Tryouts & Assessments - Overview

We understand that travel assessments can be a stressful time, whether it’s your first or fourth time through it.  We hope that a brief explanation of the process will help alleviate some of that stress and let your child better enjoy their travel soccer experience.

The goal of the assessment process is to maintain a fair, objective, and thorough process for assessing player abilities and skills in order to place each player on a team that will best challenge their current level of play.  WSA uses a two-part process to place players on appropriate teams:

  • Tryout Days: Over the course of two days, professional coach evaluators observe players in a series of technical sessions and small-sided games/scrimmages. These are designed to enable players to demonstrate competency in a variety of soccer skills and abilities. Players wear numbered pinnies and are not identified by name or current team. The process is designed to provide an unbiased view and opinion of each player’s capabilities relative to his or her peers.
  • Coaches’ Evaluations: WSA gets written and/or verbal evaluations from coaches for current Travel and Academy players. Coaches evaluate players based on technical and physical skills (dribbling, passing, defending, quickness, etc.) and coachability (positive attitude, effort, etc.).

New Two-Day Tryout Format (Schedule)

We will hold a two-day tryout, comprised of a different format on each day. All of the drills have been covered in this season’s multi-team training nights, so they should be familiar to almost all players.

  • Day 1 is Technical Day
  • Day 2 is Game Day

NOTE: It is very important and in the best interests of all players to attend both days.

If due to injury or other serious conflicts a player cannot make one or both tryout days, please provide WSA with written notification 72 hours before the tryout session that will be missed, by filling out this online Travel Tryout Absence Form.

Day 1: Technical Day 

On the Technical Day we will have 5 different stations where each player will have the opportunity to perform. Each station offers a different technical challenge in a more realistic environment. Please see ‘Day 1 – Tryout Drills – Skills to look for‘ for details of the 5 stations.

  • Station 1 – 1v1
    Attacking vs. defending drill where players will alternate dribbling or defending in 1v1 situations.
  • Station 2 – Possession
    Small-sided game similar to “keep-away”, focusing on passing and receiving the ball in game-like situations, movement off the ball, etc.
  • Station 3 – 2v2
    Attacking vs. defending drill where players work together in pairs.
  • Station 4 – Passing and Receiving (combination drill)
    Focuses on the techniques of different types of passes, first touch in receiving passes, etc.
  • Station 5 – Turning drill
    This skill-focused drill looks at dribbling and different types of turns, including the drag-back, inside/outside hook, and Cruyff. (the Cruyff video also includes the Maradona turn which will not be required)

Day 2: Game Day 

Day 2 of the tryout is small-sided games/scrimmages. Each player will play multiple scrimmages where they will be viewed by professional coaches in the game environment.

Note: It is very important for players to attend both tryouts for their age groups 


Team Placements

After the tryouts are completed, the compiled scores and coach evaluations for each age group become the basis for player placements. This information will only be available to the Tryout Committee.

  1. Players will be ranked based on their scores from the professional coach evaluators. If a player is absent from one or more tryout days, they will be ranked based on coach evaluations and tryout committee input.
  2. The tryout subcommittees, consisting of the DoC, the Travel Director, and an impartial member of the Board or other volunteer as needed, will make team selections based on tryout rankings, coach evaluations, or other factors as appropriate. The subcommittees will submit these preliminary teams to a larger Evaluation Committee (multiple Board members, both past and present, the Travel Director, and the DoC) for review, adjustment, and final approval.
  3. Coaches will be chosen for each team.