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Tryout FAQ's

Tryout FAQ's

                                                                                        May 2015


Dear Parents -


Thank you for your interest in the Tenafly United Soccer Club travel program.  We have put together this list of Frequently Asked Questions to help answer some questions you may have about our Club’s procedures and policies.  Additional information about our program can be found at  Click through to the Tenafly United home page.  After reviewing this information, please feel free to contact one of our club co-presidents Marcelo Demoraes & Scott Smilen or one of the divisional directors (contact info on the web site) with any remaining questions.  Alternatively, you can send an email to


Note that the Tenafly travel soccer program is open only to students who live in Tenafly or Alpine, or who attend school in Tenafly, at Tenafly public schools, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, or the Spring School.  A player with a parent who works in the Tenafly public schools is also eligible.  If you have any questions, please contact the TUSC President.


Additional information regarding the travel program will be provided at our Parents Meeting for team members, to be held at the Tenafly Middle School cafeteria on Monday, June 15 at 7:30pm.





What is the tryout schedule?


All players are required to come to two tryout sessions.  Depending on the age group, first sessions will be between Wednesday, May 27th and Saturday, May 30th.  The second sessions will be between Saturday, May 30th and Friday, June 5th.  For time and location for each girls & boys age group please see the schedule posted at


Why is my child being given a number?


We provide every child attending a tryout session a number, which will be used to anonymously identify him/her to the trainers and TUSC Tryout Committee.  Children are thus evaluated based on demonstrated skill and not reputation.  Please pin this number to your child’s back during all tryout sessions. 
PLEASE KEEP THIS NUMBER.  Final team rosters will be posted on the Tenafly Soccer website only by tryout number, not player name.


Who is conducting the tryouts?


Evaluations are done by an outside professional organization called The Sports Factory (TSF).  Tenafly United uses TSF to train many of our teams during the course of the season.  First round evaluations are conducted by trainers who do not train that particular team during the course of the year, so the kids are not known to the trainers. 


The trainers will run the children through various drills and scrimmages in order to best evaluate their abilities and skill sets.  Some of the skills they assess include, but are not limited to: ball control, speed and agility, assertiveness, field awareness and attitude.  The particular skills being assessed will be described to the players during each phase of the tryouts.  The results of these assessments will be tabulated and all participants will be ranked.


How are teams formed?


Following tryouts, the TUSC Tryout Committee will review the evaluations together with the professional trainers.  In addition, for current travel players, evaluations of skill, attitude, commitment, enthusiasm, and behavior from their team trainers and parent coaches will be taken into account.  Overall, these evaluations are the primary basis, but not the only criteria, for the selection of players and placement on teams.  Prior to a player being invited to join a team, the player's application must be approved by TUSC.


Do current travel players receive a preference in making the team?


All current travel players are required to attend tryouts if they want to play with the Club next year.  No one is guaranteed a spot on a travel team from one year to the next.


Travel players are not permitted to wear their uniforms or any other apparel which would identify them as a current travel team player to the evaluators.


When do we find out whether my child made the team?


Tryout results will be posted on our website,, after the conclusion of the current travel season.  We expect to be able to post results this year on or about June 11. 


Please note:  Results are posted by tryout number only – no names will be posted on the website.  Please be sure to keep your child’s number.



How many players are on a team?


Rosters of U9 through U12 teams, which play on a smaller field, 8 per side, have between 11 and 14 players.  U13 and U14, which play on larger fields, 11 per side, have 15 to 18 player rosters.  Many considerations determine roster size.  TUSC reserves the right to establish this on a team by team basis.


What age-level team is appropriate for my child?


The rules governing age are set at the national level by US Club Soccer and the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) not by Tenafly United.  TUSC can not make an exception for any child who is older than permitted for any age division.  Generally, a child may not be older than the age division as of August 1 of this year.  For example, a U10 player may not have turned 10 before August 1, 2005.  Age brackets for the 2015-2016 season are set out in the table below: 


Play Group


Born between ...

U 9





U 10





U 11





U 12





U 13





U 14







These age groups roughly translate to the following grades:


            Age/Division                         2015-16 Grade

            U14                                        8th grade

            U13                                        7th grade

            U12                                        6th grade

            U11                                        5th grade

            U10                                        4th grade

            U9                                           3rd grade


It is a general TUSC policy that players not be permitted to play above their age or grade appropriate level.  There are only a few exceptions to this:


•  Children who are "young" for their grade -- i.e., those children with birthdays in August, September, or early October.  They are generally encouraged to tryout with their grade-appropriate teams, assuming they want to, and make the team.  For example:  A child with a September birthday going into the 7th grade would be age-appropriate for next year's U12 team, while most other players in his/her grade would be on next year's U13 team. That child would be encouraged to try out with the U13s, assuming he/she wants to, and makes the team.  Such a player may, of course, choose to try out for the age-appropriate U12s.


•  TUSC may occasionally ask a player to play up in order to enable an older team to field an appropriate roster.


•  In certain circumstances, children who age-qualify for a younger team will be offered a spot on that team if they would otherwise not make their grade-appropriate team.  e.g.:  A child going into the 4th grade, but with a birthday after August 1, who does not make the U10 team during tryouts, may be offered a spot on the U9 team if there is room on that team.


What if my child wants to “play up” with an older team?


Tenafly United recognizes that certain exceptional players may be best served by playing on a team older than their age/grade appropriate one.  The following procedure will be used for a player interested in playing up.


•  The first tryout for most players will be with their age-appropriate team.   However, players currently playing up with an older team and interested in continuing to do so may be invited to initially try out with the older team, depending on the player’s evaluation and rank for the current year.


•  Based on the preliminary trainer’s ranking within your own age group, you may be invited to attend the tryout for the older age group at the second session.


•  Therefore, players may only try out to play up by invitation.  Further, invitation to the older group tryout session does not guarantee a spot on the older team or preclude being offered a spot on your age/grade appropriate team if you’re not selected for the older team.


By club policy, the overall evaluation of a player must place him/her in the upper portion of the rankings for the older team in order to be eligible to play up.  Final decisions on allowing a child to play up will be made based on his/her evaluation as well as other factors used in team construction.






Where do the travel teams play?


TUSC plays in the Northern Counties Soccer Association (  This league is made up of approximately 800 teams from Northern New Jersey, as well as some teams from Rockland County, NY. 


Tenafly home fields are generally at the Municipal Field and THS Brook Field (full-sided teams) and at Stillman School or TMS (small-sided teams).  Away games are played in various communities in the region, and may be as far as Newark, Hoboken or Woodbury, NY.  Also, some of our teams decide to play in tournaments during holiday weekends; locations of those tournaments vary. 


When do the travel teams play?


The Fall season starts the weekend after Labor Day.  The season generally runs 10 or 11 weeks, skipping Columbus Day weekend.  The Spring season generally starts the last weekend in March and runs through early June, skipping Easter weekend and Memorial Day weekend.  Note that we generally do have games scheduled over the weekend of NJ Teachers Convention, and both weekends of April break. We ask travel team players to plan travel and vacations accordingly.


In the Fall, the official league game days for boys teams are Saturdays, and for girls teams are Sundays.  In the Spring, all teams play on Sundays.  Please note, however, that due to weather cancellations and other considerations, games will accasionally be played on non-weekend days.  Your team’s actual Fall schedule will not be set until the end of August.  Your team parent coaches and manager will let you know as soon as the schedule is set.


When do travel teams practice?


Generally, travel teams begin practice at the end of August with a series of sessions during what would be normal school hours.  Once the season begins, practices are two times per week for U9 and U10 teams, three times per week for U11 through U14 teams.  Practices are generally scheduled for 90 minute blocks, sometime between 3:45 P.M. and 7 P.M., with some variation to allow for available daylight.  Exact times and locations will be determined based on team requests, field space and trainer availability.  Additional, optional training sessions for goalies and other ball skill workshops will also be scheduled.


We encourage all players to participate in the TJSL-sponsored soccer camps  during the weeks of August 10 and 17.  Information is available about these camps at .  These programs are encouraged but are not mandatory.

What type of commitment do I need to make to travel soccer?


We play in a competitive league and the spot your child takes on a team is often a spot denied to another child.  For that reason, while we understand that some conflicts arise that are unexpected and unavoidable, we expect players to attend all practices and all games.   Please consider the game and practice scheduling guidelines described above before committing to play on a travel team.  Failure to attend practices or games may result in reduced playing time for your child and will be considered in the formation of future teams.


What if my child does not want to play soccer in the Spring?


TUSC sponsors travel soccer for both the Fall and Spring seasons.  Children who are offered a spot on a TUSC travel team for the Fall are guaranteed a spot for the Spring if they choose to play.  However, we recognize that some children choose to play other sports in addition to or instead of soccer in the Spring.  TUSC supports the decision made by a player and his or her family as to which sports to play in any given season.  We work closely with baseball, softball, track and basketball to allow a player to play multiple sports if he or she chooses to do so.  However, we do still expect that if a player has registered to play soccer in the Spring, he or she will attend games and non-conflicting practices.  A child’s decision not to play soccer in the Spring due to other sports commitments will not impact whether the child will make a team the following Fall.


Does my child have to play in-town soccer if he/she plays travel soccer?


It is the policy of Tenafly United and the Tenafly Junior Soccer League – consistent with the rules of the Tenafly Recreation Commission – that all children who play travel soccer must play in-town rec soccer.  It is expected that children will attend all non-conflicting recreation soccer practices and games.


I don’t live in Tenafly or Alpine.  Can my child still play with TUSC?


As described above, Tenafly travel soccer teams are open only to residents of Tenafly or Alpine or students who attend school in Tenafly.  Non-Tenafly students are not permitted to play on TUSC travel teams unless the they have received specific permission to do so by the Tenafly Recreation Commission.  Such permission is requested by the Club only in very rare and extenuating circumstances.  In no event will the Club deny a spot to an otherwise qualified Tenafly or Alpine resident in order to make room for a non-Tenafly/Alpine player. 


If your child attends Mt. Carmel or the Spring School, or if you are an employee in the Tenafly public school system but you do not live in Tenafly, your child is considered a Tenafly student.  Please be sure to indicate this on your registration form.


How much does it cost to play with TUSC?


The registration fee for Fall 2015 will be $400/child.  Fees are collected for the Fall and Spring seasons separately.  Prices beyond the Fall have not yet been determined.  Optional equipment, clothing, and holiday tournaments are also available.


It is TUSC policy that no otherwise qualified player be denied the ability to play travel soccer due to financial constraints.  If there are financial considerations, please contact the one of the TUSC co-Presidents, Marcelo Demoraes or Scott Smilen.  Your request will be handled confidentially.