SYSA Academy and Junior Academy  FAQs

What age are travel players?

Players 5-10 are invited to register.  SYSA combines age groups based on registration numbers. Age groups are determined by the player’s age on August 1st (with the "U" meaning "Under"). See 2014-2015 age chart. 

When will my child practice?

The schedule varies for each age group. Most teams practice twice a week.  Practices are usually at the Swain Rec Park soccer field.   

Where will my child play games?

Academy teams play weekend games at home and against other local communities including Asheville, Waynesville, and Murphy. Academy usually plays one end-of-season tournament.  In the past, we have traveled to Charlotte and Dawsonville, GA.  Junior Academy will play each other during the week and may have a few games against other communities. 

How long is the season?

It varies by team, but academy teams start practicing in August and usually play their first game of the fall season in early September and finished by early November. The Academy spring season begins practice in March and finish in early May.

What is the cost?

Registration for Academy is $95 (plus a $25 uniform fee). Registration for the Junior Academy team is $65. Financial aid is available. Tournaments may require an extra fees. 

How are teams selected?

Teams are coed and selected by the Director of Coaching and Player Development.  We try to accommodate players of all abilities in this age group.

Who are the coaches?

Our Director of Coaching and Player Development is Romano Michelotti. He holds a National Youth Coaching license and a "C" level National Coaching license and brings over 30 years of coaching experience to SYSA.  He is assisted by parent coaches, some of whom are also licensed. All coaches have been background checked by NCYSA.

What is the Academy team?

Academy is an NCYSA sanctioned level of play unique to this age group that follows basic guidelines set by NCYSA and carried out at the club level.  The Academy program was developed to ensure that young players were not sacrificing their skill development because teams were focused solely on competition. Scores are not kept and balanced playing time is recommended.  This differs from the more competition-focused Challenge and Classic levels of play.  For general information on the Academy from NCYSA, check out the Parent Guide on the NCYSA web site -

What equipment does my child need?

Each player will get a team jersey to use for games that they will return at the end of the season. All players must have shin guards to play and practice. Soccer cleats are recommended.  Shin guards can be purchased at Walmart or a sporting goods store.  We recommend the purchase of an age appropriate size ball.  Each player should bring water to games and practices.

U5 through U8 – size 3
U9 through U12 – size 4

What is the code of conduct?

SYSA has a code of conduct for players, parents, and coaches. You can review the codes here.

How will I know if games are cancelled due to weather?

Weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains. SYSA will make every effort to post weather announcements on practice/game day by 3:00 PM.  Notices will be posted on SYSA’s Facebook page and by email.  Please be aware that coaches may have to cancel at the field as the weather changes.

Do players carpool to games?

We encourage parents and players to ride share, but SYSA does not provide transportation.

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