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Select Program Overview


Program General Information

SSA will have teams in the Boys 13U - 19U age groups in this new MLS-sponsored national program. The program platform will include more than 8,000 players throughout the U.S. and Canada, will consist of elite year-round competition, as well as player identification initiatives, coaching education opportunities, and additional programming to create the premier player development environment.
The platform will operate with a groundbreaking governance structure that promotes collaboration, innovation and input across all areas of the soccer landscape. Within the structure, technical working groups will provide recommendations on the platform’s strategic objectives and standards, outline competition guidelines and formats, as well as introduce platform programming. By unifying the elite player development landscape and creating a collaborative structure, the new platform will accelerate and enhance player development in North America.
With a focus on maximizing each player’s potential, the new development platform will not only provide high-level, year-round competition for players, but will provide important programming, education and innovation in the key areas of player development:

Player Identification

Personal Growth
Community Outreach

 The Girls Academy (GA) is the leading youth development platform for the best female players in the United States. The GA is the only national youth soccer platform that represents the collective vision of member clubs and actively engages the voice of the players to take real ownership in the GA.

SSA was announced as a member of the GA in February 2021, and will enter competition as of the Fall 2021 season.

The National Premier League Program is a regional 13U-19U league, created to elevate and change the competitive youth soccer landscape by extending developmental principles espoused by U.S. Soccer into more age groups and clubs, by linking competition with player development and identification platforms, and by providing meaningful weekly competition for member clubs in a single NPL division culminating in the ENPL Finals. 

The league offers players the opportunity to compete against some of the most competitive clubs in the Southeast. The League sits above the regional SCCL league in terms of level of competitiveness of the teams. Players are selected through the same tryout process as the SCCL program.  

Participating Clubs:

Wake FC (NC), Triangle United (NC), Charlotte Independence (NC), Wake FC North (NC), Surf Soccer Club (SC), GPS Charleston (SC), AFC Lightning (GA), Vestavia Soccer Club (AL), SSA, UFA (GA), Tormenta FC (GA)
 The Southeastern Clubs Champions League is a regional league that, as of the Fall 2020 season, will comprise of four divisions in each 13U and older age group and gender. The league, of which SSA is a founding member, was formed in 2018 by clubs searching for a better way to offer youth soccer programming for the serious soccer player. Players are selected through the same tryout process as the NPL program.

Participating Clubs:

Ambush Soccer Club (GA), Atlanta Fire United (GA), CASA (SC), Chiefs FC (GA), Concorde Fire (GA), Georgia Express, Georgia Rush, GSA (GA), Lanier Sharks (GA), NASA-TH (GA), Roswell Soccer Club (GA), SSA, Steamers (GA), Vestavia Hills (AL), UFA (GA), 


1. Who manages the MLS-Next, NPL and SCCL leagues?

The MLS-Next league is managed by Major League Soccer in coordination with USYSA. NPL and SCCL Leagues are managed by US Club Soccer, a National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, that fosters the growth and development of soccer clubs in order to create the best possible development environment for players of all ages.

Anchored by Players First and its five pillars of Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety, US Club Soccer offers registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms, player identification and a variety of other programming, resources and services.

2. My child is in the 9U-12U Academy at the moment. How does the Select program compare?

The Academy program shares many similarities with the Select program in terms of practice schedules (number of practices, the duration of season, and the year-long commitment for those joining through the May/June tryouts). There are some differences though:

A. Rosters are much more 'concrete' at the 13U and above age groups, 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 a 'pool' roster (playing moving between teams) 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. Given that NPL and SCCL are both regional leagues involving teams in neighboring states, an occasional overnight hotel stay will be required when playing out-of-state teams.

3. 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. NPL 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 13U and 14U teams in February before finishing in late May. 
C. Players have to attend a tryout to join a team and the commitment it a year-long one for those joining through May/June tryouts.
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.

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

Details will be announced in late April/early May regarding the dates, specific locations, and times for the Select team tryouts. SSA players, as well as players from other clubs are welcome to attend these tryouts if they are interested in playing on a Select team for their age group. 

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

The practice location for each team is generally based on the make-up of the roster in that the team will practice at the venue most local to the majority of the players on the roster.

Home games for the SSA teams assigned to the MLS-Next, NPL League and to the highest 'club-based' division of the SCCL are expected to be played at the SSA Marietta location (Mud Creek/Marathon/Tramore).

Home games for teams in the SCCL 'Premier I', 'II', and 'III' divisions will be played as 'team vs team' fixtures at the same venue where each team practices.

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

Not for the 16U and older age groups. For the 15U age group though, players will typically play a Spring 'friendly' season to allow for the birth-year split between middle-school 8th grade and 9th grade high-school players in the age group. Please contact the program director for details.

7. How much travel is required?

GivenMLS-Next, NPL, and SCCL-Club are regional leagues involving teams in neighboring states, an occasional overnight hotel stay may be required when playing out-of-state teams. SCCL-Premier divisions are made up of teams primarily from the metro Atlanta area, though some travel is required for away games against teams in Columbus, GA.

8. How do the MLS-Next, NPL and SCCL leagues compare in competiveness?

The MLS-Next league is the highest level of league for SSA teams, while the NPL League sits just above SCCL in terms of competitive level.

9. What is the program cost?

For a summary of the fees for all our programs, please click HERE.

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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