General Information – Travel

Directors Fields FAQ
Required Equipment Parent Resources

Travel Director:  Amanda LaFlamme Email:
Assistant Travel Director:  Beth Henrick Email:

Hampshire Road: Hampshire Rd Fields – (Entrance Road before 314 Hampshire Rd)

Nicholson (Ranger) Stadium – G8 Travel (Spring Season): Methuen High Ranger Stadium

CGS Fields – G4 Travel (Spring Season): CGS Fields

Travel Fields Availability:

What is travel soccer all about?
Travel soccer is the transition from recreational play (In-town soccer) to an advanced level of competition.  Travel soccer is the opportunity for Methuen Youth Soccer Association (MYSA) players to complete against other teams in the Essex County Youth Soccer Association (ECYSA).  ECYSA is comprised of 30 individual cities and towns each entering teams of various age groups. Currently, over 500 teams play in ECYSA.

Teams are divided by age group and gender. MYSA complies with the Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association age groups (please see age eligibility requirements page on our website). Therefore, players must conform to the appropriate age group. A general exception is for August birthdays only.  The age groups are as follows; G3/4 (U9/10), G5/6 (U11/12), G7/8 (U13/14), G9/10 (U15/16), G11/12 (U17/18) and PG (U19) (the last 3 age groups only play in the spring).  Each age bracket is then broken into separate Divisions for different levels of competition, G4 has two divisions, G6, G8 have four divisions.

Teams are scheduled for an 8 game season in the fall season and 8 games in the spring season (4 home and 4 away games.) Each spring season, the G5/6 (U11/12) and older teams have the opportunity to participate in Essex County playoffs. The top teams in Div. 1 and Div. 2 also have the opportunity to advance to the State finals.  All G3/4 (U9/10) teams are invited to participate in an ECYSA “Friendship Tournament”.

Where are the games held?
Home games are held within Methuen while away games are held in the various towns in the ECYSA.

How do we build our teams?
For the G3/4 (U9/10) teams we combine all eligible G3 and G4 (U9 and U10) players together.  For G5/6 (U11/12) teams we combine all eligible G5 and G6 (U11 and U12) players together.  For G7/8 (U13/14) teams we combine all eligible G7 and G8 (U13 and U14) players together.   Selection to a team is based on each player’s composite score and coach selection criteria as found in the Methuen Youth Soccer Association’s Tryout Guidelines for Player Selection.

What are some of the key tryout rules for coaches and players?
1.     The tryout process is the most important part of the selection process. We have put together a process based on years of experience and input from our own coaches and from other town leagues. No system is perfect and without flaws.

2.     Players are selected based on evaluations. Players are rated in tryouts, game play and coach ratings. A player will receive a total of four ratings for their tryout score. These include an on-field game observation, structured skills observation, 3v3 and 5v5 practice formats and a coach’s rating. The first four ratings will be used to compute a composite score to place the player in their ranking. The coach’s rating will be used as a comparison to the composite. If there is an apparent discrepancy between the two, a review will take place to fairly evaluate the player.

3.     G5/6 (U10/U12) Players:  Each player must try out and make the team every year. No child is automatically placed on a certain team. They are only assigned to their team for one-year (September to September). Tryouts consist of a game observation rating and a structured tryout of skills observation, 3v3 and 5v5. Every effort is made to place players who have tried out on a travel team in their age group. However, if after maximizing team rosters based on ECYSA guidelines, there is no room on a travel team, the player will be placed in the intown programs.

A second travel team will only be compiled if more than 20 players tryout, register and a qualified volunteer coach submits an application for coaching a G3/4 (U9/10) team by June 1st. If one of these requirements is not met, those players not selected for the first team will be welcome to registered with the in-town league after their refund is completed.

4.     G7/8 (U13/14) Players:  Every effort is made to place players who have tried out on a travel team in their age group. However, placement to a Div 1, Div 2 or Div 3 team will be based on the guidelines outlined in the Methuen Youth Soccer Association’s Tryout Guidelines for Player Selection.  Additionally, if after maximizing team rosters, based on ECYSA guidelines, there is no room on a travel team, the player will be placed on a wait list. Players who do not try out will be place on the list below those who do try out.

5.     Interested potential travel coaches are required to submit a coach questionnaire to the Travel Director by May 30th for each year. The Travel Review Committee recommends to the MYSA Board of Directors travel coaches for each team. The Board of Directors will select the most appropriate coaches for each travel teams. The Coaches questionnaire is used as an aid only in the selection of coaches.

6.     See Calendar for scheduled travel tryout dates and locations.

What is expected of each player in terms of commitment?
Playing any sport at a higher level requires an extra effort. This effort requires: devotion to the practice it takes to develop skill, the hard work and dedication it takes to hone those skills, the motivation it takes to master those skills and most importantly the commitment the children and their parents make to the other players and parents.

Each player on a Methuen Youth Soccer Team should conduct himself or herself properly.  Improper behavior to teammates, coaches, parents, officials or opposing teams is cause for removal from the team.  Playing on a travel team is a privilege and not a right.

Each player is expected to play in both the fall and the spring seasons of the soccer year.  A major difference between In-Town and Travel soccer is the level of competition. Travel teams form a strong team bond and sense of camaraderie. Soccer is a team sport that depends on every player knowing their team’s way of thinking and action of play.

Travel teams typically schedule two 1.5-hour practices per week and each player is expected to be in attendance.  A minimum of one practice per week is mandatory for Division 1 and 2 players.  Attendance at all games is mandatory for Division 1 and 2 teams. Excuses from this requirement include previously communicated commitments, such as family, religious or school events, illness or unforeseeable emergencies.

The team head coach must inform the Travel Director if a player misses more than three consecutive unexcused practices or one game. A review and possible action (i.e. less playing time or removal from the team without refund) may be administered. In addition attendance will effect placement on a select team in the future.

Each player will be provided at least 50% playing time for each game. However, if players consistently miss practice and games, a coach may use his/her best judgment as to how much playing time they deserve.  There are several reasons for limiting their playing time below 50%. First, the athlete may not be in peak physical condition.  This can cause injury to the player and his/her teammates.  For those that play large sided fields, they most likely will not be playing well with their teammates as they haven’t been to practices and games. Coaches are instructed to discuss why a child may not have the same amount of playing time (and possibly less than 50%) with parents before the start of a game. Travel is more competitive than inTown and there is more of a demand from players to push themselves and skill set to the next level of play.

We are not asking that children choose soccer as their only sport. However, we are asking that both the child and parents make a serious commitment to travel soccer. If a child participates in multiple sports/activities at the same time, travel soccer should not be considered any less important than the other sports/activities. Every effort should be made to treat all sporting activities equally.

What is expected of the parents?
A child’s parents, guardians, relatives and friends are expected to be a positive reinforcement behind them. Every effort should be made to help get the child to games and to practices. Travel teams bond together quickly. Parents will find that carpooling to practices and to games helps teams bond together while making transportation easier for the parents.

Parents are expected to follow the association’s established Parent’s Code of Conduct.  Parents and all others observing games are expected to abide by the code of conduct rules. Essex County has adopted a Zero Tolerance Policy in the officiating of the games. Improper behavior by players or parents towards teammates, coaches, parents, officials or opposing teams will result in disciplinary action.

Each parent is expected to applaud the efforts of ALL CHILDREN on the field. Win or lose, when a child gives his or her best effort that is all anyone can ask. They should always hold their heads high and be proud. Parental approval is what they seek for their efforts. Any parent who abuses the above may be subject to a suspension and or ban from attending travel games.

What is expected of the coach?
Each coach is assigned for a one-year season and must reapply each year. During the season, when a coach is challenged or the Board of Directors feel that the coach or coaches are improper for the team, a coaching change can be made. The selected coach for any team in MYSA is expected to put the interests of the entire team foremost in their objectives. Therefore a travel coach must be 100% committed to their team. Travel coaches are expected to hold 2 practices per week and be at the games on weekends. Please review MYSA coaching expectations on our website.  Also expected of coach’s is upholding the Zero Tolerance Policies of ECYSA and also MYSA for themselves and their coaching staff, players and parents.

For Travel Practices and Game Day, all Soccer Players are required to have:

– Shin Guards

– Ball
League Ball Size
Gr4/5 (U9/10) Travel Size 4
Gr5/6 (U11/12) Travel Size 4
Gr7/8 (U13/14) Travel Size 5
Gr11/12 (U15/16) Travel Size 5
Gr9/10 (U17/18) Travel Size 5
PG (U19) Travel Size 5

– Cleats
These MUST be soccer cleats without metal or a toe-cleat! Football, Baseball or any other sport cleats are not allowed on the fields)

– Uniform Shirt, Uniform Shorts and Team Socks*
Travel Teams must wear their Travel FULL KIT for every game. The Referee has the right to refuse a player entrance onto the field when they do not have their Full Team Kit on, i.e. the Methuen Soccer Travel League Uniform Shirt, Shorts and Socks for the Team that season/year per ECYSA Regulations.

* Required on Game Day only.

The new G-Form Shin Guards, recommended by MA Youth Soccer:

The Introduction of G-Form

Our Soccer Locker:
Kids grow out of their items so fast! You are always welcome on Opening Day to visit our Soccer Locker at the tables and take or drop off soccer items at the bin. You can visit our inventory list for the Soccer Locker here.

MYSA Parent Handbook

10 Tips for Soccer Parents on the Sidelines

How to put the fun back in youth sports

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