Programs for Everyone
AYSO's mission is to develop and deliver quality youth soccer programs which promote a fun, family environment based on AYSO's Six Philosophies:
- Everyone Plays
- Balanced Teams
- Open Registration
- Positive Coaching
- Good Sportsmanship
- Player Development
To accomplish our mission, we offer programs tailored for the needs of a broad range of players from players who just want to play and have fun to the most competitive athletes looking forward to high school and college play. We even have a very special program for players who face physical and mental challenges.
Primary Core Program
At the core of what we do is our primary core program: youth soccer for players from age 4 to age 19. We have teams starting with four-year olds (called U5 because they are "under five years old" on July 31 before the season starts. We also have single-year age groups for U6 through U12, then a two-year age group (U14) for 12 and 13 year olds, and a U19 age group for high school aged kids. If you have any question about what division your child should be playing in, see the What's My Division page.
AYSO takes a progressive approach to soccer, with the U5 game being very simple and the number of players, size of the fields, and the modifications of the laws of the game changing as they build up to the full 11-a-side game at U14. For the details see the At-a-Glance page.
For our players, the season begins with a call from the coach sometime in the third week of August. In that call, the coach announces when and where the team meeting will be held, when practices happen, and when the games will be. Then the team gets together for two or three weeks of practices before the first of eight games. Those games happen on eight consecutive Saturdays in September and October. Then the team takes a break from November to February. Sometime in February, the coach calls again, and the team gets together for another eight games on Saturdays in March and April.
AYSO EXTRA, a progressive player program, is designed for players who have the interest, skills and abilities and want to enhance their experience and individual growth through soccer while retaining the spirit of and organization membership in AYSO. The EXTRA program embraces the Six Philosophies of AYSO.
EXTRA teams are chosen by tryouts at the end of the spring season for play in the following season. AYSO Region 104 forms teams in single-year age groups from U9 to U12, and will offer U13/U14 teams in coming years.
ACT - Advanced Competition Teams
For players in the primary core and EXTRA program who are ready to play more competitive soccer, we offer Advanced Competition Teams (ACT). ACT teams have tryouts to select players during the fall season, then practice together and play in tournaments during and after the regular soccer season. ACT players continue to play on their regular season teams in addition to their ACT teams. ACT is a great way for players to play lots of soccer in addition to their 16 game seasons, play with and against better players, and get a chance to play soccer at a more competitive level.
The most competitive program in AYSO is the Challenge Teams Program. Challenge teams are formed through tryouts at the end of the spring season. Challenge teams play the against the City's club teams instead of the regular AYSO schedule and in tournaments during and after the season.
The Challenge program is the first of its kind in AYSO to provide "club" play under AYSO coaching and philosophies. The Challenge program is registered with New Mexico Youth Soccer Association as Challenge Football Club, giving Challenge players access to the New Mexico state tournament and Olympic Development Program.
VIP (Very Important Player) Program
For physically, mentally, and developmentally challenged players, AYSO offers the Very Important Player (VIP) program. Elementary school, middle school, high school, and adult teams are available.