Explore the best youth soccer clubs in Arizona. Whether you're a player or a parent, our list showcases top soccer clubs for all ages and skill levels. Join the excitement!
Before diving into the top soccer clubs in Arizona, it's essential to recognize the significant role certain key factors play in setting some clubs apart from their rivals. These variables are game-changers, bestowing considerable advantages to certain clubs and fundamentally influencing your decision-making process. Understanding these pivotal elements is crucial in making an informed choice when selecting the right club for you or your aspiring soccer star. Below are 3 top factors by importance as to why AZ soccer clubs have an advantage over others.
Top tier Arizona soccer clubs that have access to the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL), Major League Soccer Next (MLS NEXT) and Girls Academy (GA) often have distinct advantages over soccer clubs that are not included in the those leagues, primarily due to the following reasons:
IMPORTANT: Only a select few soccer clubs in Arizona (top tier clubs) are awarded with a spot into ECNL, MSL NEXT or GA, which means they have a distinct advantage in not only recruiting top soccer players, but keeping the top players over soccer clubs that are not awarded with a spot.
Unfortunately (and possibly unfairly) Arizona soccer clubs NOT in the ECNL, MSL NEXT or GA often face challenges in retaining their best players, who may depart for these top soccer clubs in pursuit of better development and exposure opportunities. This dynamic creates a significant divide in the quality of play and opportunities between the top tier clubs and lower tier clubs.
Look for soccer clubs in Arizona that participate in the ECNL, MLS NEXT and GA if you or your aspiring soccer player has a desire to play at a higher level or is at higher level skill set, ready for a larger level of commitment and looking to get increased exposure from college coaches. Typical practices are 4 times a week with weekend league games in Arizona (55%) and California (45%). Play in these leagues start around U12 (Under 12 years old). Individual personal soccer training is also recommended outside the practices as most soccer clubs don't work too much on individual player development.
*Soccer clubs that participate in ECNL, MLS NEXT and GA do offer recreational and competitive programs that are considered lower level and are geared to feed into their top programs.
Arizona coaches and trainers are next up on the list as having the top trainers usually means turning average players/teams into the best, or making the best players/teams even better.
Soccer clubs in Arizona that participate in the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL), Major League Soccer Next (MLS NEXT) and Girls Academy (GA) do have advantages of attracting better coaches and trainers in Arizona, but that doesn't mean they have the best. See these following reasons:
IMPORTANT: Most soccer clubs in Arizona have the same QUALITY level soccer trainers/coaches as ECNL, MLS NEXT and GA clubs. In fact, some clubs outside these top tier programs have higher quality trainers and coaches- which is much better for a soccer player's development.
This is because lower tier soccer clubs have trainers/coaches that have played soccer at a high level (College/Pro) but didn't spend the time and money to get a top coaching license- which is usually a requirement for an ECNL, MLS NEXT and GA soccer club in AZ. Remember, anyone can get a high level coaching license, but only a small percentage can or have played soccer at a high level.
Question to ask is: Would a soccer player rather be trained by 5 year professional soccer player who doesn't have a coaching license, or an A license coach who has never played at the college/pro level?
Just because a soccer club in AZ participates in the ECNL, MLS NEXT and GA, doesn't mean you or your aspiring soccer player will get the best training/coaching. Until they are at a high skill level, it is completely fine to play for a club outside the top tier youth soccer clubs in Arizona.
Location can play a significant role in why some soccer clubs in Arizona have an advantage over others- especially in recruiting top talent and forming better teams. Here are a few key reasons:
IMPORTANT: With only a select few soccer clubs in Arizona (top tier clubs) being awarded with a spot into an ECNL, MSL NEXT or GA league, you might be forced to travel long distances if you're set on playing for a top tier club.
If you're looking to get high quality training and coaching, plan to travel an average of 15 - 45 minutes to and from practice. If you're just starting out and playing at a recreational level, finding a quality Arizona soccer club in your immediate area shouldn't be a problem.
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