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1. Should my child play Competitive soccer (Express) or Recreational soccer?

Competitive soccer (also known as Club or Travel Soccer in some areas) is designed for the higher-skilled, more dedicated soccer player. There is a professional coach for every team and the teams are formed through try-outs. The costs and time commitments are higher, but so is the level of play and the teams compete for a much longer part of the year. The competitive teams generally begin tournament play in the spring, with the first league games in late August.  League season, which continues to Thanksgiving, is followed by post-season tournaments during the winter.  The competitive teams have an extra hour of practice per week and an additional Friday skills clinic (and their practices start earlier in the year).

In contrast, our recreational program is open to all skill levels, there are no try-outs and all children will play at least half the game. The Rec games are usually played in or near Encinitas with many of our divisions playing all their games within the city limits. The coaches are parents who have gone through a licensing workshop. Recreational teams play a 10 to 11-week season in the fall and may play in the Commissioner’s Cup tournament after the regular season ends. 

2. My child would like to tryout for an Express Competitive team. When are the tryouts? 

Tryouts for U7 through U14 teams are in January and February.  Older teams tryout in April.  Please check our web site calendar for the tryout dates for the different age groups. We mail out flyers to all our players each year with tryout information.

3. What if my child missed competitive tryouts? 

Contact the coach for the appropriately aged team and they will let you know if they need players. If there are openings on the team, the coach can arrange to see if your child would fit in with this competitive team.

4. If my child doesn't make a competitive team can he/she still play Recreational Soccer?

Absolutely, You will need to fill out a registration form for the recreational league. These children are always placed on a recreational team.

5. When is Picture Day?

Picture Day is always a Sunday in September after league play commences.  Players will get their scheduled times and any other pertinent information from their coaches. The basic photo package is included in their registration fees. Additional photo items such as trading cards, mouse pads, etc. are available for purchase as well. Volunteers are needed to help with picture day.

6. Who do I contact to volunteer to help the league? 

Please contact: Rick Lochner, Club Past President or Julie Thompson, Club Administrator.

7. How much does it cost to play on a competitive team?

Competitive team pricing varies by age group and play level.  Our fees include: a week of team camp, BootKamp, GameWeek and a series of skills clinics.  See our Camps & Clinics tab for more information.

8. Is financial assistance available?

There are scholarships and financial aid available that will offset part of the registration fee. Financial aid must be requested at tryouts. Please visit our Forms & Docs page to view, download, and/or print our Financial Aid Policy and our Financial Aid Application.

9. Can I sponsor my child’s team? 

Yes! Please contact Scott Platenberg at if you are interested in becoming a sponsor.

10. How can I become a referee? 

ESL and CYSA offer workshop training to become a recreational soccer referee. All referees are paid and we need as many referees as possible. If interested in becoming a referee go to