Player Development, Recruitment & Hiring, Registration, Team Management

Tryouts. Argh!

1 month until tryouts. Nightmare.

Stay recreational? Stay with your school team, friends, and community.

Tryout for Competitive teams? A whole new world, possible travel, make new friends, play in the world cup.

The pressure and the uncertainty is what we deal with mostly during this time of year in the SFYS office. So, we decided to put together some common facts and myths for you to get to grips with.

Fact. Every player will make a team.

SF has multiple clubs and multiple competitive teams who are always looking for players, or looking to add teams to their brand. They are free to do so and your player could be the perfect fit.

So yes, that means you are guaranteed a spot on a team somewhere.

Myth. You do not have to tryout.

Recreational soccer serves a fantastic purpose for players that simply love to play, but play other sports, or do not want to commit to a 2/3/4 times per week practice schedule with various travel requirements. Recreational soccer continues to challenge players and those that are ‘walking the league’ and scoring all the goals soon move on to other challenges, leaving the field for true recreational players to love their own version of the game.

Fact. Every player will make a team.

It is certainly worth repeating because you have an actionable item before making every team in the city. That is, research clubs and coaches.


Fees (Does it include practices, games, travel, league registration, insurance, playing time).

Practice schedule.

Travel information (tournaments and typical league opponents).

Expectations and additional programs.

Uniforms (most brands require a new uniform purchase every 2 years, for example).


Fees (if not already included in club fees).

Background and experience.

License level – ‘A’ is at the top, but doesn’t mean the best. Was the ‘A’ achieved in 1980, or recently? The ‘best coach’ doesn’t mean the best for your player, of course.

Decide what is important to you and then research / reach out to clubs and ask those questions BEFORE tryouts. Ask other parents (key!) as they’ll tell you the truth. Make a short list on a club / coach.

Then, once tryout times and locations are published, make a plan for which ones you want to attend. Having this laid out will help you avoid a panicked tryout weekend.

A panicked weekend will result in you playing for a club / coach that probably know nothing about because you want to make a team. Remember – everyone makes a team, so be prepared and let them fight over you!

Myth. SFYS does not endorse any club.

We have no favorites, no preferences, and no recommendations for you. We even have board members affiliated with different clubs. The Vikings office is next door to ours, but we are separate organizations (they run SFRPD Microsoccer, so we do align our registration platforms). SFYS lists all SF Clubs who are hosting summer camps or clinics on our website on the Player Development page.

Fact. You can only register for one team.

You cannot register on one SFYS team and another team such as a travel team or a school team. This is per San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department policy. Sorry, you cannot remain on your 4th grade school team to ‘help them out’ and join a competitive travel team too.

Myth. I should wait until I get a competitive team offer to tell my Recreational / UH team.

Please tell your team coach / manager ASAP that you intend to tryout for clubs / teams. Why? Because you’ll open a spot on your current roster and you are trying out to push into a new level of Soccer. Therefore you will be leaving your team, but if you wait until the signing period, that means you’ll be leaving right as SFYS opens up registration – and it is often impossible for any team to scrape additional players together at the last minute and declare their intent to play with a full team. When you begin researching just let your team know so they can begin to plan without you. If you decide you do not want to travel, we will usually find a way to get you onto that or another team.

Any coach and team that truly loves the game will be happy for any player moving on to another challenge. Back to research – if you find a coach that is open to that, join with them right away. Don’t let anyone hold you back.

Truth. As a recreational player you can practice with any competitive team.

You just need to contact the team. What better way to tryout than in the team environment with just your player, and not a field of players with numbers on their back. Check out the bottom of our Tryouts Guidance page for Team & Club flyers and practice schedules.

Simply put. Being prepared, which mean starting preparation right now, will mean the tryout window will be a pleasurable experience and one in which you can give your player the best chance to find the most suitable team. It is also key for you to find a program for which you are comfortable paying for!

Please share this, and if you have additional questions, please let us know because you are not the only one with the same question.

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