top of page

Travel Soccer information

What is the difference between Intramural and Travel soccer?

Intramural soccer is about having fun and getting exercise. All children who register on time will be assigned to a team and will receive equal playing time. Ability is not a factor, and all interested players are welcome. Coaches are typically comprised of parent volunteers who offer to coach their children and their friends. One key thing that sets our intramural program apart from other clubs is the use of professional trainers to help intramural players improve their skills and abilities. By comparison, Travel soccer is a competitive program. All players are welcome to attend try-outs, but not all will be invited to join a team. Once invited to join, playing time is not guaranteed. Additionally, once on a team, players will still need to try-out each April to maintain their roster spot. Coaches are licensed, often professionals, and bring a wealth of personal playing and training experience to the teams they lead.

Travel is a highly competitive environment and players’ development is of the utmost importance.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram


Who should play Travel soccer?

It's important to understand that travel soccer is not for everyone, and that in many cases, a player and his or her family may be better served by our intramural program. To be successful in travel soccer, children should show a high level of ability, and their families should recognize that a greater commitment, both in terms of attendance at practices and games as well as financially, is required.


When are the games held?

Travel games are typically held on the weekend, which could be either Sunday or Saturday. Tournament games are typically held on Saturdays and Sundays; tournaments are discussed below in more detail.


How old must a player be to try out for a travel team?

Generally, players are offered the opportunity beginning at U8 (usually 2rd grade). USA Elite SA players endeavors to field at least one team (but typically two or more) at every age through U18/19.


What are tryouts? What must my child do?

Tryouts are held every spring in April, and all interested children in an age group are encouraged to attend. Tryouts, which occur over the course of several weeks, are essentially handled like a practice, with coaches or trainers leading the sessions. Ball control, foot skills, speed, an understanding of the game and other factors are assessed by the coaches. Within a week of the try-out sessions coaches will offer roster positions to existing and new potential players. Alternatively they may contact the player's parent or guardian to discuss areas where the child should focus on improving.


How can I find out when and where tryouts will be held?

Tryouts occur in May each year. Please check the website for more information. You may also check with your child’s coach or contact the Technical Director for more information.


What if there are two teams (or more) in an age group? How do we choose?

For some age groups, players will have the option of two or more teams within the club; they are encouraged to accept a slot from the best team to offer one, but this is not required and the final choice is the player’s. All teams in a specific age and gender group (U10 Girls, for instance) hold tryouts together. The more advanced team in an age/gender group (sometimes referred to as the “A” team) will make the first selections and contact players. The next team level will then be able to make their selection and contact those players. It may take a few days to hear from a coach- do not despair if there is not a phone call immediately after the conclusion of the tryouts! Every player will be contacted, regardless of the outcome.


How many players are on a roster?

7v7 teams normally have 10-13 players, 9v9 teams will have 12-15 players and 11v11 teams will have anything from 16-22 depending on the age as high aged players normally require more players. We understand playing time and development are linked together so we certainly do not try to overload our roster sizes.

What, specifically, does the “travel” part of Travel Soccer entail?

Many families considering this level of soccer for the first time fear that "travel’ means that they will be committing to driving out to far away locations every weekend throughout the season, but this is generally NOT the case. League games- roughly 9 of per season- are played in the greater Baltimore area. You may end up playing a game in Delaware or Virginia or Philadelphia itself- however about half of the games will be at USA Elite Soccer Academy ‘home’ fields. Tournaments on the other hand, although not as frequent, may be farther away. The type and location of the tournaments your child's team will play is dependent on the coach's discretion. When considering to have your child join a team it is a good idea to ask the coach about his/her tournament plans for the team.


Can you tell me more about tournaments?

Tournaments comprise a large part of the travel soccer experience, and the children love them. Tournament weekends generally mean a team will definitely play two games on Saturday and at least one on Sunday, with the possibility of more games on Sunday afternoon if the team reaches the semi-finals or finals. Most teams play two to four tournaments per season, but many participate in a lot more. The tournaments generally take place in the ‘pre-season’ (August and March), but many are also held around Labor Day, Columbus Day, and Memorial Day weekends, and sometimes on the weekend following the last weekend of league play. Most Elite teams play tournaments held locally. Higher level and older teams may compete in tournaments in New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia or New York, and high school age teams who are very advanced sometimes are invited to more distant tournaments in locations much farther away.


My child enjoys other activities, like dance or baseball- will that be all right?

Many travel soccer players participate in other activities. The coaches understand this, however, it is expected that a player’s primary commitment is to his or her soccer team.


How many hours a week will my child practice?

Generally speaking, travel teams practice twice a week for an hour and a half during the regular season. Sometimes a team will add a third night with a special trainer or to work on a specific aspect of the game such as footwork or shooting.


Do they have to go to summer camp?

Each travel team is required (as a team) to participate in one of USA Elite Soccer's Summer Training Camps. The camps occur in July or August and are conducted in the evening during the week from Monday through Thursday.


I’ve heard travel soccer is essentially a year- round sport?

Travel teams train and play, indoors or outdoors, about 11 months out of the year. After tryouts in April the month of May typically rounds out the season for the previous year's team. During June and July the new year's teams are formed however training is generally light as most families opt to take their vacations then. Regular practices begin in late July or early August in preparation for the September start of the Fall season. The Fall season usually winds down by the second weekend in November. Some teams take a brief break until after Christmas, others play a post-season tournament before Thanksgiving. After January 1, the majority of teams start practicing again indoors and get ready for indoor league play. All indoor leagues and training ends sometime between mid-March and early April (depending on the League) and the outdoor pre-season tournaments take place. Around the middle of March the Spring outdoor season begins. It typically runs through early June.


How much does it cost to have a child play travel soccer?

Travel soccer fees can vary greatly depending on the team, the amount of actual travel, and other factors. The typical total cost per child will be within the range of $1100 to $1900. Note that this cost includes the following:

Annual registration


League fees

Coaching/training fees


Referee fees

Miscellaneous fees


What is the refund policy?

You can cancel at any time, we only ask for 30 day's notice.


As a parent, is there anything I can do to help the team?

All travel teams need a manager, who is a parent volunteer. This person handles the day-to-day administrative aspects of the team, such as sending emails to the team, contacting opponents before games, passing along information between coach and the team members, collecting proof of birth documents for new travel players, getting the roster set and player cards generated, and working with the league registrars. Additionally, there are other tasks which include collecting fees and writing team checks, handling tournament applications and registration, and other duties. Sometimes a manager handles all of this; often it is divided among a number of parents.


What are the parent/guardian responsibilities?

USA Elite Soccer Academy expects each parent or guardian to be supportive of their child and the club by getting your child to practice and games on time, helping them to be regular in attendance at all or most activities, scheduling vacations after the season ends, showing consideration to the coach and team by giving notice of absence as early as possible, paying your fees to the club and team timely, and by volunteering your time to help whenever possible. Once a child agrees to join a travel team, we ask each parent or guardian to remind their child that this is a real commitment.. and one that must be honored for the season.


Have any other questions? Call or email us. 


bottom of page