Development Program Leagues: Fall 2020 (for 2009-2013 players)

Each year, MVSC aims to improve the soccer offerings we provide to our diverse community of young soccer players.  The primary objective of Development Program Leagues ("DPL") is to provide a fun, engaging, developmental soccer experience to a group of young soccer players who qualify for and express interest in our Developmental Model.  Our program is intended to inspire a love for the game, and to help our players pick up skills and habits that will enable them to have greater success and enjoyment playing the game for years to come.

Key elements of our DPL Model:

1.  Coaching and Curriculum:  Professionally coached weekday training sessions (2 per week), incorporating an age- and ability-appropriate curriculum.  Key focuses in training will be technical mastery, individual and small-group tactical awareness, movement education, and lots of small-sided games.  Our curriculum will include an element of free play.  However, given our curriculum's strong emphasis on technical mastery, this program is not a good fit for the young player who wants to spend most of his or her practice time scrimmaging or playing in games.

2.   Volume:  Long-term player development requires commitment and repetition.  Our DPL program offers two sessions per week of professionally coached soccer training, in addition to the weekend games where players can apply the skills and insight they pick up at practices.

3.   Developmentally appropriate Games:  Small-sided games played on weekends, with all teams playing games in Mill Valley.

4.   Abiility-appropriate practice and game environment:  Age- and developmentally-appropriate teams for practices and weekend games.


Each DPL will consist of at least four teams, and will be formed according to birth year, not school grade.  We may utilize one to two birth-year age bands to form individual DPLs, with a focus on grouping players based on ability (i.e., athleticism, size, skill and emotional maturity), rather than grouping purely by age.   There will be separate DPLs for girls and boys.   Each DPL will be made up of individual teams that will train twice per week.  A Staff of MVSC Professional Coaches will run all training sessions.   

By way of example, we may have one U8/9 Boys League, one U9/10 Boys League, one U10/11 Boys League, and one U11/12 Boys League, with players assigned to each League based upon their most ability-appropriate fits.

Weekday Training Program:

Our two weekday trainings will emphasize technical mastery, movement education (coordination, agility, running mechanics, footwork, etc.), and tactical decision-making.  There will be a strong emphasis on individual player development.  For all 5 v 5 DPLs, roster size will be 7 or 8 players, and two teams will practice together at the same time with one professional trainer.  For 6 v 6 DPLs, roster size will be approximately 9 players, and two teams will practice together with one professional trainer.  For 7 v 7 DPLs, roster size will be approximately 10 players, and two teams will practice together with two professional trainers.  For 9 v 9 DPLs, roster size will be approximately 12-13 players, and each team will practice with one professional trainer.

Weekend Games: 

We will have set teams for all weekend games.  Each team will play against other teams in their DPL.   

Volunteer Parent Coaches will run games on the weekends, with a Professional Coach overseeing and facilitating the game days, to ensure that the games are played in the proper format, and to assist the volunteer coaches and players in applying concepts covered in training to the game arena.  A group of pre-identified Parent Volunteer Coaches will be identified at the time of registration.  Parent Coaches will be asked to attend at least one of the two weekly practices.

2019 Formats (2020 DPLs and Formats will be posted at a later date):

MLS Boys, NWSL 1 Girls & NWSL 2 Girls:  5 v 5 games (4 field players + goalkeeper)

SERIE A BOYS:  6 v 6 games (5 field players + goalkeeper)

EPL Boys:  7 v 7 games (6 field players + goalkeeper)

LA LIGA BOYS AND NWSL 3 Girls:  9 v 9 games (8 field players + goalkeeper)

Player Selection:

Players must attend one or more of MVSC’s U8-U12 Player Placement/Tryout opportunities.  A full tryout schedule is available on our website.

Any player born from 2009-2013 can tryout.  Participation in a DPL will be by invitation only.  

Only players who attend an assessment/tryout and demonstrate appropriate attitude, emotional maturity, and ability to contribute to and benefit from our program will receive an invitation to join a DPL.  Of key importance is the player's coachability:  i.e., his or her demonstrated ability to focus, to listen, to follow coaching instruction, and to apply 100% effort toward all exercises and activities.  MVSC’s Professional Coaching Staff will conduct our player assessments, and our Coaching Staff will be solely responsible for extending invitations to qualified players.  

DPL Teams will be formed based on tryout assessments from our Professional Coaching Staff. 

Please note that DPLs will be formed only when there is a sufficient pool of qualified, interested players present at our U8-12 Tryouts.  Players who do not receive invitations to join our DPLs will be provided an opportunity to register for MVSC’s fall recreational soccer program.


Team training will begin the last week of August (two trainings per week).  Teams will have one game per weekend beginning in early September, with the season finishing by early November. 


  • Mill Valley residents: $560 
  • Non-residents: $590
  • All families are charged a $50 Volunteer Fee per household, refundable upon completion of volunteer duties.

The fee will cover a 10-week season, with two professionally coached training sessions per week, approximately eight weekend games, plus a season ending, one day Jamboree tournament.  Cost does not include uniforms, shin guards or cleats, which must be purchased separately.

In presenting this offering, MVSC’s primary goal is to provide a highly motivating, enhanced developmental playing experience for all of our interested and qualified participants.  For more questions about this, please contact MVSC's Director of Coaching and Player Development, Rick Fullerton.