Select Soccer Program Summary
The mission of the Mercer Island FC (MIFC) Select soccer program is to provide an opportunity, primarily for Mercer Island youth, to develop and play at the highest level of soccer within the local community while maintaining balance between school, family life and other sports. The level of play in Club Select typically falls somewhere between recreational and premier soccer. MIFC's program is designed for the player seeking a high level of development and competition, without the greater time and financial commitments of premier soccer, and to help prepare those who aspire to play high school varsity soccer to compete with premier level players for positions on those teams.
Select soccer is a community based league, which means players get to play on teams with their friends and neighbors (like in Recreational soccer). Each community has its own Select program (Bellevue, New Castle, etc). Premeir soccer teams are comprised of players from across the region. Our Club works in partnership with Eastside FC (EYSA) to offer Premeir opportunities for Mercer Island soccer players.
For Select soccer, there are tryouts and a higher expectation of commitment. Most MIFC Select teams play in the North Puget Sound League (NPSL), which means the travel area for away games is a little further than Recreational soccer. Some of our Select teams are able to compete at the higher Regional Club League (Premeir soccer) level, which can mean travel through out the state.
When is Registration?
Registration for May tryouts starts April 1. If your player makes the team, player registration is open immediately after tryouts. Players need to register ASAP after making the team so we can get rosters submitted to the state and player cards issued.
MIFC offers Select soccer from U11 to U18. Age calculator.
Playing Up Restrictions. If your appropriate age group is U11, U12, U13 or U14, you may play up only 1 year. A player must be determined (by the independent evaluators) to be in the top 5, unless the player is grade appropriate. No more than 5 players may be allowed to play up on any one team. Once a player reaches high school (U15 and above), the play-up restrictions are lifted.
In general, teams are together from June through mid-February, but there can be a six to eight month commitment depending on the team. The Select season is longer than a Recreational and shorter than a Premier level soccer season. Players are also expected to participate in 2-3 tournaments during the summer. The fall league season is a 14 game season (excluding byes, if any) and runs from the weekend after Labor Day to mid-December. State Cup tournament (Dec-Feb for most teams) participation following the regular season is encouraged for all teams. And there is an optional opportunity to paricipate in Spring league play for teams that wish to keep playing. Practices are held twice a week and last 1 ½ hours each.
While the Select program is designed to support a well-rounded balance of school, family life and sports outside of soccer, the player must make a commitment to their teammates and coaches. The
Club expects that all players attempt to make every practice and game unless otherwise discussed with the head coach. Each player and their parents should plan on the player being available
for multiple summer tournaments and practices. Parent commitment is increased for Select and requires a team manager, treasurer, and referee-in-pool (16 hours referee training, roughly
$100 for certification and equipment, officiate 10+ games as assistant or center at Select or Premier games in East King County during the fall).
For high school girls the select league season is moved to winter (Nov-March) state league or NPSL to avoid conflict with high school soccer.
Coaches and Professional Trainers
Most MIFC Select coaches are volunteers. We are proud of the fact that our coaches have a strong connection to our community as parents and former players. That being said, all MIFC Select coaches are required to meet minimum qualifications including years of playing, coaching and licensing. MIFC provides our coaches with educational resources and all coaches are encouraged to continue their education throughout their tenure. MIFC also utilizes licensed professional trainers to provide essential developmental opportunities for our players and coaches.
U11, U12, U13 Development Standards
The U11, U12 and U13 years are widely recognized as critical "developmental" years in soccer and most other sports. This is the main reason the Club offers Select at these ages. Coaches are instructed to focus on the development of the players on the team, not the wins and losses. They are required to rotate players to different positions on the field during games and practice to allow development of players in different elements of the game (defensive shape, midfield support, attacking positions, etc).
Select Try Outs
Tryouts typically run for two (2) 90-minute sessions, and are held in March (BU16 and older) or May (BU11 through BU15 and GU16 and older). Tryout schedules & locations are subject to change and will be posted on the MIFC website and announced by email roughly a month before they occur. Check the website and email before leaving for tryouts.
Tryout sessions consist of a combination of warm-ups, small-sided games, and larger games. Players all wear numbered jerseys provided by the Club, and are evaluated and ranked by the coach and 2 independent evaluators, assessing factors such as their soccer technique, tactics, fitness, athletic ability, and attitude. With the possible exception of the coach, the evaluators will not have any children participating in the tryout. Specific time and location.
If you intend to "play up" you must attend the first session of your age group as well as the first tryout session for your desired age group (see Playing up Restrictions).
Please bring the signed Medical Release Waiver form to the first day of tryouts. Return the signed Commitment Sheet on Day 2.
Player Selection Process
The first eleven players for U11 and U13 and above, and the first thirteen players for U12 are selected based on the rankings of the evaluators including the coach. The coach, considering other factors, such as player positions, prior experience, and other discretionary factors, fills the rest of the slots. The team size is up to the coach, subject to an Association mandated minimum of 14 and maximum of 18 for U12 and above, and maximum 14 for U11. Coaches are encouraged to carry teams of no more than 16.
At the conclusion of each tryout day, evaluators will determine a numerical ranking for the players. The evaluators will make their selection of the top players for the team from overall rankings after the final day of tryouts subject to the rules on playing up (see Playing up Restrictions), except for the family member of the head coach. The head coach may complete the roster with discretionary selections that need not agree with the evaluators' rankings (for spots 12-18). Players failing to meet the Playing up Criteria are not eligible for discretionary selection by the head coach. If necessary, the family member of the head coach may be one of the discretionary selections.
If there are one or more players at the tryouts who the head coach does not want on the team because of non-soccer skill issues, including perceived attitude problems, that player or players can be excluded from the selection with the approval of the VP Select.
If, due to an injury or illness of which the coach is notified, a player does not attend tryouts, the player may have the opportunity to tryout at informal sessions at the discretion of the coach and with an independent observer, assuming the roster is not completed.
It is the Club's intention to carry at least one team of each age and gender for U11 and above. A second and even third team may be formed if there is enough interested players to support an additional team.
Player Notification Process
Selection results will be posted by try out number on the MIFC website by 8:00 p.m. the day following the last tryout. If selected, you must accept no later than 8:00 p.m. the day following notification by confirming your acceptance to the head coach by e-mail or telephone. If you cannot, the coach may choose to move to the next player and offer him or her the position.
For U11 through U14 all players should play on average at least ½ of each game, provided they attend most practice sessions. Players may receive less playing time if there are a significant number of absences from practices or team functions. However, a player shall not be penalized for missing a team function or practice due to occasional "excused absences" such as religious, illness, family events or school activities. Excused absences must be prearranged with the head coach.
All players must pay a $25 fee to tryout. Players must register online. Players are NOT to wear any items (jerseys, shorts, etc.) identifying them with any soccer teams. Soccer shoes with cleats and shin guards are mandatory, and each player must have his or her own ball. Please bring the signed Medical Release Waiver form to the first day of tryouts. Return the signed Commitment Sheet on Day 2.
Order uniforms online.
Other than the standard registration fee, costs by team vary depending on the purchase of uniforms, the number of tournaments entered, frequency of use of a professional trainer, team first aid kits, team events, parties, etc. An estimate of the cost is appears on our fees page.
MIFC is committed to fielding two Select teams at every age group for which there are a sufficient number of dedicated players. Below is the current
slate of coaches for our 2013-14 season. Teams may be added, if there is enough interest to field them.
||Ketu Shah||BU-11||Colin Rigby|
Jeff Cleator/Mark Sandwith
|GU-18||Kiko Magana||BU-18||Tom Montague|