Tryouts (Teaming)

Don't let the word scare you, "tryouts" is just what Iowa Soccer has all clubs call their process of registering and evaluating players for the upcoming season during a set window of time. A better way to think of it is "teaming," or where does each player best fit and what players together make an appropriate group for a team. We take this opportunity to make sure that the players who want to play, appropriately fit with the team that their birth year aligns with. Sometimes a player might benefit more from playing down a year, sometimes they might benefit more from playing up, most always, they fit just fine where they are. We don't cut players based on skill because no player has reached their potential yet and every player can and will improve and develop skills over time. We want to make sure that every play is appropriately placed for their skill and developmental needs, and tryouts is where we get to observe individual players and the group as a whole.

SESA Select

The Select programs are our Competitive travel state sanctioned club teams. There are 5 levels to the Select program; Jr Academy, Academy, Select, High School Select, and U23 Select.

  • Jr Academy, is for ages u6 & u7. This program trains weekly with our pro staff and is head coached by a staff coach. The teams play in the rec league u8 division and plays in the spring and fall home tournaments. It is an introduction to club soccer without the added travel. Our Jr Academy is set up to teach the fundamentals and better prepare players to develop their technical skills and understanding than what they would likely receive playing in the normal rec league. $100 each fall and spring season.


  • The Academy level is u9 & u10. Boys and girls play in different teams at this level. Players travel to 4 designated play dates for their league games and attend 2 fall tournaments, 1 winter tournament, 2 spring tournaments, and automatic registration in the winter weekly street soccer program. The Program is a full year (fall and spring season). Players attend regular training sessions each week with their head coach and the pro staff coach rotation. Player Development is tracked and evaluated each season. The focus of the Academy program is to increase technical ability, passing concepts, 1v1 attacking, 1v1 defending, and basic team tactical concepts. $390 for full year, fall, winter, and spring seasons.


  • Select level is broken down into two age grouping; u11/12 and u13/14. The u11/12 teams play 9v9 games while the u13/14 play 11v11. Each team has multiple training sessions each week with their head coach and one of the pro coaches. Teams play in the Iowa Soccer League (ISL) and compete against other club teams in Iowa. They have a few more travel league days (6+). Each team plays in 2fall, 1 winter, and 2 spring tournaments, with automatic registration in the winter weekly street soccer program. Seasons are full year, fall and spring. At this stage the focus is expanding concepts of team tactics, advanced ball mastery, positional understanding, and individual mastery of multiple skills and positions. At the 13/14 age players may start to develop towards a more specific group of positions but all players learn how to play every position at a competitive level. $750 for full year, fall, winter, and spring seasons.


  • The high school select is the our most competitive youth program. Age groups are typically broken into u15/16 and u17/18/19. All teams are fall season only as Iowa high school is in the spring. Team play a minimum of 6 games in the ISL and attend 3 tournaments (2 fall and 1 winter). Teams are more closely overseen by DOC/ADOC with weekly training sessions run by head coach and pro coaches. At this age u15/16 players will begin to specialize in 2 or 3 related positions. The 17/18/19 players may develop in a primary position and another secondary position. At this stage the focus is technical mastery, tactical understanding and real time decision making, system and style understanding, and advanced concepts that make up the physical/mental/technical/and tactical components of the game. While development is still the primary focus, more emphasis is placed on being competitive to drive development. $390 for fall and winter seasons.


  • The u23 select is the highest level of play at SESA and one of the highest levels of play in the area, most clubs do not have u23 programs. The u23 is specifically designed for local players on a college roster, in college, and college bound high schoolers. The program has a summer and winter season with regular training sessions run by the DOC (former college player and current college coach). The program is run like a competitive college program and players are challenged to continue to develop in all areas of the game. Players are able to continue to improve and better prepare for their college seasons by playing with the u23 program. High schoolers are also able to train and play with current college players and receive top level coaching and make tremendous improvements. There are separate men's and women's teams that play in the local 11v11 league and the first team will also play in a handful of exhibition games against teams that play in established competitive leagues. $125 for summer season.

SESA Coaches

SESA coaches are overseen by our Director of Coaching. All teams have a designated head coach who runs the weekly practices and games. All head coaches hold a coaching license from the US Soccer Federation. In addition to the head coaches, SESA also has multiple professional staff coaches and auxiliary coaches. The staff coaches will work with multiple teams each week on a rotation- in addition to head coaching teams. Coaches also work with the Assistant DOC/ Head Staff Coach regularly to plan out and implement their session plans and review player development. All staff coaches have years of experience in player development at various ages and stages of play.

League Games

The Iowa Soccer League (ISL) is the competitive travel league sanctioned by Iowa Soccer. SESA competes in the ISL at all u10-u19 levels. The league is comprised of other area clubs. At the Academy and u11/12 level, games are played on specified "play dates" and locations in the "East" division. This is done to minimize travel and make the league and programs more efficient. All other teams then compete on varying dates and locations during their season. Our teams average 4 ISL games each season. Most locations are within 1.5 hours of Burlington, as well as home games played in Burlington.

In additional to the ISL, most teams will also compete in the Illowa League. Comprised of mostly teams from the Quad Cities area and other parts of Illinois and Iowa, the Illowa League offers teams the ability to play additional games against different opponents while still minimizing the time and expenses of extensive travel.

Teams should expect to play an average of 6-8 league games in the fall and spring seasons, and a total of 12-16 games between league and tournament opportunities.


In each fall and spring season, SESA teams attend a minimum of 2 tournaments and have the option to attend an additional 3rd event. All teams attend the home tournaments; the Monster Match in October, and Mississippi Cup in May, and the Turf Wars 4v4 tournament in February. The DOC selects which tournaments each team will attend, or give options of suitable tournaments to attend. The tournaments are selected based on travel (preference is given to tournaments that do not require overnight stays), competition level, number of teams in the tournament division pool, variety of Competition (play new teams), and previous experience of the competitions.

Tournaments attended in the past: Muscatine (Fall & Spring), FC United (Fall & Spring), Peoria, Just For Girls/ Just For Boys (Fall & Spring), Dubuque (Fall & Spring), Iowa City (Fall, Spring, & Winter), East Moline Spring Shootout, etc.

SESA may allow teams to attend additional tournaments at cost for those who choose to attend. Additional playing opportunities are also available to players with approval of DOC. Examples are Union program Kansas City showcase, Adidas Tournament of Champions Showcase, Iowa City Bubble winter tournament, Guest playing, etc.

SESA Uniforms

SESA Uniforms

SESA is partnered with adidas for our official kits. Our main club sponsor FunCity are featured on the front and uniform sponsor Dr. Mark Pothitakis Dentistry and Great River Health are featured on all uniforms on the shoulders. Each player is responsible for purchasing their uniform. Uniforms are on a 2 year cycle and are purchased through our club partnership. The current cycle runs from fall 2021 to spring 2023.

All players will also wear the required training jersey sponsored by Dr. Mark Pothitakis Dentistry and Great River Health to all training sessions, games, and designated club functions. Training jerseys are also on a matching 2 year cycle.





Player Pathway Structure

Player Pathway Structure

Birth Year Matrix

Birth Year Matrix

Site Links

Contact Us

Contact Info

Southeast Soccer Academy
P.O. Box 394
Burlington, Iowa 52601