Travel & Academy Programs

Penn United now offers Travel and Academy soccer programs for the player who wants to move beyond recreational play and is looking for more competitive play and additional training.   In these programs the focus is on helping players develop their abilities while having fun and encouraging a love for the game.

Academy Soccer

The Academy program will be for players U11 and younger, but will offer flexibility to accommodate players who are looking for an additional challenge outside of rec-league soccer.

The focus of the Academy soccer program will be on player development in a fun, stress free environment that challenges players to grow as players and develop a life-long passion for the game. The Academy program is a step up from recreational soccer and is focused towards players that are interested in higher level competition.

The teams will follow the model of two practices, and one game a week. Travel commitments will be regional, to play friendly matches or festivals with local clubs looking to develop players with similar programming. We will be hosting clinics run by Penn United’s professional coaching staff.

We are making the change to allow families more flexibility when it comes to soccer commitments. We are aware that in the fall families have many other commitments and that driving two hours, one-way, for a forty-minute game is not always the best use of one’s time. Time commitments will be less, which we hope attracts more players to the program.

We will begin practicing mid-August with the season concluding mid-October, these dates will be confirmed in the coming weeks. The fees for the upcoming season will be $180; this breaks down to about $10 per practice, not counting the games.  The fees also include one tournament to be determined by that team’s coach.  There is a one time uniform cost: $75 per player (includes game jerseys, shorts, and socks which are yours to keep).

Travel Soccer

Penn United’s Travel program is for U12 & U13 players who want to move beyond recreational play and are looking for more competitive play and additional training.  In this program, the focus is on helping players develop their abilities and their understanding of the game.  At the same time, we want them to have fun while developing a true love for soccer and gaining the life lessons that come from youth sports done right.  This means that we seek to place each travel team in league play where they will be both successful and challenged on the field.  We look for great competition rather than opportunities to amass the greatest number of trophies.

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Player Age Group Chart Format

Travel Program Philosophy

  • Travel soccer should be a platform for development, improvement, and fun.
  • Players will be placed on teams that fit their skill level and play an appropriate level of competition.
  • Training provides players the opportunity to get better.  Games provide feedback to guide our training.
  • Winning is not a top priority at this level.
  • Playing time will not be equal among players and specific amounts cannot by guaranteed, but every player will play a significant amount in games to enable feedback and development.
  • The coaching staff and coaching direction will be guided by the Director of Travel Soccer.
  • Parents must read, agree to, and sign our parental code of conduct.
  • Players enter the Travel Soccer through a low stress player evaluation.  We do not do skill testing or have a formalized tryout process.  We simply want to see players play.  Once we do, we are committed to finding a place for every player who wishes to be part of the Travel Program.  Evaluations are held on a rolling basis and players may join the Travel Program at any time during the year.
  • Once in the Travel Program, no player will be cut in future years.  We are committed to help each player improve and will work to find each player the best opportunities for growth and success.
  • Our goal is to have multiple teams in each age group so that players can play and develop at the right level of play for them.
  • Our approach, structure, and technique are based on leading soccer organizations worldwide.  We strive to bring the best possible soccer experience to Central Pennsylvania.

How the Travel Program Works

  • There are both fall (Sept/Oct) and spring (Apr/May) seasons.  Players can choose to play in one or both seasons.
  • U12 & U13 age groups for both boys and girls (see age chart).  School soccer at the middle/high school levels prevents teams from forming at higher age brackets, but Premier Soccer is available.
  • 9v9 play with rosters of 12-14 players for U12 and below
  • 11v11 play with rosters of 18 for players at U13 and up
  • Training twice per week in State College
  • One league game each Saturday with home games in Burnham (25 miles from State College) and away games in Harrisburg/York area
  • Periodic tournament opportunities throughout the year
  • Registration Fee: $220 per season (includes league/club registrations, insurance, field rental, referees, coaches, etc.)
  • One time Uniform Cost: $75 per player (includes 2 game jerseys, shorts, and socks which are yours to keep)

Travel Soccer League Membership and Affiliations

Through a collaboration with the Mifflin County Soccer Club, our players compete in the Central Pennsylvania Youth Soccer League (CPYSL) which includes teams from south central Pennsylvania as well as the Harrisburg/York area.  CPYSL has many levels of play which allows us to find the right completion for each team’s stage of development.  CPYSL is affiliated with the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association (EPYSA) at the state level and of U.S. Youth Soccer at the national level.  Penn United is also a registered member of U.S. Club Soccer.  Affiliation with this national organization provides our players with additional opportunities and flexibility relative to tournaments, rosters, league play, and player identification at the highest level (lD2).

Travel Directors: Glen Parrillo & Jonathan Thurley