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 offers Summer Day Camp for players aged 6-14. Summer 2020 Camps were cancelled due to Covid19. Watch for 2021 Summer Camp information early in the new year!
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 have the following leagues
"Community" which means there is no roster limit, the level of play is lower as most teams are very new to travel soccer. The play format for U9 and U10 is 7 v 7, 6 field players and a goalkeeper. Community team games are played on Saturdays in the afternoon generally.
"Travel " 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 (see below).
U11 and older ages have the following leagues
D5 and D6. This is for teams to compete on Sundays, against other community programs around Pittsburgh. There are several Divisions of Competition, from D6 (lowest) to D5 (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.
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.