Player Development Pathway

NLSA Player Pathway

At Next Level Soccer Academy, our goal is to provide a player development pathway that supports our club philosophy. It’s through this groundwork that we will provide all NLSA players the chance to succeed on and off the field.


NLSA Player Development Pathway Goals

U5 - U6 Training Zone:

In the U5 - U6 Training Zone, we have partnered with FastFutbol to offer players entry-level training opportunities to develop a love of the beautiful game and to prepare them for progression to the NLSA Youth Development Program.


U7 - U10 Youth Development Program:

In the U7 - U10 Youth Development Program, the goal is to help introduce and progress the technical skills needed to become an NLSA Developmental team player. The YDP consists of Fall-Winter-Spring programs that support the technical development plan of Next Level Soccer Academy, and is the foundation for the Player Development Pathway.


U11 - U12 Developmental Teams:

For U11 - U12 teams, or the “9v9 years”, the goal is to accelerate technical development to add to the player's technical base. We also introduce tactical ideas that will help them transition to the full-sided, Competitive teams stage of NLSA.


U13 - U14 Competitive Teams:

During the U13 - U14 stage, or the intro to “11v11” years, the focus starts to tilt, and the technical and tactical values taught during these two years help all players transition to the 11v11 field. We help players transition into different 11v11 formations, their understanding of team shape, their understanding of correct spacing, and their understanding of how to use the whole field. Technically, players start to understand that their first touch, passing, field awareness, 1v1 defending, and ball striking are very important.


U15 - U16 Premier Teams:

During the U15 - U16 stage, or the “transition to high school years”, the focus is on teaching our players how to play in two ways. Attacking wise, we want to instill a possession-based brand that teaches the importance of good spacing, good positioning, good movement off the ball, and understanding when to take advantage of numbers-up opportunities, and when to keep the ball to keep the defenders moving and creating the numbers-up opportunities. During this stage we want to teach defensively tight spacing so that we plug passing lanes through the middle of the field, and apply pressure as a group quickly to help win the ball back or force defensive mistakes.


U17 - U19 Showcase Teams:

During the U17 - U19 stage, or the “recruiting years”, the focus is to provide our players with as many college recruitment opportunities as possible through regional showcase tournaments, competitive league play, intense training curriculum, and college recruitment outreach through Coaches and Club Directors. Players will also begin to work intently with NLSA's Director of College Recruiting during this stage, and take advantage of our partnership with SportsRecruits.


U20 - U23 EDP Summer College Program:

This program, run in collaboration with Washington Crossing FC, is for players looking to keep themselves fit in a high level league and training environment that is flexible to the player's busy summer work schedules. The goal of this program is to help players stay mentally, physically, tactically, and technically focused as they prepare for their respective collegiate preseasons.