Registration is now open for the fall AYSO soccer season. There are teams for local kids from 4 to 18 years old.
After more than a year without many organized sporting activities, this season takes on a new importance for many kids. The soccer program is hoping to get 500 youths registered this season.
“I would say it’s always important for kids to get outside and active, but I would say it’s doubly important this year,” said Dylan Ragozin, regional commissioner of AYSO.
“This is a really important season, and it’s great that we and other programs are able to provide the opportunity for kids to get out,” he said. “It’s part of their healthy development from a social and emotional perspective as well as from a physical development perspective.”
This year, for the first time in 10 years, AYSO will have four high school-age teams, meaning spots for nearly 60 older teens.
“We’ve done a lot of things to make a program that’s accessible to the high school-age kids and reduce the commitments for kids who are busy in many other ways,” Ragozin said. “This is a way to appeal and reach out to those older kids by saying, ‘Hey, you do it on your own terms.’”
The deadline to register is Aug. 2 and interest after that will be deferred to a waitlist. Practices start on Aug. 23 and games start on Sept. 11. The regular season ends on Nov. 6. And for some of the older divisions, the end-of-season tournaments will run further into November.
AYSO teams include players with a broad range of skills and are open to anyone who is interested. Once on a team, everyone gets to play.
“It’s very welcoming,” Ragozin said. “We try to create a fun environment where that is the focus. Kids can be out there, run around, see their friends and have fun. The outcome of the matches, while it certainly is meaningful and matters to some, it’s of secondary importance for a good number of people who are out playing.”
In addition, anyone who needs help registering for the season, has questions about volunteering or wants to pick up some new soccer gear from the gear swap bins can come to the Cunha field from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 1.