Rockport Youth Soccer

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Player Development

Year Round Training Opportunities

Like many sports today, soccer has become more than a one season sport. In addition to the traditional Spring and Fall seasons, all kinds of opportunities exist starting at a very young age to help soccer players improve their skills and game including:

  • Mass Youth Soccer Association (MYSA) Clinics
  • District Soccer
  • Club Soccer
  • Summer Camps
  • Phil Tait 1 on 1:
  • Watching Soccer

A.  MYSA Skills Clinics

Each January, MYSA offers a 10 week skills development course for players in 3 different age brackets between the ages of 9-12. Classes are broken down by age group with a maximum of approximately 24 students per class. In past years courses were held in Beverly on Wednesday nights.MYSA

The skills academy will provide intense skill training for highly motivated players who are affiliated with Mass Youth Soccer. Sessions are dynamic, and fast paced, and cover all areas of technical development.

These Skills Clinics are taught by some of the best coaches in the state, many of whom are involved with ODP (Olympic Development Program) and other National and Professional soccer team programs. We highly recommend these courses.

B.  District Soccer

MYSA sponsors a summer soccer program called the District Select Program. Cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth are combined into districts of roughly equal population. In most years, we operate with seven districts, although teams are not always formed in eligible age groups within each district.

The District Select Program was originally formed to identify a pool of players in each MYSAage group from which an ODP team would be selected. Today it is used primarily as a means to allow the continuation of the player’s development during the summer.  On an annual basis each district holds tryouts to determine the players to participate in their respective groupings. The Program utilizes single year age groups for boys and girls, 12 through 17, and for the Under 19 age group. Each district is responsible for scheduling their tryouts independently.  Try-outs are held during the first two-three weeks in May.
The season runs approximately four weeks — it starts on the first weekend following the 4th of July and ends with a tournament the first weekend of August. All teams are eligible to participate in the tournament.
To learn more, contact a RYS board member.

C.  Club Soccer

Club Soccer describes the system of “pay to play” soccer clubs. There are about 150 clubs in Massachusetts, ranging from large “full service” clubs to those consisting of one or two teams and including organizations whose emphasis is developmental as well as those serving the elite soccer athlete. Most Clubs participate in the Massachusetts Premier  Soccer League “MAPLE”, “MASC”, or “Super-Y” development leagues. Those leagues, like the Essex County league in which RYS participates, are governed by Massachusetts Youth Soccer. Players are allowed by MYSA to participate in multiple teams, subject to state rules to resolve scheduling conflicts due to “multiple rostering.” Indeed, the state association encourages it, in the belief that “player improvement and excellence is fostered by exposure to as much training and as many competitions and touches on the ball as his or her academic, family and other obligations will allow.”
The four soccer clubs headquartered within 20 miles of Rockport are Aztec Soccer Club (Beverly), North Shore United (Topsfield), Victory Soccer and Boston Soccer Academy. In addition, there are about a hundred more clubs located throughout Massachusetts that can be located through the North East Soccer League website.
  1. The Aztec Soccer Club – Offers development programs beginning with Aztec Tots (18Club Logos months -6 year olds) through high school, individual and group training,  as well as school vacation and summer camps. The Club offers competitive teams for both boys and girls in ages U9 through U18, in the MAPLE league, and also operates Men’s and Women’s Indoor and Outdoor teams that compete at the highest levels of amateur soccer in the United States.  The mission of Aztec Soccer is to provide a full spectrum of soccer development, enhancing each player’s technical, tactical, physical and psychological abilities while inspiring passion for the game of soccer.  Aztec is a highly respected organization, which has had many Rockport families participate in its programs.
  2. Global Premier Soccer (GPS) North Shore (formally North Shore United) – Another well respected Club popular with Rockport families, offering various instructional programs including GPS Juniors (3-6 years old), GPS Recreational Soccer Program 3-6 years old), Early Development League (6-8 years old), GPS Technical Performance Training (9-14 years old), Junior Premier (U9-U12), and Premier (U13-U18).  GPS offers winter, spring, summer and vacation training programs as well as goalkeeping clinics.  
  3. Victory Soccer Club –  Conveniently located at the Brookwood School, in Manchester, MA, this club offers a full range of programs for ages 3-16.  This club was established by a native of Portugal who has more than 26 years of soccer experience in professional leagues, playing 15 years in European clubs in Portugal and Germany. 
  4. NEFC Northshore – NEFC Northshore offers a variety of programs to include clinics, junior academies, and competitive teams at the U8-U16 level.  The boys teams play for NEFC and the girls teams pair with the Boston Breakers Academy.  The teams compete in the New England Permeirship ans well as the NPL and US Soccer Development Academy.
  5. Boston Soccer Academy (formally known as North Shore Soccer Academy) – Directed by former Tufts & Mass ODP coach Ralph Ferrigni.  It is based out of Beverly, MA and competes in the Maple League.  They offer winter, spring, summer and fall clinics as well as private training classes. 

D.  Summer Camp Opportunities

In addition to the MYSA, District and Club soccer opportunities listed above, there are a variety of summer soccer camps are based in and around the north shore as follows:

  1. Cape Ann Summer Soccer Camp at Magnolia Woods, Gloucester –  Held with Gloucester High School varsity soccer coach, Armando Marnoto for boys and girls ages 3.5-14.   This is a 5 week co-ed summer camp focusing on improving the quality of technical ball skills, weak foot and first touch on the ball while having lots of fun!  Camp runs Monday through Friday  with one to two practices per week, per age group.  Camp times vary between 5-7:30 pm.   Armando Marnoto has been coaching Town, Club & High School Soccer for over 15 years. A recipient of Mass. Youth Soccer Coach of the Year in 2012.  Cost is approximately $200 per player.  Contact Armando at for more information.
  2. MA Youth Soccer Camp – Offers a variety of summer camp options across the state  for players of all ages and abilities.  They have week long camps specifically designed to follow US Soccer best practices for player development and fit busy schedules for active families.  The camp curriculum for all ages will follow a Play – Practice – Play format, incorporating activities that include periodization to sustain and optimize each player’s performance throughout the duration of the camp.  More information can be found here.
  3. Manchester-Essex – typically has additional training sessions.  More information can be found at their website link here.
  4. Gordon College Soccer Summer Camps – Designed to provide a quality soccer learning experience in a highly positive, fun, and organized atmosphere for kids of all ages and skill level. Each camp’s curriculum is designed for the particular age group and places considerable emphasis on teaching fundamental playing skills and proper technique. In addition, there is an intentional focus throughout the week on good sportsmanship, positive attitudes, and character development.  Find more information on Gorgon College soccer camps here.
  5. Futsol Training – Run out of the Roller Palace & Soccer, Etc. in Beverly.  They train on the Roller Skating rink and are currently offering two different sessions. Information can be found here.
  6. The New England Revolution – offers youth teams and player development programs.  More information can be found here.
  7. Phil Tait Soccer 1 on 1 – Highly recommended program that many Rockport kids have completed with great success and satisfaction.  This program provides supplemental private soccer training catered toward players aged 8+.  Sessions can be booked individually, in pairs or in a semi-private group forum.  More information can be found here.

E. Watching Soccer

Another great way to learn about soccer is to watch older players’ soccer – and they really appreciate the interest and enthusiasm of young fans. Some places to see soccer in the area are:
  1. Rockport Public School – High School Soccer Schedules can be located here.
  2. Gloucester High School Fishermen – High School Soccer Schedules can be located here.
  3. Endicott College Men’s Varsity Soccer
  4. Endicott College Women’s Varsity Soccer
  5. Gordon College Men’s Varsity Soccer
  6. Gordon College Women’s Varsity Soccer
  7. New England Revolution
  8. Boston Breakers