Frequently Asked Questions about the Empire United Soccer Academies:
Q. What is Premier Level Soccer?
A. Premier Level Soccer is the next step for select travel soccer players who excel and are seriously committed to the game (and have parents equally committed!).
Q. What makes Empire USA unique?
A. Empire USA is Western New York’s sole complete program for premier level soccer. Offering programs for boys and girls between nine and nineteen. Empire USA offers players a chance to compete at some of the higher levels in the game, under professional coaches, and with teammates who are as driven and passionate about soccer as they are.
Q. What age groups are served?
A. Empire USA supports Boys and Girls teams in each age group from U9 to U19. Starting in the fall of 2009, we will be offering programming to players 5 thru 9 as well (see Young Guns Program).
Q. What is expected of the Empire USA player?
A. Players make a full year commitment to the Empire United Soccer Academies. Players are expected to attend most practices, both outdoor and indoor, have a positive attitude, be attentive, and work hard. Players should be coming to Empire USA to develop in the game of soccer, not to win soccer games. To develop a committment and dedication level above the recreational player is critical.
Q. How are teams selected?
A. Up to three tryout sessions are offered in late July and early August. Tryouts are conducted and evaluated by several coaches (not just team’s coach) and selections are made by mid August. Usually a full 18 man roster is not selected completely, rather spots are held open for players to earn a rostered position during the early training months of the upcoming season.
Q. How many teams are there at each age level?
A. There are two teams planned for each age group between the ages of 10 and 18. Historically, U17 and U18 age groups consist of only one team due to player drop out and expanded roster sizes.
Q. What is the "Developmental" program?
A. The Developmental program allows you to practice with your age appropriate team garnering quality coaching and ample training time. You are not on the 18 man roster and subsequently will not play in competitive games, but you will be part of the team for all training and/or social sessions. Developmental players pay a fraction of normal tuition.
Q. What constitutes a typical season?
A. The season starts in early November after the high school season ends and runs through the end of July. The Winter season consists of training and competition in a local indoor "elite" league. The outdoor season begins in late March and runs through the beginning to mid July. Tryouts for the following year occur in early August with the rest of August, September and October being "off seaon" for Empire USA.
Q. Where are training sessions held?
A. Training sessions during the indoor season are held at [list indoor facilities here]. Outdoor practices are held at various facilities throughout the Western New York area.
Q. How long are training sessions and what can a player expect in a typical training session?
A. Teams will train 2 to 3 times per week (depending on age group), each session lasting approximately 1.5 hours. The practice schedule for each team is set in November and will be published on the web site. Training sessions consist of a warm-up, skill work, tactical work, shooting, scrimmaging, and conditioning. Empire USA puts considerable emphasis on training -- both in terms of quality and quantity.
Q. In what leagues do the Empire USA teams play?
A. Empire USA participates in the Upstate New York Premier Soccer League against other premier level teams from Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Binghamton. Additionally, the club will participate in the Great Lakes Alliance League competing against teams from Erie, Pittsburgh and Cleveland. And many of the stronger teams in the proram will be entered in the US Youth Soccer Region 1 league competing with the best teams from Maine to Virginia
Q. In what tournaments do the Empire USA teams compete?
A. Empire USA teams compete in two to four outdoor tournaments during the Spring and Summer months. Tournaments are selected based on each team’s readiness level. Travel is minimize to the best of our ability without sacrificing appropriate competition. Tournaments are not considered an ideal format for player development so Empire USA does what it can to minimize tournament play and provide appropriate competitive environments in other ways.
Q. What about ODP commitments?
A. Empire USA fully supports the Olympic Development Program. Should a conflict arise, the ODP program shall take precedence over most Empire USA activities. Scheduling efforts by Empire USA should minimalize conflicts by not touching the designated days of the other organization.
Q. Is "Dual Carding" allowed?
A. Empire USA does not control the dual carding policies in the area. The local leagues are the governing bodies for travel players. Currently they are not allowing any dual carding. Our U10 and U11 year olds do not participate in a formal league and therefore are not considered dual carded players.
Q. What is "Street Soccer" and why do we bother?
A. "Street Soccer" simply means pick-up soccer or unsupervised soccer. The US Soccer national staff believes this is an element that should be incorporated into all club curriculums. Click here for more details.