In simple terms, “Select” soccer means that players are chosen (selected) for positions on teams using a means of assessment, such as a tryout. Positions on teams are secured based on performance. This differs from recreational soccer where players may be placed on teams simply by signing up.
In South Carolina, Select teams begin at the age of U13 as recommended by United States Youth Soccer. States vary as to the number of levels within Select soccer they are able to offer and support with some states having as many as 4 or 5 competitive levels within Select. South Carolina supports two levels: Challenge (highest level) and Classic (second highest level), and offers two statewide Select leagues: SCSCL (South Carolina State Challenge League) for Challenge teams and PMSL (President’s Medal Soccer League) for Classic teams. States also differ in the names they assign to their various levels of play. What is called “Challenge” in South Carolina may or may not be equivalent to what is called “Challenge” in North Carolina or some other state. To add to the confusion, what South Carolina calls “Select” soccer was formerly (and sometimes still is) called “Classic”; other states call it “Travel” or something similar.
Beyond the Challenge level of play is the Region III Premier League. First and second place finishers of the SC Challenge Cup are invited to participate in this region (not statewide) league, competing against other top teams from surrounding states, providing them with a level of competition unavailable within the state of South Carolina.
Select Soccer at Carolina FC
Carolina FC is extremely proud of its Select Soccer Program. CFC Challenge and Classic Select teams demonstrate consistently high performance in the leagues in which they participate and enter more teams into the Challenge league than the Classic league. The success of CFC’s teams can be directly contributed to the long-term, progressive development of the individual players on the teams. From the beginning, CFC players are trained with their long-term development in mind rather than immediate team success. CFC coaches and trainers are committed to this philosophy and CFC utilizes the trainer system to insure that players get the maximum amount of learning from as many soccer experts as possible.
Not only do CFC Select team players perform well in the realm of club soccer, CFC training is proven preparation for high school soccer. CFC players are the backbone of many area high school teams, both public and private. The strength of a high school program usually reflects the number of club players on the team and the level at which those players compete during club season. CFC Select players feed into many area high schools, elevating the quality of the high school varsity soccer experience for both boys and girls and increasing the competitiveness and excitement of every high school match.
Is Select soccer for you?
Select soccer is for serious soccer players who want professional instruction and who desire a more competitive environment with other players who share the same goals. Most Select soccer players tend to be those that want to play for their high school and even possibly in college. Players should not try out for a competitive team simply because some of their friends are. They should tryout because they really love to play soccer, want to learn to play at a more advanced level, and are willing to commit the time and effort required to become the best soccer player possible.
Select Level Commitment
At CFC, Select teams train 3 times each week for 1 1/2 hours each session. Goal keepers are required to attend goal keeper training weekly. Participation in Technical training and Speed & Agility Sessions is highly recommended. Scrimmages, practice games, and tournaments are an integral part of the commitment. Scrimmages or practice games may be scheduled during the week in addition to regular training or on the weekends. Some practice games may be played against college teams. Teams enter 2-3 tournaments each season which will require weekend travel to clubs in South Carolina and surrounding states.
Challenge teams are entered into the SC State Challenge League and compete against other Challenge teams in their age division. Challenge teams are required by league rules to participate in the SCSCL State Cup at the end of the season, if they qualify. To qualify for State Cup, a team must finish 6th or better within their division -- match results matter! Should a team finish 1st or 2nd in the State Cup, the team is obligated to participate in the USYS Region III tournament. Top finishers at Regionals continue on to the USYS National tournament.
Classic teams enter the President’s Medal Soccer League and compete against other Classic teams in their age division. Classic teams are eligible to participate in the SC President’s Medal Cup at the end of the season. League records are used to seed teams in the tournament. Teams winning the SC President’s Medal Cup are eligible to travel to the Regional President’s Medal Cup.
Beyond the added training, match and tournament requirements, Select level players are truly challenged to perform at a higher level both technically and tactically, individually and as a team. More is expected of each player and each team in commitment, effort, desire, and results.