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News - Details

US Soccer Initiatives Memo 11/4/15

To: All members and affiliates

From: Chris Branscome, CEO, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer

RE: US soccer Developmental Initiatives

Date: November 4, 2015

CC: Board of Directors

Over the past month, we’ve been in consultation with US Soccer and our fellow state associations to further clarify the points made in the original US Soccer presentation as well as my memo from September 28th. Some information below simply restates or reinforces what was stated in that memo. However, some information is new.  Please take the time to read this and examine the additional information at or at

  • Birth-year registration.  First: the US Soccer chart should be the chart you refer to.  It is the only chart we have directly published on our website.  As these are US Soccer directives, we only post US Soccer materials for absolute clarity.  We have learned of other charts erroneously posted on other websites, even if they are partners and linked to our site, we will not show them on  
  • To read the chart, the year shown refers to the ending date of the seasonal year.  The line for “2017” reflects the 2016-2017 seasonal year, which is how we, and all other state associations operate.  
  • To calculate the proper year for a player, take the ending year of the seasonal year and subtract the player’s birth year. You may also refer to US Soccer’s Age Matrix on its FAQ page
    • Example #1:  2017 – 2002 = 15; the player is a U15 for the 2016-17 season
    • Example #2:  2017 – 2005 = 12; the player is a U12 for the 2016-17 season
    • Example #3:  2018 – 1999 = 19; the player is U19 for the 2017-18 season
  • Roster sizes for U9- U12 have not yet been determined.  We are working for a national standard of which US Soccer did not deliberate on.  It has been left for US Youth Soccer and our fellow state associations.  It is my hope that by national and regional meetings this January it can be resolved.
  • There has been national discussion regarding field sizes for the small-sided games and positive consideration has been given to making the maximum dimensions larger.  Exact dimensions are being addressed and will be available soon.  No specific target date has been given.
  • Goal sizes: To reiterate—you are not required to be in full compliance with the standard by next season.  You are not necessarily required to be in full compliance by the following season.  US Soccer, and most certainly Eastern Pennsylvania, recognizes that goals are a large expense and as we are often guests on the fields we use, we do not own or control the equipment.  When your organization is in a position to buy/replace/repair your small-sided goals, it would then be the ideal time to acquire the 6.5 x 18.5 standard size.
  • No game should be postponed or cancelled due to compliance of field size or goal size, but we do urge your organization to do its best to comply.
  • These standards (birth year and small-sided games initiatives) will be in place for the 2016-17 season.  US Youth Soccer has mandated it for all of its programs and competitions as have the other major national organizations.  Therefore Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer shall comply.
  • Travel leagues must comply, especially cup qualifying leagues.
  • Intramural and Recreational leagues are being held to the standard by US Soccer, however, we will allow for variances as needed in the best interests of the game and the children in those areas.

Please remember, small-sided games have been a part of our landscape for 15 years.  These new variations on the theme are for the positive development of the young players regardless of travel or intramural.

We know there is work to be done for each organization to prepare.  Our mission is to provide you with the best information and direction so you may have the necessary discussions and make the decisions that are right for your club.

Our staff and the Board of Directors are available to assist you and we would be happy to schedule a visit with members and affiliates or schedule a phone call on request.