McLean Youth Soccer Travel Program Overview

The McLean Youth Soccer professional technical staff is led by Director of Soccer, Keith Tabatznik and Technical Director, Clyde Watson along with Age Group Directors, Jamil Faryadi, Jaon Ahmad and Jamil Walker. Please read more about our technical staff on their bio page.

The McLean Youth Soccer (MYS) travel program consists of Team Training, Individual Training Opportunities, and League and Tournament Play as well as other on and off field developmental events including college information sessions, specialized fitnes training and special technical clinics.

Players try out each year to be considered for a team. Once selected, the player commits to one seasonal year (August - July) of participation with the team.

McLean Youth Soccer offers a range of teams for players based on level of play and commitment. Players should carefully review information about a team prior to trying out.

Team Training & Player Expectations: Travel teams in MYS typically train 2-3 times/week throughout the fall and spring seasons. Higher-level teams may train year-round with more frequency.

League and Tournament Games: McLean Youth Soccer travel teams participate in a number of leagues. Placement in these leagues is determined by the technical staff and reflects the team's level of play and level of commitment.

  • ECNL: The Elite Clubs National League is the highest level of youth soccer competition available for boys and girls, ages 13-19. Travel and time commitments are extensive.
  • CCL: The Club Champions League was founded in January 2013 as 15 distinguished soccer clubs in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC agreed to form their own league based on a simple concept that included three main features: 1. Superior Competition 2. a Model for Player Development and 3. a governing board made up of Soccer Directors from each club.
  • NCSL: The National Capital Soccer League is the primary travel league for the DC Metropolitan area. Most age groups have 4-6 different divisions catering towards the varying needs of travel level teams.
  • There are other competitions/leagues that some teams may enter based on level of play and commitment, such as EDP and the US Youth Soccer Region I Premier League. Please check each team information sheet for specific information.

The recommended number of tournaments will be determined by age and ability level. The head coach will inform the team as to the approximate number of tournaments they will participate in throughout each season. The Technical Direcor (TD) and the Age Group Directors (AGDs) will determine which tournaments the club will participate in. The objective will be to have all of MYS teams attend the same tournaments if practical. As a general guide U9-12 teams participate in 4-6 tournaments per year. U13-19 teams participate in 4-8 tournaments per year.

Attendance at all team games and tournaments is mandatory. Discuss any/all conflicts that arise with your coach that may prevent a player from participating.

Coach Assignments: Please refer to the Travel Staff page for details and to learn more about coach visit their bio page.

International Opportunities: McLean Youth Soccer provides opportunities for teams to travel internationally over spring break and summer for the U13 and U16 age groups. These are excellent opportunities to expand the player's cultural and developmental horizons. Please visit the International Travel page for more details, including news and photos from recent trips.

Communication: MYS encourages open channels of communication available to any player or parent. We do ask that a 24-hour waiting period be respected before reaching out to discuss a game issue. The club policy is below:

Travel Program Communication Policy

The McLean Youth Soccer Travel Program has a network of staff to support its members. A chain of communication has been established to help address member's issues or concerns. In the event that a parent, player or member has a technical or administrative issue or concern, please follow the process below. If a resolution is not identified, please move to the next level of escalation. Please allow for a reasonable response time.

  • First Level of Escalation: Team Coach (technical); Team Manager (administrative)
  • Second Level of Escalation: Age Group Director (technical); Travel Administator (administrative)
  • Third Level of Escalation: Technical Director, Clyde Watson (clyde.watson@mcleansoccer.org) and/or Director of Soccer (keith.tabatznik@mcleansoccer.org)
  • Fourth Level of Escalation: Executive Director, Louise Waxler (louise.waxler@mcleansoccer.org)
 
MYS Travel Program Resources
 
Coaching Opportunities

If you are interested in Coaching with McLean Youth Soccer, please contact the corresponding Program Director below. Availability of coaching staff is dependent on season and program.

ECNL PROGRAM - Director, Clyde.Watson@mcleansoccer.org

TRAVEL PROGRAM -

AGE GROUP DIRECTORS:

U8-U12 Girls - Jaon.Ahmad@mcleansoccer.org

U8-U12 Boys - Jamil.Faryadi@mcleansoccer.org

U13-U18 Boys - Jamil.Walker@mcleansoccer.org

U13-U18 Girls - Clyde.Watson@mcleansoccer.org

RECREATION - Recreation Director, Haytham.Mansur@mcleansoccer.org

 
MYS Player Training Philosophy and Development

The MYS training Philosophy is based on the decision that playing an attractive, attacking way, will produce the highest percentage of skillful, thoughtful players.

Style of play will be skillful, creative, attractive, and possession oriented. Defensively we will press and exhibit a win it back mentality.

Coaches are teachers first. Our coaches must be age appropriate communicators. The coaches of our younger teams (U8-U12) will be good demonstrators, have a positive influence, and be team builders. For our older teams, coaches will be motivators, understand the physical demands of the modern game, and be able to read the "details" in the match.

Curriculum/coaching content: we will use our MYS philosophy and the US Soccer curriculum as resources. However, we have introduced our coaching Portal, where all of our teaching information will be stored and is available to all MYS coaches on a daily basis. MYS will continually provide on-going coaching education opportunities for our staff to ensure their maximum development to serve our players.

MYS Player Development Pathways can be divided into 4 stages:

U5-U8 Enjoying the Game: Natural movements (running, jumping, rolling etc.) are all part of players learning to understand their bodies, help develop balance and agility and begin a love affair with the game. Should be lots of interaction with the ball. Each player should have a ball in training.

U8-U12 Fundamental Mastery: Teaching the fundamental techniques to perform in a game occurs during this time period - the best in one's career to acquire technique. Understand tactical ideas of support and working together to defend or in combinations to attack will begin during this time period as well.

U12-U15 Application of Technique: At these ages, players learn how to apply the techniques they use in the game (skill). They understand consequences for good or bad execution and for good or bad ideas (tactics). It will be the beginning of learning "gamesmanship" - how to perform to have best chances to gain results. As always, the focus is on the process of playing, however certain times in the game may now require a different approach (i.e. - holding a lead or chasing a deficit in the last few minutes may cause a different strategy than the rest of the game).

U15-U18 Competitive Stage: Without losing sight that focusing on process goals is the key to earning appropriate outcomes, this is when results and finding ways to achieve them become increasingly important. Learning how to get out of groups in a tournament/showcase environment comes into play as well as teaching the things that can best prepare a player for competing on the HS and College levels.

Goalkeeping: The handling of goalkeepers with youth soccer is an issue that creates considerable discussion among coaches. Restricting a player to the position of goalkeeper as too early of an age may have a negative effect and could eliminate them from future participation in soccer. Children grow at different rates and times. It is impossible to predict what a child will develop into the best goalkeeper when they are ten years old. Early selection as a goalkeeper may not be in the player's best long-term interest. Development of a goalkeeper must be carefully monitored and conducted. The progressive teaching of technical skills is important given the concerns for "safety" within the position.

Principles of Play

Principles of Attack

Principles of Defense

Penetration

Pressure

Depth (Support)

Delay

Mobility

Depth (Cover)

Width

Balance

Improvisation

Compactness

Finishing

Control and Restraint

Fundamental Principles of Attack

  • Penetration - When you are dribbling forward, passing forward, or shooting, you are attempting penetration.
  • Depth (Support) - Good width and depth provides the player on the ball with all around support so that there are options to play the ball forward, square or back. The more options a player has, the less likely they will lose the ball. Creating depth means spacing out up and down the field.
  • Mobility - Mobility means movement. Movement is important in the game so that players can create space for themselves or for their teammates. Players without the ball need to keep moving to unbalance the opponent's defense, and by making "runs" into positions that will create scoring opportunities or create space for the teammates near the ball.
  • Width - Creating width means spacing out side to side on the field. Good width provides opportunities to attack on either side of the field and up the middle of the field.
  • Improvisation - When players use their own individual flair to create passing or shooting opportunities to themselves or for teammates. Clever dribbling or passing eliminates defenders and creates openings for attackers.
  • Finishing - Simply put, finishing is successfully scoring a goal on scoring opportunities. This means shooting when you should shoot, making sure your shots are on goal and not wide nor over the goal, getting the ball past the goal keeper, etc.

Fundamental Principles of Defense

  • Pressure - The moment possession is lost the nearest player tries to regain possession or apply pressure on the ball. Players giving immediate chase can also help to delay the attack by stopping the other team from playing the ball forward quickly.
  • Delay - While applying pressure, the defender must be careful to not over-commit. If they are beaten easily, the attacking team may get a scoring chance quickly. A pressuring defender should also be looking to slow down or "delay" the attacking player.
  • Depth (Cover) - While the ball is being pressured all other players should be getting into defensive positions. The positions taken should support the pressuring defender in case they are beaten. This is called providing defensive cover.
  • Balance - As your team concentrates their defense around the ball, defenders not near the ball must position themselves to cover important spaces (normally central areas) to prevent attackers from making penetrating runs into these spaces.
  • Compactness - As you organize your defense, limit the time and space for the opponent by concentrating your defense in the general area of the ball. Defenders should also attempt to stay "goal side" to limit the other team's ability to directly attack the goal.
  • Control and Restraint - Players often make poorly timed or off-balanced attempts to win the ball. You must play "under control" when challenging for the ball. In addition, you should refrain from tackling unless you are confident you will win the ball.

"PRINCIPLES NEVER CHANGE - THAT'S WHY THEY ARE PRINCIPLES"