Why the USSF Birth Year Changes and the Small Sided Games Mandate
Make WPFC a Destination Club or Families Looking to Have a Great Soccer Experience.
Throughout the country, clubs will be switching over to birth year-based age groups next season. At WPFC we are fully prepared and excited to embrace this new opportunity. In fact, we couldn’t be more excited. We’ve added 6 new coaches with National A or B licenses. Two former club DOC’s, multiple college coaches, and a European professional coach. We’ve also secured a long term partnership with BMW and are breaking ground on a third turf field (fully installed this summer). Simply put, it’s never been a better season to join our WPFC family.
Since the 70’s, Washington Premier has seen many changes in the soccer landscape and has the history, resources, and experience to push the game forward.
Our goal is to provide the best possible soccer experience for each player.
We pride ourselves in creating unique opportunities for your son or daughter to make those positive, lasting soccer memories that they can take with them throughout their lives.
Hundreds of state championships and more national championships than any club in the Northwest.
Our coaches care about kids and know how to create amazing soccer experiences for each and every player on their teams.
Highest level of play around: ECNL, USSF Dev Academy, RCL, NWCL, FWRL Northwest, EPD and US Youth Soccer National League.
Best coaching slate in the South Sound. Capable of staffing multiple teams at every age group with the finest, most qualified coaches.
Our private, 25-acre facility also makes a perfect fit for the small-sided games mandate that will get our players more meaningful touches on the ball and provide a better, more positive introductory soccer experience.
6 new coaches with National A or B Licenses.
Adding a third turf field (fully installed this summer).
Our partnerships with BMW, NW Physical Therapy, Alaska Airlines, and Marriott allow us to better invest into our programs and our players.
Below are FAQs about the new USSF mandates:
1. What does ‘Birth Year’ based age groups mean and how will it affect my family?
Birth year means a player will play in the age group of the year of their birth. The Birth Year calendar dates run from January 1-December 31. For example, if you are born between January 1 and December 31, 1999, you will play in the 1999 birth-year age group. If you are born between January 1 and December 31, 2002, you will play in the 2002 birth-year age group.
2. Why is WPFC moving to birth years?
This change is to be adopted as a best practice by August 2016 and will be mandatory in August 2017 for all youth member organizations affiliated with US Soccer. However, the US Youth Soccer State Associations, including the RCL, are proceeding with implementation in 2016.
3. Why is US Soccer Federation transitioning to the Birth Year?
The US Soccer Federation is transitioning to the Birth Year to align youth soccer in America with the rest of the world. The majority (if not all) of countries around the world conduct soccer in the birth year. US Soccer Youth National Teams will also make the transition as well. US Soccer recognizes that the change will also help players develop faster and at younger ages in terms of long-term development.
4. Can players play up in an older age group?
Each club is handling this differently. Some clubs are forcing players to play on age. Others will do whatever it takes to form teams. At WPFC, we’ll have multiple strong teams at every age group and are going to find the exact fit for each individual player. If a player is capable of playing up on one of our A teams, then they will be allowed to do so. Typically, the best fit for a player to play up is decided by if they’re a top 5, contributing player at the older level. If they’re not, we’ll find the level that will push them and allow them to maximize their development potential.
5. Will WPFC be holding “Birth Year” Trainings?
We will have open trainings the week before tryouts. As a staff, we decided that disrupting teams in the middle of the season would take away from our #1 mission which is creating amazing soccer experiences for our players. Right now we have teams working towards finishing their seasons strong and preparing for State Cup. Part of having a great soccer experience is bonding as a team and working together. Our teams will be focusing on writing their own stories and creating their own amazing memories.
6. I’ve heard that some clubs are having to combine age groups to form teams, or in some cases just fold teams. What will this look like at WPFC?
Unfortunately, that’s the reality for many clubs throughout the country. Any time there’s a big change that affects the entire soccer landscape, it highlights just how important stability is and finding a club that has an experienced staff of skilled coaches, administrators, and guaranteed access to top notch facilities. At WPFC, we’re excited for the future and plan on growing our teams so that we can help even more families have a great soccer experience.
7. How will the mandated small sided game format help develop players at the younger ages?
Small-sided games (SSGs) are a stair step approach to the adult 11 v 11 game as they allow players to grow technically, tactically, physically and psychosocially at a developmentally appropriate rate.
The move to SSGs for preteen players is based on educational research on the way children learn. Just as with their academic education, their soccer education is progressive. Empirical studies have been conducted into the improvements in the game environment for children in SSGs as opposed to the adult version.
SSGs aid in player development. They allow players to have a higher percentage of contact with the soccer ball than in the 11 v 11 game, both offensively and defensively, which indirectly improves a player’s soccer technique. SSG’s also exposes players to an increased number of soccer situations (game phases), which helps improve their tactical knowledge and ability to make good decisions with and without the ball.
Active participation, more playing time, less players on the field, more opportunities to defend & attack and simplified rules equals more fun and enjoyment, which directly impacts the player retention rate.
8. Are other organizations mandated to transition to the birth year and small sided formats of play?
Yes, all member organizations of US Soccer Federation will be required to comply with this US Soccer mandate.
9. How does this model of play look for older players and how does it affect them?
The English FA did a case study on this format of play and developed a video that demonstrates the benefits of this mandate. To view the video, please click here or visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1Lb5pDTaCg.
10. Will WPFC be able to implement the SSG mandates and the additional costs of new goals or repaint/structure the existing fields?
This is a great question as many clubs throughout the country are struggling with these very issues. At WPFC, we’ve been moving this direction for a while now. Having our own private, 25-acre facility has already allowed us to seamlessly make the transition. Our Junior program is a leader in the South Sound and our development platform has become the gold standard for our RCL League.
Washington Premier F.C. Technical Director, Seth Spidahl, has recently started announcing the BU9-BU19 coaching assignments for the upcoming 2016 season. Listed below are the coaches and links to their current bios.
Washington Premier F.C. Technical Director, Seth Spidahl, has recently started announcing the GU09-GU19 coaching assignments for the upcoming 2016 season. Listed below are the coaches and links to their current bios.
CHICAGO (Feb. 1, 2016) – Beginning with the 2016-17 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Season, 56 youth clubs from across the country will join 78 existing Academy member clubs at the U-12 level to create a total of 134 clubs that will develop players in key markets throughout the United States.
The expansion of the Developmental Academy at the U12 level of the is intended to reduce travel distances between clubs, while also allowing clubs to cast a wider net for committed players in existing and new markets that have the potential to develop into elite soccer players. The Under-12 age group is the youngest age group at which clubs will participate in Development Academy markets.
"Expanding to the U-12 age group and the addition of 56 new member clubs will improve the overall environment at an earlier development stage and help clubs create a more positive step-by-step learning pathway for players," said U.S. Soccer Director of Scouting Tony Lepore.
The Development Academy clubs reported a total financial commitment of over one million dollars amongst the 56 new clubs, in guaranteed player scholarships. Over 600 players will receive scholarships to contribute to their club, while over 400 players in the Academy will be able to play cost-free.
“The commitment of the new U-12 clubs to provide opportunities and reduce barriers for players is tremendous,” said U.S. Development Academy Director Jared Micklos. “In total, the clubs have committed over $1 million to players in this age group. We believe that these efforts will allow players the opportunity to pursue the sport in quality club environments at a critical young age in their development pathway.”
List of Under-12 New Academy Clubs starting in fall 2016:
Bay Area, Calif.: San Francisco Elite Academy, Santa Rosa United
Los Angeles, Calif.: Los Angeles Football Club, Total Futbol Academy
San Diego, Calif.: Chula Vista FC, LA Galaxy San Diego, San Diego Soccer Club, West Coast Futbol Club
Colorado: Arsenal Colorado, Colorado Storm Soccer Association, FC Boulder, Pride Soccer Club
Florida: Albion SC Plantation, FC Florida, Florida Rush Soccer Club, Players Club of Tampa Bay, Wellington Soccer Club
Georgia: AFC Lightning, Atlanta United FC, Lanier Soccer Association, North Atlanta Soccer Association, Southern Soccer Academy, United Futbol Academy
Illinois/Indiana: Campton United SC, Chicago Fire Academy City, FC United Soccer Club, Fort Wayne United FC, Indiana Elite FC, Sockers FC Naperville
New England: Bayside FC, Global Premier Soccer, NEFC, Valeo Futbol Club
New York/New Jersey: New York Cosmos, TSF Academy
North Carolina: Capital Area RailHawks – CASL Del Sol, Capital Area RailHawks – CASL South, Queen City Mutiny
Oregon: BSC Oregon, Capital FC Timbers, Crossfire Oregon, Eastside Timbers, F.C. Portland Academy, Washington Timbers FC Academy, Westside Timbers Soccer Club
Texas: Houston Express Soccer Club,
Washington: Eastside FC, Greater Seattle Surf, Pacific Northwest Soccer Club, Seattle United, Snohomish Youth Soccer Club, Washington Premier FC, Washington Rush
A number of the 56 new Academy clubs that will join the existing Development Academy framework have previously developed players who have gone on to play at the highest level with the full U.S. National Team, including: Clint Mathis, Josh Wolf and Ricardo Clark (AFC Lightning), Geoff Cameron (Bayside FC), Damarcus Beasley (Fort Wayne United FC), Jordan Morris (Eastside FC), Bill Hamid (McLean Youth Soccer) and Shane O’Neill (FC Boulder).
In addition to resources and player production, the new Academy clubs joining at the U-12 age level include a new group of qualified technical staff focused on developing youth players. The combined staff among all new clubs will include a group of over 100 U.S. Soccer “A” licensed Academy Directors and coaches.
About the Academy
Following a comprehensive review of elite player development in the United States and around the world, U.S. Soccer created the Development Academy in 2007 for male players in the U-15 to U-18 age groups. In 2013, the Academy expanded to include the U-13/14 age group, which has continued to improve development by setting standards and improving the everyday environment for elite players and clubs. Academy alumni have progressed to play at elite amateur and professional levels with 124 Academy graduates rostered in the MLS in 2015 and 17 Academy players earning U.S. MNT caps.
Additionally, to view the divisional alignment for the U-12 age group, please click here. Also view a list of U-12 Frequently Asked Questions click here.
TACOMA, WA -- Pierce County Soccer Association (PCSA) and Washington Premier Football Club (WPFC) are proud to announce the formation of Washington United. Washington United is a recreational program serving Puyallup and the South Hill areas.
After a year without a youth club providing recreational soccer for this area PCSA has spent the last 3 months vetting all options. WPFC presented the PCSA board and its member clubs with a plan that was unanimously met with approval by all members of the Association.
"The time has come for the Kids of Puyallup to come home to play, US Youth Soccer is where they got their start and as the former President of Puyallup Soccer I am happy to have them back in the folds, it was also great to see all the Clubs come together in making this decision for the benefit of the Kids. We are also looking forward to the reintroduction of soccer back into Franklin Pierce and Spanaway Graham next, the vetting process has already begun" declares PCSA President, Henry Robicheau.
"Washington Premier FC is very excited about all the changes taking place at the Association and State levels to better serve the clubs and communities. We feel that our staff experience and knowledge of the soccer landscape will effectively help re-launch a successful, cost conscious WYS recreational soccer program in the Puyallup area. The program fees will compare fairly with other recreational program offerings in Pierce County" states WPFC Technical Director, Seth Spidahl.
“Washington Youth Soccer is both proud and excited to partner with Pierce County Soccer Association as they drive to bring a full program of soccer to Puyallup. The concept of using Washington Premier FC to offer recreational soccer, leveraging its strong brand and organizational strength is exactly the innovation and leadership we are looking to support as we strive to deliver the best quality of programming for the children and their families in every part of the state” confirms Washington Youth Soccer President, Daren Mancini.
Continue to watch our website and Facebook page for further announcements
Washington Premier F.C. (WPFC) is built upon the combined history, leadership, knowledge and experience of the F.C. Royals and F.C. United. WPFC will continue to strive for excellence both on and off the field, we are committed to the development of the entire individual, WPFC emphasizes the importance of every player excelling both on the field and academically while encouraging active community responsibility.
The club is affiliated with US Club Soccer, Washington Youth Soccer Association & US Youth Soccer Association which are in turn affiliated with the United States Soccer Federation. The USSF is the USA’s member organization of FIFA, the sponsor of the World Cup soccer games.
Pierce County Soccer Association (PCSA) is a member of Washington Youth Soccer and serves youth soccer in all of Pierce County. Our member clubs include Fife, Milton, Edgewood Soccer Club, Fircrest Soccer Club, Harbor Soccer Club, Lakewood, Steilacoom, Dupont Soccer Club, Norpoint Soccer Club, Nortac Soccer Club, South Tacoma Soccer Club, University Place Soccer Club, Vashon Island Soccer Club, Washington Premier Football Club and Washington United. Our clubs play in the Regional Club League (RCL), South Sound United League (SSUL), and our own Small Sided Recreational League.
PCSA and all of it’s member clubs are affiliated with Washington Youth Soccer Association & US Youth Soccer Association which are in turn affiliated with the United States Soccer Federation. The USSF is the USA’s member organization of FIFA, the sponsor of the World Cup soccer games.
BMW Northwest is WPFC's Premier Sponsor for 2016-18
Washington Premier Football Club is happy to announce that BMW Northwest is club's Premier Sponsor for 2016-18. BMW Northwest is conveniently located at 4011 20th St E Tacoma, WA. The dealership is right off of I-5, making it easy for Lakewood, and Auburn BMW customers to reach them.
TACOMA, WA -- NW Sports Physical Therapy has been a valued contributor to the Washington Premier Family since 1995. Bruce Snell, the owner of NW Sports started with Washington Premier when his son Andrew was on the field at age 10. Since that time he has served as the club President and watched over the development of the South Complex during his four year term. His love for the game and players stems from a 30 year career with Physical Therapy and following his motto of “Keeping You in the Game! Along with his long term colleague Dave Andrews and their experience serving as trainers for the US Olympic Soccer teams in 2000 and both the Men's and Women's World CupTeams since 1988, they bring a broader sense of the game to the Washington Premier organization. The passion for Soccer and seeing the kids succeed at this higher level has inspired the sponsorship of the 2016 WPFC Jersey emblazoned with NW Sports Physical Therapy. Along with the Jerseys, the NW Sports Physical Therapy Trailer is available on our fields to assist with any injured players during the games.
NW Sports Physical Therapy is conveniently located in Tacoma and Gig Harbor, serving WPFC to help "keep you in the game!"
TACOMA, WA-- Washington Premier Football Club is excited to announce a strategic partnership with South Sound Football Club that will connect premier youth with adult soccer in both the Evergreen Premier League (Men) and Northwest Premier League (Women) for the greater Tacoma area.
By connecting the top youth club in the region for both boys and girls with the top level semi-professional teams of South Sound FC, playing opportunities will come for many types of players and benefits will be gained on both sides of the partnership.
“The opportunity to find games on home turf with Washington Premier FC teams and to engulf our culture onto the WP campus and vice versa offers all of us so much,” says South Sound FC owner John Crouch. “South Sound has always focused on development and with this connection we are providing opportunities for Washington Premier FC players directly. Both the men’s and women’s sides will provide opportunity for Washington Premier FC alums to train and get games while home from college along with outside players. There may even be current WP youth players finding playing time or training with the South Sound adult sides. I am extremely excited to see our teams train at the Washington Premier FC complex and also can’t wait to see all the games that we can get our players and development we can provide.”
WPFC Seth Spidahl Director of Coaching at Washington Premier FC Club is very pleased to offer this partnership as a great value add for their club.
“The relationship with South Sound FC will be a great addition to our college program. It gives our current WPFC alumni, both men and women, a daily, competitive environment to train in and an outstanding U-23 amateur platform to compete in on a weekly basis. This will be free to college players, and the opportunity will be there for our current WPFC players and teams to train and compete against and in partnership with the South Sound FC teams. Along with this, it will allow all of our WPFC youth teams to see this high level team train on a weekly basis at our WPFC complex. This relationship really compliments and completes the youth soccer cycle and experience at Washington Premier!”
About EPLWA and NWPL and the South Sound FC
The Evergreen Premier League (EPLWA) is recognized as fourth division amateur elite soccer in the USA, below MLS, NASL and USL by the USASA (US Adult Soccer Association). The clubs of the EPLWA are Bellingham United, Olympic Force (Bremerton), Seattle Stars FC, South Sound FC, Spokane Shadow, Vancouver Victory FC, Wenatchee FC and Yakima United FC.
South Sound Shock FC was formed in 2009 as a men’s competitive club by co-founder and owner John Crouch with the goal to always find the highest level of play and create a community culture. The club found its way through local high level tournaments to semi-pro indoor soccer and eventually staking claim as a founding member of and a large part in creating the EPLWA (Evergreen Premier League of Washington). South Sound has participated in the USASA U23 National Tournament since 2012 and eventually won the national title in 2015.
The Shock took second place in the EPLWA two years in a row behind the Spokane Shadow and are excited to embark on a pursuit of the trophy in the league’s third year.
South Sound is excited to launch a women’s side in the Northwest Premier League (NWPL) as the league begins its first season this Spring. Women from around the region will compete on the seven clubs that are founding the competition and the fit for South Sound to partner with local ECNL (Elite Clubs National League) high level Washington Premier FC girl’s sides is perfect for both groups.
The clubs of the NWPL are Fuerza FC (Marysville), Olympic Force (Bremerton), Seattle Stars FC, South Sound FC, Spokane Shadow, Twin City Union (Chehalis/Centralia), and Yakima United FC. Players will include those home from college, elite adults, former professionals and the best of high school age.