Member Update: Message from CEO Kevin Payne regarding U.S. Soccer Federation Player Development Initiatives (PDIs)

Member Update: Message from CEO Kevin Payne regarding U.S. Soccer Federation Player Development Initiatives (PDIs)

Aug. 31, 2017



Dear members:

We want to reiterate the implementation of U.S. Soccer’s Player Development Initiatives (PDIs), which all came into effect less than a month ago on Aug. 1. As a National Association member of U.S. Soccer, US Club Soccer and its members are also required to abide by the mandates.

U.S. Soccer recently released an updated edition of its PDI presentation, which can be accessed here in English and here in Spanish. Mandates include: birth-year registration, small-sided standards, build-out lines and concussion protocols/heading guidelines.

U.S. Soccer’s “Player Development Philosophies,” which are outlined in each format (4v4, 7v7 and 9v9) within the aforementioned presentation, are considered best practices and not currently mandated.

Additional information about the mandates are available below, which were also included in last month’s Member Update.

Thank you for your support, and thank you for being a member of US Club Soccer and U.S. Soccer.

SIGNATURE - Kevin Payne

Kevin Payne
CEO / Executive Director, US Club Soccer

Effective Aug. 1, 2017:

  • Small-sided games standards: The newest U.S. Soccer presentation regarding PDIs further explains the player development philosophy, exact field specifications, age groups and standards for 4v4 (pages 13-23), 7v7 (24-39) and 9v9 (40-50) play. Also, a chart is shown below.With the exception of the player development philosophies, which are provided as a best practice, the small-sided standards were required as of Aug. 1, 2017. (See page 51 of the presentation.)All US Club Soccer-sanctioned programming now taking place must abide by these small-sided standards, regardless of when sanctioning approval was issued.

Small-sided games guidelines chart (Effective 2017-08-01)


  • Modified substitution rules and new protocols regarding suspected head injuries: These initiatives came into effect on Jan. 1, 2016.
  • Certified athletic trainers at large tournaments: Any tournament projected to have 64 or more teams at 11-U and older age groups must have an adequate number of certified athletic trainers or other healthcare professionals in attendance. This requirement was implemented as of Jan. 1, 2016.
  • Birth-year registration: US Club Soccer, along with other major youth soccer organizations, mandated birth-year registration to its members in August 2016. A season matrix is available here.

Please contact your respective US Club Soccer Membership Services Representative with any questions.

Thank you for your support.


US Club Soccer