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Newburyport U12, U14

For Players aged 10+, NYSA teams play teams from surrounding towns in the Essex County Youth Soccer Association (ECYSA).  Unlike the NYSA U3-U10 program, ECYSA maintains all the administrative scheduling and team and roster management.  For information on schedules, rules, etc. please visit the ECYSA website here.


The goal of the NYSA U12 program is to continue the player development process, helping to build individual and team skills. 
Practices are generally 2-3 times per week in the early evening though the individual coaches may make other arrangements at the consensus of the team.

Players are placed on teams through a thorough player evaluation process articulated in detail below.  Half of the games are home games and are played on Saturdays in Newburyport. The remaining games are "away" and are typically in towns such as Groveland, Methuen, Topsfield, Andover, etc. For the most part, the travel time is not long and many of the players carpool.

Player Evaluation -- Try Outs

We understand that evaluation process can be stressful for players and parents and our goal is to clearly articulate the process to help alleviate some of that stress.  We have multiple teams in multiple divisions and our goal is to make sure players are placed on the right team to help them to continue to grow and enjoy the game of soccer.
The goal of the evaluation process is to maintain a fair, objective and thorough process for assessing player abilities and skills in order to place each player onto a team that will best challenge their current level of play. Additionally, it is our goal to place all players who want to play soccer whenever feasible based on numbers of players in an age group and the availability of coaches.
  -- Soccer is a two season commitment. Teams practice two times per week with games on Saturdays.
   -- Players are expected to attend the evaluation session. Players who do not attend will not be considered for the 1st team unless special circumstances (illness, injury, prior important family commitments, etc.) are communicated in writing via email to the travel director prior to the tryouts.
Evaluation Process

Evaluations are held once a year in the Spring. A Photocopy of the birth certificate must accompany the registration. The registration must have: payment, a thumbnail sized facial picture, and a parent or guardian to sign the registration form & medical release.  NYSA has developed a two step process to place players on the appropriate team. Information from each part of the process is used to form the teams.

  -- Coach EvaluationAll players that register for the travel program will be evaluated by their current coach. A written player evaluation will be submitted to the travel director prior to the end of the Spring season.
  -- Skill Evaluation Session: Players are evaluated during a one day evaluation session. Teams of evaluators (a neutral third party, travel coaches, former coaches) rate players on performance during a series of stations that showcase a variety of soccer skills and abilities. Players wear numbered pinnies and are not identified by name or current team. 
Parent coaches cannot evaluate their own child or the gender/level they will be coaching.

We understand that no process is perfect, however NYSA believes this process results in a fair and unbiased evaluation player evaluation.
Schedule -- When are Try Outs?
Try outs are held every year in May or June, specific dates will be communicated via email.
Day of the Evaluation
A professional coaching organization, East Coast Soccer Academy, runs the tryouts, supported by a team of evaluators (travel coaches, former coaches) that watch players and record a rating on each player.
On assessment day, players are checked in and given a numbered pinnie. All observations are recorded by pinnie number only on standardized forms.  Players are not identified by name. Players are run through an age-group warm-up and are then randomly divided into smaller groups for evaluation. Groups are rotated through stations as instructed. Evaluators explain the station and then watch the players for 10-15 minutes. Groups then advance to the next game station. Players perform a variety of skill and technique based activities, small-sided games and bigger field scrimmages.
The travel director collects the evaluation data at the end of the tryout session. 
Team Formation
After completion of the tryout process, the travel director compiles the data from the coach evaluations and the skill evaluation sessions and builds “proposed” teams based on the data.
The Director then schedules and leads a meeting with U12 and U14 coaches to assess proposed teams based on raw data.  This meeting will serve as an interactive forum to build teams based on the data and coach input.  The next step is for the board to approve the teams and the teams are posted by mid-August each year on Newburyportsoccer.com.
What coaches look for at the tryouts
Below is a sample of skills and techniques that the evaluator will be looking for during the tryouts:

  • Dribbling – ball control, inside/outside foot control, pace of dribbling, feinting, inside/outside cutting skills, acceleration and deceleration with ball, head up while dribbling.

  • Passing –technique with both feet (inside/outside of foot), crisp/accurate passing to feet and to space, pace of pass, movement after passing. 

  • First Touch/Ball Control – trapping and receiving ball in front of body, positioning to field when receiving, head up and field awareness after controlling ball.

  • Defending – marking player, pressuring player without over committing, body position when defending, stopping forward progress, tackling/gaining control of ball, knowing when to clear ball vs. dribble/pass

  • Shielding – body position when under pressure

  • Heading – attacking/striking ball with forehead, heading for control, passing or clearing.

  • Speed – quickness off/to ball, acceleration to ball/space, change of direction and deceleration 

  • Strength – standing ground and/or winning position 

  • Aggressiveness – attacking and going to the ball on defense, attacking and dribbling around/through defenders on offense, attacking and finishing shots 

  • Communication – calling for the ball, directing players to space 

  • Field/Game Awareness – head up view of the entire field/game, awareness of other players, knowing when to pass vs. dribble or shoot, seeing plays materialize and moving to position 

  • Attitude – are they having fun? Positive to other players/referees, not giving up on plays, sportsmanship, coachability, overall potential.


Uniforms:  Uniforms (shirt and socks) are not part of the registration fee and can be purchased at Amesbury Skate and Sport. The current uniforms are reversible (Maroon and Gold) and are designed to last through several seasons if care is taken. 

Please follow the instructions below for obtaining a uniform from Amesbury Skate & Sport

  • Retail Store is now closed but the Uniform / Team business is now operating from the basement at the old Amesbury Skate & Sport at the same address of 77 Macy St. – Rte. 110. (the same location as store, just in the basement)

  • Signage in Parking lot will lead you to basement access to the far left of original store entrance.

  • Travel Uniforms are $30.00 for Shirt and $15.00 for Shorts

  • Reversible In-Town Shirts are $35.00 – Optional Shorts are $15.00

  • Socks are $5.00

  • As always, purchase items big allowing for multi-year use.

  • Spring 2018 Uniform Hours -  TBD

  • Contact Information:  Rob Ouellette - Amesbury Skate & Sport.  Tel Numbers: 978-388-4544 (Store); 508-783-6072 (Cell).  Email: 

Information and directions on how to get to Amesbury Skate and Sport can be found at the following link. http://www.amesburysport.com/.