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Johnston United Soccer Association

About Challenge


JUSA currently provides challenge level opportunities for girls and boys in the U9 through U14 age groups. Challenge soccer is designed to be mid-level youth soccer filling the competitive gap between recreational soccer and Classic soccer.  JUSA believes and is committed to the development of challenge players so, if they wish, they can move on to the classic level.

The goal of the JUSA Challenge Soccer Program is to provide an environment in which the level of competition, commitment and player development suits the player.  This involves an emphasis on technical skills and age appropriate tactical training for all players. Coaches should have prior experience and are encouraged to attain at least an NCYSA “E” license.  In addition, all challenge coaches are required to attend continuing education through club sponsored training.  JUSA Challenge players and coaches will demonstrate a commitment to the club, their team and their own soccer development. Players are expected to commit to one-two training sessions per week and one game per week. Based on age and level, teams will compete in 2-6 tournaments annually.

Our U9-U12 teams play in the Triangle Area Development League (TADL), US Club Soccer as well as NCYSA Select Scheduling League.  This league is comprised of thirteen soccer clubs from the Triangle area that cooperate in scheduling the Fall and Spring games for all its members.  Challenge games are typically played on Sunday afternoons.

After a great season of recreation soccer, many families find themselves asking...what is the next step in youth soccer? The answer is Challenge and Classic soccer. Challenge soccer starts at under-9 and goes through under-14.  The Challenge level is designed for young players who aim to be in a greater competitive environment or want the opportunity to possibly play at the classic level later on.

"Challenge Program" - What is the real difference?

  • The Challenge program will offer committed, licensed coaches for all players.
  • Players are selected to challenge teams through a seasonal tryout process.
  • Higher level of training with emphasis on individual skills as well as team structure and tactics.
  • Higher level of competition from within the club with teams from surrounding areas.
  • The opportunity to travel out of town or state to play teams of similar standard and desire.
  • Expose like players and families to a great understanding and love for the game.

How do I know if the "Challenge program" is for my family?

  • Does your child have the competitive edge for the next soccer challenge?
  • Does your child strive to be a better player?
  • Is your child ready to play with other players or the same ability and love for the game?
  • Looking for more challenging competition at practice as well as games? 
  • Does your child enjoy playing soccer year round?
  • Does your child look forward to going to practices and not just the games?
  • Does your child enjoy learning more about the game and not just scrimmaging at practice?
  • Does your child listen to coaches intently when new skills / directions are being given? Do they complain or whine about a training session that is geared toward player development and not just fun, little games and scrimmaging?
  • They don't just kick the ball.  They put a first touch on the ball and then look for the next option of dribbling, passing or shooting.
  • They can dribble the ball around opponents on purpose not by accident.
  • They can purposely pass the ball to a teammate
  • They are starting to understand the ideas of positions, space on the field, support, etc.
  • They can pass / cross / shoot the ball with power.
  • They don't use their toe very often to kick the ball.  They use the laces and inside / outside of the foot to pass or shoot.
  • They don't take 3-4 touches on the ball to get it under control when someone passes a ball to them.
  • When dribbling, they make the ball go where they want it to go, not where the ball takes them.
  • They are starting to incorporate simple moves / turns into their dribbling skills.
  • They are frustrated by the lack of effort / skill given by other team members and want to get to a new level.
  • They are starting to understand the concepts of individual and team defense.
  • The game appears too easy to them and they can routinely score at will.

Although this is not everything needed, this might help you to evaluate your own player to see if they might be ready for the next level.   Parents also need to be honest in their appraisal as well.   Plus don't forget to ask your child if they understand some of these things and if they want to play at the next level.   Some simply want to have fun, don't care what level they are playing, and don't want mom and dad pushing them to the next level.    Soccer can be enjoyable for your child at all levels and most importantly should be fun for them.   Don't try to push them if they are not ready.   Their talents might lie elsewhere or they might develop some of these traits later.

Contact Us

Johnston United Soccer Association

439 Athletic Club Blvd 
Clayton, North Carolina 27527

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 919-351-0650
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