New Team Formation: What to expect

NEW TEAM FORMATION (and tryouts for exisiting teams): 
Alpine Strikers FC will form new teams for the spring 2016 season at the end of the fall 2015 season (November/December). 
All interested players must register for tryouts online here.

New teams for our youngest age group are being formed now for spring 2016:
GU8 NEW TEAM (girls born after 7/31/2007)
BU8 NEW TEAM (boys born after 7/31/2007)

Tryouts for the FALL 2015 Season are held in May.  They are less formal and players will attend team practices Roster openings vary from team to team and placement is at the discretion of the coaches.  Registration for tryouts is required.

The club hopes to form at least 2 and up to a maximum of 6 teams per age group; players are grouped by skill level, commitment and motivation to allow each player to develop at an appropriate rate.  

Visit the Tryouts page for a complete schedule.  
If you missed the club-wide tryouts or have questions, please email Michelle Bellomo.

Is my child and my family ready for club soccer?
Making the transition from recreational to competitive soccer is one that involves decisions about the level of commitment, time, cost, travel, and more that your child and family is ready to make. Our Director of Coaching, Owen Flannery, is available by email to answer your questions, as is our President, Steve Foster, and Vice Presidents, Gary Wiseman and/or Sean Gavin.  We have a great deal of information on the "For Parents" and "About Us" pages.  Read about our teams on the individual team webpages to help answer some of your questions. We're local families that want a quality educational program for our kids and believe that soccer is a joyful life-long activity that promotes physical fitness and emotional well-being.

Alpine Strikers FC is dedicated to the development of every youth soccer player in our community.  All players will be given an equal opportunity to participate in new team formation each Fall. Players will be selected based on technical, tactical, psychological, and physical characteristics. Alpine Strikers FC will try to find a place on a team for every competitive level soccer player.  In the event the coaches believe it is in the best interest of a particular child's long term soccer success to gain additional experience before joining the club, that player will be directed to either the club's soccer academies or recreational (AYSO) league.  Playing at an appropriate level is important to for a player's proper development, so the coaches will direct kids to the team, academy, or league that best suits their current ability.

Club Soccer Calendar--what to expect
Teams will practice twice weekly and play at least one game nearly every weekend during the playing season.  The fall season for younger teams normally begins toward the end of August and continues through the middle of November.  There will be several different clinics and programs offered in the winter (December-February) for those interested to continue training during the "off-season."  The spring season begins at the end of February, games start in early April and both continue through early June.  

Alpine Stikers FC -- what the club expects
Even though the club soccer experience comes with a big price tag, most funds go toward the salary of your child's professional coach and field fees. In order for our club to run smoothly, we need volunteers to help on the club level as well as on the team level. Parent volunteering is a big part of club soccer. Please click on the parent-player handbook which explains the details of your commitment as a soccer parent.

What age group is my child?
You can use this link or the chart below to figure out your child's "soccer age."
To summarize, U9 means "under 9" -- your child was under 9 on July 31st of this year (the soccer year is August 1st to July 31st)

Age Groups for the 2014-2015 playing year:

 Age Group:

Birth Dates Between:

U08 8/1/2006 to 7/31/2007
U09 8/1/2005 to 7/31/2006
U10 8/1/2004 to 7/31/2005
U11 8/1/20033 to 7/31/2004
U12 8/1/2002 to 7/31/2003
U13 8/1/2001 to 7/31/2002
U14 8/1/2000 to 7/31/1999
U15 8/1/1999 to 7/31/1998
U16 8/1/1998 to 7/31/1997
U17 8/1/1997 to 7/31/1996

Alpine Strikers Attack and Academy   
For those children not quite ready to jump into competitive soccer, the club offers several options:
Alpine Strikers Attack runs once a week for 60 minutes.   The Academy runs twice a week with intra-squad games (play dates) on a few weekends. Both programs begin mid/late August and continue to Thanksgiving week.  The Attack allows players to develop soccer skills with professional coaches.  These children will learn valuable skills and teamwork and will be prepared to join competitive teams in the future.  The Academy is more of a time commitment and continues to develop soccer skills and takes teamwork to the next level with the intra-squad play dates. 

What distinguishes Alpine Strikers FC?   
Alpine Strikers FC is unique in this area due to the quality of our coaching staff and the commitment of our families to the age-appropriate long-term development of the players.  Please review our Coaching Staff page to learn more about the coaches, and the About Us page for more information about the club.

Tryouts FAQs
Q:  How will I know if my child is ready for club soccer?
If your child is frustrated by the level of play in recreational soccer, or simply has a passion to take his/her game to the next level, your player may be ready for a professionally-coached and more competitive environment.

Q:  How many tryouts should my child attend?
A:  Your child should attend all available tryout sessions so the coaches will be able to judge his or her current skill level.  This also gives families a chance to see their child in a training environment in order to judge if it is a good fit.

Q:  Will my child be able to "play up" an age group in order to stay with friends?
A:  In competitive soccer, the most important thing is for your child to play at the appropriate level for his or her ability. Your child should attend the appropriate age group tryout and you should indicate on the tryout form any special request for grouping (the coaches will make this determination based on the ability levels of all of the players).

Q:  When will we know if our child is placed on a team?
A:  Within two weeks of the last tryout date.  

Q:  What are the days, times, locations of practices for the teams and Academy for spring?

A:  Alpine Strikers FC shares field space in Menlo Park, Woodside and Portola Valley with AYSO, little league, lacrosse and after-school sports.  In order to ensure that all children have adequate practice space, schedules are not finalized until closer to the start of the season. There are no guarantees about days, times or locations of practice until closer to the start of the season (by mid-February).

Q:  What is the cost of playing club soccer?
A:   Each team has a unique budget based on the number of practices, games, tournaments, etc.   For a newer, younger team (U8, U9 or U10), the cost will include a uniform (about $140 for home and away jerseys, shorts, socks and a bag) and fees for coaching, registration, referees, field use, and equipment, totaling about $700 (excluding uniform) per season.  A $300 deposit is required to tryout and will be considered a final deposit upon acceptance on a team.   While this amount may seem high compared to AYSO and other parent-coached activities, it is quite low compared to tennis, golf, volleyball, lacrosse, hockey, gymnastics and other sports with professional instruction.  In fact, the cost works out to about $15/hour.

Q:  How far will we have to travel for games?
A:   Younger teams play in the CCSL or NorCal Region 2 generally against teams from Burlingame through Sunnyvale, but depending upon the number of teams and the level of competition, teams may travel to San Francisco and San Jose.  As teams progress, they may play tournaments or in leagues that require further travel. 

Q:  Who is "in charge" of the team?    
A:   The Director of Coaching (DOC) will hire the team coach.  The club will also help identify a parent volunteer to act as team "manager" to handle administration.  The team will need additional volunteers to help with various other jobs - including a treasurer, registrar, scheduler, and uniform coordinator.   Once the team is launched, the club offers manager mentors to assist in the startup of each team.   Each team should hold a parent meeting, attended by the coach, and possibly the DOC and/or a representative of the club to discuss areas of mutual interest (budget, schedule, coaching philosophy). The manager's role is vital to the success of the team (he or she is the communication conduit between the coach, the parents and the club), and is a voting member of the Alpine Strikers FC (each team has one vote and the manager is expected to attend monthly club meetings).  The Board of Directors has the responsibility of approving all coaches, assistant coaches and managers each .

Q:    What if my child "doesn't make" the team, or doesn't want to play on a competitive team right now?
The Academy is available for any children who do not wish to join a team or for any kids where there is not enough room on the new competitive teams (rosters are limited to 13 for teams that play 8-a-side and 17 for teams that play 11-a-side).  Your child will receive professional coaching and will not be "left behind."  The local recreational program, AYSO, is also a robust program and a great option for kids who may not receive a spot on a competitive team roster.