Select Soccer Program Summary
The mission of MIFC's Select program is to provide an opportunity to develop and play at the highest level of soccer within the local community while maintaining a balance between school, family life, and other interests. The level of play in Select typically falls somewhere between Recreational (Rec) and Premier soccer. MIFC's Select program provides a high level of training and competition without the greater time and financial commitments of Premier soccer. It is also designed to help prepare athletes to play high school varsity soccer.
Similar to Rec soccer, Select is a community-based league in which players get to play on teams with their friends and neighbors. Each local community (e.g., Bellevue, New Castle, etc) has its own Select program, whereas Premier teams are comprised of players from across the region. MIFC works in partnership with Eastside FC to offer Premier opportunities for Mercer Island players.
Interested players must tryout for the Select program and must be willing to meet the higher level of commitment than Rec requires. 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 Rec soccer. Some of our Select teams are able to compete in the higher Regional Club League (Premier soccer), which may include even more or further travel throughout 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. See our age calculator to determine the appropriate level for your kid(s).
Playing Up Restrictions. If your appropriate age group is U11, U12, U13, or U14, you may only play up 1 year. A player must be determined by the independent evaluators to be in the top five unless the player is grade appropriate. No more than five players may 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 an eight month commitment depending on the team. The Select season is longer than Rec and shorter than Premier. Select team typically participate in 2-3 tournaments during the summer. The regular fall league season typically includes fourteen games and runs from the weekend after Labor Day to mid-December. All teams are encouraged to participate in the State Cup tournaments (Dec-Feb for most teams) following the regular season. And there is an optional Spring league as well. 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 other interests, players 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. The parent commitment for Select is higher than Rec as well, with each team requiring a team manager, treasurer, and referee-in-pool.
The Select season for U15-U18 girls occurs during the winter (November through March) to avoid conflicting with the high school soccer season.
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 U12, and the first thirteen players for U13 and above 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.