive soccer, want to learn new skills, are ready to make the necessary commitment to play travel soccer and are ready to be coached by a professional, licensed coaching staff will benefit from playing travel soccer.

How will my son or daughter be picked for a team?

Arlington Soccer will run open tryouts in late April/early May for players 9 and under (9U) for the next soccer year and mid-May to early June for all players 10U-19U to form teams for the following soccer year (fall and spring). All players are evaluated during these tryouts by the team coaches and additional evaluators. Selected players are placed on appropriate teams by the coaching staff.

How do I determine the right age group for my child?

Players will tryout based on their birth year.  

What's NEW this year?  What's up with the "League" Tryouts?

For the 2019-2020 seasonal year tryouts, the sessions for the 14U (2006), 15U (2005) and 16U (2004) age groups will be held by league in an effort to maximize field use, and optimize the evaluation of each player.  If you are born in one of these birth years, you may choose to tryout for CCL (includes CCL and CCL II) or NCSL  or both.  If you wish to tryout for both leagues, please complete one registration.  At the end of that registration, the system will ask you if you wish to register again, and you can then choose to register for the other league.

Do I need to attend all the tryouts or do I just pick one?  What about age groups with CCL and NCSL tryouts?

We ask players to attend as many tryouts as possible for the teams they want to be considered for.  If you are trying out an age group that has separate tryouts for CCL(Red & White) and NCSL (Blue & Black) teams, please attend as many tryouts as possible for the teams you want to be considered for.  Results from the CCL tryouts announced at least 72 hours before the NCSL team tryouts begin so players can register if they have not done so yet.

Can my child try out in a different age group?

Players cannot tryout or play in an age group for which they are too old. Even if they miss the cutoff by one day, they cannot play ’down’ in an age group.

Our policy is “No player will be selected for an older age group unless the technical staff determines that the player’s soccer development needs will not be met within their own age group.  Players must receive approval from their Age Group Director to attend tryouts for an older age group team.If you are interested in playing up, please send written approval from your coach and Age Group Director to info@arlingtonsoccer.com

How many players are selected for each team?

Different age groups in travel soccer play with different game formats—and have different roster sizes. Coaches usually carry fewer players than the maximum allowed—optimizing players’ playing time in games. The following are the roster sizes for the different age groups in the Arlington Soccer's Tavel soccer program.

(9U) & (10U) Teams  

7 vs. 7 game format

10-12 players on each team

(11U) & (12U) Teams

9 vs.9 game format

12-16 players on each team

(13U) – (15U) Teams

11 vs. 11 game format

16-18 players on each team

(16U) – (19U) Teams

11 vs. 11 game format

16-22 players on each team

 

How are players evaluated and selected for travel teams?

1) TechnicalCan a player handle the ball technically under pressure and in tight spaces?

2) Speed

●       Pure Speed – Is the player fast from point A to B?

●       Technical Speed – Can the player handle the ball under pressure?

●       Tactical Speed – Can the player make fast decisions with and without the ball?

3) Character

●       Does the player like to compete?

●       Is he/she a positive influence on the group?

●       Does the player possess a high work rate?

●       Does the player bring passion and energy to the game?

 

Players are evaluated using several criteria. The three most important areas of evaluation are technical ability, speed, and character. Players are evaluated in these and other areas and, if selected, placed on teams that best meet each player’s developmental needs. Players that are not selected for the travel soccer program will be provided with information on other Arlington soccer programs and teams.

Who will be my child's coach?

Coaching assignments will be posted here prior to the start of tryouts (on or about May 5th)

When and where do travel teams practice?

The club is allocated fields throughout Arlington by the Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). These fields are then assigned to travel teams based on team needs and coach preference. Each travel team will have a different practice schedule.

Travel teams generally practice a minimum of twice a week during the season, for 1.25 to 1.5 hours per practice. Other programs for player development are also available to players within the travel club.

Who do travel teams play?

There are typically three leagues in which travel teams participate during the season. The Club Champions League (CCL), National Capital Soccer League (NCSL) and the Old Dominion Soccer League (ODSL), who sponsor play for both boys and girls teams.  Travel teams may also play in US Youth Soccer Region 1 league during the spring season and/or US Youth Soccer National League throughout the year. The club will determine the placement of each team in the appropriate league. Each league determines participation and divisional standings based on a team’s results during each season.

How many travel teams will the Arlington Soccer have in my son’s or daughter’s age group?

The number of travel teams formed in an age group will depend on the number of players who try out and their ability levels. Arlington Soccer will generally form six teams in the 9U and 10U age groups and five teams in 11U and 12U age groups for each gender. In the 13U and 16U age group Arlington Soccer strives to form two to three teams per gender and for the 17U and 19U ASA will usually have one or two teams per gender. These teams are tiered, according to ability, as an ’A’ team and a ’B’ team.

How are teams formed and players selected for each team?

Arlington Soccer strives to tier teams starting at the 9U. This can be a challenge when players are only seen a few times before teams are formed.  In addition, players develop at different rates and may change in just a few months. As a result, the coaches may discuss player movement with families to determine if the movement would benefit the player.

 

What does it mean to club pass?

 

Arlington Soccer players have the opportunity to use the 'club pass' to play with other teams in the club during league games and tournaments.  The Arlington Soccer technical staff uses this option to contribute to player development by providing opportunities with different teams within the club.  Designed to improve learning and development, the club pass will assist balanced competition with, and against, like skilled and like-motivated players. 

How are the coaches selected for each team?

Arlington Soccer employs a licensed, professional coaching staff which is under the supervision of the club’s Directors of Travel Coaching (DOTC). All coaches are hired and paid by Arlington Soccer. The coaches work for the club and are placed on teams to benefit the development of each player. The coaching staff is evaluated each year by the DOCs and the Age Group Directors (AGDs) and may be rotated among the teams for maximum player development benefits. A complete list of the program’s coaching staff, and credentials is available on the Arlington Soccer website under Travel.

How much time commitment is required?

For most teams, the fall season begins in mid-August and goes until mid-November, and the spring begins in March and goes through mid-June.  For players selected to a team that will play in the CCL (red or white), they can expect that events may fall outside of this time frame and the expectation is that these events and practices for these events would be the top priority. Typically, high school CCL teams will play their CCL season from August through late February, and may play a spring season. Teams begin practicing 2 to 4 weeks before the start of each season. That means that any other sport should be secondary to soccer training sessions, games and tournaments during these seasons.  

 

Most games are played on Saturdays and/or Sundays throughout the season. Teams usually play one or more pre-season scrimmages and 2-4 tournaments per season, depending upon the age group and competitive level of the team.  Practices are from 1 to 2 hours per session (usually 1.5) and take place at least twice a week. Travel players are expected to attend all team practices and games.

When are tournaments held?

Teams often play pre-season, mid-season or post-season tournaments (3-4 games in a 2- or 3-day weekend). There are no league games on the following holiday weekends—Labor Day, Columbus Day and Memorial Day—so these are popular tournament weekends, along with pre- and post-season weekends. Players are expected to be available to play in tournaments.

How much does travel soccer cost?

Each player pays a ’player program fee’ to play travel soccer with Arlingtonn Soccer. This player fee covers, coach salaries, league and referee fees, State and National registration fees, player insurance, player development programs, administrative expenses, staff salaries and many other expenses. We have a tiered program.  There is one tier for the 9U - 12U players and then three tiers for the 13U and older players. Fees can be found on our website. In addition to player program fees each player pays a “Team Fee” that covers team equipment, tournaments fees, coach tournament travel expenses, winter/indoor/futsal league fees, etc for their team. Team fees can range from $300 - $1000 a player depending on age and team level.

Arlington Soccer believes that financial status should not prevent talented players from participating in soccer.  Arlington Soccer offers financial aid for families in need. Many travel teams also do fundraising activities to offset costs.

 Arlington Soccer makes a yearlong commitment to our professional coaching staff and to our players. We expect Arlington Soccer travel players and families to make the same full-year commitment and pay all fee including team fees.

How and when do I apply for Financial Aid?

The financial aid application can be found here.  Players requesting aid should apply as soon as possible - PRIOR to the start of tryouts.