SAS U4, U5/6, and U7/8 In House Soccer Programs Information
U4 soccer is for advanced 2, 3 and younger 4 year old kids, new to the game of soccer, and our goal is to introduce them to the ball, playing with others, and learning basic ball skills. If a player is 4 years old and participated in U4 previously, they may move up to U5/6 on coach and DOC recommendation.
The U4 program is also geared to introduce our Parents into the club and make them feel comfortable being a Volunteer Soccer coach, and hopefully growing themselves as coaches.
U5/6 (4/5 year olds) and U7/8 (6/7 year olds) In House Programs are geared to further develop the players skills sets, expand on their soccer individual tactical awareness and start building the Team Play concept. For the coaches the U5/6 and U7/8 offers a chance to identify with a group of players (Team), and support their skill development at Training and Team Play as a working unit on Game Day.
U4 do not have set teams, we run skills exercises, fun games, and pick small sided (2 v 2 or 3 v 3) teams each week at random, and allow for free play to small goals each session, with no goalkeepers and minimal coaching.
U5/6 and U7/8 players are placed on World Cup (countries) Teams at the beginning of the season by the AGC and DOC, with a volunteer parent assigned to each team. Coaches are responsible to know their players, attend training and assist in instruction of exercises, and attend games and manage their team on game day.
U5/6 and U7/8 follow USYSA and USSF Standards of Play, and will play a 4 v 4 Game format, with small goals and no keepers, on a 25 x 15 yard field. Emphasis is on spacing, shape, interplay and understanding the group play concept, all with good individual ball control and comfort with the ball under pressure. No heading allowed.
Each Group (U4, U5/6, and U7/8) is led by a Parent Volunteer Age Group Coordinator ("AGC") whose role is to work with the Director of Coaching (DOC) and organize the sessions, assign coaches to teams, and make sure each practice and game day is running according to plan. Every season we need a dedicated parent willing to help in this AGC capacity...its fun, easy, and there is a lot of help! We ALWAYS need Parent Coaches for teams as well, so it is expected that you are able to help out when you register.
SAS offers individual player training session in the winter season which are run by the DOC and other qualified coaches. This training is geared or players aged 6-12 and will focus on technical balls skills plus individual tactical play, in small sided setting.
SAS will offer Summer Day Camp for players aged 3-14. For Summer 2024, Please check our website in early spring for summer 2024 dates. Camps will take place at QVMS Turf and generally run from 9:00 am to noon each day, Monday-Friday. U4 and U5/6 players meet from 9-10 am, U7/8 Player from 9-10:30 am, and U9 to U14 meet from 9 am to 12 noon.
SAS U9 and Older Travel Teams Information
Travel Soccer begins at the U9 age (8 years older) typically.
Travel teams are for players who have played 1 or more year of In House, who have a good grasp of the skills and basic tactics of soccer, and just as importantly are well adapted at working in the Group and Team setting and following a coaches direction. Travel players need to be socially mature enough to handle playing competitive games against unknown opponents.
U9 and U10 ages Teams and League Information
North District Inter-Community League ("ICL"). Teams playing in the ICL (u9 and u10) play 7 v 7 (6 field players and a GK) have a roster limit of 12 players, and the level of play is competitive but lower as most teams are new to travel soccer. Community team games are played on Saturdays in the afternoon generally.
"Travel u10 " more advanced U10 teams may also opt to compete in the D4, D5, and D6 Sunday Travel leagues, which is for higher level players who may also play Cup Soccer.
U11 and older ages Teams and League Information
U11 and older ages compete in the PA West North District Community Travel D5 and D6. Games are on Sundays, generally after 12:00 noon, against other community programs around Pittsburgh. There are several Divisions of Competition, from D6 (lowest) to D4 (highest). Within D6 and D5 can be subdivisions (A, B, C etc) depending on how many clubs enter teams in each age group. U11 and U12 Teams play 9 v 9 (8 field players and the keeper). U13 and older play 11 v 11. Often the League team ages are combined (u11/12) so occasionally a "younger" team. i.e. more u11 than u12 on same roster, so this can affect the competitive nature of the team. Therefore it is the goal of SAS to form single Birth Year specific rosters (such as all true u11 or true u12). Playing "Up" an age is only permitted per DOC and Coach collective agreement.
At SAS, when we form travel teams, we base the level of divisional placement on the following factors, among others
Our Goal is to offer all interested Travel aged players a chance to play and be part of a Team, while maintaining competitive levels of play against other community programs we face.
We strive to keep players in their Birth Year to follow US Soccer mandates, but at times we are forced to mix ages (U9/10 for example) based on the number of players registered. All effort to be fair to the players ability and experience is weighed in this process.