Dates below are for the Spring 2018 season

Coach applicationnow closed

Player applicationnow closed

Tryouts at Willow Oaks – completed

Email the Spring Select Commissioner with any questions


*** Note regarding Eligibility: Spring Select is restricted to divisions U9 and up. However, Select teams are based on calendar-year divisions, so our older U8s with Fall 2009 birthdays are eligible to apply and tryout. ***


ABOUT SPRING SELECT

Now approaching our 10th season, Spring Select is a competitive AYSO soccer program where teams from Region 109 play teams from other regions. The season runs from February through May, and teams participate in both regular league games and occasional weekend-long tournaments. The program is open to all players, U9 thru U19, who participated in AYSO during the preceding fall season, regardless of Region. While all qualified players are welcome to try out, Select is geared toward motivated and enthusiastic players, and a high level of commitment is expected. By providing a more competitive program for our players, we hope to develop player skills to a level not always possible through our Regional fall program.

Even though Spring Select is a more competitive soccer program, it is still part of AYSO and is therefore guided by the same core philosophies as our fall program. Players, coaches and their families all find it to be a very rewarding experience. 

COACHES

Coaching a Spring Select team is a significant time commitment, much more than the fall season. On top of actual coaching activities, Select coaches are involved in player evaluation, team formation, league and tournament applications, etc. Much of the preparation work occurs Nov-Jan, so there is little break for a Select coach from fall to spring.

To qualify, coaches must have volunteered in AYSO during the preceding fall season. Coaches must meet all training requirements, and be certified to coach at the appropriate level. Certification at least one level higher is strongly desired (e.g. U12 certification for a U10 Select coach). It is also expected that all coaches remember their coaching PIE (positive, instructional, encouraging) and that they are representing Region 109 at all times.

TEAM FORMATION

Players are first evaluated at Select tryouts (by out-of-division AYSO and UK coaches), then at their regular fall games during the last two weeks of the season. In some cases, their fall coaches are also consulted regarding things like positional preferences, coachability, and attendance… things not so easily measured at a tryout. Once all evaluations are completed, teams will be formed based on the new calendar-year divisions, with U9 and U10 combined (2008 and 2009 birth years for 2017). The number of teams is not fixed, and will depend on both the number of qualified coaches that volunteer, and the number and skill level of players that apply and try out. Ideally, we would field at least one team per calendar year, so that we can maintain a certain level of continuity from one year to the next.

** We aim to announce teams by December 1 **

PRACTICES

Most teams practice twice per week, just like the in the regular fall season. Some older teams will opt for 3 practices per week, a decision that is up to the coaches. The practices are an essential part of building a strong team and players are expected to be at practices. Teams will generally start practicing by mid-February, some as early as mid-January. Again, this is a decision left to the coaches.

LEAGUE GAMES

Menlo Park Select teams compete in the Pacific Coast Spring Soccer League (PCSSL) in an 8 game season (4 home, 4 away). Teams in PCSSL are primarily from the Peninsula, from Daly City and Pacifica in the north, to West San Jose and Saratoga in the south. There’s also the occasional team from the East Bay (e.g. Pleasant Hill, Concord). All league games are on Sundays.

Within each PCSSL division (e.g. U10 Boys) teams are divided into flights based on their age and ability. This is done to keep games as competitive as possible and not have too many lopsided results. One-sided games are no fun, and do little to develop players on either team.

TOURNAMENTS

Most Select teams play between 2-4 tournaments throughout the season in addition to the league games. This is decided on a team-by-team basis. In the past several years, Menlo Park teams have participated in some of the following tournaments:


Surf ‘n Turf, San Luis Obispo – February
Paso Robles Grape Crush, Paso Robles – February
President's Cup, San Jose – February
Pleasant Hill Soccerfest, Pleasant Hill – March
El Palo Alto, Palo Alto – April
Pacifica Fog Classic, Pacifica – April
Concord Cup, Concord – May
Davis World Cup, Davis – May
Santa Barbara Splash, Santa Barbara – June
Come Up For Air, Tahoe – June

ELIGIBILITY

Players (and coaches) must meet all eligibility requirements. Players must be registered for the Spring Select program through Blue Sombrero, National AYSO's new central registration system. Players must be participating on an AYSO rec team during the current Fall 2017 season, and play in at least 70% of their team's games. In addition, only players in division U9 or above, or eligible to play in U9 (born in 2009 or earlier for Spring 2018) will be considered. Under special circumstances (e.g. illness, injury, relocation) the fall play requirement may be waived. Please contact the Spring Select Commissioner at spring@mpsoccer.org if you have any questions.

Players from other regions are welcome to tryout in Region 109 if their own Region does not offer a Spring Select program (e.g. Region 25). Because the teams are more competitive, players are advised to try out in the appropriate age category. Those that “played up” in the fall may try out for the division corresponding to their age (e.g. play up in U12 during the fall, but try out for Select at the U10 level.) Players will only be considered for the age category or categories in which they try out.

COSTS

The financial commitment for players on a Spring Select team varies. There is a base registration fee of $265 which covers uniforms, fields, league play and two tournaments. Players are only responsible for purchasing their own socks. Additional tournaments are also separate, and will be determined by each team's coaches in coordination with team parents. Tournament travel is the responsibility of each family. Region 109 is committed to making Select soccer accessible to all players; need-based financial assistance is available - email spring@mpsoccer.org for more information.

FOR U9 PLAYERS

During the Spring Select season, U9 teams compete at the U10 level (same team, field, and ball sizes). While these age divisions are combined, we do recognize the value and opportunity for U9 players, and do our best to reserve one team (10 roster spots) for U9 players. This U9 team is really a development team, and serves as a springboard for those players (and coaches) in future years. (Note: this practice of forming single-year teams often continues at older ages – e.g. U11 and U12 teams in the U12 division. It helps to maintain continuity in our Select program for players and coaches alike.)

WHY DO I NEED TO REGISTER THRU BLUE SOMBRERO?

National AYSO is transitioning to a new membership system and we must transition with it. You will only need to register your child once in this new system, and in future years will be able to quickly renew the registration. For Spring Select, all players must register in Blue Sombrero to be eligible. See our Blue Sombrero FAQ page for more details.

WHY THE SWITCH TO CALENDAR-YEAR?

The U.S. Soccer Federation mandated that all affiliated youth soccer organizations transition to calendar-year age divisions by Fall 2017. In our Region, we opted to keep academic-year teams at the younger divisions, since those games are all intra-Regional. However, since our Select teams play against teams other Regions and Areas, we have to conform to the new national standard.

PLAYING TWO SPORTS?

Question: “My player usually does another sport in the spring (e.g. baseball, lacrosse, club soccer), but really likes AYSO. Can they do both?” Yes, provided they make Spring Select the priority. Many players tryout for Select, and we don’t want to cut a player who is 100% committed for a player that will split time between two sports. If you’re unsure, apply, tryout, and see if your player makes a team. Then have an honest discussion with your Select coach and decide if it’s right for your player and your family.

NON-COMPETITIVE SPRING SOCCER?

Question: "My player loves soccer, but isn't quite at the Select level. Are there non-competitive spring soccer options?" Yes! Our neighbors in Palo Alto, AYSO Region 26, run a Spring Instructional program, very similar to our regular fall program. Registration typically runs from Nov-Mar. Visit their website for more information. Unfortunately, here in Menlo Park we do not have sufficient field space in the spring to offer a full recreational program.