US Soccer has mandated a change to how American soccer will be organized, changing age groups from an August-July format to January-December. The current cutoff date in American youth soccer is Aug. 1. Academy teams have used birth year since 2007, but we will now use BIRTH YEAR age groups for every team in the club. Birth year means a child will play in the age group of the year of their birth. For example, if your child was born between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 2002, he/she will play in the 2002 Birth Year age group. If your child was born between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 2006, he/she would be placed in the 2006 Birth Year age group.
The primary benefit to playing in Birth Year is purely developmental. Birth Year will allow our strongest players to train and play against older players which is one of the best ways to speed up player development. Many of the greatest players in the world played up against older players for the majority of their youth careers. At the club level, it will allow for better development because individual players will be more challenged which in turn raises competitive standards.
We anticipate some anxiety as the process unfolds with the short-term social impact this change could cause, but, we believe developmentally players with benefit and every player will find an appropriate place.
If you have any questions about the birth year mandate, please don't hesitate to ask any of our Regional Directors & Club Staff.