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Select Program Overview

The Select Program represents the highest level of competitive club soccer available within the state of GA to players in the U-13 age group and above. Southern Soccer Academy's Select teams compete in either the GYSA statewide divisions - Athena for girl's teams and Classic for boy's teams - or in the case of exceptionally competitive teams at the U-13 age group and above, the Region III Southern Premier League East division and the National Premier League.  It is Southern Soccer Academy‚Äôs intention to offer select players the opportunity to compete at the highest level possible.  We believe in creating an environment that is challenging, both technically and tactically, and that stimulates the players to reach their highest potential and personal goals.

Open try-outs for the Select age groups are scheduled (as per GSSA rules) in late May and early June with players being assigned to teams based on factors including location and level of competitiveness. For more information on the try-out schedule, click on 'Programs/Try-Outs' on the menu bar above. If you are looking to join the program outside of the open try-outs period, please click here. For information on fees, click  HERE

FAQs:

1. My child is in the U12 Academy at the moment. How does the U13 Select program compare?

The Academy program shares many similarities with the Select program in terms of typical game opponents and practice schedules (number of practices and duration of season). There are some differences though:

A. Rosters are much more 'concrete' at U13 and above, in that the majority of players are assigned to defined teams through club-wide open try-outs at a single location for the entire age group and those rosters remain the same through the entire year. While there is still some occasional movement (using the Club Pass system), it is not as commonplace as in Academy where 'pool' rostering is much more typical. 
B. Coaches are assigned to teams and take their individual teams for all practices and games, which may not necessarily be the case in Academy especially if the player pool is large.
C. Different teams at the same location may not necessarily have the same practice schedule, unlike Academy where it's typical for all age group players to all practice at the same time and on the same field. Practice schedules are now set by individual coaches based on individual factors.
D. Game schedules are set by the state and are created for each individual team, rather than the typical 'club-vs-club' fixture in the Academy program.

2. My child is on the Recreational Program. How does the Recreational Program compare with the Select program?

Aside the from the cost, the Recreational and Select Programs differ in the following ways:
A. Select teams are coached by licensed and experienced staff coaches, while the typical Recreational team is often parent-coached.
B. The seasons are typically longer, starting in July and finishing in December in the fall, then starting up again for U13 and U14 teams in February before finishing in late May. Older Select age groups may have a short spring season ending with a State Cup tournament.
C. Players have to attend a tryout to join a team.
D. Select teams will typically attend additional pre- and post-season tournaments (at an additional cost), while Recreational teams may only play a regular-season schedule unless the coach decides otherwise.

3. How are players assigned to teams during try-outs?

In the Select age groups, try-outs for all players regardless of their SSA location will usually take place at the same place to give all the age group coaches the opportunity to observe all players together, though this may change from year-to-year depending on a variety of circumstances. Players are then assigned to teams taking their playing level and geographic location into account, with as many teams as possible being formed in each age group with a roster size of between 14 and 18 being typical depending on age group.  

4. How are teams assigned to divisions?

As the try-out process nears completion, clubs 'declare' teams to Georgia Soccer, the governing body for soccer in the state, in the process requesting a particular level of play (Athena A - E levels for girls, Classic 1 - 5 for boys unless the team has pre-qualified for inter-state Region III league play) based on the perceived competitiveness of the individual team itself. This information goes to age-group coordinators at the state who then compile divisions by assigning teams based (though not always guaranteed) on this information. U15 and younger teams will play a Fall and Spring season, with a break in December and January, while U16 and older teams will play a Fall season and possibly a shortened Spring season (to accommodate High School play). Additionally, all our Elite-level teams from the U12-U19 age groups will play in the South Atlantic division of the National Premier League (administered by the US Club Soccer organization rather than GA Soccer). For more information on this program, please click HERE.

5. Which location will my child's team practice and play out of?

SSA Blue location teams are based out of the Mud Creek/Tramore/Marathon/Fair Oaks area in Marietta.
SSA Black location teams are based out of either Braly Soccer Complex in Dallas, or the Big Shanty/Adams Park area in Kennesaw.
SSA White location teams are based out of the Whitlock/Central Park area in Newnan.
SSA will also offer programs in Cartersville (Green), DeKalb County (Gold), Smyrna (Red), Buckhead (Yellow), Savannah, and Coastal GA/Jekyll Island (Silver)

6. My child is on a high school team. Is there a Spring season in Select? 

For the U15 age group, teams will typically play a regular Spring season to allow for the birthyear split between middle-school 8th grade and 9th grade high-school players in the age group. Our most competitive teams at U16 and above typically participate in the Georgia Soccer State Cup tournament in late May, early June, so will play a shortened season with practices typically starting as the high school season finishes. The season will consist of regular practices and some tournaments in preparation. Other U16 and above teams may also participate in Spring tournaments even if they don't participate in the State Cup. Please contact the age group director for details.

If you have more questions, please click on 'Contacts' and select 'Program Director' to bring up email and telephone contact information for the appropriate age group director.
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