Big changes for youth soccer development

Great news for youth soccer development in our country. Download the full document here:

US Soccer Player Development Initiatives 2015

The key change is to move to smaller teams playing on smaller fields. The new standards to be implemented in 2016/17 now have youth play 11v11 on full-sized fields at U13, not Spring U11, and the younger teams now play 7v7 and 9v9 as shown in the chart above.

This is incredibly important for youth development as explained in the attached PDF above. Great step forward for soccer in our country and we’ll see the benefits of this new approach in our national teams over the next five to ten years.

US Soccer will also change to a calendar year system to align with the rest of the world.

Additional changes are needed also, of course. These include better coaching and a stronger emphasis on technical skills, but these changes are a big step forward.

Great job U.S. Soccer!

Author: James

Lifelong player and student of the beautiful game in Germany, England, and USA. Volunteer futsal coach and USSF referee.

2 thoughts on “Big changes for youth soccer development”

  1. This is a good move, maybe could have been more aggressive, say 5v5 instead of 7v7 etc,…but I think at some point the costs become an issue (coaches/fields/refs).
    the more controversial change is the birth year change which is going to shake up a lot of teams/clubs.
    US Club Soccer (Norcal’s affiliation) has announced the birth year will be enforced as of Aug 2016. Haven’t seen official announcement from CYSA yet, but it sounds like our club will start in Jan 2017 (probably due to CYSA’s date. USSF states Aug 2017 is the mandated start, but Aug 2016 is recommended.
    USYSA seems to be starting in Aug 2016 so curious why CYSA is not aligning with them.


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