Birth Year Mandate

Dear Willamette United Soccer Club Classic Families,

I hope this note finds you all well. As some of you may be aware, recently the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), the highest level of soccer in the USA, has mandated that from August 2016 (starting May 2016) we begin forming teams based on birth year as opposed to calendar year. This is a move that is being mandated to us and we do not have any choice in the matter. Up to this point we have held off making an announcement as the Federation has been making adjustments to their unveiling based on reaction from the mass soccer community in the USA. By clicking on this link you can see the new age group chart as released by the US Soccer Federation: http://www.ussoccer.com/coaching-education/resources/2015-player-development-initiatives

Classic teams (NOT REC TEAMS) will be formed based on birth year as opposed to school year. We realize that this will impact every team and every player, but we are only following the initiative being mandated by USSF. We understand that this may cause some stress and discomfort for some of our players and we will do our best to help every child adjust and adapt.

Next year's 2002 birth-year age group will be the group facing the biggest changes. Since these teams will be comprised of 8th and 9th graders, it will be difficult to deal with the “trapped 8th graders”. These players are stuck because they are not yet in high school and will not have any competitions in the fall. There has not been a comprehensive solution as to what will happen with the ‘trapped’ players each year. The most likely solution will be that our ‘trapped’ players will be given the opportunity to train in the fall with the age group a year younger while their team mates play their HS soccer season. Willamette United will continue to search for ways to supplement training and game opportunities for these players in the fall of their 8th grade year.

As a club we understand the stress that this change may cause some of our players. We are frustrated by this mandate. The justification for this change is that it will align the US National teams with National teams in the rest of the world. An interesting mandate given the fact that of all players playing soccer in the USA one would imagine that less than 1% go on to represent National teams in some form or another.

As we learn more about this change we will share it with our members. In the meantime, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me directly. Specific May tryout information for the Classic Program will be coming your way in the next few weeks.

Sincerely,

Jim Brazeau | Director of Coaching | Willamette United Soccer Club
19995 Stafford Rd., Ste C. | West Linn, OR 97068
P: 503-704-9292 | E: jimbrazeau@wusc.net | www.wusc.net