Tuscaloosa United Soccer Club- Academy
The Academy program is a developmentally appropriate soccer environment designed for the player age 8-12 years old to grow the fundamental skills necessary to compete at higher levels later on. The core of this program is broken down in the following manner:
Come to work hard…
Come to develop skills and get better…
Come to have fun…
With these in mind, players are given opportunities to learn and grow in the game at their own individual pace. Some players take to this environment right away while others may be a slower to catch on. In either case, developmentally appropriate groups are made and kept very fluid.
FAQs about the Academy Program
How will I know the Academy Program is right for my child?
Players who show an interest in playing at a higher level or who take well to instruction are suited for the Academy Program. A child who can accept being challenged and encouraged will do well!
What team is my child on?
In the Academy Program, there is no set team or roster. Instead, we refer to the entire group as a pool. All players are included. As players show growth and excel in certain skills, they may move to a group that is more challenging. Conversely, when a player is struggling with a concept or growing into his or her physical body, he or she may move to a less challenging group to maintain growth and momentum. In short, the players move frequently throughout the pool. Prior to a game day, coaches will publish a list for each roster for that day.
Who is my child’s coach?
Coaches for the Academy Program work under the Director of Coaching and are all licensed, paid coaches. ALL coaches will work with ALL players, so your child will have many coaches. As a team of coaches, we will discuss progress made, skills lacking or excelling, and overall attitude weekly. When you have questions about any part of the program, please feel free to ask the nearest coach. If you don’t find a satisfactory answer or want more information, please contact Mike Bissell directly at
What is the commitment for the Academy Program?
Players in the Academy are expected to participate and to work hard at soccer. TUSC does not discourage players from participating in other sports, but we ask that you make this program a priority and that you communicate known conflicts with the coaches in a timely manner. In fact, we encourage children at this age to experience a variety of activities in order to develop a well-rounded person in the end. The cost of the program encourages families to organize their schedules and communicate with coaches.
What costs are associated with the Academy Program?
The cost of participation in the Academy Program is $375 per season which is considerably less than similar programs in other areas nearby. Families will pay a $75 registration fee at the time of acceptance and make arrangements to pay the remaining balance of $300. This amount covers coaching expenses, equipment, registration with the Alabama State Association-Youth Academy, and referee expenses. Uniforms are NOT included in this cost. We estimate uniforms will cost about $100, but your child will keep that uniform for 2 years beginning this fall. Need-based financial assistance is available through the application process. For more on that, contact
Does my child have to attend evaluations?
Yes, we ask that all players current and new to the program participate in the evaluation process. This is done in a controlled environment and is a good way to assess a player’s behavior and general skill level. For the Academy Program, behavior expectations are very high. Refer to costs involved for more clarification. If you are unable to attend evaluations, please contact the Director of Coaching at
What if my child accepts a spot in the Academy Program but doesn’t enjoy it?
At TUSC, our goals are very simple and apply to ALL levels of play at ALL ages. We want the players to have fun, develop skills and return the next season to play again. If your child is unhappy in the program, we will credit your family account a prorated amount relative to the time in the schedule and transfer him or her to an age appropriate recreational team for the remainder of the season. NOTE- The $75 registration fee and uniform costs are not refundable as administrative costs have already been paid and uniform purchase is separate from fees.