Organization & Administration:
1. How is your organization structured and who manages the club?
Answer: The club is managed by the Business Manager, the Board of Directors, and the Coaching Director. The Board is entirely comprised of volunteers who are elected periodically. The volunteers consist of parents, guardians, coaches, and players. The Board prides itself on being highly responsive to feedback from parents, players, and coaches. No volunteer organization is completely perfect, but we strive to meet our commitments to all of our members. Parent volunteers can and do impact the future direction of the organization.
2. How are you making and spending your money?
Answer: Emerald City FC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. All proceeds go directly towards coaching fees, field rentals, equipment, and operating expenses. Escalating fees are a concern of all of us, which is why our leadership team includes a strong group of parent volunteers to provide a system of checks and balances. If you share these concerns, please attend club meetings and become involved in the process!
3. Who is the first point of contact for organizational and administrative matters?
Answer: You can contact the clubs business manager for all organizational and administrative matters. Click here to send an e-mail.
4. What is Emerald City FC (also known as ECFC)?
Answer: Emerald City Football Club is the premier soccer development for youth players in the greater Seattle area. We have been in existence since 1979, making us one of the oldest clubs in the area. We have been responsible for training and developing some of the finest youth soccer players in our region. Our players have gone on to play for universities and professional teams. The club marks its success by the development of each and every player who is selected. Everybody loves to win, but with our club, skill development comes first. Our club is a 501(c)3 charitable organization.
5. What is the difference between green and white?
Answer: Traditionally, the club selects two boys teams and two girls teams to represent each age group. The “A” team is usually designated as green, while the “B” team is designated as white. The makeup and character of each team is at the discretion of the coaches. Teams often train together and coaches pool their resources to meet the needs of the players. The focus of both teams is on player development. Players have a chance to move within the teams early in the season, but the rosters firm up over the summer (and as the teams get closer to regular league play). Many B team players develop into A team players during their playing careers with ECFC. B teams play a full schedule of tournaments and train as often as their A team counterparts. The B teams are frequently very good and it is not unheard of for them to beat the A team in scrimmages. The club strives to provide equal training resources for both teams in an effort to help each and every player reach their potential.
6. Non-discrimination policy?
Answer: Players and coaches are chosen based on ability alone and without regard for race, creed, color, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. Soccer is the World’s sport. Seattle is a multi-racial and multi-ethnic community. Our players and coaches tend to represent the rich diversity of our region and we feel that this is one of the strengths of our club.
7. How is Emerald City FC different from other clubs?
Answer: The club, under the leadership of Coaching Director, is focused on achieving long term excellence for our players, coaches, and teams. While other clubs seek to field the best teams possible by recruiting players away from competitors, ECFC is committed first and foremost to developing the players we have in our system. This, we feel, is the best way to build a solid foundation for the future. Many clubs will select size over skill in order to “win now.” ECFC maintains a long term view and selects players for their ability and potential. Excellence is something that is lasting and dependable and largely within a person’s control. In contrast success is perishable and is often outside our control.
Teams & Players:
1. Where do your teams play?
Answer: Emerald City FC is a premier year-round soccer club with professional coaching. We compete with other premier clubs in Washington State in the Puget Sound Premier League (the PSPL). Our players come from all different neighborhoods, rather than from one specific geographical area.
2. What are the benefits of playing premier soccer?
Answer: The benefits are professional coaching, higher level competition, more intensive skills development, longer seasons, more playing opportunities, more training sessions, team mates who share a common commitment for becoming high level soccer players. The simple truth is that soccer requires advanced foot-eye coordination which is only mastered by putting a lot of touches on the ball at a relatively young age. Many coaches believe that proper “feel” for the ball must be learned before the age of 14. In countries where soccer is the primary sport, the game is played early and often by young players. Premier soccer gives an aspiring player more opportunities to develop their skills at a young age so that they can reach their true potential.
3. What can I expect at tryouts?
Answer: A parent or legal guardian will be asked to complete a medical release and some brief information about the player. Players will be given a numbered jersey which the coaches use to keep track of them. A picture will be taken of the player with the numbered jersey in order for coaches to use later when they are deliberating over the final selection. Other than that, the tryouts are basically like any other soccer practice. There will be some small sided games, skills drills, etc. Players are encouraged to have fun and play without any fear of being selected or not selected.
4. How many players do you select?
Answer: Emerald City FC will select anywhere from 2 to 4 teams per age group in order to meet the demand for select/premier level play in the Seattle. Each team has 14 or 18 players, depending on the age group (U11 and U12 teams will be on the small side because they play mod 9 vs. 9).
5. What about player burnout?
Answer: Our Director of Coaching, has implemented structural changes to increase the time off for younger players. In general, practices and playing opportunities are regarded as fun exercises by the players. It is rare for a player to choose not to tryout again for the club in the following season. Emerald City FC generally limits its programs to 9-10 months per year with the expectation that players should be limited to about 40 competitive matches per year, with scheduled “time-off” for rest/recuperation and other sports.
6. What is the difference between select and premier soccer?
Answer: These terms are often used interchangeably, but there are some key differences. Premier soccer is the highest level of amateur soccer in the state. It involves playing soccer year around, paid professional coaching, 2-3 practices per week, 2-5 tournaments per year, and multi-state travel in the older age groups. Select is a step down and involves training half of the year, volunteer/semi-volunteer coaching, and travel limited to King/Pierce counties.
7. What is the difference between premier and recreational soccer?
Answer: Premier soccer is a year long commitment involving professional coaching, training with the best players in the region, and playing against the best players from other regions. Players are selected based on the skills they exhibit during the tryout process. Registration for recreational soccer is open and does not involve a tryout process. A recreational coach is not permitted to “select” players. The recreational season is 2-3 months in duration, including the city recreational league tournament in the fall. Recreational coaches are parent volunteers. Recreational field assignments for youth players tend to be local natural grass or dirt fields.
8. How long is your season?
Answer: The season is basically year around. Teams are selected in March (HS boys) and May (all others). They begin practicing immediately after selection. The younger age groups will have scheduled breaks throughout the year.
9. Can players play other sports?
Answer: Yes, especially at the younger age groups. Many of our best players are multi-sport athletes. Coaches have an expectation that soccer will be a priority during the league season and during state cup games. Coaches of the high school age teams have an expectation that soccer is the primary sport. However, high school age teams are on break during the high school soccer season (fall for girls and spring for boys).
10. What is the weekly time commitment?
Answer: Practices average 2-3 per week, plus games on the weekends.
11. How many tournaments per season?
Answer: 2-5+ Older teams tend to play more tournaments. Younger teams play fewer tournaments, but often stay busy with scheduled friendly matches with other regional clubs.
12. What teams does ECFC play against?
Answer: U11 to U18 teams play in the Puget Sound Premier League (PSPL). Winners of the top league in PSPL qualify to play in the Northwest Champions League (NWCL). Throughout the summer ECFC teams play in tournaments in WA and OR. Our HS teams will play in college showcases in the PNW and CA.
13. Are returning players given preference during tryouts?
Answer: No, the tryouts are an open process and selection is based on the skills that a player demonstrates on the tryout dates. Current players are specifically requested to not wear ECFC clothing so as not to influence the selection process. While it is true that returning players have an advantage due to the fact that they train almost year around with professional coaching, there are no guarantees. Each year, some returning players are not selected and they return to recreational soccer.
14. I wasn’t selected, does that mean that I’m not a good soccer player?
Answer: The selection process isn’t perfect, each year there are very good players who are not selected. Players should not get down on themselves. They should continue to play the sport for the love of the game and tryout the next season. In the words of Bobby Howe, “there have been players who weren’t selected for premier soccer who played for their national teams.” Just because a player isn’t selected one season, doesn’t mean that they should give up.
1. How can I sign up a player for your tryouts?
Answer: Please visit our tryouts page to learn all about the selection process.
2. Where can I pay my bill?
Answer: Visit our programs page to find out how to pay your bill.
3. How much does it cost?
Answer: Please note that Emerald City FC is a non-profit corporation. The majority of your fees go to pay our outstanding coaching staff. Most families choose to pay the fee in installments over the course of the year. Need based financial aid is available. Please see our club handbook (under the About tab) for a breakdown of how club fees are spent.
4. Where can I learn more about your coaches?
Answer: Please visit the Coaches tab to learn about our ECFC coaches.
5. Do you have specific rules of conduct for parents?
Answer: We do. Please visit the rules of conduct page to find out more.
6. How far do players have to travel?
Answer: U11 to U14 teams should play most of their games in the Puget Sound Area. HOWEVER, some travel beyond the local area may be required depending upon the division to which your player’s team is assigned. Older teams can expect multi-state travel, and, occasionally, may play outside the country.
7. Where are the practices?
Answer: ECFC works very hard to coordinate field space for each of the teams. Field locations include many of the nicest fields in the Seattle area. The club understands that skill development requires a predictable playing surface, and to that end, all practices are located on turf or well-maintained grass surfaces. While some teams practice predominantly in one location, many of the teams hold practices at rotating locations around the city. Since the players are drawn from a wide geographical area, it isn’t possible to host a single location which is convenient for everyone.
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