SMUFC: OUR MISSION
Santa Monica United Football Club is a non-profit organization dedicated to youth soccer. We encourage our athletes to pursue the same level of excellence in academics and all of their other endeavors.
At SMU FC we embrace the fact that we live in a city that is culturally and racially diverse and we want our club to reflect this diversity. We expect our club to be made up of young athletes from all socioeconomic sectors of our society. Our reach extends from Santa Monica to other areas of the city of Los Angeles where we work with various youth organizations to find young boys and girls who embrace the game of soccer who do not have the means to participate in a professionally run soccer club without some assistance.
Our club uses its non-profit tax-exempt status to raise funds to enable participation across all levels of our society and to provide an environment of soccer excellence to all of our members. All of our coaches are professionals with credentials from the United States Soccer Federation. The club is run by a board of volunteers along with considerable help from the parents of our athletes.
WHO ARE WE AND WHAT DO WE STAND FOR?
THE PILLARS OF SMUFC SOCCER SCHOOL
We focus on real long term development. We believe we have a very strong set of coaches who can take kids who have some level of talent for this game and over a period of 2-3 years or more can develop them into soccer "players". It's not an overnight process. We are patient with our coaches and we seek patience from our players and parents. We are not concerned with where our players will play in 3 months. We are concerned with where they will be when they are 15 or 16.
We see the fruits of this in watching a lot of our teams play throughout the season. No matter what level, we always see our teams trying to play the game properly, passing the ball around patiently, trying to build up the attack and not relying on a single superstar player. It doesn't always win games but it does develop players.
All of our teams are taught the same kind of soccer and belong to a very distinct philosophy. Coaching curriculum ensures that all technical, tactical and mental aspects of the game are taught in an age-appropriate manner to all of our players. All fitness and conditioning is done with the ball so that, while addressing the athletic aspect of the game, the kids continuously improve their skills. The ball is touched at all times. No development can be achieved standing in line and touching the ball every 5 minutes. Each player must literally touch the ball hundreds of time on each session.
We play a well rounded possession game, trying to build out of the back, emphasizing good movement off the ball and the creation of space. We teach different formations and experiment with positions, but we teach all players to play the game the way it’s played in the best Leagues of the world.
We promote a healthy lifestyle for young athletes in a competitive environment. We teach kids important life lessons while competing in the most competitive League in the country (Coast Soccer League). We love to win, but never at the price of giving up honesty and integrity.
ETHICS & VALUES
CHARACTER – RESPECT– TEAMWORK - RESPONSIBILITY.
We love to build winning teams and to get players to the next level, whether it is Varsity High School, College or the Pros. We believe it is even more fundamental, though, to teach character and good work ethics to our players and help them become outstanding citizens in our society.
We teach our players to show respect for teammates, opponents, coaches and officials at any moment of the game. We believe in team work. We prepare our kids to always be ready to work in harmony with their peers and with their coaches, so that they can be prepared for any social situation in life. We don't baby sit our players, nor we give them alibis. We help them grow and mature. We trust them with responsibilities on the pitch and off. We look for families who embrace that our organization will help their kids learn important life and moral values.
We believe in loyalty! For the most part unless a kid has behavioral problems or just doesn't have the fundamentals upon which to build skill and tactics, we don't cut players. We believe that if a kid has the fundamentals and is willing to learn, our coaches can bring them along over time to where they can make a good contribution on a strong team of players. We try to teach the importance of loyalty in life and aim at receiving the same kind of loyalty from our players.
We teach our players about winning with humility and losing with dignity. We believe honesty and integrity must prevail when trying to win soccer games.
HOW DO WE ACHIEVE ALL OF THE ABOVE?
-Advancement of team and individuals through DEVELOPMENT, not recruiting. If we develop, winning will automatically come later.
-One of the most qualified coaching staff in Southern California. Almost all of our Head Coaches are US Soccer Federation A, B or C licensed coaches.
-Outstanding coaching curriculum and training philosophy.
-Reliable field space. We are the only club in Los Angeles that provides half a field to practice on for 90% of the training throughout the season.
-Solid and transparent financial situation.
-Experienced and dedicated soccer leadership and administrative management.
SMU CLUB OVERVIEW
Santa Monica United football club is run by a Board of Directors consisting of a President, Vice President, Secretary, Registrar, Treasurer and other board members consisting of a representative from each of the member teams (usually the team administrator). These positions are elected positions, with nominations accepted through February and the election taking place at the Annual General Meeting in March. The SMU board generally meets the second Wednesday of every month and the meetings are open to all members of Santa Monica United SC.
The Club is also an independent league of registration (SM/WSL - Santa Monica Westside Soccer League) and has all its teams competing in Coast Soccer League (CSL), the most competitive and prestigious youth soccer leagues in Southern California.
CSL is the league of competition and is affiliated with CYSA-South, the governing body for all club soccer players, and other matters. CYSA-South is an affiliate of the USSF.
All of the Club's teams are "select" - meaning that players must tryout to make the team in their age bracket. A player's commitment to their team - and vice versa - is for an entire season through the end of State Cup. parents, player, and head coach.
Most teams will run tryouts soon after State Cup tournament has concluded. Teams may or may not require all their players to tryout at the end of every season. Please check with your team manager.
The Club presently consists of teams for boys and girls ages 8-18 from the Santa Monica/Westside/South Bay/San Fernando Valley/Central Los Angeles/Beverly Hills communities. All exhibit better than average skills and athletic ability and possess a desire to improve their game through a higher level of training and competition. Most currently participate in school teams and many alumni have taken their soccer careers to the collegiate ranks, and some on to semi-pro and national teams.
Club soccer is, by nature, a competitive environment requiring a tremendous time and financial commitment, and finding quality players is always our priority. We do everything we can at the club level to scout and identify the type of player that SMU requires to form teams that can compete at the highest possible level. But as we cannot get to everyone, we often require the help of our families in this endeavor. Therefore, if you know of a player who wants to take their game to the next level, contact the team manager and/or head coach, so that they may invite that player to tryout/train with the team to see if there is a "good fit."
All our teams are all trained by nationally licensed professional coaches and certified trainers approved by the Club. Most of our head coaches also coach high school teams in the LA area and/or are "career" coaches. Parents do not coach their own children at SMU.
Parents are expected to actively support their child's participation as members of SMU through positive reinforcement. This support also includes taking an active role in Club/Team related activities, team management, and coordination of efforts as requested by the Team Coach or Club Officers. Parental involvement at SMU is on a volunteer (i.e., unpaid) basis.
The financial commitment varies from team to team and on the number of players on each team but on average, the monthly tuition fees per player are between $150-$180. Most teams ask that you pay quarterly and in advance, while others require that you pay monthly. The tuition fees cover the following expenses:
1 Coaching salaries - Head coach, assistant coach, & goalkeeper coach.
2 Fall league referee fees (3 referees, 14 games)
3 Six to eight tournaments per year
4 League Cup & State Cup
5 League Cup & State Cup referee fees
6 CSL fall team application fee
7 Medical kit and supplies
8 Miscellaneous administrative expenses
There are additional startup fees for new players:
1 Uniform fee: approximately $200
In addition to the above, there is an annual club membership/player registration fee, currently set at $400.
There are some limited opportunities for need-based financial aid.
THE CLUB SOCCER SEASON
Teams practice twice per week for 1 1/2-2 hours each mandatory session depending on the age bracket. Some coaches may require their teams to train a third night, but that's usually at the older age groups and is quite often on an optional basis. Players are expected to attend all practices, games, and any other team events.
PRESEASON ... AUGUST
Preseason training at SMU begins around August 1st. The entire club usually returns to preseason training at our mandatory "SMU Annual Performance Week". This is a week-long training camp for all new and returning SMU teams. In addition, teams will usually also go to at least one - and often two - tournaments in preseason to prepare for fall League.
FALL LEAGUE & LEAGUE CUP ... SEPTEMBER - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
The Fall League Season begins in September, the weekend after Labor Day, and continues through October and November and into December for some teams. The length of the season depends on how many teams are in your bracket. Within the regular fall league season there is League Cup - a tournament that is usually one to two weekends long. Depending on the age group, League Cup may immediately follow seasonal play or be delayed by several weeks.
STATE CUP ... FEBRUARY or APRIL
In the new year, teams return after the winter break to prepare for State Cup. For younger teams (U9-U13) State Cup begins in February and is held over several successive weekends. Format for State Cup is a round of "Pool Play" followed by (if a team advances) by single elimination rounds. The younger State Cup is finished by the end of February. Following State Cup, teams begin the spring/summer tournament season which runs through, usually, the end of May/early June.
For older teams (U14-U19), State Cup begins begins in March/April because all high school players stop playing club soccer during their high school season (November-March). This is a CIF mandate.
The Club's governing body (CYSA-S) provides only secondary coverage. Players must provide proof of primary coverage to become members of SMU. Secondary coverage is effective immediately once a player and his/her parents submit the necessary Player Registration Form and the required Club fees.