Who is Washington Youth Soccer (WYS)
in the global soccer structure?
WYS is the US Youth Soccer governing body in the state of Washington for youth soccer players 5-18 years of age. The WYS organization is comprised of 7 Districts, 37 Member Associations and over 180 clubs that facilitate recreational, select, and regional programs.
In other words, WYS represents us Washingtonian soccer players and speaks on our behalf when dealing with US Youth Soccer rules, opportunities, and pathways. FWSA is one of its Member Associations, within District 3, that works together with FWMSC and FWFC clubs to run soccer programs in our community.
FWMSC is entry-level soccer starting at 5 years old. Players learn the fundamentals of soccer and a passion for the game under volunteer coaches. At 11, players become too old and must move on to FWFC if they want to pursue a developmental pathway in soccer, although FWFC offers programming to players with excelling abilities as young as seven.
What are the levels of play and what is
the developmental pathway in Washington?
There are four main levels of play in Washington Youth Soccer; recreational, select, regional, and the Elite Player Development (EPD). From the EPD program, players can move into a collegiate or national level (ODP/US Soccer Academies), and sometimes on to professional play.
The South Sound United League (SSUL)
is an independent league and comprised of 7 associations in South King and Pierce counties, with full support from the Washington Youth Soccer (WYS) staff. Its mission is to provide local, like-versus-like competition at an affordable price for recreational and select teams.
The recreational level of play is primarily devoted to the enjoyment and development of soccer players, without the emphasis on travel or high-level competition. Recreational soccer is open to all players and no tryouts are involved in joining a team.
The select level of play is designed to provide an avenue for players who aspire to eventually play at the RCL level to further develop skills on a more competitive level.
Premier soccer is defined by Washington Youth Soccer as the elite level of soccer and the most competitive league in the state. They are called Regional Clubs and they all participate in the Regional Club League (RCL), under WYS.
RCL is comprised of the top 18 clubs in WA State, FWFC being one of them. To participate, Clubs must adhere to the RCL Charter, which outlines rigorous standards including criteria and levels of coaching licensure, player development curriculum and training guidelines to ensure standardizations across the League and that all Clubs are of equivalent caliber.
Elite Player Development (EPD) is WYS's most prestigious development and identification program that develops elite athletes from all communities across our state. It combines all of our current development curriculums as well as additional opportunities in our soccer community to develop players with technical and tactical skills. Through tryouts, players are selected into the State pool and compete against state associations at regional and National competitions in front of college, and US Soccer scouts.
What happens after making it this far?
Olympic Development Program (ODP) is offered through US Youth Soccer. It identifies a pool of players, from five age groups in the boys' and girls' programs, within four different regions, and their State Associations, in the U.S; East (Region I), Midwest (Region II), South (Region III), and West (Region IV). Each State Association holds ODP try-outs on an annual basis.
Each region offers a camp for State Association ODP teams in each eligible age group. The camps are designed to provide high-level competition and training for participating players. During this training and competition, players who are capable of performing at a higher level of play are identified for possible national team camp, pool, or team participation.
National Camps and Interregional events are held throughout the year at various locations in the United States. The National Team Coach or a National Staff Coach is present at these events to observe, train, and identify players for placement in the national pool or on a national team. Read What You Need to Know About ODP for more information.
US Soccer Academy (U12-U19)
The US Development Academy has 150 total clubs, comprised of teams across five age groups (U-12, U-13, U-14, U-15/16, and U-17/18) and will include a Girls' Development Academy in the fall of 2017. The Development Academy Program is a full-time, 10-month program, from September to July and uses the international rules of competition.
US Soccer (U15-U23)
US Soccer forms National Teams U15 - U23 with players who journey to impress with their clubs, earn international exposure and compete for a place at the FIFA World Cup.