Club Metrics In-Depth

An explanation for the importance of each metric included in our Club-by-Club Guide.

Paid Administrative Staff

  • Managing competitive teams can be complicated and requires constant attention. The competitive platform is continuously changing and it takes accumulated wisdom and knowhow. There are many layers of software systems for different competitive leagues, travel scheduling, tournament play and referee assignment. Rules and procedures vary from league to league and can become quite overwhelming. The role is not for someone without experience or knowledge of the complexity it takes to stay on top of the tasks at hand. In the League's experience working with paid administrative staff managing the competitive team is much more organized.

US Soccer Federation Coach Licensing

  • US Soccer now only recognizes US Federation coach licenses. Earning these licenses takes a considerable investment of time. There are course assignments, class and field observations, video submissions, test sessions, performance evaluations, and grading. Most of all, the courses instill the importance of long-term athlete development over short-term results.
  • "A", "B" and "C" Licenses --  Each is a yearlong learning and evaluation process, requiring nine days of mandatory commitment for on field and in classroom testing at National Coaching Schools or Performance Centers.
  • "D" License -- 10 weeks, with one week in person; hosted by State.
  • "E" License -- one day in class, two days on field; hosted by SFYS.
  • "F" License -- online coursework and field session, hosted by SFYS.

Female Head Coaches

  • Currently within SF Youth Soccer we have significant gender imbalance of coaches. We have 34 women working as head coaches, versus 119 men working as head coaches. With the growing number of boys and girls teams we want female coaches to have the same career opportunities as men do. As the league we support qualified coaches and want women to be able to become Directors of Coaching and Club Presidents. We hope that calling attention to this will foster greater economic opportunity for female coaches and help reward the coaches that are taking the right steps for the betterment of player development.

Supplementary Training Sessions 

  • In most cities around California, clubs have to buy fields from their local parks department or school district. In San Francisco, our Rec & Park Department has made an incredible commitment to our kids by offering free fields for training.

  • Travel teams get two practice fields fall, winter and spring. Prep teams playing in the top bracket get some winter fields. Prep and Rec teams get only one practice per week in spring. This is a compelling reason to consider trying out for a travel team if you want to improve. 

  • Notice: U8 and U9 teams get only one practice per week on SFRPD fields. U10 and older teams never get more than two practices per week on SFRPD fields. If you have been training more than that on SFRPD fields, your club has been violating the terms of its permits and could have its permits pulled. A practice permit is for the designated team's players only. 

  • Here are an approximate number of annual trainings on SF Rec Park fields to expect for teams at different ages and strength levels.

    Team Level
    # trainings annually
    Travel Gold or Higher78
    Silver Prep (U11 and older)44
    Bronze Prep (U11 and older)36
    Rec (6th-8th grade)36
    Prep (U10 and younger)


    Rec (2nd-5th grade)24

  • Some clubs supplement this by renting additional fields, gyms, or by training at the beach or on blacktop. Some also do fitness training. Depending on the team, you can increase the number of training sessions posted above by over 30 sessions a year. US Soccer recommends that elite soccer players train a minimum of 3 days per week. 

Winter & Summer Program

  • During the winter months, there are a variety of different playing options -- SF Rec & Park futsal, Winter Champions League in Daly City, and indoor leagues (off-the-wall rinks) in Alameda or on the Peninsula. Some clubs prefer one or the other -- some do both, one on Saturday and the other on Sunday. In addition, some clubs rent gyms for futsal training.
  • During the summers, programs again vary. Some teams still practice regularly, and play in the Mission Summer League, which is 7 v 7 format. Almost all clubs host summer camps, though these summer camps are also open to all youth players. As players get older, some clubs take them on international trips to tournaments, or to play and do community work.

NorCal Club Account & NorCal State Cup participation

  • Currently, nine SF clubs have earned NorCal accounts. It allows their teams, of any age or ability, to participate in the NorCal State Cup, which is a season-long competition, including a group stage and additional seeding games. Through this process, all teams are seeded into an 8-team bracket appropriate to their strength level. The quarterfinals, semis and finals are staged over subsequent weekends.  
  • Having a NorCal account also allows a club to place their travel teams, if they so choose, into the NorCal leagues. 
  • Clubs without a NorCal account tend to play in the CYSA Cup competitions, which are shorter -- usually over two weekends.
  • All clubs tend to also participate in classic one-weekend tournaments. 

ACL Injury Prevention

  • ACL injuries are two to eight times more common for girls than boys. Several programs have been proven to reduce the incidence rate of ACL tears.
  • ZeroACL is an 8-week course for girls taught by a specially certified physical therapist. In addition to twice-weekly physical training, players are filmed jumping and moving. Each player receives individualized assessment and video analysis.
  • PEP Program and FIFA 11+ are specific dynamic warmups administered by coaches that take about 20 minutes and should be repeated twice a week. 

Goalkeeper Training

  • Not all clubs believe in player specialization at the early ages. Clubs in San Francisco vary substantially in their philosophy on this. Some clubs encourage players to try many different positions in the spring, to make them more well-rounded; others require players to play a specific position where they can be successful.
  • That said, if a player has chosen to specialize at goalkeeper, one of the benefits is that the training is really fun. For this metric, we wanted potential goalkeepers to know how frequently they can expect specialized goalkeeper training at each club.  


  • We do not have information on each club's pricing, because most clubs do not show you their prices until the point at which they make a player an offer of a roster spot. However, here are some things you should look for:
  • Is the charge monthly, quarterly, or annual?
  • Does that cost include tournaments or are the costs of playing in tournaments extra, and if so, how much per tournament?
  • ​Is there financial aid available and how does one qualify?
  • Coach-to-Player/Team ratio at practice. Now and then, a club may have one trainer covering two teams (combined) at practice. This is a good way to keep costs down; however, it's important to know in advance and know what you're getting. 
  • Does that cost include uniforms or is that cost separate?
  • Does that cost include the club's winter and summer program or are those separate charges?
  • Do club players get discount pricing on summer camps?