Arizona Soccer Club

Thunder Youth Academy

What is the Academy Philosophy?
The AZSC Academy Program philosophy is to emphasize player development over team development and focus on the technical development of each child without the pressures of short-term wins/losses/results. In taking the pressure of winning away we feel that players will learn to enjoy and love the game for itself rather than just to win.

 How old does my child have to be to be able to participate in the AZSC Academy system?
Your son or daughter must be at least 5 to 8 years old to be able to be registered within AYSA academy system. If they are younger than this age they can only play recreational soccer.

 How does my child get into the AZSC Academy system?
Tryouts are in May and we anticipate taking a total of 50 to 60 players. Players are encouraged to attend both nights of tryouts.

 How is the weekly schedule structured?
AZSC Academy Teams train two nights a week as recommended by AYSA, The training sessions are Theme based/curriculum based pool training. For example, AZSC Academy has been training on Mondays and Wednesday s 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

In regards to Games, in academy we refer to them as play dates and will normally will be on the weekend. We attempt to keep all game days on a Saturday between the hours of 8 am and 3 pm, however there is the possibility of one or 2 Sunday games as well as some Friday night games under the floodlights. This allows coaches to plan for other teams and also for parents to plan. Tournaments and festivals will be held over a Saturday and Sunday.

 Who will AZSC Academy teams play?
AZSC Academy teams will compete with academy teams from other clubs (San Tan, Mesa United, Sereno East, Ahwatukee) or to change it up once or twice we might schedule a play date with Scottsdale based teams.

How far will we have to travel?
Travel is kept as local as possible. Most games will be within the East Valley area but you may travel beyond that a couple of times if we enter into academy tournaments.

When we will know the schedule of games?
Once AZSC Academy season begins in August, I will tirelessly work with other academy directors to schedule all of our play dates and also schedule any upcoming tournaments.

Have all of the soccer clubs in Arizona adopted the “academy” philosophy?
For the 2013-14 season, Most of the clubs at the have now adopted the academy style philosophy. The great thing from our standpoint is that this will be our second year of having the academy and have learned a great deal of this program.

Why not keep leagues or standings? Doesn’t this dilute the competition?
The standings usually matter more to the parents than they do the players! Here at AZSC Academy we feel that whenever we compete against another club or even amongst the club the game will be competitive and both teams desire to win the game. We don’t want to put the younger players in situations where winning is the be all and end all. If this is the case players play with a fear based mentality rather than a creative mentality.

My son/daughter has already played in the open league division so won’t it be tough for them to change systems mid way through?
We feel that change can be tough but we all know how adaptable kids are so we feel that the positives of this program will far outweigh any negative. Player development is our top priority.

Will AZSC Academy teams enter tournaments throughout the season?
Absolutely, In 2013-2014 We participated in 3 tournaments, Sereno Jamboree, San Tan Holiday Classic and Sereno Soccer Showcase, as long as the tournaments follow the academy guidelines our players will participate.

Where is the AZSC Academy practice held and what days and times?
For the 2013-2014 season all of our academy has trained on Mondays and Wednesday s from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Our club has two locations in which we have secured training spots.

Discover Park in Gilbert – Greenfield and Pecos Roads, 2214 East Pecos Road Gilbert, AZ 85297
Crossroads Park in Gilbert – Greenfield and Ray Roads, 2155 East Knox Road Gilbert, AZ 85296

When does the AZSC Academy season start and finish?
The try outs for Academy are in May, we will offer our academy players optional summer training sessions. Our season officially begins the first week of August. Play dates will be on Saturdays begin at the beginning of September and will end at the middle of December. There is a Christmas and new year break and then training resumes.

What is the cost of the AZSC Academy Program?
The cost of the program was $575, for 2013-2014. Which covered the training fields, coaches, and registration costs. The uniforms must be purchased separately thru The club fees can be broken down as follows: $200 is due at commitment in May.

For any other questions please refer to Beny Sanchez – AZSC Academy Director