TC United Frequently Asked Questions


What is your relationship with Chinqually Booters Soccer Club?

TC United is the competitive program of our parent club Chinqually Booters Soccer Club. Chinqually offers recreational soccer and allows anyone to play from Super Mod (U4-U7), Mod (U8-U11) and Full Field (U12-U18). TC United on the other hand does not have teams until U10 and requires a player be evaluated at a try out before being asked to join. While TC United has its own bylaws and operating procedures, we fall under the governance of Chinqually Booters Soccer Club and its Board of Directors.

What is the difference between TC United and Chinqually?

Chinqually Booters Soccer Club is a recreational program only, which means that all players have the opportunity to participate – all they have to do is sign up! Players are usually randomly assigned to a team without regard to his/her abilities and skill level. While it’s preferred that players attend as many practices as possible, the commitment level is usually far less intense and minimum playing times are guaranteed.

TC United is the competitive program of Chinqually. The terms “Select,” “Premier,” and “Competitive” soccer are often used interchangeably, although there is a difference in the terms.  Competitive is generally used to indicate that players must try out and be chosen by one of our coaches to make the roster for a team, unlike recreational soccer where everyone that signs up is guaranteed a spot on a team.  The “Competitive” designation requires more commitment then recreational with mandatory 2-3 training sessions per week, 2-3 tournaments per year, state-wide travel, and a club expectation that soccer is your primary sport during its specific season (U10-U14 Fall, Boys U15+ Fall, Girls U15+ Spring).

TC United primarily emphasizes select soccer by placing teams in low-to-mid level competitive divisions of play Puget Sound Premier League (PSPL). However, through promotion and relegation rules within the PSPL, teams that regularly find success can earn a Premier level placement within the PSPL’s Super League.

What age does my child have to be to play for TC United ?

Competitive soccer typically begins at the U10 age group. TC United does not generally recommend that children “play up” except in circumstances where the coach or director of coaching identifies that a child is specifically capable of competing with players who are older. TC United follows the birth-year age chart provided by US Soccer.

What is the commitment like?

Teams will train at minimum two times a week for most of the year, coaches and players always have access to a Friday training day to work on individual team training or club wide skills training. From U10-U14 every team plays in the Fall league and have the opportunity to participate in a Spring league. While optional, we find that many teams generally commit to Spring to keep teams together leading into try outs - the Spring League requires an additional fee be paid. For U15+ (the high school ages) the boys play their competitive season in the Fall and the girls play their's in the Spring. Most teams will also participate in several tournaments each year (two in the Summer and one in the Winter/Spring). Tournaments and league may require travel and overnight stays in other cities, with older teams generally requiring to travel more than younger teams, and due consideration is always given to school and holiday schedules. The U10 Developmental PSPL division plays every game at Starfire in Tukwila or Ravensdale Complex in Ravensdale.

What is the annual TC United club fee? 

The TC United club fee pays for all costs associated with the delivery of the program, including coaching stipend, Director of Coaching salary, Goalkeeping coach, insurance fees, league fees, a base number of tournaments, equipment (excluding uniform), fields and lighting rentals, referee fees, as well as other administrative costs for running a youth sports program. Playing fees can be found here.

Annual program fees are collected after age group’s tryouts are concluded. Parents may opt to pay the fee in full or a payment plan is available to allow parents to break up the fee into installments. A portion of annual club charges can be defrayed with a financial aid grant for qualified (approved) applicants. Financial aid applications are available on the TC United website, under Forms. Please note that we do not have an automatic payment system, and monthly installment must be manually paid by account holders.

TC United operating under Chinqually Booters Soccer Club is a non-profit organization and we are dedicated to keeping competitive soccer available to all talented youth players. The club tries to keep costs as low as possible by using unpaid volunteers for most administrative functions, and balancing training fees with unpaid assistance whenever possible. We also work hard to identify areas where costs can be shared between more teams and players, to find sponsors for our programs, as well as to provide opportunities for team and club fundraisers. 

My child is playing for a different soccer club or association - can I still have him/her tryout for TC United ?

Yes, any youth player of the correct age can try out for TC United - if selected for a team, we will register him/her with the appropriate state and national associations and acquire any necessary player releases and player cards.

Can my child play for a recreational team while still playing for TC United ?

Typically players are only allowed to play for TC United and cannot participate with another recreational team while rostered to a TC United team. However, players may participate on their school soccer team. In addition new TC United players may complete their Spring and Summer recreational league commitments after participating with TC United in a Spring tryout and being selected.

As Summer registration deadlines for recreational typically coincide with try outs, we advise registering for your Summer program as well as attend try outs. If you make a TC United team you can withdraw your Summer registration for a full refund.

What are the benefits of playing competitive soccer? 

The benefits are licensed coaching staff, higher level competition, more intensive skills development, longer seasons, more playing opportunities, more training sessions, and having teammates who share a common commitment for becoming high level soccer players. Players who strive to play on their junior high, high school or college soccer teams will benefit from the high quality soccer training they receive from playing competitive soccer. In fact, most all of today’s high school teams are comprised of players that play at a competitive level. Competitive soccer gives an aspiring player more opportunities to develop their skills at a young age so that they can reach their true potential.

How do the tryouts work?

Tryouts are conducted annually, over the course of two 2-hour sessions for each age group. All player candidates are asked to register and pick up a numbered bib.  Players will then be organized on the field to perform various soccer drills and scrimmages. Coaches will organize the drills and perform evaluations for each player by number. At the end of all sessions, coaches will discuss the evaluation results and select players in order of player score. If two teams are warranted, the ‘A’ team coach will have first choice to pick the top 12 to 15 players, after which the ‘B’ team coach will have the second choice to pick the next 12 to 15 players, etc. Players may be informed of their team selections at the end of tryouts, or they may receive a phone call from the coach within a few days. Selected players’ names (first name, last initial) may also be posted on our website.

See more about our about our tryouts.

Does a player trying out for a TC United team have to attend all the tryout sessions for that age group?

We recommend that each new player trying out for a TC United team attend all tryout sessions if possible, unless specifically informed by the coach. Attending every session provides the best opportunity for the coaches to see the players in action and make the best selections, and it also provides the player the opportunity to overcome any problems from a single day’s session. Players returning to a team under the same coach as the previous year should plan to attend all sessions. All players must go through a tryout process each year.

How many teams are selected?

TC United always plans on forming at least one team for each age group and gender. Depending on the strength of the player turnout for the tryouts dictates not only if an initial team will be formed, but if there will be enough qualified players to create a second squad.

How many players make the team?

Our standing rule when forming teams is players on the field plus four. However, each team has different circumstances it must overcome in preparation for league play. This is why we give coaches and our Director of Coaching the final discretion when creating a roster. Coaches may also choose to have fewer than the maximum number of players on their team rosters, as this provides the coach with more flexibility with playing time.

Do all players get equal playing time?

Although coaches will attempt to make sure that all players get a chance to play as much as possible in each game, the amount of playing time per player in Competitive soccer will depend on game circumstances and the competitive situation. This is especially true for older teams playing at Competitive levels, where substitutions may not generally be done as often as for younger teams. 

TC United coaches are trained on youth soccer development, and understand that "the game is the teacher” and that players need field time to develop their skills. For younger age group teams the emphasis will be on player development which means that playing time will be based on the growth of the individual players and the team as a whole.   

When does training start? How many practices per week?

Training starts soon after tryouts are completed and team rosters are set.  Most teams practice two or three times a week, but this depends on the schedule and the team’s requirements.  Teams preparing for certain competitions throughout the calendar year may have more practices before those events.  Teams may also have additional optional scrimmages when convenient.

Where are training sessions held?

TC United considers the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey as its primary practice facility, although we conduct summer training at Lakepointe Park in Lacey. TC United utilizes both soccer specific facilities and baseball fields for training. Grass fields are closed from November through March, which may necessitate the need for small sided soccer training to occur on baseball in-fields or in gymnasiums.

How long is the season?

All TC United teams U10-U14 participate in a Fall league, which generally runs from early September to mid-December. The number of games will vary by league and level, but in most cases teams will play 10 to 14 games during the Fall League. These teams will have the option also play in a shorter spring league (5-9 games) from February to April for an additional fee. Teams will also play in various summer tournaments in preparation for the fall season, or in post-season State tournaments. 

NOTE: High School aged players (Boys and Girls U15+) will play their competitive soccer season opposite of their high school season. Boys will play for their TC United team in the fall league and join their high school team for Spring. Girls will play high school in the fall and join their TC United team for an early winter/spring league.

When are games played?

League games are usually played on Saturdays or Sundays during daylight hours (9AM to 6PM). Some games or scrimmages may be played on lighted fields after 6PM, but games will typically not be scheduled for late in the evening (kick off after 9pm). Some make-up games may be scheduled for weekday evenings. Summer tournament games may be played any time Thursdays through Mondays - though most tournaments typically follow a single Friday game, two Saturday game, Sunday if advancing only format.

Where are games played?

TC United will play all of its home games in Lacey, utilizing the Regional Athletic Complex as our main home field, however games have the possibility of being played at any Lacey’s parks or schools. Depending on the league our team is participating in away games will be played as close as Tacoma, SeaTac and Tukwila and as far away as Spokane, Yakima and the Tri-Cities. 

Tournament locations will vary in geographic location as well. Younger teams will be more likely to participate in local area tournaments, whereas older, competitive teams may travel across the state for higher level tournaments.

All U10 games are played at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, or Ravensdale Park in Ravensdale.

What does a typical annual schedule for a TC United team look like?

After tryouts in Spring, training will start in early June and summer will consist of training sessions and at least two tournaments that occur over the course of a weekend (Fri,Sat,Sun). There is typically one tournament in July and a final one in August before league starts. Fall League begins in September and can run as late as mid-December depending on the schedule, all games are generally scheduled to be played on Saturday's however there are several double header weekends with both Saturday and Sunday games as well as bye weekends with no play at all. While our club is really centrally organized around a Fall league we do have an optional Spring league that typically runs from January to April and while optional many of our teams do participate. 

The high school aged girls (U15+) cease training with the club in Mid-August and join their high school teams through November with TC United training continuing in December and the PSPL HS Girls League being played from January-April.

The high school aged boys (U15+) will play with TC United through Fall League, and typically end the season in a tournament held in January and mid February before joining their High School team.

Training is held on either Monday and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30-7pm (U10 to U12 teams) and 7-8:30pm (U13-U19 teams) with an additional training day on Friday's that is optional for coaches and players. Our summer session training will be at Lakepointe Park in Lacey, in the Fall and Winter we shift to the Regional Athletic Complex and Dream Team park to utilize the artificial lights and synthetic turf. 

How far do TC United teams travel for games?

The amount of travel done by a TC United team can vary from season to season. Younger teams that play in the PSPL Development league will play all of their games at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila or the at Ravens dale Park in Ravensdale. Teams generally only travel around Franklin-Pierce, Issaquah-Eastisde and the Seattle metro area. However, as the competition level increases so does the need for travel and it is possible teams may play anywhere in the state, although most games are typically played along the I-5 Corridor. Teams may travel further for summer tournaments (including out of state) depending on the coach's and parents’ decisions.

Are there "away" tournaments that would require staying overnight?

Yes, some tournaments may require overnight stays, especially for older teams. This is usually decided between the coach, Director of Coaching, and the parents for each team. Some teams may choose to travel and stay together, while others may prefer to arrange for individual travel plans. While tournament registration fees are typically included in your annual playing fees, teams will incur additional out-of-pocket expenses for away tournaments such as meals, lodging, transportation, etc. 

Do the teams play at different competitive levels?

TC United teams will play at the highest competitive level judged to be appropriate for them by the head coach of each team and the Director of Coaching, and teams may move from one level/division to another each year as best fits their competitive level.

What is the difference between the Navy and White TC United teams?

When the try out process allows, TC United may form two teams in the same age and gender division. The first team is designated as Navy, and the second team is designated as White. The makeup and character of each team is at the discretion of the coaches and Director of Coaching based off of try out evaluations. Teams generally train separately, but often coaches work together so that the needs of the players of the entire group are met. "White" teams play a full schedule of tournaments and train as often as their "Navy" team counterparts. The "White" teams are frequently very good and it is not unheard of for them to beat the "Navy" team in scrimmages. The club strives to provide equal training resources for all teams in an effort to help each and every player reach their potential.

Do I have to participate in fundraising?

Fundraising is a necessary part of any volunteer organization. Fundraising and/or donations serves to reduce the cost of participation for all team members and enables a team to provide financial assistance when necessary. All parents and players are expected to do their fair share of fundraising for the team’s expenses. 

What participation is expected of parents?

TC United is run by volunteers, and each family is expected to volunteer at either the team or club level – or both, if you wish! We prefer that our coaches concentrate on coaching and training and leave the organization and management of the team up to the parents. There are a wide variety of volunteer positions available with each team, so there’s bound to be something for everybody.

Can I donate to TC United for operating costs, tournament fees, etc.?

Yes, please contact our Program Coordinator for details on how to contribute. TC United is a 501c3 non-profit organization, so all or part of your contribution may be tax deductible. Your employer might also have a charitable donation matching program which could allow you to increase your donation to TC United.

What is the Puget Sound Premier League?

The Puget Sound Premier League (PSPL) is a competitive US Club Soccer league. The league is open to all clubs within Washington State and northern Idaho that are affiliated with US Club Soccer. 

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