East Longmeadow Travel Soccer Evaluation Procedure

ELSA’s number one objective is to make sure that players are placed in the right environment to succeed by being assigned to play with a team that best fits their needs. Although it is not always easy as a parent, it is very important to be realistic and realize that playing on the first team is not the #1 priority.  The placement of player is the key to ensure they enjoy the experience and are given the opportunity to develop with success. We would hate to see a player lose confidence in his/her skills because they were misplaced on a team that didn’t fit his/ her needs. In the end, we ask that both players and parents worry less about being placed on a particular team and focus on enjoying being placed on a travel team.

The East Longmeadow travel soccer program fields teams ranging from U9 (3rd grade) to U14 (8th grade), which compete in the Roots Soccer League (RSL). If there are enough registered players to form multiple teams within an age group ELSA will aim to field teams with players of similar abilities.

  • U9 – 8/2010 thru 7/2011

  • U10 – 8/2009 thru 7/2010

  • U11 – 8/2008 thru 7/2009

  • U12 – 8/2007 thru 7/2008

  • U13 – 8/2006 thru 7/2007

  • U14 – 1/2005 thru 7/2006 (Jan-July players must be in 8th grade during the current soccer year).

It is important that a player who wants to be considered for a travel team take part in the entire evaluation process, so that we may assess where they are developmentally. A player's needs may change over time, therefore it is important to assess and evaluate each player every year. In monitoring the development of all players in the travel program throughout the year, team rosters may change due to the fact that players develop at different stages.

ELSA uses a two-step player evaluation process to determine each player’s placement. The two evaluations are equally weighted 50/50. Teams are then formed based on the number of registered players for each age group using the US Club Soccer Age Group Chart which is located at the bottom of this page (RSL Bylaws Article 2, Section 1).

Step 1) After every fall soccer season, each head coach is asked to complete an evaluation for each player and submit the document to ELSA by December 1st (see EL Coaches Evaluation Form and Rubric below). If the coach fails to submit their evaluation form at the end of the fall season, the June Independent Evaluation component will be weighted at 100% for each player on the team. If an individual only plays soccer in the spring season then the coach will have the opportunity to submit an evaluation on those players only. 

Step 2) ELSA hires and pays for an Independent Professional Soccer Training Company to perform an Evaluation Service in the month of June. These evaluations are held at the ELHS Turf stadium for each age group for both Girls and Boys. The evaluation is structured with players rotating through several skills stations and small sided games set up on the turf. The following examples are subject to change each year.

  • Station 1: 4V4 w/2 small pugg goals Small Sided Game (possession condition)

  • Station 2: 4V4 w/4 small pugg goals Multi-Goal (multi-directional game)

  • Station 3: 4V4 Shooting from Distance (must shoot in a designated area)

  • Station 4: 4V4 End Zones (Dribble through the cones in the appropriate end zone)

Each year the evaluation process is finalized in June and rosters are then set for the following Fall/Spring seasons. The number of registered players varies each season so certain adjustments may be necessary to field as many appropriate teams as possible. In the event that an age group has smaller registration numbers, ELSA may need to combine teams by moving players up to the next age group (players cannot move down). If this occurs, those players will move back to their appropriate age group the following season. Note: players in 2nd grade should play in their age appropriate U8 league 5v5 (USCS guidelines state that it is best for the development of G2-U8 players to play in a 5v5 environment. ELSA will do everything within our control to place every player on their age appropriate team and special circumstances will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

2019/2020 USCS Age Matrix:




League Structure:


U9-U10 = plays 7V7 (max roster 14)

U11-U12 = plays 9V9 (max roster 16)

U13-U14 = plays 11V11 (max roster 21)


EL Coach’s Evaluation Rubric:  Score: 1 = Beginner / 2 = Developing / 3 = Good / 4 = Excellent


(The following 6 skills are being evaluated)


  1. Effort = Overall hustle and work rate.


  1. Dribbling/Attacking = creatively uses foot skills, change of direction, speed with both

feet, inside and outside under control to get past defender.


  1. Receiving/First Touch = Shows for the ball and receives cleanly. Uses both feet to trap

ball. Uses body effectively to trap balls in the air.


  1. Passing/Serving = to accurately pass the ball at the correct pace to a teammate.

Passes to feet and to space, on the ground and lofted. Uses both feet and all parts of the

each foot.


  1. Defending = Adopts proper posture to slow/steer attacker, and correctly times when to

make a challenge for the ball.


  1. Spatial Awareness = Ability to read the game as it develops and to position themselves

in most advantageous area from which to support their team effectively. Understands

positions and format the team is playing.



Goal Keepers: Coaches are encouraged to rotate all players into the position of Goal keeper throughout the season. It is recommended by Mass Youth Soccer that at the age of 13 or 14 teams establish a goal keeper as a full time position. Coaches will use the rubric below to help evaluate their primary goalies during the season. This form needs to be turned in with the team evaluations. 


East Longmeadow Goalkeeper Evaluation Rubric


Rating Scale: 1= Beginner 2= Developing 3= Good 4= Excellent



Rating By Coach


Rating by Coach





Shot Saving/Redirecting


Organizing Defense/





Restarts Direction


Breakaway saves




Field Player skills/

Foot skills


Angle Play


Throws/Punts/Goal Kicks


Starting Position





































TOTAL POINTS: ____________