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Fairfield United Soccer Association

FUSA Tryout and Team Placement Process

Player Evaluations

All existing FUSA players are assessed by Ole technical coaches at the beginning and end of both the fall and spring seasons. This assessment is combined with a tryout evaluation to create a score. Players are then rated within their respective age groups based on their scores. Players that are new to FUSA, including all incoming U8 players, will be rated based on their tryout scores. Current FUSA players that are injured and cannot participate in tryouts will be rated using their in-season evaluations.

Once players have checked in during the tryout sessions, we ask parents not to remain at the field to observe. We know it's tempting to watch and everyone means well, but kids already have a heightened stress level at tryouts and we've found they perform their best without the distraction of parents watching.


Team Composition

Player development is the primary goal for Fairfield United when constructing teams. We will run balanced teams for our entry level offering of U8.  Starting with the 2022 - 2023 season, FUSA moved from a balanced team structure in our U9 - U11 programs to more of a tiered approach.   Our strategy was modified based on feeedback from our technical partner, Ole, and the ever changing landscape of soccer in Connecticut.  We feel that tiering teams will enable us to be more competitive in the divisions we play across all teams while also accelerating player development across the board.  We will create teams from top to bottom based on player evaluations.  While our composition strategy can evolve from year to year to reflect the changing landscape of youth soccer in Connecticut, FUSA's goal of emphasizing development over winning remains steady.

FUSA's team composition strategy for each age group including the club tiering structure are outlined below.




Team Composition by Age GroupTier Order by Color
  • U8 – Birth Years (7v7) The goal at the entry level of travel soccer is to assemble balanced teams, meaning each team is formed to be of equal skill. FUSA will field a minimum of one U8 Boys and one U8 Girls team in the Fall. Teams will play in Southwest District League or similar local league. The Southwest District is one of the most competitive leagues in Connecticut.
  • U9 – Birth Years (7v7) 

    Teams will be built from top to bottom, based on player ratings (Black - A, Red - B, and White - C). Teams will not be balanced relative to each other. All team rosters will be capped at 12-13 players. Teams will play in Southwest District League. The Southwest District is one of the most competitive leagues in Connecticut.

  • U10 – Birth Years 2011 (7v7) Teams will be built from top to bottom, based on player ratings (Black - A, Red - B, and White - C). Teams will not be balanced relative to each other. All team rosters will be capped at 12-13 players. Teams will play in Southwest District League. The Southwest District is one of the most competitive leagues in Connecticut.
  • U11 – Birth Years (9v9) 

    Teams will be built from top to bottom, based on player ratings (Black – Pre-Premier, Red - A, White - B, and Blue - C). Teams will not be balanced relative to each other. Players will be offered a position on Pre-Premier team based on evaluation scores and team needs. Pre-Premier will play in EDP League. Travel teams will play in Southwest District League. All team rosters will be capped at 15-16 players.

  • U12 – Birth Years (9v9) 

    Teams will be built from top to bottom, based on player ratings (Black - Premier, Red - A, White - B, and Blue - C). Teams will not be balanced relative to each other. Players will be offered a position on Premier team based on evaluation scores and team needs. Premier will play in EDP League. Travel teams will play in Southwest District League. All team rosters will be capped at 15-16 players.

  • U13 – Birth Years (11v11) Teams will be built from top to bottom, based on player ratings (Black - Premier, Red - A, White - B). Teams will not be balanced relative to each other. Players will be offered a position on Premier team based on evaluation scores and team needs. Premier will play in EDP League. Travel teams will play in Southwest District League. All team rosters will be capped at 18-20 players..
  • U14/U15 – Birth Years 2006/2007 (11v11) Teams will be built from top to bottom, based on player ratings (Black - Premier, Red - A, White - B). Teams will not be balanced relative to each other. Players will be offered a position on Premier team based on evaluation scores and team needs. Premier will play in EDP League. Travel teams will play in Southwest District League. All team rosters will be capped at 18-20 players.






Player placement will be done on a tier by tier basis (Black, Red, White, etc.).  Placement notifications will start in mid-May with the goal of being completed by early June.  We are dependent on parents to accept or reject their offers to run placements in a timely fashion.

Playing Up

A child is permitted to "play up" into the next older age group (e.g. a 2011 player playing for a 2012 team) if the player is deemed to be within the top 10% of all players in the higher age group, as judged by Ole tech coaches.

The only exception to this policy are as follows:

  • Players born before the stated birth year for U8 may try out for U8. If a younger player is placed on a roster, it is with the understanding that this player will play on an age-appropriate team beginning the following fall unless they are ranked in the top 10% again. 
  • There are times where rather than waitlist players we will offer placement of U8 players on a U9 team.  This allows us the ability to complete teams.  If a younger player is placed on a roster, it is with the understanding that this player will play on an age-appropriate team beginning the following fall unless they are ranked in the top 10% again. 

Team Division Placement

Once teams are constructed and players have accepted offers, Ole will make recommendations on where teams should be placed within Southwest District travel (A/B/C), and CJSA, EDP, or NYCSL premier divisions.

The competitive landscape of leagues/divisions in the CT/NY region has shown great variability from year to year. As such, team placement will be monitored continuously and may be adjusted after the Fall season.

These recommendations will be based on skill levels of the players on the teams and are to ensure continued player development. Competitiveness will be a factor as well, however placement recommendations will emphasize player development over winning.

Contact Us

Fairfield United Soccer Association

P.O. Box 764 
Fairfield, Connecticut 06824

Email Us: [email protected]
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