What is Advanced Compeition
The following documentation explains the variety of options we provide in our extensive Advanced Competition Program within Vancouver Timbers.
At each age group from U10 through U18, we provide a variety of different Advanced Competition (AC) options for Boys and Girls. While in some age groups we may only field 1-2 teams, in others we can field 5 or more teams, boasting a pool of over 50 advanced Competition teams (more than any other SW Washington Club). These teams were known as Premier, Select and Academy teams, using different team names to identify the different levels/options.
All Advance Competition (AC) teams are formed from a tryout process, and compete in tournaments and league play, some play in State cup. There is a varied level of competition, expectations, coaching and travel involved.
The different leagues our AC teams participate in:
- (RCL) Regional Club League
- This league is made up of all the best Premier Clubs in the state of Washington.
- (OPL) Oregon Premier League
- This league is made up of all the best Premier Clubs in the state of Oregon.
- (PML) Portland Metro League
- A league made of teams from around the Portland Metro area.
- (NWCL) Northwest Champions League
- This league hosts the top teams from Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Tournaments format over 3 weekends.
The different tournaments our AC teams participate in:
- Local tournaments such as Beaverton Cup, Chinook Cup, Mt. Hood Challenge etc
- Travelling tournaments such as Mustang Stampede (California), Crossfire Challenge (Seattle)
- Regional tournaments such as US Club Soccer Regional’s and Nationals
- Showcase Tournaments such as Surf Cup Showcase, Las Vegas Showcase, Field Turf Cup (all aimed at U16 and older teams with players preparing for College Athletics)
The different State cups our AC teams participate in:
- WA Championship Cup
- Mainly our Reds teams. Top teams in Washington State
- WA Challenge Cup
- Mainly our Blues teams. 2nd level Premier type teams
- WA Founders Cup
- Mainly our Rojo/Azul teams. 3rd level AC teams
- OPL Cup
- For teams that participate in the OPL leagues.
The different coaching expectations for our AC teams:
- We grade coaches in the following criteria :
- Playing experience
- Coaching experience
- Coaching qualifications
- Other related qualifications and experience
- Number of Practices :
- Reds / Blues teams practice 2-3 times a week for an average of 11 months, with breaks throughout the season to make sure players do not get burn-out. Team training is also off-set with squad training.
- Rojo / Azul teams practice 1-2 times a week for an average of 9 months throughout the year with scheduled breaks.
- Playing time expectations:
- There is zero playing time guaranteed at any of our AC teams, it is generally based on the following :
- Attendance, attitude, ability of player and team needs
- Attendance has a bigger factor on playing time on the Reds/Blues teams than our Rojo/Azul teams.
- Other Sports
- Most of our players (at all levels and age groups) are multi-sport athletes, which we support. It is expected that at the older age groups, on the Reds/Blues, that soccer be the first priority in sports.
The different age groups and their schedules:
- U10 teams are generally kept local in terms of league and tournaments while providing additional training and playing opportunities as they become available.
- U11-U14 teams play summer tournaments, Fall league, state cup and some play in a Winter/spring league also (dependent on that level of team). Teams generally “shut-down” for December to allow players/families to rest so not to have burn-out for players.
- Boys U15 – U18 teams play summer tournaments, Fall league and then state cup in December, season is over in February with tryouts for the upcoming season in March. No club training during Spring Boys High school Soccer season
- Girls U15 – U18 teams play summer tournaments until middle of August and then club teams “shut-down” until Middle of November while players are playing in Fall Girls High School soccer season. Teams resume training in November/December as they prepare for Winter league season and state cup.
Below are examples of schedules for each age/level of AC teams:
- U10 Academy :
- Train 2 times a week from June to end of October and then again February to end of April
- Teams play 2-4 summer tournaments, Fall league (September – October), Spring league (March / April)
- No team training in November, December or January (although additional training options will be provided)
- U12 Reds / Blues :
- Train 2-3 times a week May until November (some team training is off-set by squad training and guest training – explained below)
- Team plays 3-5 summer tournaments (mixed between local and travelling tournaments), Fall and Spring league (RCL or OPL) with a December break from team training, and then State Cup (Championship or Challenge Cup) in March/April.
- U14 Rojo / Azul :
- Train 1-2 times a week starting in June
- Team plays 3-5 tournaments in the summer, mostly local, may attend 1-2 travelling tournaments, Fall league (PML) and then WA Founders Cup which starts in December. Team season concludes after state cup (February).
- BU16 Reds / Blues :
- Trains 2-3 times a week from middle of May (once high school soccer is finished)
- Teams play 3-5 summer tournaments, including local and travelling tournaments as well regional events and College Showcase events
- Team plays Fall league season
- Team plays WA State cup starting in January, season concludes in February
- GU17 Reds / Blues :
- Team trains 2-3 times a week starting middle of May until middle of August, resume training middle of November until end of season (April)
- Teams plays 3-5 summer tournaments, including local and travelling tournaments as well regional events and College Showcase events
- Team plays Winter league (January / March) and then State cup beginning in April.
- GU18 Rojo :
- Team trains 1-2 times a week starting middle of May until middle of August, resume training middle of November until end of season (April)
- Team plays 3-5 summer tournaments which may include a travelling tournament
- Team plays in state cup in December/January, and then Winter/Spring league starting in February.
Over the past several years our program has prepared more players to move into College Athletics than any other SW Washington club. While proud of that statement, it is not enough for us. Every year we aim to better prepare players for College Athletics by providing coaching, competition, education on the process and the exposure to College programs. Our club College program involves the following items:
- Our own College Showcase event in June that invites College coaches to attend
- Regular College workshops for players and parents to educate them on the recruiting process, financial aid, preparing resumes etc…
- A coaching staff that has experience in playing college soccer, history of promoting players into college and network on contacts with College coaches
- Teams attending major college showcase events throughout the year and around the country
- Promoting College ID camps
- A consistent network with College Coaches and former players currently in College.
Other Expectations / Opportunities:
We aim to provide several options for players as they all have different needs with regards to competition level, abilities of players, travel requirements, social needs and financial decisions.
We aim to have all our age group teams work together as much as possible, whenever possible. This differs age group to age group depending on team needs, coaching resources and time of the year (scheduling conflicts) and the age of the teams.
How do our age groups work together ? this can be seen by some of the following activities :
- Guest playing (players may be asked to guest play or train with other teams within the club depending on availability and team needs)
- Squad training (when 2 or more teams train together – warm-ups, fitness, scrimmages etc…)
- Guest coaches (sometimes coaches of other teams attend games and practices, and even guest train the teams)
- Combining teams (sometimes teams may combine to form a team for a specific event, such as a scrimmage, tournament or Showcase event)
Players can get as much as they want (anytime a player wishes to get additional training, we have options available, such as training with different teams within the club. This allows a player not to be solely reliant on any team for their full player development.
Some of the end goals in mind when we design and implement our options for players:
- Keep them in the game and make it enjoyable
- Help progress the player, athlete and the person
- Provide options that match the needs of each individual as much as we possibly can
- Prepare players for the next level (high school, College, ODP, Professional etc…)
- Provide options for players to stay in the game for years (refereeing, coaching etc…)
Visit VUSATimbers.com for more information