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Our Soccer Culture

Our Soccer Culture

A successful club must have and maintain a soccer culture, which includes but is not limited to, a Clear Mission Statement, a Progressive Player Development Curriculum, a Continuous Coach Development Program and a Constant Parent Education Program.  
In the club soccer circles today, an over emphasis is being placed on winning. In sports, we are obsessed with the "outcome" rather than the "process". It seems that as long as we win, we are happy.
Many Clubs and coaches often coach game to game, trying to solve the problems from the last game that will produce a win in the next match.  Quite often this translates into creative recruiting of players in order to find "winning" solutions.  
There is a big difference between coaching to win and coaching to develop. A good coach is able to do both.  I don't want to be caught in a contradiction here.  Every team should "try to win". That is why the game is played. But this should not be the focus of any training session or player motivation. As the players get older, a careful balance between winning and development must be considered.
Development is a very long and endless process that must be undertaken patiently by both the adult (coach, parent and administrator) and the player.  But we still evaluate coaches/clubs only on their win-loss record. What about enjoyment of the process, the journey, the experience and its ultimate influence on us as people, coaches, parents and athletes? What about evaluating coaches/clubs on the improvement, growth and development of their players? After all, we can't control the "outcome", but we can control the "process".  Finally, we must work together in this "journey" and collectively let's spread the word to everyone about our "process" and our "success".

Code of Conduct

Parents Code of Conduct

It is expected that all parents read and understand the Parent's Code of Conduct and follow the guidelines throughout the year.

  • I will encourage my child to play by the rules and to resolve conflict without resorting to hostility or violence.
  • I will never yell, taunt, threaten or inflict physical violence upon any player, coach, official, or spectator at any club activity. I will refrain from the use of abusive or vulgar language, racial ethnic or gender-related slurs at any time at the field or club activity. I will support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from club activities.
  • I will leave coaching to the coaching staff. I will encourage my child to play in a manner consistent with the team's strategy or plans.
  • I will emphasize skill development and a serious approach to practices and explain how skill development will benefit my child and teammates. I also understand that my child's development will suffer by not consistently attending practices.
  • I will not throw objects of any kind on the field. I will not walk on the field during a game.
  • I will communicate all and any concerns regarding inappropriate behavior to the team manager, coach, or registrar.
  • I understand that MassYouthSoccer has set up priority guidelines to refer to when there is a conflict.
  • I understand the benefits from participating in a team sport, the discipline and the social skills learned and acquired.
  • I will remember that my child plays soccer for his or her enjoyment, not mine.
  • I understand that club soccer is a big commitment and must be taken seriously.
  • I understand the negative talk on the sidelines is not tolerated. If I have a problem I will bring it to the attention of the team manager, coach, or registrar. 


Benfica USA Chain of Communication

Based on years of experience, we have established this “Chain of Communication” which provides an efficient means  for the Director of Coaching, coaches, team managers, registrar, and Board members to resolve an issue.
The suggested method for communications is e-mail, unless time is a critical factor (If, for example, safety is involved). E-mail allows one to compose one’s thoughts and to think of the merits of what may be a spur-of-the-moment reaction to an event. The respondent also has time to think before giving an off-the-cuff rebuttal. Follow-up questions may be posed in a thoughtful manner when an e-mail response is sent. Phone calls and face-to-face discussions may not leave much room for reconsideration. Also phone calls may be an intrusion on the private family or business time of the individuals involved in the resolution of an issue.
You are strongly encouraged to read your e-mail on a daily basis. This is how all information will be distributed. It is your responsibility to make sure you are informed.  Please note that when responding to a team or club e-mail, you should not use a “reply all” message to raise an issue or problem.
The following four guide lines should be used when reporting an issue or problem:

1.    Your first line of communication should be to e-mail your team manager.
In addition to a coach, each team is expected to have a parent designated as a team manager. The team manager’s responsibility is to facilitate communications among the parents of the team, the coach, the registrar, and the Club Board. In addition, they also handle many administrative tasks for the team. It is expected that all participating families will fully support, assist, and be responsive to the efforts of the team manager.

2.    For Soccer-related issues you should e-mail your Coach.
All development and playing issues should first be addressed with the team coach.

3.    For financial issues and/or questions regarding paperwork you should e-mail the registrar.
Financial and/or paperwork issues can be addressed directly and confidentially to the registrar.

4.    If there are other issues you would like to address, and you are uncomfortable contacting the team manager or coach, always feel free to e-mail Arthur or Sheelagh.

New England Premiership



- Focus on development over winning - 6v 6 at U10, and 8v8 at U11/U12 allows for improved player development – more touches on the ball
- Minimum standard for coaches and facilities
- Clubs to have a Director of Coaching with minimum USSF B License
- Games split into single regional games and festival format (2 games per day)
- Festival format reduces travel distance
- Regional games played against opposition based on geographical location
- Each full participating club assigned a seat on the Board of Directors
- Three pronged evaluation system for clubs controlled by the B.O.D – Self Analysis, Peer Review and “Third Party” review
- Regular meetings and communications between D.O.C’s
- Recommended playing times for players / US Soccer recommended Substitution Rules U15 – U18
- College exposure for U16 – U18 players

US Club Soccer

“To create, develop and grow the best U.S. Soccer Federation-sanctioned organization to foster the growth and development of club soccer programs throughout the United States. The result of which will be to improve the level of play of the competitive soccer player, and thereby the U.S. National Teams and professional leagues.”

US Club Soccer is built on the belief that:·      
.       Soccer clubs are the primary vehicle through which players are developed.
·       Too much time has been spent governing competitive soccer rather than encouraging its growth.
·       The business of the day-to-day development of top youth players rests with the club.
·       A business-friendly environment must be created
·       to develop programs and services which assist the club and player,
·       to provide a minimum of rules and regulations to assure basic fairness,
·       and to allow clubs the flexibility to build programs that meet their needs.
·       Clubs must work together to grow the club system.
·       This includes speaking with a collective voice on important issues affecting them; assisting clubs organizationally and technically through our technical committee, staff, and club services programs; and coordinating player development with national teams and professional clubs.

National ID Program


Established in 2004, US Club Soccer’s id2 National Identification and Development Program provides an opportunity for the country’s elite youth soccer players to be identified and developed, and scouted for inclusion in U.S. Soccer’s National Team programs.

The id2 Program is an Olympic Development Program (ODP) as approved by the United States Olympic Committee and U.S. Soccer Federation.

Note: Beginning in Fall 2013 with the creation of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-14 age group, full-time U-14 Academy players are not eligible to participate in the id2 Program. This is due to U.S. Soccer rules that prohibit full-time Academy players from participating in outside soccer leagues and events. Developmental players in the Academy’s U-14 age group, however, are still eligible to participate in the id2 Program.


  • The id2 Program is open to all players regardless of U.S. Soccer affiliation, or lack thereof.
  • There is no cost to players to be identified for or participate in the id2 Program. For idTraining Camps, all lodging, meals and training gear are provided at no cost by US Club Soccer and Nike. For National Selection programming, airfare/travel is also provided at no cost.
  • Players should be initially scouted within the environment they are most comfortable – their club training and competition environment. Clubs have the largest impact on player development, and club coaches and club competitions must be an integral part of the id2 Program.
  • Players are rated and evaluated for inclusion in the program based up on a combination of:  (i) objective and independent scouting information; and (ii) information from the players’ regular trainers and coaches.
  • The id2 Program does not create significant additional demands on the calendar of the elite player.


The NPL is a national competition platform
 created to elevate and change the competitive youth soccer landscape by:

  • extending developmental principles espoused by U.S. Soccer into more age groups and clubs
  • linking competition with player development and identification platforms
  • providing meaningful weekly competition culminating in the NPL Finals.

NPLs are leagues unified under one national competition platform and based on a common technical framework.

More specifically, the NPL provides a platform:

  • focused on long-term player development
  • for the country’s top soccer clubs, allowing consistent, meaningful high-level games appropriately scheduled with higher training-to-game ratios and eliminate calendar congestion
  • integrated with the id² Program, which includes Player Development Programs (PDPs) in select local markets, and that works closely with U.S. Soccer staff regarding player identification, and player and coach development
  • designed and structured by the clubs, based on the needs of the clubs
  • that provides an avenue for qualification for the NPL Finals

The Offside Rule

Are you still confused about the Offside Rule? Here is a great animation to help you understand!

Youth Soccer

A guide from the English Football Association for parents and carers:

It explains the reason for our "Parents Code of Conduct" nicely.

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