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To provide players with the most fun and challenging developmental environment, they should be playing with and against players of similar ability on a regular basis.  In order to group players by ability, they must be evaluated. Trumbull United Soccer Club (TUSC) evaluates players and selects teams based on a combination of Tryout Evaluations and Season Evaluations.  The process is designed to be as thorough, accurate and fair as possible, while keeping costs, administrative burden and player/parent time commitment at reasonable levels.

As described in more detail below, it is important to emphasize that the Tryout Evaluation is the first and primary determinant of a player’s team placement.  This puts all players on an equal footing each Spring and gives each player a “clean slate” opportunity to demonstrate their abilities in an unbiased and thorough tryout process involving all players in the age group.

Tryout Evaluations

  • Tryouts are held each spring for each age group
  • Each player has the opportunity to participate in two (2) tryout sessions
  • Players are evaluated by professional coaches, primarily in small-sided games (3v3 to 6v6).  If numbers and field space permits, they may also be evaluated in a bigger game environment (8v8 or 11v11).
  • Efforts are made to ensure that players play with and against different players over the course of the two (2) tryouts
  • TUSC tries to maintain a player/coach ratio of no more than 15 to 1
  • Evaluators may or may not be coaches who also train some of the players being evaluated
  • No player parents are involved in the Tryout Evaluation process, nor allowed on the field of competition (parent coaching from the sidelines is strongly discouraged)
  • Players are evaluated on technical and tactical abilities, athleticism and attitude on a scale of 1 to 5
  • The evaluators are asked to recommend a tentative competition level for players (A, B or C) These levels of competition are based on the CJSA SWD guidelines.

Importance of Tryouts

  • Tryout Evaluations are the first and most important determinant of a player’s team placement
  • Any player wanting to maximize their chances of making the team of their choice should participate in both tryout sessions.  Evaluation scores for each tryout session along with the end of season evaluations for returning players, will be calculated to determine acceptance and/or placement.  Failure to attend both tryout sessions may affect acceptance and/or team placement.
  • A player who misses both tryouts, regardless of their status of being a TUSC player the prior year, MUST arrange an alternative tryout date by contacting the club President via email at   Placement may not be guaranteed.

Season Evaluations

  • As part of TUSC’s ongoing improvement, we have partnered with a sophisticated soccer development evaluation software company, that allows travel team coaches to evaluate each player on their team each season using identical evaluation criteria to ensure consistency and comparability across teams and mirrored in the tryout process. This not only helps in the tryout process, but helps to track each individual player to monitor progress.
  • Travel team coaches evaluate every player on their team each season.  The software allows coaches to add detailed descriptions about each criteria evaluated and has the ability to add short videos that demonstrate exercises to improve in the areas of need.
  • Players are evaluated for technical and tactical abilities, athleticism, and attitude on a scale of 1 to 5

Team Selection Process

  • The Director of Coaching (DOC) collects and compiles season and tryout evaluation data for each player in each age group
  • Players are initially ranked by tryout scores and grouped into preliminary “A”, “B” and “C” teams
  • Team rosters must meet the minimum number of players. 
    • 8v8 teams (U9-U11) must have a minimum of 12 players
    • 11v11 teams (U12-U14) the minimum will be 14 players to field a team
  • In most cases, the proposed team selection is then discussed with the relevant coach
  • Coach input may result in one or two final adjustments to the final team selection
  • Team selections are then finalized by consensus of the D.O.C, Club President and Tryout Chairman.

Effectiveness of Selection Process

  • This process is similar to that used by a wide variety of town soccer associations, premier clubs and other soccer and athletic organizations.
  • Experienced observers agree that this process, though not perfect, generates the most accurate placement of players.
  • Over the course of the tryout process,  it is very rare that a player fails to show their potential/ability (be that level weak, average or strong).
  • Despite the extensive nature of the evaluation process, it remains difficult (by definition) to make reliable distinctions between players with very similar abilities. Outside criteria might also be looked at, such as previous commitment to the sport, attitudes and coach ability, training habits, etc


Age Group Guidelines

Participants wishing to play U9 at U8 should expect to remain at the U9 level the following year.

Everyone else will play age appropriate, unless both the DOC and Club President decide otherwise.

Differences in Perception

Despite all reasonable efforts to make fair and good decisions, some oversights might be made when evaluating players.  In addition, there will inevitably be differences between some parents’ perception of their child’s ability and the perceptions of the coaches and evaluators.  TUSC fully understands that differences in perception can create disappointment and frustration on the part of the players and parents affected.

Any parent or player who would like to dispute the result of the tryout (e.g. waitlist, team placement, etc.) must submit his/her opinion in writing and send to the Club President via email to .  A response from the Club President will be provided within two weeks of the receipt of the written response.

TUSC is committed to providing a quality soccer opportunity to all players, regardless of which team they are selected for (i.e., professional skill training, appropriate game competition, etc.). Thus, disappointing decisions need not derail a committed, enthusiastic soccer player’s development.  To stay on track, however, it is critical that the player and the parents do their best to stay positive and take advantage of the opportunities they have to improve over the year so that they are well positioned to “succeed” at the following year’s tryouts.