Nether Travel Soccer FAQ's

Many people have questions about the NETHER UNITED SOCCER Travel Team Program. Below are questions that we frequently encounter. Please look for the answer to your question below. If you do not see the question you are looking for, please send us an e-mail at boys.travel@npaasoccer.com 


ANSWERS TO FAQ’S ABOUT THE NETHER UNITED SOCCER TRAVEL TEAM PROGRAM

How are Travel Team tryouts conducted?

ANSWER: Tryout information is posted on our web page in late February. Tryouts are held in late April or in May. All tryouts will be completed by Memorial Day Weekend. Each age group will have two tryouts. Players will be expected to make every effort to be at BOTH tryouts. While tryouts are held in the spring, the actual travel team season for the new teams will not start until sometime in August, depending on the schedule of each particular team.

Teams will be picked by the coaches after tryouts. In general, coaches will notify the players of their status within a week of the last tryouts.

Coaches will evaluate players at tryouts based on four primary criteria:

    • Physical Ability - speed, stamina, strength, agility, coordination, etc.
    • Technical Ability - HOW a player performs the various skills of the game (dribbling, shooting, passing, receiving, etc.)
    • Tactical Ability - Decision Making. Being able to think on a field and make quick, intelligent decisions on offense, defense and transition.
    • Psychological Ability - How much the player enjoys playing, enjoys competition, is able to handle the stress that comes with competing, etc.


In order for coaches to properly evaluate players, NETHER UNITED SOCCER STRONGLY ASKS all parents to refrain from coaching their child during the tryout process. The coaches need to be able to see players in action, working on their own, thinking on their own and solving the problems of the game. If a player instead is simply following instructions from Daddy or Mommy, then the coaches will assume the player has no ability to think on the field. It is therefore in each child’s interest for parents to simply stay out of the way and remain quiet on the sidelines while they are playing.

NETHER UNITED SOCCER will field up to 3  teams in each age group Under 9 through Under 14 in the fall season. The exact number of teams in each group will depend on how many players are at tryouts and how many qualified coaches are available to coach. NETHER UNITED SOCCER will also field teams U-15 and older. These teams might play in the fall season or opt to wait and start play in the winter months, after the high school season has ended. Teams not playing in the fall season are not required to have tryouts in the spring.

For most age groups, NETHER UNITED SOCCER will use "independent evaluators" to help the head coaches. These evaluators are highly qualified soccer people (often times other travel team coaches) who are not affiliated with that particular age group. Their purpose is to help lend an additional set of eyes as well as a perspective other than the coaches of the age group. In the end however, final player selection for each team is made by the head coaches. The head coaches may use whatever criteria and information they choose in making player selections for their team.

After teams are announced, parents are welcome to talk with the head coaches about their player selections. Information on player evaluation forms used by the coaches and evaluators are strictly confidential and will NOT be shared with the parents.

Players selected for a team have the option of not accepting an invitation to play. If a player selected for a team chooses to not play, this is their right to do so. However, players will need to have committed to a team by Travel Team Registration Night (usually the Wednesday after Memorial Day Weekend). At that time, they will need to provide all paperwork, uniform order and club fees. Failure to do this at Registration Night could lead to the coach rescinding the offer to the player to join the team.

Should players attend all tryouts?


Answer: It is recommended and extremely beneficial to attend all tryouts. This gives the coaching staff an opportunity to evaluate players on multiple occasions allowing for a greater understanding of abilities. If a player is only able to make one tryout it is very important to let the coaching staff know so they can prepare appropriately.


 

Who coaches the teams in the NETHER UNITED SOCCER Travel Team Program?

ANSWER: In recent years, NETHER UNITED SOCCER has shifted from having parent volunteers coaching in the program to having non-parent paid coaches who have a strong background in soccer as a player and / or as a coach. Many of our coaches played at the college level or other significant level. Many have a strong coaching background, coaching at the college level, at the high school level or previously at the travel team level. It is our belief at NETHER UNITED SOCCER that paid non-parent coaches offer the players a much higher level of coaching and are better able to develop the players’ skills so that they can reach higher levels of play in the future. Also, having non-parent coaches reduces "political problems" on a team where a coach might favor his or her child as well as the child’s friends.

During the recent season, NETHER UNITED SOCCER will field 29 travel teams. All but two of those teams have a head coach who was a professional coach. All of these coaches have a strong background in soccer as a player and / or as a coach. It is the intent of the club to have the head coach of all new teams (including all Under 9 teams) be professional coaches going forward.

 


 

What are the costs involved in the Travel Team Program?

ANSWER: The Travel Team Program is much more expensive than the Intramural Program. There are several reason for this. First, and most significant is that almost all of the head coaches in the Travel Team Program are paid workers who have a much greater soccer background than the volunteer parent coaches in the Intramural Program (most of whom have a much more limited soccer background). It is the opinion of NETHER UNITED SOCCER that more experienced non-parent coaches are able to develop players at a much faster rate than volunteer parents, most of which have a limited soccer background. With this higher level of coach comes a higher cost to the player.

Another factor in the costs of the Travel Team Program is that most teams play in tournaments in the fall and spring which involve teams from many other clubs. These tournaments are fun for the players, but come at a cost. Also, most teams play indoor soccer during the winter months, playing in either local area indoor leagues or indoor tournaments. These indoor competitions all come at an additional cost.

The costs vary greatly from team to team, depending on the factors listed above, plus others. In general, travel teams cost anywhere from $50 per month to $120 per month per child. Again, the exact amount depends on the team that a player is on. Each team has a different budget that come with different commitments and expectations during the year. In general, ’A’ teams have a higher cost factor than the lower level teams. Similarly, older teams tend to have a higher cost per player than younger teams.

ITEMS THAT FACTOR INTO A TEAM’S BUDGET FOR THE SEASON

    • Coaches Salary (almost all travel team head coaches are paid)
    • Referee Fees for leagues
    • League and state association registration fees
    • Tournaments (tournament entry fees range from $350 - $700)
    • Indoor Leagues during the winter months (league fees are between $800 and $1000 per league)
    • Warmup suits or team equipment bags
    • Indoor field Rentals during the winter months
    • Team Parties, post game snacks, etc.


Again, the cost of all of the above items is incurred by the individual teams and divided among the players. The initial registration fee paid to the club at Registration Night in early June only covers Team Registration, Player Registration, Club Equipment, overhead administrative costs, etc.


 

Does NETHER UNITED SOCCER have any geographical boundaries which limit participation?

ANSWER: No, NETHER UNITED SOCCER does not have any geographical boundaries. Children may participate on a team, regardless of address, provided that they are able to live up to the commitments and expectations of the team they are on.


 

Does a child have to have previously played in NETHER UNITED SOCCER before in order to tryout for the Travel Team Program?

ANSWER: No, players may tryout for an NETHER UNITED SOCCER travel team, regardless of where they previously played. Players from other soccer organizations are welcome to tryout, but should only do so if they will be able to live up to the commitments and expectations of the program.


 

How much travel is actually involved in the Travel Team Program?

ANSWER: That really depends on which team your child is on. In the fall season, our boys teams play in the Delco Soccer League while our girls teams play in the PAGS Soccer League. Most clubs in these leagues are within a 45 minute drive, including West Chester United, Spirit United (Downingtown), Nether Providence, Marple Newtown, Philadelphia Soccer Club and King Of Prussia, just to name a few. However, in the higher divisions of each age groups, there will be some teams from Lancaster, Harrisburg, Delaware (Kirkwood, Hockessin and Concord) as well as teams from Maryland (Baltimore Bays, etc.)

In a typical fall season, a team will play 10-12 games. Half of these league games will be home games and half will be away games. Home games are at Wallingford area schools and Nether’s fields throughout the township. Away games will be at the opposing team’s field. Many players choose to car pool together to away games, though some players choose to go with their parents. This is different for each team.

Some teams travel on occasion to out of area tournaments, including Bucks County, Harrisbug, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and other places. These tournaments are infrequent and only a few of our travel teams actually travel out of state. We have however had teams participate in the Dallas Cup, Disney College Showcase (Florida) and the Phoenix President’s Day Weekend Tournament. Two of our teams have traveled out of the country, one to play in a tournament in Bermuda, the other to play in the Gothia Cup in Sweden. The team that played in Sweden was comprised of players from several different NETHER UNITED SOCCER teams.


 

What is the commitment level for the program? How much soccer is involved throughout the year?

ANSWER: Most travel teams start their season in mid-August and play in one or two tournaments in late August. Boys teams will play in the Delco Soccer League, girls teams will play in the PAGS (Philadelphia Area Girls Soccer) League. Both leagues start their schedule right after Labor Day Weekend and run through mid-November.

FALL SEASON - In the fall, teams will have one game a week, occasionally two. For boys teams, games are primarily on Saturdays with an occasional Sunday game. For girls teams U-9 through U-11, most games are on Saturdays with an occasional Sunday game. Older age groups will have most of their games on Sunday afternoons with an occasional Saturday game.

All travel teams will have one or two practices a week throughout the fall season with the schedule determined by the head coach.

WINTER SEASON - In the winter, most teams will play a limited amount of indoor soccer, playing in a winter indoor league or playing in several one day tournaments. Many teams, especially the ’A’ and ’B’ teams, train occasionally indoors throughout the winter, usually once a week.

SPRING SEASON - All of our ’A’ teams and many of our ’B’ teams will participate in the State Cups. This is a tournament involving the better teams throughout Eastern Pennsylvania to determine a state champion. This is mandatory for all ’A’ teams. State Cups run for 4 - 7 weeks, starting in late March. Other travel teams will instead play in a spring league, consisting of 6 - 8 games on weekends throughout the spring.


The main season for the Travel Team Program is the fall. However, unlike the intramural program, most teams play a limited amount of soccer in the winter and spring. Players may play other sports during the year, but their primary sport in the fall should be soccer. For our ’A’ teams (and for many of our ’B’ teams), competing in the state cups is mandatory. Players must make a full commitment to their team while their team is involved in state cups.



What is the difference between the Intramural Program and the Travel Team Program?

ANSWER: There are many differences. The Travel Team Program is geared for our stronger players who aspire to play at higher levels in the future. The number of games and practices that travel teams have is much higher. Most travel teams play indoor soccer in the winter and participate in spring tournaments.

The coaching level is much higher in the Travel Team Program. The intramural program relies on parent volunteers, few of which played at high levels of play. Most of the coaches in the Travel Team Program played at high levels and have coached for many years. With the higher level of coaching and the heavier schedule in the Travel Team Program comes higher costs to participate. Players who aspire to play at the high school level or college level and who are willing to work harder to improve as players, should play in the Travel Team Program. Players who simply wish to have a fun time playing soccer and be with their friends should stay in the Intramural Program.


 

Can a player move up to a higher level teams within his / her age group at tryouts?

ANSWER: Definitely.  We have tryouts each year. At that time, some players move up to a higher level team while some players move down to a lower level team. Tryouts are open to anyone of the proper age each year. We have had at least two players who were selected for a C team who later moved all the way up to the ’A’ team in their age group several years later. NETHER UNITED SOCCER recognizes that children progress at different rates and mature at different rates. We therefore have tryouts each year in order to give children a chance to move up to a higher level team the following year. It is also possible for a player to be moved up to a higher level team in the middle of the season if the coach of that team wishes to add another player to his/her roster.


 

How strict are the age group classifications? Can my child play with an older or younger age group?

ANSWER: Our Travel Team Program teams are bound by the same age group classifications as all the other teams in the United States. The United States Youth Soccer Assocation requires us to submit birth certificates to show each player’s date of birth. A player who is one day too old for a team is ineligible to tryout, no exceptions. These rules are strictly enforced by the USYSA and the use of an ineligible player will result in heavy fines to the club as well as severe sanctions.

Players are discouraged from playing "up a year" and must tryout for the team in their designed birth year (ie the  month andyear they were born). If the Nether Technical Staff believes they should move up to match up with the player's development needs, they will reach out to the parents. Parents should not request/demand a player plays in any certain age group or team

May a player selected for a higher level team opt to be considered only for a lower level team which has less of a commitment?

ANSWER: Yes, a player who feels that he / she will not be able to live up to the commitment and expectations of an ’A’ or ’B’ team may opt to play on a lower level team. This must be stated at tryouts or as soon as player selections for teams are announced at the conclusion of tryouts. Any player selected for a particular level at the conclusion of tryouts may request to only be considered for a team in that age group at a lower level. However, the head coach for the lower level team is NOT obligated to take the player if he / she does not think that the player would be a good fit for the team in question.


 

Can a player be moved up or down a level in his / her age group or dropped from a team during the season?

ANSWER: In general, when a player accepts an offer to play on a particular travel team, the agreement is for a full year. The player will be considered to be on that team until tryouts take place the following year. There are some exceptions however to this rule:

    • A Player Moving Up To A Higher Level Team - Coaches are asked to watch the players on the team one level below their team in their particular age group. If a coach likes a player on the lower level team, the coach may offer that player a spot on his roster, provided that the roster is not filled to capacity. The player may accept or decline the offer. There are certain time periods when a player may not switch teams. This includes the time after the "roster freeze date" imposed by the travel team leagues while league play is taking place during the fall. Roster changes may not be made until the season has completed. Similarly, in the spring, rosters of teams playing in the state cups may not be in changed while the team is still involved in state cup play.
    • A Player Wishing To Drop Down To A Lower Level Team Within The Age Group - A player may request to move down a level if they feel that they are playing at too high of a level or are playing on a team where the commitment is too much. Similar to a player being moved to a higher level team (see above), a transfer may only take place at certain times of a year. The transfer will be denied if the team the player wishes to move to has the maximum number of players already or if the coach of that team does not wish to add an extra player. Similarly, the player’s current coach can deny the transfer if the coach can demonstrate that losing the player will have a significantly adverse affect to the player’s current team.
    • A Player Who Wishes To Transfer Out of NETHER UNITED SOCCER To Play In A Different Club - Per State Association rules, NETHER UNITED SOCCER will grant the release of a player who wishes to leave NETHER UNITED SOCCER and play on a team in a different club, provided that the player is in good standing with the club and has paid all dues to the club and to the team. NETHER UNITED SOCCER will not release a player until their obligations to the team have been satisfied, including all financial obligations. NETHER UNITED SOCCER will NOT issue refunds of any amount for a player who decides to leave the club.
    • A Player Who Is In Bad Standing With The Club - A player may be considered in bad standing with the club based on bad conduct of the child, bad conduct at soccer games or practices by a parent or based on failure to meet the financial obligations of playing on an NETHER UNITED SOCCER Travel Team. If it has been determined that a player is in bad standing with the NETHER UNITED SOCCER or a specific team, the club may opt to remove the player from a roster or simply prohibit the child from participating in any team activities. Decisions regarding this will be made by the NETHER UNITED SOCCER Directors.


 

Are NETHER UNITED SOCCER travel team players allowed to play other sports?

ANSWER: Yes, definitely. We do not expect young soccer players to only play one sport. The fall season is the primary season for all NETHER UNITED SOCCER travel teams Under 8 up through Under 14. During the fall, all players are expected to make all games and practices, unless they have a religious conflict, school conflict or are sick. In the winter, we realize that players often like to play other sports. Players on teams playing winter soccer are expected to live up to the commitments and expectations as presented by the coach at the beginning of the season. However, players are welcome to play other sports in the winter if desired.

In the spring, players on our ’A’ teams are expected to be available for state cup games. This applies to players on ’B’ teams that are involved in state cups. However, players are not precluded from playing other sports in the spring as long as they are able to make it to all state cup games. The exact commitment level for all teams in the spring is dependent on the expectations defined by the head coach for each team.

For teams U15 and older where the primary season is the spring, players are expected to make soccer their number one sport in the spring and make all games and tournaments as scheduled by the coach. Players on these teams will normally be playing high school soccer in the fall so the season for the older teams usually does not start until after the high school season has finished. As a result, the majority of the team’s season is in the spring and players on older teams will be expected to make every effort to be at all team events in the spring.

What if it is raining the day of tryouts? Will you cancel?

It is unlikely we will cancel tryouts. We will post any changes on the club’s website as well as e-mail anyone pre-registered as soon as possible in case of a change in schedule.

Can the parents attend and watch tryouts?
Parents are welcome to observe from the spectator areas (outside the playing and evaluation zone.)

How are players evaluated at the tryouts?
The coaching staff evaluates players in four categories: Technical, Tactical, Physical, and Psychological. 

Who picks the team?
The Nether coaching staff as well as the Technical Director and his staff will pick teams. Decisions will be based upon input from the previous year’s coach, guest professional evaluators as well as staff devoted to next year’s team.

Are any players pre-selected prior to tryouts?
No pre-selection for teams or player placement will take place before the official age group tryout sessions. All decisions for team selection are made at the tryouts sessions and coaching staff meetings afterwards. For current Nether players this does not mean only your performance at the tryout is taken into consideration. If we have worked with you over the last year then we know your abilities.   

When will the players be notified and how?
Players will be notified within 72 hours after the final tryout with one of three responses:

  1. You are offered a spot on the roster and asked to accept within 48 hours.
  2. The coach would like to see you again and invites you to a call back.
  3. You were not offered a spot on the roster.

How soon do we need to reply to an offer?
A position on the roster must be accepted within 48 hours. Players should respond immediately to a call back invitation via an e-mail to the coach.  

Why do some teams have call backs and what is their purpose?
In some age groups we will have multiple teams and many players trying out. The call back is an additional tryout that enables coaches to take another look at specific players.

What is the club’s policy on roster size?

Nether will strive to keep teams to a size which allows sufficient numbers for training and maximized playing time. As a general rule we keep squads of 8v8 soccer to 12-14 players, and 11v11 soccer to eighteen (18) players. Individual teams will have different needs based on schedules, physical demands, and potential conflicts – all of which can influence the size of a team roster.

Are you going to break up our existing team or combine it with another?
Nether will not break up a team haphazardly but will make roster changes if and when individual player needs dictate movement from one squad to the next. Decisions will be based upon finding the best environment for each individual accounting for the four categories of player evaluation (Technical, Tactical, Physical, and Psychological). 

When can we talk to the staff regarding player placement?
No discussions will take place before or during the tryout evaluation. No discussions will take place on the field during or immediately following tryout sessions. Contact the Coaching Director for any questions regarding player placement after the selection process has taken place.

Who will coach the team?
Nether Coaching Staff assignments are posted online prior to tryouts. The club may sponsor multiple teams, so there may be multiple coaches within an age group. We have assembled the strongest staff to date for our program and are very excited about the quality of coaching available to our players.

When does the season start and end?
In general, for USYS teams the Fall Season runs from Late July - mid-November while the Spring Season covers mid-January-Late May. Depending on level and age, calendars will vary to include tournaments, etc. The commitment to the team is for both the fall and spring seasons.  

Where will practices for XYZ team be held? At what time and how often?
Nether has access to a number of quality fields in the Wallingford area.  Practice times and specific locations have not yet been determined. Teams practice 2x/week during the summer/fall and spring seasons and at least 1x/week over the winter. U15 to U18 teams have a similar schedule with fewer practices held during the fall high school soccer season. 

Are practices and games mandatory?
Training sessions, games, and all team events are designed to maximize individual player development and team growth, as well as safety from a fitness standpoint, and are therefore a mandatory commitment.

Can my child play another sport and soccer at the same time?
Yes. For balance, motor-skill development, cross-training and other reasons, participation in multiple sports can be good for young soccer players. However families and coaches must evaluate the demands of specific teams and playing seasons for each sport. The developmental curve of a soccer player will be affected by the commitment level. 

Can my child play club AND school soccer?
Yes - we are proud of our many players who enjoy success on their respective school teams. Academy players are not permitted to participate in scholastic soccer.  *Attention should be paid to the rest/recovery needs of young, growing athletes in determining when a break from training is in the best interest of the individual’s mental and physical health. For U14 and below, two soccer teams in the same season can be very taxing on a player and must be delicately balanced.

How does the uniform process work?

After a player has accepted a position on a team roster, a designated team Uniform Coordinator will aid with the ordering process. Uniforms are ordered through an on-line store set up with Angelo’s Soccer Corner.


QUESTIONS ABOUT THE TRAVEL TEAM PROGRAM?

If you have questions about the NETHER UNITED SOCCER Travel Team Program that are not listed on this page, please send us an e-mail at boys.travel@npaasoccer.com




 

 

 

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