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Santa Cruz Breakers & Aptos Tide Strategic Alliance

By Ashley Edgar, 05/01/22, 11:45PM PDT

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Aptos Soccer Club and Santa Cruz County Breakers Strike Up Strategic Alliance to Combine Competitive Soccer Programs

We’re excited to announce that Aptos Soccer Club and Santa Cruz County Breakers have entered into a strategic alliance to combine our competitive soccer programs. This alliance will create a larger program, which we believe will provide a better competitive soccer experience for local youth players.

The benefits of this new program include:

  • The ability to have a larger pool of players at each age group, creating opportunities to align players with teams that fit their skill level and making each team more competitive in their respective league brackets 

  • A better environment for players of all levels to develop and grow

  • A clear pathway for players to advance from recreational soccer through to Academy on the Girls’ side and NorCal Premier on the Boys’ side, providing more opportunities for kids to play club soccer through to college age

  • More options for competitive players to choose from, depending on their commitment to soccer

  • A way to bring the Santa Cruz soccer community closer together and competing at an even higher level than was previously possible

How will the new program work?

Players will have the opportunity to play year-round competitive soccer through a ten-month program coached by a professional, licensed coach. Alternatively, players may select to play seasonal competitive soccer through a six-month program played during Fall and Spring, coached by a volunteer. The two-tiered approach allows the players more choices based on time commitment, cost, level and geographic area they want to play in. 

Because there will be multiple teams at each age group, players will also have the opportunity to guest play and move more fluidly between levels for new experiences and challenges as they develop or their interest levels change over time. With the combined programs, there is a clear player pathway from recreational soccer through to some of the most elite competition in the state; Academy on the Girls’ side and NorCal Premier on the Boys’ side and a place for all players of all skill levels in between.

 

 

How does this impact existing volunteer coaches?

With the new program, volunteer coaches will be supported by professional, licensed directors at each age group who will offer coaching education and guidance, session plans, and soccer curriculum. This will help develop the soccer program to allow players to be coached and trained in a more uniform manner allowing them to advance more quickly as well as provide opportunities for coaches to further their soccer and coaching education.

We’ve provided more details on the new program and information about upcoming tryouts in the FAQs below. We believe this is an exciting new venture for players, families, coaches and administrators, and we look forward to how this will benefit the entire Santa Cruz competitive soccer community.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

General:

 

How will the combined program better serve the players?

With a larger pool of players at each age group, it is easier to put players with similar abilities together. This creates a better environment for players to develop and a more enjoyable soccer experience for all. It will also make each team more competitive in their respective league brackets. In addition, with access to more teams, players have more opportunity to guest play at different levels within the club, which enhances their development.

 

With the new combined program there is a clear pathway for players from recreational soccer through to Academy on the Girls’ side and NorCal Premier on the Boys’ side and a place for all players of all skill levels in between. By being part of a larger program, players have the chance to develop over time and the ability to move up the pathway as they continue their soccer development.

 

With pooled resources the program will be able to provide consistent curriculum and training, meaning players at every age group and level will learn the same tactical and technical skills, allowing greater fluidity to move between competitive levels.

 

 

 

What is the difference between the year-round and seasonal competitive programs? 

The biggest difference is that the year-round competitive teams will be coached by a licensed, paid coach whereas the seasonal competitive teams will be coached by a volunteer coach (licensed or unlicensed). 

 

Another difference will be the time-commitment. Players enrolled in both programs will have the opportunity to play both Fall and Spring soccer, however the year-round players will make a ten-month commitment and practice 2-3 times per week. They will also continue to practice outside of the league seasons. Seasonal players will commit to the program for 3-4 months in Fall and 3 months in Spring and will likely train 2 times per week. Both programs will have access to goalkeeping and skills training.

 

Players participating in the seasonal program may choose to opt out of the Spring season, but should make that known after the Fall season so that their coaches can plan for the following Spring season accordingly.

 

If my child plays multiple sports throughout the year, which program should they register for – year-round or seasonal?

It would still be possible for your child to play under the year-round program if they are participating in other sports/activities if those activities do not conflict with your team’s practice and game schedule. However, if your child accepts a space on a year-round team it should take priority over other sports/activities if conflicts arise. 

 

Players that are participating in other sports and activities may prefer the seasonal program, as it is less of a financial and time commitment. 

 

How much does each program cost?

The cost varies by age group, please see the attached 2022/23 Club Fees & Costs. 

club fees and costs 2022.pdf

 

Is financial assistance available?

Yes. The program will offer financial assistance for those who qualify. No player will be turned away from a program for financial reasons. If you are looking to apply, please complete the Request For Financial Aid form.

 

Does the alliance impact recreational soccer?

No, Aptos Soccer Club and Santa Cruz County Breakers will continue to operate their community recreational soccer programs independently to geographically support our younger players starting their soccer experience close to home with friends and family.

 

I am interested in being a volunteer coach or interested in volunteering to help the program, who should I contact?

Fantastic, we need you! Please email asc.compsoccer@gmail.com for more information.

 

Will players be required to purchase a new uniform this Fall? 

Yes. Under NorCal rules, all teams and players must wear the same uniforms across all teams. Each team runs on a two-year uniform cycle and 2022 is the first year of the new cycle. We are working on the best discount possible to make this as affordable as possible and will be seeking sponsorship to try to keep the costs down.

 

Where will the new teams practice and play?

Efforts will be made to have practices based where the coach and majority of players live, especially at the younger age groups. This will largely depend on field availability. 

 

What name will the teams be registered under?

Due to NorCal rules and because the Santa Cruz Breakers’ has Girls’ Academy and NPL status, we will register and play under the Santa Cruz Breakers umbrella at this time.

 

2022-23 Tryouts and Team Selection:

 

How will tryouts take place under the new program?

The first tryout will be an open tryout for each age group, all players are invited to attend. Players will then be invited to a second tryout at team-level based on the selection committee’s evaluation of their skill level and taking into account their preference between the year-round and seasonal comp programs.

 

On the tryout registration form, players will have the option to state their preference to either be part of the year-round or seasonal programs.

 

When will tryouts take place?

Tryouts will start on May 15th. The exact date, time and location for each age group will be posted soon

 

How do I register for tryouts?

Please click this link to pre-register Tryout Registration

 

 

How will players be placed on teams under the combined program?

The placement of players will be decided by the coaching staff/selection committee, taking into account the current skill level of the player, geography, current team placement, and the player’s preference to commit to either the year-round or seasonal competitive programs.

 

Does my child have to play on a year-round team if invited? 

No, you may choose to decline the offer to play on a year-round team if players feel the time and financial commitments are too much.

 

Will my existing team be broken-up due to the combination of the two competitive programs? 

 

Our goal is not to break up existing teams, where possible. However with competitive soccer, players are placed on teams that best match their developmental level. Some age groups may see more changes to existing team rosters than others, but obviously we expect the seasonal teams to remain geographically located.