YOUTH CLUB FAQ
I will be out of town for the Talent ID dates. Will there be other dates available?
If you are on vacation or for any other reason cannot make the Talent ID dates listed, there will is a process in place to assist you. Please contact your age specific Phase Director to let them know of your absence for the Talent ID sessions. They will aid in directing you to further actions that are necessary. Furthermore, the talent identification process will continue past the scheduled Talent ID period. Therefore, there will be future opportunities for your player to be identified before team selection is finalized at the start of the fall season.
HOWEVER, if you are a former LFC/CSC player, you are guaranteed a spot here at Lexington Sporting Club due to our official club merger. Evaluations happen over a period of time, as mentioned above, so need to worry about missing these sessions. It is important that you still complete registration so that the invitation to join our club will be sent to you (please allow 3-4 business days).
What is the Talent ID?
The Talent ID is a player identification process that allows our coaches and phase directors to analyze talent of the player within their respective age groups. This process is ongoing and will be to the advantage of the player in regards to the extensive opportunity to be evaluated that surpasses a usual two-day talent identification time period or tryout time period.
My player has “played up” for years. Can he/she keep playing up and which Talent ID session/location to we go to - the birth year or the age group we want him/her to land?
All players will need to attend the Talent ID session assigned for their birth year. The Phase Directors and coaches within the age group will collaborate within the Lexington Sporting Club player placement program to determine if a particular player will be asked to play up a birth year. Each player will be placed accordingly for the best interests of their development and team needs. If it’s the right environment for the individual player to play up, because of their mental, physical, technical and tacticalneeds, then they will have the opportunity to play up.
How much is the “club fee” for youth and high school players?
If you were part of LFC or CSC, the fees will remain the same as they were this past year while we work through the transition. But we are currently also working on a cost analysis to ensure we get this target price correct for future years. Our aim is to be aligned with current clubs, at this level and in our region, considering the platform teams will be participating in also.
There are players on financial assistance, would they get equal or better assistance?
We will have a scholarship program in place, as this is an extremely important part of our structure. We believe all players must have an opportunity to play. This would mean that they could possibly have a better opportunity than what they’re currently on.
How often do we need to buy a new uniform (2-year cycle)?
Nothing will change with regards to the uniform cycle. It remains a two-year cycle.
How much will the uniform/gear kit cost?
We are actively working with a brand equipment company and we’re looking to ensure that the target price for equipment is aligned closely with what youth clubs in this area are paying
currently beyond year one.
Where will teams train? Have there been any conversations about satellite training facilities to minimize travel time, especially for the younger age groups?
For 2022-23, we have access to Kentucky Horse Park, Masterson Station, Lexington Christian Academy and Sayre School, in addition to the two indoor facilities (formerly Tower Hill Sports). More information regarding field assignments will be announced.
Yes, there has been initial discussions with regards to satellite training facilities to assist families with travel.
Do you have any additional information regarding player development to offer at this time?
We see each player as an individual, each developing at different times and stages. Therefore, it is critical that we provide a safe and enjoyable environment, where failing is part of growing. We believe soccer should be fun and developmental, especially at a young age. Our stages of development will focus on technical, tactical, physical, mental, and social growth. Ultimately there will be a pathway for each player, dependent on their ability. We won’t just be focusing on the elite player, but all players, to ensure they receive the best overall experience and opportunity.
Each team is unique and different, how closely do we have to follow the training program?
We’re working on a games model that is based on principles of play, because depending on the individual talent within the team, will depend on the formation each coach will play. We do not want to take away any coach’s freedom or creativity within coaching, but we must be aligned with our common principles, common language, game methodology so everything is cohesive. This allows the individual player the best opportunity to progress within our model.
Will there be a recreational league?
Yes, there will be, in the near future. We view the recreational league as a foundation and plan to invest time and support, developing best practices for the coaches and the players.
What anticipated leagues will they play in?
Our youth teams will compete in a variety of different platforms. We will ensure that they will compete in leagues that are suited to each team’s level and challenges each team/player. More specifics can be found on the individual boys and girls youth pages.
Can you play if you live outside of Lexington?
Absolutely. This is a new club and we welcome players from all locations.
How often will teams travel?
It's based on the league platform and the level at which you play. We are conscious of travel commitments and will work to find a balance between less travel and competitive games.
Can players play other sports?
Yes they can. We fully support multi-sport players. We think it assists with their development. It will be an ongoing discussion with their coach to ensure that we’re managing their loads and they are not getting burnt out.
What are the advantages of playing in the USL Academy?
With standards emphasizing a “holistic approach” to youth development, the USL Academy is not only focused on pushing a handful of top players to the pro team, but will also provide college support since all players will retain college eligibility. The USL Academy prepares players for the demands of being a student-athlete, and gives players the opportunity to compete in front of college scouts without having to leave the club.
What will happen with the current coaches of the respective “former youth clubs” upon the merger into Lexington Sporting Club?
Ideally, we will welcome the current youth coaches and look forward to giving additional resources to assist with their growth as a youth coach in this club.
Do you need a higher license to coach a “better” team?
Ideally, we would want each coach to continue their coaching education, but to begin with we will be providing a Lexington Technical Coach Award, that will consist of three phases.
Phase I will be 10 virtual contacts/sessions. Each coach will be required to complete Phase I, and this will give them the qualifications to coach within our youth club model. This course will be delivered online, with a requirement that all coaches within the system complete the 10 contacts within the required time frame.
The USL academy program has specific coaches licensing that is required.
What’s the paying structure? By number of years of coaching or license?
Based on coaches playing experience, coaching experience, years they’ve coached or played, and licenses will all be considered as we build out the pay structure.
What’s the minimal license required to coach U13 + teams?
Lexington Technical Coach Award.
Is it possible to coach multiple teams?
Does the coach get to decide which players to pick on his/her team? Or is the process different than what is in the current youth club structure?
In the youth club and USL Academy, it will be a collective process. This process will be based on our player development model, game model, talent ID pathway, and USL Academy player development standards. The coach has a heavy influence, as they are working with the player on a daily/weekly basis. From there, decisions will be collective and collaborative, all designed to support the coach, player, and team.
Does the Head Coach get to decide about an assistant coach?
Any requests will be considered, it’s all up for conversation.
Would non-coaching staff/directors still have a job?
All current roles and responsibilities will be taken into consideration with this merger. We would like to see top quality people continue within the staffing structure at some capacity.
Will players still be allowed to continue to play with their long-time teammates by “playing up”?
Each player will be placed accordingly for the best interests of their development. If it’s the right environment for the individual player to play up, because of their mental, physical, technical
needs then yes.
What anticipated leagues will teams play in?
We are actively working on higher platforms for both our boys’ and girls’ programs at the top levels. Outside of the top programming, teams will continue to participate in leagues that match the level of the team. More specifics can be found on the individual boys and girls youth pages.
Will there be a tryout? Would I know which team I am on when I sign up? Or is it more like ODP pool style?
Moving forward we will have what is called a Player Placement Program (PPP) which is a program that identifies and supports the evaluation of players throughout the season(s) and therefore alleviates the stresses that come from a “tryout environment”. Having said that, our first year March -June 2022, we will begin PPP through the identification process and additional talent ID days. We will also conduct actual PPP days which will be scheduled during the time frame that traditionally tryouts would occur. Players will be assigned a team at the start of the season, and depending on their progression and growth is whether they will move across age groups. This will be reviewed every 12 weeks.
Will players still be allowed to play high school?
It will depend. High School participation is contingent on individual High School State Association guidelines. Clubs may allow part-time USL Academy players to compete with their high school teams. The USL Academy programming is a 10-month season broken down into three seasons per year (Pre-season begins in February then seasons are as follows: Mar-May, June-Aug, Sept-Nov). This schedule is aligned with USL professional schedule/seasons; therefore, full-time USL Academy players will not be permitted to participate in high school.
How long is the program for U15 and below and U16 and above?
Outside of the USL Academy teams, the programming is the same as it’s currently been within the youth soccer landscape in KY. USL Academy teams participate ten months out of the year (February-November).
Can players still participate in ODP?
Players that do not participate in the USL Academy are welcome to participate in the ODP program.
What are the plans for girls in development?
The same as with the boys, there is no difference in our training programming across the levels. When we refer to specifics we are thinking – EPP “Elite player pathway” which aligns both women’s and men’s together. There is no difference for us, both will be given equal opportunity. We have a pathway for both. With the launch of the USL Super League this will create a pathway to pro for our female players.
Is there potential for a women’s professional team?
Yes, the USL is taking steps toward this for a start in 2023 for the USL Super League women’s team and the USL-W (U23 team).
How do you envision a partnership with Lexington Sporting Club and recreational teams in the next three years?
We aim to give them what they had previously and add to that piece. We value all levels; some players just want to play and have fun and that’s perfect. We need these families and want these families to be a part of our structure. They will be wearing the same logo as our youth club, youth academy, and our professional teams. They will have the same opportunities to move across the programming. They will have the same coaching education opportunities for their volunteer
coaches and then also assisted with a coaching curriculum. They will be offered the same match-day experience and benefits at our stadium on a match day.
In the first couple of years, how many teams do you anticipate fielding at each age level in the USL Academy?
We will begin with one team with our USL Academy (male and female) players – U16-U19 in 2022 for the first three-month season starting in Sept-Nov 2022. The following year we have the option to move into a two-season year programming or the full three-season programming for U12-13 and U14-15 & U16-U19 combined age groups.
Will all levels have an opportunity to be a part of Lexington Sporting Club?
Everyone within the structure of our entire youth model will be a part of our Brand/Logo/Name. One name, one club.
As a new leader not just in the community of Central Kentucky soccer, but the entire state, how do you envision attracting top quality academy players?
Both LFC and CSC have created a great footprint in central Kentucky over many years. As the Professional club it’s our duty to take that footprint and invest heavily with technology to enhance our player development model, invest in our coaching education pathway for all level coaches, (Better coaches’ better players), we will be investing in a multimillion-dollar training facility to give all our players a home. We have created a world class training methodology that will focus on the individual player within our game principles model, based on data analysis so we have benchmarks across the club, not just one coaches’ opinion on whether that player is good enough! We have a USL Professional team pathway, so players don’t need to leave the area to pursue their dreams. This is not only great for the player but also the parents as they now get more time off the road. We will help the less fortunate players as not everyone can afford to travel four times a week to other academies, which grows our players’ pool.
How many teams do you plan on having at each age group within the youth club model?
This will vary with the numbers; however, we will more than likely have 2 or more teams within each age group.
How will the pay/cost structure for players be set up? Does the club sponsor the players or is it still fully funded by the families?
Within the youth club structure, we are working on the cost analysis currently as we need to ensure we get this target price correct. However, our aim is to be aligned with current clubs at this level around our region, while also aligning with the games model/leagues that teams will compete within. Within the USL Academy structure, a certain amount of the player’s participation expenses (i.e. coaching, facilities, uniforms, travel, etc.) has to at least be partially subsidized. Ideally, we would like to get to a point within the USL Academy structure where this is fully funded.
What is the youth club Refund Policy?
- There is no right to a refund for any portion of the registration fees paid by or on behalf
of any player.
- Upon application to the Youth Club Administrator, and at their sole discretion, a partial refund may be provided where the player has sustained injuries or experiencing illness of sufficient severity to preclude them from playing for a season, as documented by a physician.
- Any application for a partial refund must be made prior to the first game of the season. No refunds will be provided following the first game of the season.
- An administrative fee of $75.00 shall be subtracted from any partial refund the Youth Club Administrator determines should be paid.
- Under no circumstances shall refunds be authorized by any person other than the Youth
- Appeals with regards to the Administrator’s denial of a partial refund must be made to
Sporting Director within seven days of the decision.
What can we do to make the sport (at a more competitive youth level) more accessible to families of all income levels in this community?
We will have a scholarship program in place, as this is an extremely important part of our
structure, to align all players with an opportunity to play.
How does the club plan to reach diverse parts of the central Kentucky community, particularly non-English speaking audiences?
We have actively started along this process. We have worked on engaging both the Hispanic &
Congolese community with an initial “listening session” and from this session we would like to continue discussions with this group. We also have a large Hispanic community that participates in their own league play within THS (Tower Hill Sports) facilities which we are reaching out to for discussion groups. Along with that we’re beginning conversations with various other groups around
the Lexington area who are active in the local community through different forms of missionary work.
What do other USL League One Academy affiliations look like nationally? What league would a USL youth academy team play in?
The USL Academy league. It is its own league created for all USL affiliated teams. We have USL player development standards and criteria set by the league that holds each USL team accountable.
How can coaches get involved at the youth level for coaching with our USL League One team?
We will be hosting multiple coaching development workshops, continued professional development events, internal coaching education events to give all our current coaches and local coaches the opportunity to be part of the club. We have a plan to develop our players and a plan to develop our coaches.
Will one of the goals for this program be opportunities for hosting tournaments with the new facilities, like they do in Gatlinburg, Elizabethtown, or Bowling Green, to name a few?
Yes, ideally, we would like to host a minimum of two tournaments per year – one in the spring and one in the fall. However, this may be structured over two weekends each – housing younger players one weekend and older the following weekend, or vice versa. We believe our potential location for the outdoor soccer complex is in an ideal area to attract top level teams from all over surrounding areas. Outside of this, we are looking to host many other events also, ODP, US regional events, tournaments, etc.
What are the chances for a high school player to become a pro?
They now have a real opportunity with a USL pro team in their backyard. We have a very detailed and structured Talent ID and recruitment plan that will see our Talent ID scouts at local high school games and local youth club games. We want all the best talent in our program. Our local market will be the first place we look for when it comes to identifying talent.