THE DELAWARE FC PLAYER PATHWAY

From U4 to U19 our programs create opportunities for long-term development for players of all ages and skill levels.

Girls Player Pathway
Player Pathway

Training:

For 30+ years DEFC has a proven track record of Talent Development which should not be confused with Talent Identification.

It’s easy to cherry pick talent, the true art is developing the talent.

DEFC’s staff is one of the most experienced in our local area and has also been the proving ground for many of the area's top coaches. Our staff has experience coaching at the highest levels, and has developed players playing in the top Youth Leagues, Academies, Collegiate Programs, and at the Professional level both in the United States and overseas. Our coaches have played at the D1-D3 collegiate level as well as professionally.

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“Soccer For All” is our mission

Soccer for all means that DEFC provides elite players the opportunity to play at the highest level of league and tournament play along with the opportunity for players on varying developmental paths to play at more of a local level. 

With more than 700 travel players and over 1,300 recreational players, DEFC is able to place players at the proper level for development and enjoyment.  DEFC creates a customized approach that meets the real needs of all our players and their families.

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“We cater the experience to the level of the team. Better the team, the more aggressive we will be attending higher level tournaments, higher level leagues. Lower level teams will choose a diet more appropriate to their team. All teams and ages are very different.”

- Justin Romano DEFC Zone 1 Director of Coaching

Train on the best turf and grass fields.

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DEFC’s facilities are unmatched in the region. Our primary facility, Smith Estates, includes a state of the art turf field and four premier bermuda fields. No other club in the region provides the level of quality of both turf and bermuda grass for training and match play.

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U4-U6

Recreational in-house programs for the youngest ages introducing them to the beautiful game. The TinyMite (U4 coed), MiniMite (U5boys and girls) and DynaMite (U6 boys and girls) programs are designed to introduce our youngest players to the game through familiarity with “touches” on the ball, repetition of movement with the ball and simple directional play. TinyMite sessions are run by DEFC staff members while MiniMites and DynaMites have volunteer coaches and two to four “play days” per season to introduce players to competitive play.

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U8-U10

Kids at the younger age groups are learning the game and developing core technical skills to not only play at the current level but to enjoy the game for a lifetime. At U9 and U10 we promote training focusing on individual ball skills with as many “touches” as possible. Players are placed on teams based on their ability for competitive play, but the entire age group trains together so all players are getting attention from the entire staff and to aid in their individual development. Players can choose where and when they train by location and coach. Players can train up to 4 times a week.

  • DEFC Competitive Teams - local leagues and play days, regional leagues and tournaments including Acela, EDP and CLS.  Teams compete in the highest level leagues and tournaments appropriate for each team’s development.  
  • Winter indoor futsal training and tournaments.
  • DEFC Recreational Program (U10 All Star Program)
  • Camps, clinics, special training, recreational player development program, competitive and recreational free play
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U11-U12

DEFC continues to focus on long term player development and enjoyment of the youth soccer experience. While tactical concepts are introduced the primary focus remains individual technical skill. With a variety of league and tournament options at the next ages our coaches can continue to focus on talent development for all players in the age group rather than in talent identification for one team.

  • DEFC Competitive Teams - local leagues and play days, regional leagues, regional tournaments including Acela, EDP and CLS.  
  • Winter indoor futsal training and tournaments.
  • DEFC Recreational Program (U12 All Star Program)
  • Camps, clinics, special training, recreational player development program, competitive and recreational free play
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U13-U14

Youth soccer experiences the largest decline in participation at U13. There are multiple reasons and when asked the most popular response is “it's’ not fun anymore”. At DEFC we pay particular attention to the U13/U14 age groups ensuring not only continued development (the 4 pillars of Soccer Development - Technical, Tactical, Physical, Psychological ), but continued enjoyment for players at all levels. U13 marks the transition from small sided games to full field 11v11. Tactics (shape, style, system..etc.) become more important in development as well as the physical and mental demands of the game.

  • DEFC Competitive Boys - The top team in each age group will compete in the ECNL Regional League, regional tournaments and special events.  Second and third teams have a variety of league options tailored to each team’s competitive level including USYSA National League, EDP, US Club NPL and  PRCL
  • DEFC Competitive Girls - USYSA National League, US Club NPL, EDP, APL/PAGS, CSL...etc. - Regional tournaments, special events 
  • DEFC Recreational Program - DYSA interleague
  • Camps, clinics, special training, recreational player development program, competitive and recreational free play
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U15-U19

For the High School ages DEFC focuses on preparing the player to not only play for their high school teams, but preparing them as leaders both on and off the pitch. For those players that aspire to play at the collegiate level we focus on not only preparing them in all four pillars, but also showcasing our players at Regional and National tournaments as well as ID camps and clinics.

In addition to providing the highest level of training and competition to our competitive players, DEFC offers High School age playing opportunities for players that do not or cannot commit to travel soccer. Our HS recreational program offers these players, many who are multi-sport athletes, an opportunity to continue playing through their high school years.

  • DEFC Competitive Boys - Elite environment for players to train and compete at the highest level.  The top team in each age group will compete in the ECNL Regional League, College Showcase tournaments and special events.  Second and third teams have a variety of league options tailored to each team’s competitive level including USYSA National League, EDP, US Club NPL and PRCL.  USYSA National League offers college showcases starting at U15, one in Florida and one in Arizona.  
  • DEFC Competitive Girls - Elite environment for players to train and compete at the highest level.  Teams have a variety of options including league play or a tournament only competitive diet.  League options tailored to each team’s competitive level including USYSA National League, EDP, US Club NPL and  PRCL.   All teams will compete in College Showcase tournaments and special events.
  • DEFC Recreational - HS Boys in the Spring (DYSA InterLeague), HS Girls in the Fall (DYSA InterLeague).  Winter High School Girls program for non-carded players playing in high school.
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COLLEGE PATHWAY

For 30+ years DEFC has a track record of placing players at all collegiate levels as well as several players in the professional levels. Our experienced staff understands the process of recruitment through college and pro-level identification. DEFC provides a pathway for high school players and families that aspire to play at the college level. Players are provided resources to help navigate the recruiting and ID process and are afforded opportunities to be seen and evaluated by college coaches.

Given our long history and track record of developing and placing players at the collegiate level we also know the reality of and the percentage of club soccer players playing at the collegiate level. Unlike many so-called “Elite” clubs we do not make false promises of a collegiate career. What we do promise is to provide the development, training, competition and resources to our players who are interested in playing at the collegiate level.

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR SOCCER PROGRAMS

Recreational

RECREATIONAL

Our Recreational Soccer Program provides an excellent atmosphere for developing soccer players to learn and enjoy the beautiful game.

Competitive

COMPETITIVE

The Competitive Soccer Program (Travel Soccer) enables our youth to compete at a higher level of league play and to participate in up to three tournaments per season.

all campers

SUMMER CAMPS

At the Delaware FC Summer Camps players can continue to develop their soccer skills, make new friends, and have fun all summer long!