Player Pathway

At Santa Barbara SC, we strive to provide the best possible experience for our players, families, coaches, and the greater Central Coast community. We are the premier soccer destination for all players, young and old, of all abilities. Our goal is to help each player reach their full potential and develop a lifelong passion for the game. Our Club is committed to developing the individual person and player within the organization to their full potential.

First and foremost, we strive to create a positive environment by instilling excellence in each individual person. At the same time, we also provide a platform for aspiring players to play at the next level; high school, college, national and professional teams.

We see player development as a life long process with a clearly defined plan for every player. Our technical and coaching staff are comprised of the most experienced in the country and deliver a clearly defined curriculum catered to each and every child and teams player developmental pathway.

Zone 1 (5-10 year olds)
Recreational and Transitioning to Competitive
In this zone, children at the younger ages are learning to LOVE the game. We aim to develop their passion by teaching basic principles of the game using game-like situations and activities. Player development is the focus rather than results. Players are placed within small-sided teams, clinics and programs based on their ability so they are continually challenged. The goal is to learn to develop signs of competitiveness, work collectively within a group, and have fun.
As players make the transition from the recreational level to competitive 'travel soccer', Santa Barbara SC offers a number of programs to suit families' needs and commitment levels.
  • Recreational League  A in house professional administered small sided games recreational level league.
  • Developmental Clinics A curriculum based professionally coached skill development recreational level clinic for beginner to advanced players.
  • EDUCO Players Academy A 'pre-club' curriculum based professionally coached skill development competitive level clinic for advanced level 'selected' players.
  • Camps & Futsal - Programs for Recreational and competitive level players who aspire to continually improve their game.
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Zone 2 (U9 to U14)
Competitive Leagues, Teams & Programs
During this zone, players experience rapid physiological, social, and mental changes. These rapid changes impact player development in different ways (and at different times) for each player. Santa Barbara SC deeply respects and understands these critical years of growth. During these years, players become more serious about the game. Mentally, players become more serious about the game; they become increasingly capable of understanding the tactical components of the game. Socially, players are more aware of how their actions and effort level can truly affect the team and ultimately the outcome of a match. In this zone, player development still takes priority over results. Mistakes and creativity are encouraged. Players continue to be selected into teams based on ability to ensure they are appropriately challenged every time they step on the field.
During Zone 2, players begin to be are placed on teams by ability ensuring they are challenged every time they step on the field. Depending on where they are placed, the following leagues and programs are offered.
  • Recreational League -  A curriculum based professionally coached skill development recreational level skills clinic.
  • Developmental Clinics A curriculum based professionally coached skill development recreational level clinic for beginner to advanced players.
  • Competitive 'Travel' Teams A year-round 10-month team program that selected players participate as a member of Cal South (USYS) with a fall, winter and spring season. Tryouts occur each spring for the following season.
  • MLS Elite Youth Development Platform A year-round 10-month elite team program that selected U13 & U14 age group boys participate against the best of the best in the nation as a member of Major League Soccer (MLS) with a fall, winter and spring season. Tryouts occur late spring/summer for the following season.
  • Camps, Clinics, Futsal & Goalkeeping Training Programs for recreational and competitive 'travel' level players who aspire to continually improve their games year round.
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Zone 3 (U15-U19)
Competitive State, Regional and National Level Leagues and Showcases
This is critical zone for players. They become more serious about soccer and decisions start to be made about whether or not soccer is going to be a lifelong love or a fun pastime. At these ages, players begin to fully comprehend the technical and tactical components of the game.
Our focus continues to be on developing players technical ability, decision making, IQ into confident players who are driven to excel in high school, college and the professional levels of the game. The recruitment process starts now, as a result we offer our elite team State, Regional and National level tournaments and showcases events.
  • State, Regional & National Cups The US Youth Soccer National Championship Series is the country's most prestigious cup providing players and our club members the opportunity to showcase their team against the best competition in the state, region and nation.
  • National Tournaments & Showcases  Our teams participate in the most influential and recognized youth soccer tournaments (Dallas Cup) and showcases (Surf Cup) in the United States. Providing the best competition and college recruitment platform on the  California's Central Coast.
  • Central Coast Elite Tournament Teams Designed for the purpose of college recruitment and exposure,  U15 & older 'selected' elite girls players compete against the best of the best in National showcase events.
  • Camps, Futsal & Goalkeeping Training Programs for competitive 'travel' level players who aspire to continually improve their games year round.
At these ages the recruitment process for the next level of play starts, as a result we offer our teams Coast Soccer League, California Regional League, USYS National Championship Series and State, Regional and National level tournaments and showcase events.
  • Competitive 'Travel' Teams  A year-round 10-month team program that selected players participate as a member of Cal South (USYS) with a fall, winter and spring season. Tryouts occur each spring for the following season.
  • Coast Soccer League The largest youth soccer gaming circuit in the United States. Provides a competitive platform for all of our clubs 'tiered' teams.
  • California Regional League  Elite Teams. Elite Play.  A league that is a division of the US Youth Soccer Far West Region consisting of 14 state associations competing in an elite league for a chance to play against the best of the best at the USYS National Championships.
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