Suggestions for youth soccer programs?

soccer ball grass

Sean emails:

Are any of your readers familiar with the youth soccer programs in the Capital District? We live in Albany and are looking for a way to introduce our current and future kids to organized soccer. We would love some help figuring out the options and getting some input on which ones people prefer.

Sean's question touches on something we've wondered about: Where are kids playing soccer in the city of Albany? Are there kids playing soccer in the city of Albany? We've seen a bunch of baseball diamonds and Little League games and some football games. But we can't remember passing a kids soccer game. That's always seemed weird, because in most places around the country soccer is a big youth sport. (And given that Albany has an increasing immigrant and refugee population -- including many people who come from soccer cultures -- it seems like there'd be even more kids who'd want to play.)

So, digression over... Got a suggestion or thought for Sean? Please share! And a sentence or two explaining your suggestion is always helfpul.

photo: Flickr user Kate Brady (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Comments

My 5 year old attended the soccer camp at Albany PAL. They offer a variety of reasonably priced sports programs, so you should definitely check with them.

This is a great introduction in the City of Albany - http://www.albanyyouthsoccer.org/

http://www.albanyyouthsoccer.org/


Large program with fall and spring offerings.

My children have participated for years with Albany Youth Soccer. They have programs for kids from 4 or 5 y/o through teen and are very much part of the fabric of Albany. It's very inexpensive and a great program which set my middle son up for both travel and school soccer teams. There are fall and spring seasons and games are on Saturdays on the fields behind Albany High School.
http://www.albanyyouthsoccer.org/?page_id=23

Seconding the above. Albany Youth Soccer.

I played for many years with this organization. Absolutely excellent experience. Good mix of fun and hard work. Very diverse group of kids and coaches. Well organized. Many other kids I knew growing up in Albany played as well. In my opinion this is the integral kids sports experience.

I'm not sure if anyone noted this, but the teams typically play at Albany High School fields. Very accessible and makes carpooling with other parents a good possibility.

It's a good conduit to "travel" and more competitive leagues if your child would like to pursue that.

My kids played Albany Youth Soccer and then graduated to the Albany Soccer Club, which is the "travel" league in Albany. The teams start at U8 and go up to U17. The U8s play 4 x 4 with small "pugg" goals, which we found allows kids to have more touches on the ball and improve faster.

The home field is at Hoffman Park. They play the suburban club teams around the Capital District. Similar to the recreational league, the kids and coaches involved in the Club teams are very diverse. Although more expensive than the rec league, it is much less than similar travel teams in the area and the Club is good about providing need-based scholarships.

Here's a link to the Club's website for more information. http://www.albanysoccerclub.org/

My 3-year-old did soccer at Afrim's in Colonie. It was a little expensive, but it's a HUGE facility and you can play in any weather.

Is there in Albany? Does a bear poop in the woods?

Albany Youth Soccer rocks - go there any saturday during the season and join that great community.

Then send your kids to Albany Public Schools where they can play on winning teams.

Albany Youth Soccer is great if you know how to play soccer. For kids kicking a ball for the first time, there will be tears. It's a great system and affordable for all.

But for my kids who needed more instruction, we did a few sessions of the (ridiculously expensive) Affrims. They learned the drills and got comfortable with the ball before hitting the field for the first time.

That said, I hope Affrims days are behind us (Colonie in rush hour?!) and that we can enjoy AYS this fall!

Thanks for the great recommendations. My eldest is 3 so this info will really help us map out current + future options.

As many others have said: AYS as well as the Albany Soccer Club!

Another voice for Albany Youth Soccer, which is actually a great place for beginning and young soccer players. Fields behind Albany High are full of families every Saturday during the fall and spring seasons and very affordable.

As mentioned above, Albany Soccer Club is the travel league. Perhaps because the practices and games are out at Hoffman Park it isn't as visible as the baseball diamonds, but those fields are also full during the outdoor spring and fall seasons. Albany Soccer Club teams often play indoors at Afrims over the winter too.

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