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Upper St. Clair Athletic Association

Parent Resources

In this section we provide information and links to information helpful to parents of youth soccer participants on our community.

Classic League (i.e. "Cup" or Club") Soccer and the Pa West Soccer Hierarchy

How to  Pick a Classic Team! (taken from the PA West site)
The Classic Division is the highest level of inter-district team play offered by PA West.  Playing in the Classic Division involves a greater time commitment and a greater financial commitment to the sport.  A popular question is “how does one pick a Classic team/club?”

When assessing clubs one should start by remembering the 3 stages of player development.  Children from 6 to 10 years of age children are in the “turn on” phase, from 10 to 14 years of age in the “technical development” phase and from 14 to 18 years of age in the “competitive learning” phase.  Hence, as parents of an U11 child in the “golden age of motor learning,” finding an environment that prioritizes player development and focuses on teaching excellent soccer technique is paramount.   Furthermore, during the U12 to U14 ages the team coach is often the most important element in this environment. 


Recommended Questions:

Q: Does the team/club have a written philosophy? 
A: Ideally clubs should have a mission statement that discusses issues such as player development.  If they do not, ask the Director of Coaching or Coach to put down his ideas on player development in writing (i.e., a letter).  


Q: What is the club/team’s position on roster stability? 
A: The club’s goal should be to develop excellent players over the long-term, rather than to recruit for success.


Q: What is the U12 team coach’s philosophy? 
A: Bill Beswick (a sports psychologist who works with pro teams in the English EPL) views the coach as the most influential person during the development phase.  So, what is the coach’s position on teaching technique, developing committed players, making soccer fun, fueling soccer “ambitions” and keeping players “hooked?”  Is the coach interested in short-term success (winning now) or is there a commitment to developing players over the long-term who are able to excel? Everything the U12 coach does should be shaped by a commitment to player development.    Players should be able to play multiple positions, should receive intensive technical training, should be indulged to experiment on their individual skills, should not get too much tactical training, should play in tournaments “out of state,” etc.


Q: What are the coach’s credentials? 
A: We cannot forget that coaches are teachers.  Hence, coaches should be licensed.  The “A” license is the highest available award from the USSF.  However, the “B,” “C” and “National D” also indicate that coaches have shown an ability to coach at a higher level.   

Q: Is the coach supportive of team players participating in PA West player development programs? 
A: Does the coach support US Youth Soccer’s Olympic Development Program?  Can you miss try-outs to attend player PA West player development programs? 


Q: How does the team/club handle player-coach issues? 
A: I believe clubs usually do not give refunds because of their financial commitments.  But what is their approach if the coach fails to prioritize player development?  Will the club intervene?

Add Page Element

Olympic Development Program (ODP)


PA West ODP Website

US Youth Soccer ODP Website


What is the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program?


The US Youth Soccer ODP Philosophy

To identify players of the highest caliber on a continuing and consistent basis, which will lead to increased success for the U.S. National Teams in the international arena.


The US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program was formed in 1977 to identify a pool of players in each age group from which a National Team will be selected for international competition; to provide high-level training to benefit and enhance the development of players at all levels; and, through the use of carefully selected and licensed coaches, develop a mechanism for the exchange of ideas and curriculum to improve all levels of coaching.


How do I participate?
Contact your local US Youth Soccer State Association office to find out more about getting involved with US Youth Soccer ODP. You can find State Association by clicking here. Or, simply contact the US Youth Soccer National Office at [email protected].


Program Description History
In 1979, the program expanded, the organization became more efficient and multi-year plans were developed. State Associations were encouraged to develop programs which supported and worked in tandem with National and Regional programs. At the beginning of 1982 a formalized program for girls was created, with the addition of a full committee (one member from each Region).


Current Organization
From 1982 until the present, international events for youth national teams have increased substantially and the US Youth Soccer ODP has kept pace by instituting trials and player pools for five age groups in the boys' program, and five age groups in the girls' program.


The US Youth Soccer ODP Selection Process
Each State Association holds ODP try-outs on an annual basis. Age Groups and try-out dates may be different from state to state, based on seasonal and state considerations. Your first contact should be to your State Association for try-out information.


How are Players Selected?
Players are selected, in most states, on the basis of open tryouts. These tryouts are conducted by state association coaches who are recognized for their ability to identify and train players with superior skills. Some state associations combine scouting techniques and invitations to certain players with the open tryouts. Selection of these players is not an easy task. The state association head coach or State Coach will, in most cases, be assisted in the selection process by several other qualified coaches from the club or league level. Players are evaluated on the four components that make up a soccer player:
1. Technique
2. Tactics
3. Fitness and Athletic Ability
4. Psychological Component (attitude)


What are Regional Camps?
US Youth Soccer is divided into four regions, each which offers a regional 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. Each region varies somewhat as to the specifics and the cost of their camps. Your state association or regional administrator should be contacted for more information.


What is a National Camp?
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 indentify players for placement in the national pool or on a national team.


What are the Benefits of Participating in US Youth Soccer ODP?
1. Development as a player. The opportunity to train and play with the best player's in one's age group.
2. Quality instruction from nationally licensed coaches.
3. Quality competition. Games against other state association ODP teams.
4. Exposure to regional and national team coaches.
5. The opportunity to represent one's state, region, or country in competition.
6. Exposure to college coaches.

Local Clubs and their websites:

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Hotline:  412-835-1835
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More info: Victory Express

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Web site: Allegheny Force

Web site: Arsenal Soccer

More info:  

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Upper St. Clair Athletic Association

P.O. Box 12551 
Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania 15241

Email: [email protected]

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