U6 and younger - This age group is not recognized yet by our State Organization (TSSA) for competitive select soccer. Players can be registered with our recreational affiliates and are encouraged to take advantage of extra skill sessions provided by their qualified staff members. U7 players can register for TN United's U8 academy. TN United also provides camp opportunities during the summer for these players.
U8 Jr. Academy: This age group has recently been granted D3 select status and our players are recognized by the State Organization (TSSA) and US Youth Soccer. TN United initiated a brand new in house program in Fall 2012 that has encouraged individual development, playing games in small sided formats and follows the recommendations, guidelines and principles that the US Soccer Federation advocates for players at this age focusing on fundamental skill development.
U9 Academy: The players are now able to play in competitive games and tournaments for the first time at the club, as most of them have previously gone through a year of technical training in the U8 program. The Academy aims to continue developing the individual player to be confident on the ball. Ball mastery is our main goal while starting to incorporate some team concepts. The teams are all parity based at this age in the Fall season and players will be on different teams each weekend. In the Spring, depending on the number of players we have, a system of "modified parity" mirroring the U10 set up may be instituted. This environment will allow each and every player to grow by experiencing multiple positions and teams of varying skill levels. All kids continue to train together.
If we are able, we may train groups of U-9 and U-10 players of similar ability together during the course of a training session. All games are played in a 7 vs 7 format, one goalkeeper and 6 field players in a “teaching” shape that changes fluidly as we either defend or attack. The age group will play the vast majority, if not all of it’s games and tournaments in the Middle TN area.
U10 Academy: This is the second year of the Academy. At this age group we see returning players but also an influx of new players experiencing select soccer for the first time. Depending on the number of players in the specific age group we may divide players into parity groups or into parity groups with one more advanced or one more developmental group (modified parity). If we are able, we may train groups of U-9 and U-10 players of similar ability together during the course of a training session. All players will continue to train as a group. The vast majority of games are played in a 7 vs 7 format, one goalkeeper and 6 field players in a “teaching” shape that changes fluidly as we either defend or attack.
Teams may continue to be mixed on weekends as players belong to a “pool” rather than a specific “team”. Players will play various positions as they are being taught the principles of the game and not a specific functional role on the field. We look to incorporate more team concepts with combination play and defending in pairs. We continue to focus on individual skill and creativity so that the player is able to master the ball and manipulate it successfully. During the second half of the year (spring) the coaches may choose to play a selected group of players in an 9 vs 9 format where appropriate. The age group will play the vast majority, if not all of it’s games and tournaments in the Middle TN area.
U11: This is the first year where we will stratify players based on ability. We continue to develop the individual player while focusing on team concepts within the 9 vs 9 format. TN United teams will predominantly use a 3-3-2 outfield formation which builds on the formational base learned in the previous years at 7 vs 7. Coaches may introduce their players in certain situations to different team shapes as they start understanding the tactical consequences of one over another.
The players will be divided into Red, Blue, and White teams at the start of the season. Players do not usually move up or down between the teams during a bi - seasonal year unless predicated by a change in the number of players in the age group, although guest playing opportunities may be presented to some players during the year with other teams in the club.
As players move into the U12 year the tryout process will again rearrange the players into stratified teams. Players may move up or down dependent on their development and ability, placed on teams where they are at that moment in their career, able to meet the demands of the game at that level. This is a very important year because this will be the last year that the players play 9 vs 9.
All this time spent playing small sided games at 7v7 and 9v9 has helped to give your player more touches within a field that is suited best for them in terms of it’s size. As the players grow and mature, sometimes this 9v9 field will seem too small for them. especially in their Spring season. The teams may play some 11 vs 11 formatted games and may participate in the state tournaments for the first time. Our older teams will predominantly play in the Middle TN area. Occasionally teams will compete further afield in TN and may choose to do one tournament a season where an overnight stay is required either in TN or a surrounding state.
*** TN United actively encourages multiple sport athletes. However certain minimal participation expectations are required to be a member of a team at the club. We understand you have other things going on in your life and you will be asked to balance those with the needs of your team, and individual development.
U13 to U18: In the following age groups, we will have several teams in which your child may tryout for. In this age group, your child may be competing in the State League and State Championships. Each age group may or may not have multiple teams depending on the number of kids trying out. Multiple teams in age groups will have varying commitment levels and skill levels in order to make the team.
All players, whether they are D1, D2 and D3 are expected to train at least twice a week during the season. We ask you to understand that playing select soccer is a serious commitment. Players will only improve if they spend time mastering the skills necessary for success. Extra curricular training and camps are regularly provided by the club.
- Accepting a position on a TUSC team particularly Division 1 teams may limit the ability to participate in other activities.
- All Non High School teams have a 10 month commitment (August – May). From mid November to mid February players have minimal team commitments but may voluntarily choose to play in local indoor tournaments and indoor training opportunities provided by the club.
- High School (Boys) Fall Season 4-5 months (August- mid November) These boys teams that are D1 may also have an additional training period and games in late November and early December at showcase tournaments.
- High School (Girls) Winter/Spring Season 4-5 months (mid November – May) These girls teams that are D1 may also have an additional training period and games in late November and early December (or in early February) at showcase tournaments. All others will begin training around the beginning/middle of February.