Labor Day happened, school is in session, and like each of the last 36 years, the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) commenced its tradition of fall soccer play last Saturday in Santa Monica. Spot a child anywhere in the City on Saturdays over the next three months, and there’s a good chance she or he will be in a soccer uniform. With over 1,000 youth players and hundreds of adult volunteer coaches, referees, commissioners and others, AYSO is Santa Monica’s largest youth sport league.
AYSO fields are spread throughout the City’s parks and schools, and the organization is a leader in helping to fund field maintenance at several sites. AYSO divisions accept players from 4-18 years old. The league is based upon open registration regardless of ability, positive coaching, balanced teams, good sportsmanship and the philosophy that “everyone plays.” The fall season runs through December; tournament teams continue the action all the way through summer. While the emphasis is upon participation by all athletes, Santa Monica’s AYSO produces more than its share of elite players, and the program is a regular feeder to the varsity teams of area high schools, including Santa Monica High School.
Santa Monica’s teams have formed and played the first game of the season; nonetheless openings may be available at any of the age levels. For sign-up/volunteer information, call 310.451.6711 or go to www.ayso20.org.