Last updated June 2017
How does a player get on a team?
Eligibility. For the 2017-2018 season, in accordance with new U.S. Soccer mandates, CapitalFC teams will be formed on the basis of the player’s birth year. The Club intends to support teams for players born in 2009 (U9) to 1999 (U19).
Tryouts. Teams are formed in the late spring/early summer for the following fall and spring seasons. Tryouts are open to any players of an eligible age. At the conclusion of each year, the team’s roster is re-evaluated based on age eligibility and player development. Each team holds tryouts and a new roster is selected. All players must tryout each year in order to obtain a spot on a team’s roster.
Format. Tryouts are administered by the team coach, Technical Director of Coaching, and other club coaches. Players are selected based on technical and physical ability, desire to compete, commitment, and future potential to grow as a soccer player. Tryouts simulate game conditions. Coaches look for a positive attitude, good decision-making with the ball, physical conditioning, skill, attentiveness, and passion for the game. Players should bring water, a ball, and proper footwear and shin guards.
Process. CapitalFC strives to support two teams for each gender through at least the U13 (2005) age group. Each team within an age group has a set number of roster spots to support the level’s game sides, e.g. 7v7 or 11v11. When roster restrictions do not allow the Club to carry additional rostered players, CapitalFC may offer “developmental” slots that provide additional players with the ability to train and play in tournaments with the team. CapitalFC understands that players develop at different paces — the developmental program allows players to continue working at the game with the possibility of joining the team in a future season. If any selected player does not accept a position on the team, developmental players may be selected to join the team, or subsequent tryouts may be offered.
Parents of selected players will be asked, shortly after the tryout, to make a commitment – a partial payment of team dues needed for league registration. Players that do not make a team during tryouts may be asked to join the Open Academy program. Parents may consider signing their child up for soccer camps that can assist on the training side. CapitalFC coaches can consult with each parent to provide evaluations and discuss options.
How much time commitment is there?
Player. Travel soccer is a full year commitment spanning both the Fall and Spring seasons. Players selected for the team are expected to make participation a priority — regularly attending practices and games. A typical schedule includes two practices per week and one weekend game. Light workouts and training sessions are often held over the weekend on a non-game day. The Fall season runs from August – mid-November. The Spring season runs from April through mid-June. Travel teams normally play between one and three tournaments per year. Popular tournaments are held prior to, or after each season, and are often held on holiday weekends. The coach works with the Club to plan tournament participation and notify parents far in advance. CapitalFC also offers off-season training opportunities such as pick-up games and clinics in the Summer and indoor soccer in the Winter. To play travel soccer, the player needs to really enjoy the game.
Parent. Travel soccer requires a significant parental effort to ensure their child is available for games and training sessions but also to help the Club function. CapitalFC has been build by and is maintained by parent volunteers. From one-time efforts to team roles or two year terms on the Board, volunteer parents are the operational backbone of the club. Parents are strongly encouraged to assist their player’s team and club. Each team has a group of volunteers, which enable the coach to focus on coaching and teaching. A team manager performs league registration, general team organization. Other jobs include treasurer, uniform sizing/ordering, tournament coordination, photographer, field set-up/take-down, Team Sportsmanship Liaison, and assistant referee. Many teams also have a designated contact to solicit team sponsors or conduct fundraising. After the team is selected, a parent’s meeting will be held so each role can be filled.
Who is coaching?
CapitalFC coaches are employees of the club. All coaches are identified, screened, and hired by the Director of Coaching, who reports to the Club Board of Directors.
When are practices?
Practice locations and times are set by the coach in consultation with the team manager. Most teams practice in and around the Capitol Hill neighborhood at locations such as the Marine Barracks, Randall Field, Watkins Elementary, Rosedale Recreation Center, and Jefferson Middle School.
Where are Games?
Most CapitalFC teams play in either the National Capital Soccer League (NCSL) or the Old Dominion Soccer League (ODSL). During the U9-U11 seasons, teams are grouped geographically to minimize travel. Typical opponents are Arlington, Alexandria, McLean, and other “inner” suburb teams. Longer trips are rare, but possible.
How much does it cost?
Each player with CapitalFC is required to pay annual Team Dues. There are other costs associated with travel soccer that you will be responsible for, such as game and practice uniform costs. We believe the due levels help the club establish a consistent program for the investment in coaching, tournaments and equipment.
For current Team Dues see the Dues Page