Teams traditionally train 2 times per week, subject to game schedules. Players are expected to attend all training sessions. We do, however, understand that there are other activities and commitments that may make it impossible for a player to attend a particular or occasional session. When conflicts arise, please notify the team manager as far in advance as possible. Our TeamSnap system also provides a mechanism for noting your attendance or absence from each team activity in advance and that service should be utilized in each instance.
That being said, NLSA prides itself on our commitment to the “well-rounded” athlete, and many of our players participate in additional sports or school-related organizations beyond soccer. Where obligations to other inter-scholastic or premier-level sports or organizations pose a conflict with the player’s commitments to their NLSA team, we will try our best to work with that player to ensure an appropriate balance between those activities and their soccer training. Players and parents must understand, however, that training is the most important aspect of an individual’s development as a soccer player and, as a result, absence from training sessions will naturally affect the player’s progression. Thus, consideration should be given to adjusting the schedule of the player’s outside commitments, where possible, to maximize their ability to participate in all activities with minimal conflict.
In mid-to-late-August, teams at the younger age-groups (U15 and younger that play a Fall Club season) will begin formal team workouts, as the team prepares for its Fall season. Players at the older age-groups (High School-aged U16 and older teams) will begin formal team activities in late October or early November (after their high school soccer season concludes), with an eye towards participating in a tournament or two in November/December. Teams at the U15 age, comprised of 8th & 9th graders, will have the option to participate in a modified Fall season designed to allow players to train and compete during the Fall while minimizing the conflict with those 9th graders playing school soccer at the same time. For those 8th/9th grade aged teams, a meeting will be held shortly after the team is formed to discuss plans for the Fall season.
During the winter months, our teams will participate in indoor and, weather permitting, outdoor turf training sessions. These sessions are strongly encouraged and serve as a means of having the players keep their skills fresh and touches sharp during the winter months.
In addition, our players have the opportunity to participate in eight-week speed & agility programs thru PEAC Performance as an adjunct to our team trainings, during the fall, winter, & spring soccer seasons.
The final training component is advanced technical training run by the Philadelphia Union technical staff, as well as goalkeeper training run by Paul Blodgett, that are each offered to our players during the Fall, Winter, & Spring seasons, in eight week increments. During the winter months, we also offer Finishing/Shooting sessions. These programs, along with all the training opportunities discussed above, are included in the player's annual dues.
All NLSA teams compete in the EDP league, which will include approximately 6-8 league games each season. Games are almost exclusively held on the weekends, although instances may arise where a game will need to be scheduled for a weeknight. We also believe that participating in tournaments is an important part of the travel soccer experience for the players and, as they get older, an important component of the college recruiting process. At a minimum, teams can expect to participate in at least 6 tournaments per year, with at least one tournament each year being a “travel” tournament, which will incorporate an overnight stay at a hotel. Teams comprised of primarily sophomore grade players and older will focus more on attending college showcase tournaments, both locally and with travel. All tournament fees are included in the player's dues. The player/family's travel, lodging and meals are not included in the dues. Our teams also participate in USYS/NJYS State Cup competitions. For more details, please view the Periodization pages under the NLSA Way tab above.
During the Winter months, our teams compete in an indoor league at either PEAC or an alternate location, which is included in their dues. Participation in any of these Futsal or indoor leagues is completely optional.
At NLSA, we pride ourselves on respect for ourselves and others. Each member of NLSA (whether a player, staff, or family member) is expected to adhere to an acceptable code of conduct that exemplifies good sportsmanship, fair play, and honest competition. Respect must be shown by every member of the NLSA family to our teammates, staff, opponents, and referees. To that end, NLSA has adopted the Let Us Play! campaign, to which we expect our entire extended membership to adhere. More information on the Let Us Play! campaign can be found under the NLSA Way tab above.
It is also important to note that one's behavior away from NLSA-related activities is as important as their behavior during NLSA activities and, as such, we expect all players to conduct themselves with dignity, pride and class wherever they may be, including their community and their school. It is also expected that all NLSA players will continue to excel in the classroom and obtain appropriate assistance from their teachers and tutors, when necessary, to ensure that they are achieving their full academic potential. This is all part of our motto -- "Where Leaders Are Developed."
One of the core components of NLSA is our commitment to community. As a result, the Club's Community Service committee (comprised of players and parents) organizes a variety of community service activities throughout the year. Players are expected to participate in at least one activity each year. They are certainly welcome, and encouraged, to participate in more than one, and parents and other family members are also welcome to participate, when the activity is conducive to such additional participation.
Another core component of NLSA is our commitment to each player's growth and success in the classroom. While we certainly want our players to excel on the field, it is equally important that they excel in the academic arena. Players that are struggling in school will be encouraged to seek extra help and tutoring, and their soccer-related activities will be adjusted to allow them proper time to improve academically. We can also assist with obtaining academic tutoring, upon request.
NLSA has entered into a partnership with Adidas as our exclusive uniform provider, and Ewing Sports as our exclusive vendor.
The basic uniform kit includes 2 game jerseys, game shorts, warm-up jacket, training jersey, training shorts, and game and training socks. The NLSA backpack is strongly encouraged. If a player plans to wear warm-ups to either practices or games (which is encouraged for the colder weather) then the NLSA warm-up top and warm-up bottom must be purchased.
Players are expected to wear their complete training kit to every training session. When the weather is colder, they are expected to wear their NLSA warm-up suit over their training kit, if one was purchased. For games, the players are expected to wear their NLSA uniform, with the warm-up suit when necessary.
To ensure that the player is adequately outfitted, parents may want to consider ordering additional uniform and training pieces.
Other optional items and fan wear are available. All uniforms and fan wear can be purchased through our exclusive uniform partner, Ewing Sports, via our online store or at their showroom on Lower Ferry Road in Ewing. Details regarding the online store, and open order periods, will be announced as they arise.
The player's financial commitment is paid through annual Dues. It can be expected that the Dues will increase each year, as teams get older and thus participate in more (and more expensive college showcase) tournaments. Dues are intended to cover all costs associated with the team and Club, including League Fees, Carding Fees, Tournaments, Professional trainers, fitness and conditioning training, goalkeeper training, Field & Gym Rentals, Referees, Insurance and Administrative Expenses. Dues can be paid in full (at a discount) or in monthly installments beginning when the offer to join the team is accepted. Dues vary by team but are generally between $1800-$2300 per soccer year. Uniform costs and all of the player/family's lodging, travel expenses, and meals, etc. are not included in the Dues. Players with Dues that are not fully paid may be suspended from team activities until such time as their account is current. Dues are also non-refundable. Insurance can be purchased to provide a refund on dues in the event of a covered event. For more information on your dues and what is covered, visit the What's Included section under the NLSA Way tab above.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact either our Executive Director, Chad Bridges (firstname.lastname@example.org), our Administrative Director, Rob Marino (email@example.com), our Director of Coaching, Brian Thomsen (firstname.lastname@example.org), or your team manager.