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Montgomery Travelers Soccer Club

Montgomery Travelers Soccer Club

Travel Program Overview

We're glad you're interested in the MTSC Travel Program for your child.



Tryout registration is open to experienced players for the 2024-25 travel program, free of charge.  Tryouts will be held the week of April 20; we'll post specific dates and times soon.


Register for a tryout by clicking the "Log In" or "My Account" button at the top of the page, select the 2024-25 Travel Program, and complete the registration all the way through to checkout.  You will receive an immed
iate email confirmation.

The Travel Program is for experienced players who have participated in our Rec program, enjoyed it, and want to learn the finer points of the game in real game settings against well-matched players from other nearby towns.  Players with experience from other clubs' travel programs are also welcome to try out.

"Travel" means that half the games will be played here at Mill Pond, and half away, within about a 1 hour drive.  We don't participate in leagues that require long distance travel or overnight hotels.

Our program provides the opportunity for younger players to learn the fundamentals of soccer and teamwork, while experiencing the fun that these accomplishments can offer. As players progress in age and skill, they are taught more advanced levels of soccer, compete at higher levels, and enjoy the self-satisfaction that this growth brings.

Please scroll down for more details on timelines, tryout criteria, fees, and expectations.

The Tryout Process

Travel Team Year:   Teams are formed in the spring for the following playing year, which runs from September to June.  For this reason, you are strongly encouraged to register for a tryout in April, as tryouts for later registrants will only be given if there is a remaining roster spot in an age group. 

Joining a Travel Team:
 
Tryouts are held well in advance because joining a travel team is a multi-step process:
(1: March - April) You log in to your account to register your player for a tryout (free).   Your registration confirmation will contain the date, time, and location of the tryouts. 
(2: April) Your player attends the tryout session (preferably 2).
(3: May) If your player passes the tryout, we will extend an offer to join the travel program.
(4: May) You log in to your account within 7 days to accept the offer, upload documents, and pay fees.
(5: June) We notify you which team (if more than 1) your child will play with, set you up with team communication, and hold a team kickoff meeting.
(6: July) You order a uniform.
(7: August) The practice schedule is published.
(8: September) The fall match schedule is published; team begins practices and matches.

Tryouts are Required: 
Participation requires a tryout to ensure the player has the required skills to support his/her team and has the confidence to enjoy playing with the team.  You must register for a tryout (free), then based on the result of the tryout your child will be invited to join the program.  Players (including current team players) should attend 2 tryouts if possible, where they are evaluated and ranked.  That said, your child is not expected to be a World Cup contender in order to join!

No Harm in Trying!:  If you're considering travel, please register for a tryout even if you think your child might not pass the tryout... there is no harm in trying!  If he/she does not pass the tryout, our Director of Coaching or Rec coaches will be happy to discuss what he/she can work on for next time. 

Tryout Schedule: Our primary tryouts are conducted in late April / early May. We hold more tryouts in June for younger players who may need the spring Rec season to prepare for tryouts.  After that, when you register for a tryout we will contact you to let you know if a roster spot is available for your child's age group, and if so, arrange a tryout session.

The Offer: If successful with the tryout, within a week or so you will receive an email offer to join the age group roster.  The offer expires in 14 days so that we can offer that roster spot to another player.  Before accepting your player's offer, please understand the financial, time, and effort commitment you and your player are making, as described below.

Fees and Financial Commitment

MTSC is a non-profit Club, not a for-profit business.  We set our travel fees by estimating the costs, and dividing by the number of expected players.  By accepting your offer, you are committing to the other members of the Club that you will shoulder your fair share of the expenses and work to run a fulfilling Travel Program for our children.

Fee Commitment: 
When you accept the offer, you will have the option to pay the full annual fee (which covers fall and spring), or break it up into 3 installments: 1/3 immediately, 1/3 by Sept 1, and 1/3 by Nov 1.  Because your player is taking a roster spot that could have gone to someone else, fees are nonrefundable for any reason except major injury as evidenced by medical records.  If you choose a payment plan, you are still committing to the full annual program, and to making all 3 payments.

Annual Travel Fee (non-HS teams fall/spring): The fee for 2024-25 is TBD (2023-24 was $ 1,490) and covers both fall and spring seasons.  The fee includes:
-Fall: Kickoff sessions in early September,  a tournament (4 games in 1 weekend) in September, 10 regular season games (usually Sunday),  2 practices each week, and bonus sessions on Mondays.
-Spring:  Weekly outdoor turf sessions at Iron Peak in March; 10 regular season games (usually Sunday), 2 practices each week (April to June), and bonus sessions on Mondays.

Annual Travel Fee (HS-aged teams winter/spring):  The fee for 2024-25 is TBD (2023-24 was $ 1,080) and covers both the winter and spring seasons.  Note that HS-aged teams do not play league games or have regular practices in the fall season, so as not to conflict with High School soccer teams. The fee includes:
-Summer: Warmup practices the week before High School tryouts.
-Fall: A few practices in November
-Winter: Weekly indoor session plus an indoor weekly tournament at Iron Peak in Jan and Feb
-Spring: Weekly outdoor turf sessions at Iron Peak in March; and a regular season in the spring with 10 regular season games (usually Sunday), 2 practices each week, and bonus sessions on Mondays. 

The fee does not include:
- The uniform, which costs about $ 150 and must be replaced in even-numbered years.
- Indoor winter practices or indoor futsal or turf games in January and February; these are completely optional and at additional cost (except for HS-aged teams).  This allows players who wish to play another sport in the winter to do so.
- Additional opportunities (such as more tournaments) that may be organized as the parents, team manager, and coach agree.  These are optional and at additional cost.

Commitment and Expectations

Travel soccer differs from Rec in that you and your player are making a significant commitment to the Club and your team.  Every player on the team has a more rewarding experience, and develops more quickly, when every player and parent honors that commitment.

Attendance and Timeliness:
  Except for compelling reasons (e.g. school event, health, family vacation), your player is expected to be at every practice (on the field and ready to play at the start time), and every match (home or away, on the field ready to warm up 30 minutes before the match start time).

Match Scheduling:  Matches will vary in start time from week to week, usually on Sunday, but occasionally on a Saturday.  Your team manager will work with opposing teams to determine match times as far in advance as possible, but occasionally you may not know the start time of a match until just a few days prior.

Practice Scheduling:  Generally, practices are either 5:00 or 6:30, on either Tue/Thu or Wed/Fri, each week.  You will be informed as to your team's practice schedule about a month before the start of each season.  Because we are juggling coach and field availability, we cannot use parent preference to set or change practice times.

TeamSnap:  Before the start of the season in September, you will receive instructions on how to download and use TeamSnap, the app we use to communicate amongst parents and coaches on each team.  This is where you will get practice and match times / locations (with maps), and be able to chat with parents to ask questions, arrange carpools, organize parties, etc.  Most importantly, parents must update the availability of players for every match and practice so that the coach can plan (for example, finding players to fill in for absent players)

Parent Volunteers:  Each team must designate volunteer parents to fill the following roles:
- Assistant Coach:  helps the primary coach on the sideline during games, acts as backup if the primary coach is delayed or absent.
- Team Manager:  represents the team at Club meetings, ensures team is running smoothly
- Team Scheduler: coordinates with coach, Club scheduler, and opponents to set match times and update TeamSnap
- Game Day Coordinator: brings equipment, match card, player and coach passes, and referee fees to matches

Team Formation, Flighting, and Playing Up

Formation of teams --- The Club follows USYS mandates for team sizes, ages, and field sizes.  This includes high school age teams which are typically Winter/Spring teams.  Per USYS rules, travel teams are based on birth year, not school grade

"Green" teams -- Depending on enrollment, there will be 1 or 2 teams at each age group and gender.  If there are 2 teams, one will be flighted against tougher opponents, and the other (Green) against easier opponents.  Players will be assigned to play primarily to one team or the other based on skill level and effort, but may occasionally play for the other team as needs and development warrant.  These decisions are made by the coach in consultation with the Director of Coaching; parent or player preference is not part of the criteria.  When you accept an offer, you are accepting an offer to the age group, not to a team.

Roster Size -- The Club recommends a minimum of 11 players for “7v7” teams, 13 for "9v9" teams and 15 for the older “11v11” teams. Experience indicates these numbers allow for absences, needed substitutions, and are reasonable numbers to still be able to provide adequate playing time for all players.

Flighting -- Teams are "flighted" with like teams in the league, the goal being that the team wins about half the time.  Winning too little is frustrating for the players; winning too much is boring and prevents development of good play habits.  Each season, teams will move up or down in flight based on their win/loss record the prior season. 

Playing Up -- MTSC encourages players to play on teams of the appropriate age and ability. Typically, that is the age based upon their date of birth.  USYS rules allows "playing up" one year, but an older player may never "play down".  Players significantly ahead in their development for their age may try out and play for an older team if it is appropriate for their development.  If you would like to request your child to "play up", please discuss with the Director of Coaching, who makes all decisions regarding this.

The only other situation where a younger player may be invited to play for an older team is if the player does not make their age appropriate team(s), or that team's roster is already full, and the Club is considering forming an older team of similar abilities and that team needs players to complete its roster.

Tryout Evaluation Criteria

Tryout Evaluation Criteria ... <--- Click this link for our evaluation criteria document.

Contact

Montgomery Travelers Soccer Club
PO Box 243 
Belle Mead, New Jersey 08502

Phone: 908-845-4625
Email: [email protected]

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