The Massachusetts Adult State Soccer (MASS) National Select Teams Program provides our players the opportunity to compete at the highest available level within the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA), in addition to identifying and showcasing players for the next level of competition.
The program not only provides competitions for individuals but also determines a Regional and National State Select Teams Champion. The program serves as training ground for the U-16 through U-23 U.S. National Teams. Additionally, the program has proven to be an important vehicle for the education and advancement of referees through valuable competitive game assignments. It also provides an opportunity for coaches to demonstrate their knowledge and ability in highly competitive game situations.
The ultimate challenge for the USASA Select Teams Program is to have its players identified and selected for U.S. National and Professional Teams. Coaches from the professional leagues attend the games for the purpose of identifying potential candidates for the professional ranks. Additionally, the players are constantly exposed to various USASA and USSF National Staff Coaches who identify and place players into their respective teams. The competitive nature of the games has provided exposure not only for our players but also for the referees and USASA coaches. The referees and coaches have directly benefited from their participation in the Select Teams Program. For the referees the program has given them the opportunity to advance in earning their National or FIFA badges, and for the coaches it has demonstrated that opportunities become available into the national and professional ranks.
The structure of the USASA National Select Teams Program begins at the State Association level, where men and women’s teams are formed from all amateur and eligible players who wish to try-out for their respective National State Association Select Team. Once formed, it sends its Select Team to their respective USASA Regional Select Teams Tournaments, which are usually held during May-June. There are four Regions in the United States. The State Association then sends its Select Team to one of the four USASA Regional Select Teams Tournaments, which are usually held during late May through the middle of June. There are four USASA Regions within the United States: Region I (East Team), Region II (Midwest Team), Region III (South Team) and Region IV (West Team). During the Regional Select Teams Tournament players are evaluated by their respective USASA Regional Coaches and National Coaches and selected to their Regional Select Teams. The Regional Select Teams are then invited to participate in the U.S. Soccer Festival. From the competitions at the Regional Tournaments and the U.S. Soccer Festival, USASA National Coaches select a National Select Team player pool and the USASA National Select Team may schedule several games during the next year. In addition to forming Regional Select Teams, the winning National State Association Select Teams of each Regional Tournament are invited to compete in the USASA’s National Select Teams Championship, the George F. Donnelly Cup.
US Soccer Festival
The U.S. Soccer Festival is usually scheduled for the first week in August and features 6 to 8 teams in each competition (Men & Women). In addition to the four USASA Regional Select Teams, the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) sends several of their US National Youth Teams depending on that years particular need of preparation for an international competition. Other teams, which may participate from year to year, have ranged from the U.S. Armed Forces Teams in the Men’s competition, the US Women’s National Team (World Cup) in the Women’s competition and foreign national teams, which have included teams from Mexico and Canada. In addition to the USASA National and Regional Coaches, the USSF National Staff Coaches will be in attendance, along with coaches and scouts from teams within the various professional leagues.
George F. Donnelly Cup
As part of each Regional Select Teams Tournament, Men’s and Women’s State Select Teams compete for a Regional Select Teams Championship. The four regional winners are then invited to participate in the “George F. Donnelly Cup” Tournament. This event establishes the National Championship for State Select Teams and in the past has been held during the Thanksgiving Day weekend, but starting in 2003 has been moved to January during the Martin L. King holiday weekend.
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