Dear RSA Union Coaches and Parents,
My name is Bryan Ross, I am the RSA Union Recreational Coordinator. For those that do not already know me I am also the Development Director at RSA Elite. I have been working with youth players at various ages for over three decades. I hold the Premier and other advanced diplomas through United Soccer Coaches; national Youth and D licenses through US Soccer. I am a certified Educator in the Brazilian methodology through the Brazilian Football Institute.
I wanted to WELCOME you to the season and remind you if you haven't already registered as a Coach/Player there is still time. Link to Register as Coach/Player -
Please note that there are some changes to the program for teams playing U7 and older. These teams will play in the PCSA, which stands for Pierce County Soccer Association. They are under the Washington Youth Soccer & US Youth Soccer, the umbrella that Rainier Soccer Alliance is a member of.
Some of you may have met Tyler Hawkins; he has graciously stepped up to be the Assistant RSA Union Recreational Coordinator. Tyler works with our competitive teams of boys in the developmental (U9/10) competitive age groups.
Tyler and I are looking forward to supporting you and helping you to have as much fun coaching our kids as they do playing the game!
It is grassroots (recreational) soccer that plays the most critical role in any club, because this is where young players are introduced to the sport and can begin building a foundation for future enjoyment of the game. Every child is a unique artist who develops at a particular rate that differs from other players. To meet the needs of the players, we need to address them as individuals before we think of them as teams.
Or to use a music analogy; an orchestra director would not start passing out copies of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 in F Minor to musicians who are still trying to figure out which end of the violin to blow into. Our goal, therefore, is to build our programs around creating the best possible learning environment for young players as they progress.
Here is an outline of that structure for the 2019/2020 season:
U6 (Under 6 years old)
U6 and younger will play in our in-house micro soccer program. This is about fun and discovery, with many touches on the ball and realistic experiences through simplified games. Oh, and did I mention FUN?
U7 and U8
U7 and U8 play 4-aside (no goalkeepers) in the PCSA recreational league.
4v4 is the simplest format that contains all the essential elements of the 11-aside game. It creates a clear picture for the players to comprehend the two essential physical dimensions of soccer, width and length, thus allowing them to form an understanding of principles that will later lead to intelligent positional play. It also offers more repetition of techniques performed under realistic game conditions. Repetition is an essential element of skill development.
U9 and U10
U-9 and U10 play a 7v7 format in the PCSA. To the extent it fits within coaches' schedules, we will aim to train at common times and venues in these ages to promote a fun, academy atmosphere.
Teams that are little more advanced in the U10 recreational level may be considered to play in the SSUL league. This league starts at U10.
Our RSA developmental competitive programs exist in these age groups to provide a transition into the more competitive levels of soccer. Only when and if children are developmentally ready will they be encouraged to try a more challenging level of soccer. You can't hurry nature. Children will let you know they are ready by how they play.
U11 & 12
U11 & 12 will be 9v9 in the PCSA league. This is the format played for these ages at all levels.
U13 and above
U13 and above play 11v11 in the SSUL. From U13 and beyond, it is all the adult-sized game.
For more info on the rules including ball size and match length, here are a couple helpful links -
Bryan Ross -
RSA Union Recreational Coordinator & Elite Development Director
“When you’re young, winning is not the most important thing. It’s developing as a player that is the most important thing.” - Arnold Muhren, coach in the world-famous Ajax Academy in Amsterdam.