What is Travel Team Soccer?

Facts and Misperceptions

The Waldorf Soccer Club continues to invigorate and grow travel team soccer in Charles County.  Waldorf SC travel teams represent our Club in Washington DC-area travel leagues and at soccer tournaments nationwide, proudly showing the orange, white, and black wherever they play.  The Club enrolls over 1,800 recreational players during a soccer year.  It is from the recreational program where the travel program draws its players from.  During this soccer year, there are about 225 travel soccer players enrolled across 18 travel teams from the U8 age group all the way to U19.

Our primary goal in travel team soccer is player development.  Winning is important in travel soccer; however, winning should not be emphasized until the later U12 to U13 age groups.  We strive to place players on teams that are consistent with their skill level and desire to learn.  Our intent is to have at least one boys team and at least one girls team playing in each age group.

The Waldorf Soccer Club develops travel teams beginning at age seven to participate in any of four primary travel leagues:

BBSL - Baltimore Beltway Soccer League (an intermediate league for boys teams and girls across various age groups from 9-18 years old)

CMSSL – Central Maryland Short Sided League (an intermediate league for U9 & U10 boys teams and U9 thru U12 girls teams).

NCSL – National Capital Soccer League (one of our Nation’s most prestigious leagues for boys teams ages U-9 to U-19). Teams are placed in divisions 1 – 6 based on skill level. All soccer clubs participating in the NCSL must reside within 50 miles of the I-495 Beltway.

WAGSL – Washington Area Girls Soccer League (one of our Nation’s most prestigious leagues for girls teams ages U-9 to U-19). WAGSL is structured similar to the NCSL.

Many players and parents shy away from travel team soccer because of misperceptions of travel requirements.  Common misperceptions are the amount of travel actually done in the travel program, time commitment, and finances.

In general, our travel teams will play a nine-game schedule in the fall and a nine-game schedule in the spring.  Half of the games are played at home at the Bryantown Sports Complex and half the games are away.   Most of the away games are played within 50 miles of the Washington DC I-495 beltway; there are a few exceptions (Winchester).  Waldorf SC travel teams will play in at least one tournament in the spring and one in the fall. As a technique, most teams participate in one or two local tournaments and one far tournament per session (i.e. Gettysburg, PA, Virginia Beach, VA or Raleigh, NC).  Traveling to distant tournaments is an excellent team and family bonding event.

Travel team practices are, generally speaking, the same time commitment as in recreational soccer (two nights per week) and are held in and around Waldorf.  An addtional training session is scheduled on Monday nights and is set aside as group technical training.  All of the Club travel teams get together at Bryantown on Monday night and participate in technical skill training sessions designed by the Director of Coaching and administered by guest trainers.  This event helps build camaraderie, morale and spurs competition across the age groups.

During the winter months, most of our travel teams play an indoor version of soccer called FUTSAL.  Futsal is a skill-intensive form of the game and is played on a basketball court-sized play area.  It is very good for developing individual and team technical skills.

Perhaps one of the greatest mysteries of travel soccer is the finances.  Many people believe the costs are prohibitive.  Yes, travel soccer involves a greater commitment, both personal (from the player, as well as the parents) and financial.  To alleviate some of the added financial requirments, many of the teams execute a number of fundraisers throughout the soccer year.  Funds raised are applied to each of the team member’s accounts, lowering their fees.  We have even had some players do enough fund raising where they have not paid anything out of their own pocket.  Also blunting the added cost of travel soccer, the Waldorf SC offers the option of making payments throughout the year.  And, the Club instituted a financial aid / scholarship program in the fall 2011 session.

Tryouts for Waldorf SC travel teams usually occur towards the end of May to early part of June.  Players are continually moving in and out of the area and we will always make accomodations for personal try-outs, provided there is postions available in the requisite age group.  Try-out information is posted elsewhere on this website.  Coaches are always seeking dedicated players looking to play at a higher level of soccer.  If you can’t find a coach or a team in your age group, please contact the Waldorf Soccer Club Vice President, Travel Program (use the "Contact Board Members" link under the Club Information tab, found on the Club home page).

We want to identify those players (and parents) who aspire to train and play soccer at a skill level considerably above recreational soccer.  We stand ready to assist you as you begin your journey!

See you on the pitch!