Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Travel Program Tryouts

  1. My child was born in 2011 or 2010 and wants to play travel soccer. When must he or she attend tryouts? What does it cost?

Tryouts for players born in 2011 and 2010 will take place over two days on the dates listed on the "Tryouts" page of our website. Attendance on both days is not required but it is recommended. There will not be a make-up date in the event of rain, unless both dates are forced to be cancelled due to weather. Players should arrive 10-15 minutes prior to the scheduled start time to check-in. The tryout will start promptly at the scheduled time and last one hour.


2. My child was born in 2009 or earlier and wants to play travel soccer. When must he or she attend tryouts? What does it cost?

Tryouts for players born 2009 or earlier will consist of two parts: an open tryout and a invitation-only tryout. The first part is an open tryout on the date listed on the "Tryouts" page of the MSC website for all players NOT currently on a MSC travel team. Attendance on this date is mandatory. Players who do not attend the open tryout will not be considered for a team. Players should arrive 10-15 minutes prior to the scheduled start time to check-in. The tryout will start promptly at the scheduled time and last one hour. Based on the results of this first part, players who are judged to be ready to play travel soccer and who have a reasonable chance of challenging for a position on an existing team will be invited to participate in phase two of the tryouts the following week with all players currently on the MSC travel teams for the relevant age group.


3. What is phase two of the tryouts for player born 2009 or earlier?

Players identified as having a reasonable chance of challenging for a roster spot on a travel team during the open tryout will be invited to participate in an invitational-only tryout the following week with all the players of the same age currently on a travel team in order to compete for a position on a 2018-2019 team. The exact dates and times of these closed tryouts will be announced later.


4. What is the format of the tryouts?

The open tryouts program (phase one) will consist of a series of exercises and drills designed to measure a player’s skills and a series of small-sided short scrimmage to see players in game situations/action. The exercises and drills used will vary by age group. The invitation-only tryouts (phase two) will consist primarily of scrimmages designed to compare the relative strength of all the competing players.


5. Who will conduct/evaluate the tryouts?

The tryouts will be run by professional trainers working with our travel program.  Player evaluations will be done separately by experienced coaches selected by the club who will observe the drills and scrimmages. Some of these coaches will be working with our travel program and others may be affiliated with other organizations. Final team selections will be a collaborative process involving the player evaluations from the tryouts, evaluations of existing players from each team's current coaches and trainers and the club applying the criteria discussed below. 


6. Are the tryouts blind?

No.  Following the end of each Fall travel season, the club receives evaluations of each player currently on a travel team.  These evaluations consider many aspects, including skill, coach-ability and commitment.  These evaluations are considered when selecting teams, and in particular in selecting returning players for “A” and “B” teams.  


7. When will results be announced?

We expect to announce tryout results for the 2011 and 2010 age groups shortly after the second open tryout date. For the other age groups, we expect to issue invitations to the invitation-only tryout shortly after the open tryout. Final selections will happen shortly after the invitation-only tryout sessions, which we expect to be the week of April 23. The results will be published shortly thereafter.


8. If my child is offered a place on a MSC travel team for the 2018-2019 season, by when do I need to decide whether to accept?

Players will have one week to accept an invitation for the 2018-2019 season.


9. How many teams are there in each age group?

Our goal is to field two teams for players of each gender in each of the 2010 through 2007 age groups. For players born 2006 and earlier, our goal is to field at least one team for each gender. The Club will consider a second team in these age groups if there are sufficient travel soccer level players to reasonably field a team. For players in the 2011 age group, the number of teams will be determined based on the number of interested players ready for travel soccer. 


10. How many players on each team?

Depending on the age group, teams play 7v7, 9v9 or 11v11. For 7v7 teams, we require a minimum of 9 players and maximum of 12, with the ideal being 10. For 9v9 teams, we require a minimum of 11 players and maximum of 15, with the ideal being 13. For 11v11 teams, we require a minimum of 13 players and maximum of 18, with the ideal being 16. Players in the 2011 age group are expected to play in a 5v5 format, where we will try to make all teams approximately 8 players.


11. Why does the club use a two-part tryout format for older players?

The Club felt that the prior format of open tryouts (consisting of all players in an age group in an open tryout format) did not allow for players NOT currently on an MSC travel team to be adequately considered. Moreover, the Club felt that the prior format did not allow new players competing for a spot on an existing team and players on existing “B” teams competing for spots on existing “A” teams to be adequately evaluated. By limiting the open tryout to only those players NOT on an MSC travel team, the Club believes the players from this group with the best chance to compete for a spot on an existing team will be most likely to stand out. Next, by having the closed tryout consist of all the players on existing teams and the limited number of players identified in the open tryout, the Club will be able to construct teams in the fairest manner, which will be competitive and which will allow each player to maximize his or her development.


12. My child is succeeding on the “B” team or in the rec program, does he or she have a chance to make the “A” team?

Yes.  Following the tryouts in 2017, approximately 20% of players selected for an “A” team had played on “B” team the prior season or had not played travel soccer before.


13. What are the criteria?

It depends. There is a greater opportunity of moving from a “B” team to an “A” team or making a travel team from the rec program during the years an age group moves from playing 7v7 to 9v9 and from 9v9 to 11v11 as each team needs additional players. Moreover, a number of other factors will be considered, such as positional needs of each team, the arc of a player’s development (i.e, has a player shown rapid improvement or has a player’s progress stalled), player commitment and similar factors. In general, the Club wants to minimize player movement on teams where players are broadly progressing consistently, practices and games are well-attended and which are reasonably competitive in their respective flights. We seek to balance this with providing each player the platform that is best suited for his or her development. In some cases, that means moving from the recreation program to the travel program or from a “B” team to an “A” team. In other cases, it could mean moving a player from an “A” team to a “B” team. There may be some cases where current travel players are not selected for 2018-2019 travel teams. These movements tend to happen more frequently in the younger age divisions as the rate of development of children this age and their passion for the game is far more variable.  We encourage parents to have an open and honest dialogue with our coaches and trainers to understand how they see your child’s progress.