Program FAQ

West Side Soccer League has the overarching goal of providing the best possible soccer programming for a wide range of soccer interests and abilities. That means offering varying levels of soccer, all rooted in a strong child-centered practice that includes not only skills development and game intelligence, but also teamwork, good sportsmanship and the freedom to try new things. Accordingly, WSSL'S programs exist to help players develop skills and soccer intelligence, have fun and be creative and positive.

What is the philosophy of the WSSL Programs? 
What is the difference between the Core, Travel and Tournament Programs?
What are the season dates?
What are the practice and game schedules? 
Who coaches the teams? 
What is the commitment level? 
How much does it cost?
How do I choose the right program for my child?

How do I register?


What is the philosophy of the WSSL Programs? 

When you are looking for or are involved in a youth soccer program, it is important to know what you are really getting. A few parents know a lot about soccer. Others know just a little. Both sets of parents want their kids to have the best. Either way, it may be hard to tell what you and your kids are getting from the program unless you have a chance to learn more about it and to "look under the hood" so to speak.

At WSSL, we want you to know that we have -- through our partnership with the New York Red Bulls Training Program -- invested in your kids with the best soccer program available. Our program has years and years of experience and excellence behind it. Every single team, no matter what age group, no matter what level, receives the endless benefits of a well honed program with soccer details a mile deep. 

WSSL is part of AYSO, and we follow the six basic tenets of AYSO soccer:  Everyone Plays, Open Registration, Balanced Teams, Positive Coaching, Good Sportsmanship and Player Development.

What is the difference between the Core, Travel and Tournament Programs? 

The primary goal of WSSL's soccer programs is to have players compete against others in their age groups who have comparable skills. 

The core program is our entry level program, with league games taking place each weekend in the Fall and Spring. We have players of all abilities - from those brand new to the game no matter what the age to those of travel level caliber who choose to play core for reasons such as school or other sport commitments, family obligations, etc.  Teams are formed to create balance and parity. For more about how we form teams, see Team Formation

WSSL and the New York Red Bulls have partnered to provide a competitive travel and tournament program for soccer players U8 through High School. Our goal is to develop a child's soccer skills so that he or she will be able to play the game well and have fun in the process. We start by focusing on individual soccer technique and skills, then as the child gets older we expand to field awareness, strategy and tactics. We consider winning to be a byproduct of a successful development program, not the end goal in and of itself.

The Travel Program is geared for stronger players who are interested in improving their skills through competitive play against teams from other clubs. The Tournament Program is a middle step, designed to give players additional competitive experience before moving to the Travel Program or as a supplement to Core. 

WSSL Core Program (click)

WSSL Travel Program (click)

WSSL Tournament Program (click)

What are the season dates?

Fall - September through November
Winter - January through March
Spring - April through mid-June

We do not play on Yom Kippur, Columbus Day weekend, Easter Sunday or Memorial Day weekend. We do play on other religious holidays but attendance is not required or those observing.

What are the practice and game schedules? 

Travel team practices are held twice a week after school (three times a week for higher level Premier teams), usually at Riverside Park or on the east side at the Dwight Athletic Center (119th & 1st Ave). High school travel team practices are held at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, or on Randall's Island. Games are on Sunday afternoons with an occasional Saturday game, typically on Randall's Island, in Riverdale or in Westchester. Some of our higher level teams play on Saturdays, with some games on Long Island or in NJ.

Tournament teams practice weekly on the weekends, either in Riverside Park or in Central Park. In addition, players must commit to one fall tournament (Columbus Day weekend) and two spring tournaments (Memorial Day weekend and Fathers’ Day weekend). The tournaments are held in Long Island, Westchester and NJ.
Core games are held on the weekends, with a team practice immediately before the game (back-to-back). Each age group has an assigned day of play. For more information on your child's day of play (based on age) please select Divisions (located in the submenus under Programs - Core).

Who coaches the teams? 

Our Travel and Tournament teams are coached by professional Red Bulls trainers who are themselves educated in the Red Bulls Program and who have backgrounds in playing and coaching soccer. In addition, trained parent coaches work with the Red Bulls trainers on each team. All Red Bulls trainers and parent coaches have certifications in education programs by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and the U.S. Soccer Federation.  Training sessions follow a detailed plan and curriculum designed to improve individual and team skills. The New York Red Bulls are second to none in the New York area in terms of training expertise. With over 80 coaches on staff, the New York Red Bulls are committed to sharing a love of soccer with young people. They are professionals with a highly developed curriculum and high standards for the trainers in their organization. Trainers are selected through a competitive process. Over 500 trainers from around the world compete for each training position. After initial selections are made, a group of 150 trainers are brought in for face-to-face interviews and an on-field practical sessions.  The trainers are evaluated on number of factors, including their expert knowledge of the game and their ability to communicate with and engage young players. Trainers receive weekly professional development training duirng the season as well as periodic evaluations. Beyond the New York Red Bulls' excellence on an individual and group level, the New York Red Bulls and WSSL have the same philosophy regarding player development. Young players need to be inspired. They need to have fun. They need to be given the tools to develop mastery, to build confidence, to become a skilled player.
Our core teams are parent coached. Like our parent coaches for our tournament and travel teams, parent coaches are trained and meet required AYSO certifications for each age group. They also receive training in Safe Haven and Concussion Awareness.

What is the commitment level? 

WSSL players (whether core, tournament or travel players) are expected to attend ALL practices and games. Poor attendance can result in our not inviting a player to return. 

For our Travel and Tournament teams, participation in winter training is highly recommended, and mandatory for Premier team players. In order to participate on a WSSL travel team, soccer should be a player's primary sport during the fall and spring seasons.

How much does it cost? 

Core fees are $175 per player if registered before 6/30 for the fall season and before 1/31 for the spring season, and $275 per player after those dates.

The fees for Travel and Tournament Teams in 2020-21 are expected to be:

Standard Tournament - $750 per year - includes mandatory fall and spring training and mandatory fall and spring core registration fees; winter training is optional and not included (additional fees apply)
Standard Travel - $2000 per year - includes mandatory fall and spring training; winter training optional and not included (additional fees apply)
Premier Travel - $2700 per year - includes mandatory fall, winter and spring training
Fusion/HS Travel - $2700 per year - includes mandatory fall, winter and spring training 

Fees for uniforms (approx. $130) are additional for all travel teams. The cost of uniforms is included for all core and tournament teams.

Fees for one tournament in the fall (Columbus Day weekend) and one in the spring (Memorial Day weekend) are included for all travel teams and tournament teams. Tournament team fees include an additional tournament Fathers' Day weekend in June.

Fees for optional winter training are expected to be $400-500 per player. Gym contracts are finalized over the summer and final costs for winter training will be emailed when registration opens in the fall).

Financial aid is available by emailing scholarship@wssl.org.

How do I choose the right program for my child?

Choosing the right program is family and child dependent. Talk to your child. Assess both their level and your level of commitment and interest. WSSL offers a program for everyone. For more information about each program, choose that program from the menu options on our home page.

How do I register?

Travel and tournament team registration is by invitation only following tryouts which are held in the spring. Instructions on how to register are included in the email offering your child a position with one of our teams.

To register for the Core weekend recreational league and Development Academy training sessions, no tryout is required - it is open to all.  Choose REGISTRATION from the menu options on the home page and then the program you want to register for.

Season Fall Winter Spring
Registration Open Mid-May Mid-November early December
Registration Closes September 1/1 April
Waitlist as of 7/1 n/a 1/30
Refund Deadline 7/15 no refunds 3/1
 

More Questions?

If you have read this far and still have questions, please check the individual pages for each program in the Programs submenu or email commissioner@wssl.org.