United Soccer Club was established to promote and enhance the soccer culture in the Huntsville, Alabama area with the objective of providing a positive soccer experience for youth players at all levels. The Club was founded on principles of Integrity, Loyalty, and Commitment that serve as its foundation. With these ideals, players, coaches, and parents can truly be United in their goal of a successful organization.
To read more about United Soccer Club and who we are and what we mean, please read our manifesto.
USC strives to develop players for all levels of play including high school, college, professional, or even adult league later in their lives.
Our Coaching Staff represents a highly experienced, professional group of coaches in the Mid South region, who promote a common playing/coaching style throughout the club and bring an international flare to their coaching.
With consistent effort and the application of many years of experience and positive perspective, we have seen our programs raise the level of soccer in our community setting the standard of soccer in Alabama with many of our teams leading the state in state league and tournament championships, as well as, consistent performances in our USYS Mid South Regional Conference. We have had teams competing in the top levels of that league with some age groups consistently winning the league in recent years qualifying for National League competitions exposing our players to higher level play where we have been very competitive. We also have some relationships with various MLS Next Youth Academies exposing our players and staff to the highest standard of youth soccer in America, and as a result of our ability to provide meaningful competitions at these levels we have developed relationships with multiple MLS Youth Academies where players from our program have moved on to pursue their dreams of playing at the highest level.
The club crest has the three principles on which our club is founded.
Integrity, Loyalty, and Commitment.
We believe in doing things based on these principles, with a positive perspective and a deep passion for the game, we can provide an experience to our community that enables current & future generations of players to continue to progress in their education, passion and development in the beautiful game of soccer.
The Player Development Pathway for soccer is becoming more and more complicated as groups break away to form their own leagues and divisions.
Many people seem to get caught up in marketing strategies and self-proclaimed statements offering the "highest level of competition" in their area. But is it?
Other families elect to drive multiple hours a week to play at clubs who are larger by the numbers, but is it worth the time? Sport and league education regarding player development is a must to make smart and sound decisions for your player.
A player and family must be realistic and discuss what is the ultimate goal at the end of your child's club soccer journey? Is it for them to eventually be a leader and "pace-setter" for their high school? Is it to pursue a college career and beyond?
USC is committed to you and your player whatever your long-term goals are for development and will continue to elevate players and teams providing exposure and opportunities for players committed to the process.
At USC, we try to keep it as uncomplicated as possible.
USC is a member of the Alabama Soccer Association, which in turn places us under the US Youth Soccer (USYS) umbrella.
USYS provides a competitive player pathway for the level of teams overall within our club that make the most sense financially and competitively for our club families.
Is USC always evaluating whether or not there is "better" competitive pathway for our teams/club? The simple answer is yes, but based on years of experience, hours of research, a "soccer-minded" Board of Directors, and friends and contacts all over the US, this current pathway continues to provide an extremely high level of soccer for what we consider a reasonable time commitment and financial obligation for busy families.
Alabama Soccer Association (ASA) State League: State League is available for U11-U19 in the fall season and U11-U14 in the spring season. Teams can be placed in appropriate brackets and compete against other ASA teams from around the state. The season usually consists of 4 home matches and 4 away matches. All games are within driving distance and very few require a hotel stay overnight. Managers work hard to schedule them to optimize parent travel time. Not all teams will be ready for State League play at any certain age group. Coaches and Directors will make that decision season by season to provide a full season of training, games, and events whether or not a team plays in ASA State League.
Alabama Soccer Association State Cup: ASA provides two State Cup opportunities for those teams who wish to participate. U15-U19 State Cup is held in the Fall in Foley, AL. U13-U14 State Cup is held in the Spring in Decatur, AL. U13-U19 teams winning State Cup in the A Bracket, then move on to compete in the USYS Regionals held each June.
U11-U12 are offered the opportunity to play in the Spring Futures Cup as an additional tournament/round robin weekend.
USYS Mid-South Conference League: U13-U19 Alabama State League teams who finish first in the A Bracket can apply for Mid South Regional play. If accepted, the top teams from AL, TN, MS, and LA make up the Mid-South Conference. The season usually consists of 3 game weekends and a total of 8 games at rotating locations throughout the Southeast.
USYS National League: U13-U19 Teams who win Mid-South Regional Conference are extended an invitation to compete in the USYS National League. This is currently the highest level of play within the USYS pathway, along with the newer pathway of the Elite 64 which is for clubs who can place teams at this top level in every single age division. National League events/season is held at venues across the US and does often require air travel and extended hotel stays.
USYS Regionals: U13-U19 Teams who win State Cup A Bracket are extended the opportunity to compete in the USYS Southern Regionals held each summer in June at different venues around the Southeast.
USYS National Championship: U13-U19 Teams who win Regionals move on to compete in the USYS National Championship series held each summer in different locations throughout the US in July.
Tournaments: U9-U19 attend tournaments throughout each season. Tournaments are selected based on the team attending. Not all teams will attend all tournaments if the levels of play will not be appropriate or meaningful.
In other words, we will not send a top team to compete in a DII or DIII tournament just to win a medal. That is not meaningful development for anyone. Top teams will usually be placed in the top brackets of extremely competitive tournaments to elevate their level of play and challenge themselves against top level competition. Elite and Select teams will be placed in appropriate brackets and if a tournament cannot offer enough brackets to make it worthwhile, USC will select another tournament with a more appropriate level of play.
Friendlies: With deep rooted soccer relationships throughout the Southeast, our Directors and Coaches are able to set up games with local teams and clubs to provide relevant competition at any age. There is no extra cost to be part of a "league", the coaches leverage personal relationships to set up games and a full season of competition. With multiple teams in every age group, USC also scrimmages/plays other USC teams from U6-U19 as additional training.
USC has secured matches with MLS Academies from around the nation and also sent multiple players to MLS and MLS Next evaluations. Several U13-U19 players have capitalized on opportunities to leave Huntsville to pursue MLS Academy and International soccer dreams.
Scouts, coaches and contacts are in touch with Directors and Board Members and players who wish to pursue their soccer dreams will be provided the opportunities to shine...then it is up to you!
All youth soccer leagues provide competition, but depending on your child's development, the commitment of your team members, and your family's commitment level, which is it the best for you? Some clubs are part of multiple umbrellas and split their teams, sending their "top team" down a certain path and their other teams down other paths.
To really understand the level of play in each league, you must know how deep the player pool/age group is from each competing club to know the level of competition you will be competing against. If they have 10 teams in their U15 age group, which number team will you be playing? Does the "pathway" make sense if your not competing against competition that elevates your player?
The USYS pathway has been outlined above as the pathway USC is currently utilizing.
US Soccer has the following leagues under their umbrella:
NPL (National Premier League) Boys & Girls
ECNL (Elite Clubs National League) Boys & Girls
Major League Soccer/MLS Next/MLS Next PRO:
The Major League Soccer has formed their own youth pathway called MLS Next for boys U13-U19, which consists of over 130 teams from around the US.
Academies of the MLS teams, plus a few select club teams are part of a league deemed MLS Next and leagues are formed Regionally. 90% of the US Men's National Team youth player pool are part of a MLS Next club.
Major League Soccer (MLS) is the highest level of soccer currently in the United States.
MLS PRO is the second tier of Major League Soccer and is what the new team in Huntsville, Huntsville City Football Club is for Nashville SC.
There are several other youth development leagues, but these are the largest ones.
USL 1/USL 2 and USL W:
United Soccer League is considered the second tier professional league in the United States.
USL has USL 1 teams (top tier), USL 2 teams (second tier), and then some of the franchises in bigger cities have USL Academies for youth players, providing their own league. They also have a Women's League called USL W.
WPSL and NPSL:
NPSL is a national men's U19-21 soccer league.
WPSL is the longest active women's soccer league in the US and is sanctioned by the US Adult Soccer Association.