FC Charles_What are we about?

FC Charles_What are we about?

What is the purpose of FC Charles 1658? FC Charles 1658 is a cooperative effort to improve travel soccer in Charles County. It is supported equally by La Plata Youth Soccer Association (LPYSA) and Waldorf Soccer Club (Waldorf). FC Charles 1658 was born out of a desire to bring all of the top youth soccer players in Charles County. Together, within one environment, players to learn and compete at the highest levels of travel soccer.

How is FC Charles 1658 different from the recreation soccer programs within Charles County? By creating a competitive, challenging, and fun environment for all our players, FC Charles 1658 focuses on developing travel soccer players across Charles County. Unlike LPYSA and Waldorf Soccer, FC Charles 1658 does not have recreation or Rec+ soccer programs.   

I have a player currently on a travel team with LPYSA or Waldorf, what does the formation of FC Charles 1658 mean to that team? The current coach or team representative will be able to answer specific questions for each current team.

What is travel soccer, and what are its benefits? Compared to recreational and Rec+ programs, travel soccer is more competitive and played against teams from the regional area. Playing travel soccer requires more time and a higher level of skill and perseverance from the players. Travel soccer is a year-long commitment with teams playing three different seasons and multiple tournaments. Also, there are potentially additional practices and games that require a further drive. The typical travel player is ready to play in a more competitive environment. These players want to learn new skills, tackle tougher challenges, and commit to the necessary work to improve their game. All FC Charles 1658 coaches are licensed and continually improve their craft. The main benefit of playing travel soccer is that players can expect exponential growth compared to recreation or Rec Plus.

How will my son or daughter be picked for a team? FC Charles 1658 will run open tryouts in May to form teams for the following soccer year (August to June). All players are evaluated during these tryouts by the team coaches and additional evaluators. Selected players are placed on appropriate teams by the coaching staff.

How do I determine the right age group for my child? Generally, players will tryout based on their birth year to identify which players are above average for their age group. However, it may be beneficial for players in different age groups to be arranged together. For example, a player born in 2004 could be grouped with the players born in 2003.

How many players are on each team? Different age groups in travel soccer play with different game formats—and have different roster sizes. To optimize each player's playing time, coaches usually carry fewer players than the maximum allowed. The following are the roster sizes for the different age groups in FC Charles 1658's travel soccer program. 9U & 10U Teams 7 vs. 7 game format 10-12 players on each team 11U & 12U Teams 9 vs. 9 game format 12-14 players on each team 13U – 19U Teams 11 vs. 11 game format 16-18 players on each team.

What are the Coaches Looking For in a Player? It is difficult to truly see all that a player has to offer in just two or three sessions. However, the tryouts will be structured in a way to allow all participants a chance to showcase their talents. Coaches and evaluators use a tryout evaluation form to help with their evaluations. Here is a quick explanation of each criterion:

  • Technical Ability: Technical skills: passing, dribbling, shooting, first touch, defending, etc.
  • Athletic Ability: Speed, quickness, agility, strength, body control, etc.
  • Pure Speed — Is the player fast from point A to B?
  • Technical Speed — Can the player handle the ball under pressure?
  • Tactical Speed — Can the player make fast decisions with and without the ball?
  • Awareness: Tactical skills: positioning, communication, decisions on and off the ball, etc.
  • Attitude/Work Ethic: Coaches look for players who: exhibit a positive attitude, take coaching points well, show good sportsmanship, and possess a desire to improve.
  • Character: Does the player like to compete? Is he/she a positive influence on the group? Does the player possess a high work rate? Does the player bring passion and energy to the game?   

Should players come to all evaluation dates?  Players should try to attend all sessions -- the more time in front of the coaches, the better. If a player cannot make one of the evaluations, it's not the end of the world. However, it is essential to communicate with the coach if you can't attend one day. The coaches understand that conflicts and illnesses occur.  

Can players get on a team at other times of the year?  Even after evaluations, many teams may have some roster spots open.   When will I find out if I have made the team?  Player notification continues throughout the evaluations, and coaches will contact players to notify them if they are offered a position on the team. Families are asked to commit within 48 hours after receiving your invitation. Families of invited players will receive instruction from the team representative. After forming the team, the club will hold a meeting to complete the necessary paperwork and collect the appropriate fees.  

What if I don't make the team? A soccer team is available to every player. If a player is not offered a roster spot on a travel team, there are other options available. Players can enroll in the recreation or Rec+ programs with either LaPlata Youth Soccer Association or Waldorf Soccer Club.  

When does the season begin?  Training typically begins in mid-August. There may be pre-season free play offered prior to the start of training in mid-August.   When and where do FC Charles 1658 travel teams practice?  The club is allocated fields throughout Charles County. Each travel team will have a different practice schedule. Travel teams generally practice two to three times a week during the season, for seventy-five to ninety minutes per practice. Also, travel players typically practice their soccer skills work at home, such as juggling.  

Where do FC Charles 1658 travel teams play their home games?  Most home games will be played at Laurel Springs Regional Park or the Bryantown Soccer complex.   What soccer leagues do FC Charles 1658 travel teams participate in during the seasons?    FC Charles 1658 travel teams primarily participate in two primary travel leagues:

NCSL (National Capital Soccer League) – All soccer clubs participating in the NCSL must reside within 50 miles of the I-495 Beltway. Teams play in divisions based on skill level.

EDP (Eastern Development Program) - Teams play in divisions based on skill level.   

How many travel teams will FC Charles 1658 have in each age group? The number of travel teams formed in an age group will depend on the number of players who try out and their ability levels.

What is the time commitment for travel soccer? For most teams, the fall season begins in early-August and goes until mid-November. The winter season runs from December to February will focus on futsal. Starting early March, teams go outside again to compete in the spring season, which lasts until early June. Most games are played on Saturdays and Sundays. Teams may compete in pre-season scrimmages before the start of league play. Teams also could compete in tournaments during the fall and spring seasons. Depending upon the age group and competitive level of the team will determine how many games a team will play.

Is there playing time requirements? For ages 9-12, FC Charles 1658 expects that every player on a team will play approximately 50% of the game, although this is not mandatory. Playing time is difficult to control at each game; however, it should be equalized over the season. Playing time is determined by coaches based on a variety of factors. Each player should also play a variety of positions on the field in
the U9-U12 age groups. Starting in U13, specialization of positions may begin. To further develop high-caliber soccer players, FC Charles 1658 coaches are encouraged to continue to have players play multiple positions in the older age groups.

How are the coaches selected? FC Charles 1658 strives to find the best possible coaching candidates for all of our travel teams. Many of our coaches have played soccer, worked with youth sports, and many times both. Also, all of our coaches are required to pass a criminal background investigation. FC Charles 1658 requires each coach to attend and obtain a coaching license through the USYSA programs. All possess at least an "E" license or the newer Grassroots License, and many obtained higher-level coaching license. FC Charles 1658 encourages its coaches to continue their education, whether via obtaining higher-level licenses or attending seminars held around the area. Some teams also utilize trainers from the local college teams or high schools to assist with training. At the end of the year, FC Charles 1658 assesses every coach's performance.

How much does travel soccer cost? Many people believe the costs of travel soccer are prohibitive. Travel soccer does involve a more significant commitment compared to recreation soccer, which includes a financial commitment. The price of travel soccer depends on many factors. For example, the more tournaments a team plays, the higher it costs to play. Teams execute fundraisers to offset some of the added financial requirements. Funds raised are applied to the team's account to lower their fees for the players. FC Charles 1658 offers the option of making payments throughout the year to help offset the costs. In addition, the club has a financial aid/scholarship program to help offset fees.   A typical team has a yearly (August through early June) budget that is divided equally among all of the team members. The FC Charles 1658 board must approve yearly budgets for each team before tryouts. Each team varies based on many choices. For example, each team decides the league they are participating in, the number of tournaments played, or the type of training regimen. Based on these decisions, the cost for each team can vary per player. 
A budget includes:  • Registration includes - league fees, insurance, referees, administrative costs, equipment, etc. • Fall outdoor league • Fall tournaments • Technical training • Goalkeeper training • Winter Indoor training 1 session/week • Winter Futsal League • Spring tournaments • Spring outdoor league
For more information: Please contact info@FC1658.org for any questions.