U9-U18 Competitive Program

Since 1982, the mission of Placer United’s competitive soccer program to provide opportunities for elite players to develop in the most challenging and competitive soccer environment possible.  The technical, tactical, physical, and mental development of players are focal points of our competitive curriculum.

  • Through our highly credentialed and connected coaching staff, Placer United creates exposure for players to be identified by:
    • ODP, PDP, and ID2 soccer programs
    • Collegiate Soccer Staff
    • Regional and National Staff
  • Placer United is the only National Premier League club in the county and our teams compete in the highest bracket levels.
  • Placer United teams travel to tournaments throughout California and beyond to ensure the highest levels of competition and exposure in tournaments and college showcases.

Elite Club National Program (ECNL)

The ECNL was founded in 2009 as a challenge to the status quo of youth soccer, with a vision to be better. The league supported only girls’ programming in its first years, but that was to change.

As a result of grassroots collaboration and innovation driven by youth soccer leaders all around the country, the ECNL quickly rose to national prominence – ultimately to be the top level of competition and player development in the country. Each step was fueled by a shared commitment to elevating the youth soccer experience.

From inception, the ECNL consistently developed in alignment with the needs of its member clubs, always seeking opportunities to lead and provide more, no matter the challenge or adversity. The four letters “ECNL” embody collaborative innovation, opportunity, respect, development, and excellence in youth soccer. The once-radical idea of clubs having a voice to determine their future proved to produce results never before seen in youth soccer. Unrivaled numbers of constantly improving quality female players began moving on to the collegiate, professional, and national team levels as the ECNL impact changed youth soccer.

In 2017, the landscape demanded more, and the ECNL Boys was founded, setting the stage for an amazing period of rapid growth, increasing quality, and further change in youth soccer. Starting with 57 of the top boys’ clubs in the country, the creation of the Boys ECNL once again demonstrated how a total commitment to improving the experience of players, coaches, clubs, and the environment in which they develop, can change everything.

Today, the ECNL represents the epitome of excellence in youth soccer for boys and girls, as the league and its clubs, players, coaches, and everyone involved seek to constantly “Raise the Game” for the future.

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National Premier League (NPL)

The National Premier League (NPL) is a national competition platform created to elevate and change the competitive youth soccer landscape by:

  • Extending developmental principles espoused by U.S. Soccer into more age groups and clubs
  • Linking competition with player development and identification platforms
  • Providing meaningful weekly competition culminating in the NPL Finals
  • NPLs are leagues unified under one national competition platform and based on common technical framework. More specifically, the NPL provides a platform:
    • focused on long-term player development
    • for the country’s top soccer clubs, allowing consistent, meaningful high-level games appropriately scheduled with higher training-to-game rations and eliminating calendar congestion
    • integrated with the id² Program, which includes Player Development Programs (PDPs) in select local markets, and that works closely with U.S. Soccer staff regarding player identification, and player and coach development
    • designed and structured by the clubs, based on the needs of the clubs
    • that provides an avenue for qualification for the NPL Finals and Elite National Premier League

Transition to Strike

Transition to Strike is a program is designed for players and parents considering a change to competitive soccer.

Many parents have reservations about the demands and the structure of a competitive playing environment. Transition to Strike works to foster the love of the game with children who have experienced our Grassroots Program while also introducing more deliberate learning. We want every player to enjoy the game and continue their development in an environment tailored for individual needs.

As a next step in the player development pathway, Transition to Strike takes a smaller pool of selected/qualified players, about 20-25 per age group and gender, who will train at least twice per week and play small-sided games, both within the program and also against outside competition, through play dates and other local tournaments. At the younger ages, players grow, mature, and develop at different rates.

It is essential to balance the enjoyment of the game with a healthy dose of learning in a safe and nurturing environment that prioritizes individual growth. We believe Transition to Strike should be a manageable and affordable experience for all who may be looking to take that next step toward competitive soccer.


Age Groups

U6, U8, U10
Boys and Girls


Contact Coach Emre for player evaluation


August – May


Winter:  mid-December thru first week of January

Summer:  mid-July thru mid-August



Placer United Grassroots Program Ages 5 to 12

The Placer United Grassroots Program gives children in our community the opportunity to be involved in a sport, provide them with the best possible learning environment, and teach teamwork and sportsmanship. Placer United makes soccer fun and creates a lifelong passion for the game in young players, as well as creates a pathway to U9-U19 competitive club soccer. We believe the Grassroots Program is the best option for young players because it parallels with the U.S. Soccer training program which emphasizes player development over winning.

Our age-appropriate curriculum focuses on individual technical development, building confidence in young soccer players, improving cognitive development, and increasing imagination, by allowing players to learn the game gradually in a fun, exciting, and competitive environment.

  • We believe every player benefits from playing in every game
  • We are committed to providing a positive, respectful environment
  • Our focus is on the continued growth and development of our players and teams to their desired potential
  • We believe soccer can help build self-esteem, create lasting relationships, and teach life lessons
  • We know we can achieve our goals only through the combined efforts of our parents, players, and volunteers


Grassroots Parent-Coaches are volunteers who will be guided and mentored by Placer United’s Grassroots Director, Coach Emre Gencer. Coach Emre holds a United States Soccer Federation National “C” License, Positive Coaching Alliance License., and a U.S. Soccer Director of Coaching License.  He will teach how to instruct basic soccer fundamentals for younger players. This will ensure a positive experience for parent-coaches and players alike and helps players learn proper technique at the earliest ages. Coach Emre will introduce disguised learning in a variety of games and activities that will provide players many touches on the ball while maintaining a fun soccer experience.

Program Highlights

  • Age appropriate program for boys and girls ages 5-12 (birth years 2019-2012)
  • Two weekly one-hour practices with the Grassroots Director
  • Games will be played on the weekends
  • Parent-coaches will receive coaching education sessions
  • Individual players can sign up and will be assigned to a team
  • Recreational level players and parent coaches are welcome

Training Curriculum

  • Two 60-minute team practice sessions per week with the Grassroots Director
  • Curriculum specially designed to be consistent with the Placer United technical training guidelines for similar age groups

Season Length

The following split-season format with a summer break makes training convenient for families new to soccer or with multiple soccer player schedules

  • Winter Session:  January thru March
  • Spring Session:  April thru June
  • Fall Session:  September thru November


  • Fun!
  • Individual player development
  • Increased confidence
  • Better ball control with maximum touches
  • Ball skills and movement
  • Improved balance and coordination
  • Running mechanics
  • Allow playing the game to be the best teacher


Each practice will finish with small-sided games which will harness teamwork and introduce some basic tactical concepts while also developing decision-making.

Refund Policy:  We will refund 100% of your registration for cancellations up to 10 days prior to the first session.  Refunds will not occur for cancellations less than 10 days prior to the first session. A club credit towards another event, such as camps or clinics, or a future Grassroots League, will be issued.


2024 Winter Session – SESSION FULL


2024 Spring Session – SESSION FULL

  • Mandatory Parent Meeting

    Thursday, April 18
    6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
    Zoom Meeting  (Link will be emailed once registration is complete.)

  • Coaches Meeting

    Saturday, April 20
    7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
    Placer United Soccer Indoor Training Center

  • Team Orientation and First Practice (jerseys distributed)

    U6 Players:  Tuesday, April 23 – 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
    U8-U12 Players:  Wednesday, April 24 – 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
    Field:  TBA Weather Permitting

  • Outdoor Practices

    U6 Players
    Tuesdays and Fridays, starting April 23 thru May 31
    5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
    U8-U12 Players
    Wednesdays starting April 24 thru May 29
    5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
    Fridays starting April 26 thru May 31
    6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
    Field:  TBA Weather Permitting

  • Games

    Saturday, May 4 thru Saturday, June 8
    8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    Field: TBA Weather Permitting
    End of Season, Saturday, June 8


2024 Fall Session

  • Mandatory Parent Meeting

    Thursday, August 22
    6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
    Zoom Meeting (Link will be emailed once registration is complete)

  • Coaches Meeting

    Saturday, August 24
    7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
    Placer United Soccer Indoor Training Center

  • Team Orientation &. First Practice (jerseys distributed)

    U6 Players:  Tuesday, August 27 – 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
    U8-U12 Players:  Wednesday, August 28 – 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
    Field: TBA Weather Permitting

  • Outdoor Practices

    U6 Players:
    Tuesdays and Fridays, starting August 27 thru October 1
    5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
    U8-U12 Players:
    Wednesdays starting August 28 thru October 2
    5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
    Fridays starting August 30 thru October 4
    6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
    Field:  TBA Weather Permitting

  • Games

    Saturday, September 7  thru Saturday, October 12
    8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    Field: TBA Weather Permitting
    End of Season, Saturday, October 12

Goalkeeping Program

The Placer United Goalkeeping Program is a year-long age specific program for players ages 10-18, designed to develop key aspects of the game needed in order to be a successful goalkeeper. The Goalkeeper Program is inclusive meaning the additional training for this position is offered at no additional cost to the player. The program includes physical, tactical, technical, and mental aspects of the game which are specific to the playing position.

Coach Bashar

The Goalkeeping Program is instructed by Placer United’s Goalkeeping Technical Director, Bashar Alsakati, former Al Ain FC coach and game analysis coach. Al Ain FC is one of the largest and most successful soccer clubs in the UAE.


The Placer United Goalkeeping Program includes:


  • One 60 minute practice session per week, with additional free drop-in clinics offered throughout the season
  • Curriculum specifically designed to be consistent with the Placer United technical training for all age groups

The main objective within the curriculum is to develop goalkeeping focus:

  • Ages 10 and under

    Every player at this age should experience playing all positions on the field including the goalkeeping position. It is important for the individual player to develop as a soccer player, not just as a goalkeeper.

    • Four basic handling positions
    • Basic collapse diving
    • Knowledge of distribution concepts
    • Basic goalkeeping positioning
  • Ages 11-14

    • Intermediate Handling
    • Shoot stopping and diving
    • Handling the breakaway save
    • Basic cross management
    • Dealing with the back pass
    • Distribution concepts with hands
    • Distribution concepts with feet
    • Set piece organization
    • Communication/Organization
    • Footwork/Core Strength/Speed
  • Ages 15 and up

    • Advanced handling/Shot stopping
    • Back to the bar
    • 3-goal Situation
    • Cross management
    • Playing out of the back
    • Organizing the defense
    • Advanced positioning
    • Overall understanding of soccer
    • Fitness/Plyometric/Explosiveness
    • Confidence/Short Memory

For additional information, contact Coach Bashar.