PAL Soccer Programs

Updated Tuesday February 14, 2017 by Robert Elkins .

US Youth Soccer has thought long and hard about the answer to the question, "Why Small-Sided Games?"

What does "Small-Sided Games" mean? These are soccer games with fewer players competing on a smaller sized field. These are fun games that involve the players more because fewer players are sharing one ball.

All ages can play "Small Sided Games", but it has a definite developmental impact on our younger soccer players. US Youth Soccer recommendations for "number of players" at the various age groups are as follows:

U6 | 3 against 3 no goal keepers
U8 | 4 against 4 no goal keepers
U10 | 6 against 6 with goal keepers
U12 | 8 against 8 with goal keepers
U13+ | 11 against 11 with goal keepers


1. Because we want our young soccer players to touch the soccer ball more often and become more skillful with it! (Individual technical development)

2. Because we want our young soccer players to make more, less-complicated decisions during the game! (Tactical development)

3. Because we want our young soccer players to be more physically efficient in the field space they are playing in! (Reduced field size)

4. Because we want our young soccer players to have more individual teaching time with the coach! Less players on the field and less players on the team will guarantee this! (Need to feel worthy and need to feel important)

5. Because we want our young soccer players to have more, involved playing time in the game! (More opportunity to solve problems that only the game presents)

6. Because we want our young soccer players to have more opportunity to play on both sides of the ball! (More exposure to attacking and defending situations)

7. Because we want our young soccer players to have more opportunities to score goals! (Pure excitement)

These are the reasons why we adults must foster "Small-Sided Games" in our youth soccer programs. The "Small-Sided" environment is a developmentally appropriate environment for our young soccer players. It's a FUN environment that focuses on the young soccer player.

It just makes sense doesn't it?

  • Meet JAMIE SAN FILLIPO - PW PAL SOCCER DIRECTOR:  The only local Soccer Coach CERTIFIED in Small Sided Soccer.  The head men's soccer coach at SUNY Old Westbury, advancing in a coaching career that had already included successes on the youth and high school levels.  San Filippo arrived at Old Westbury after spending the past eight years coaching soccer at MacArthur High School. San Filippo has been very successful on the club level. He coached the Garden City Park Soccer Club from 2006-2010.  In 2010, he guided the team to a State Cup Semifinals appearance and division champions in 2007 and 2008. From 2002-2007, he coached boys ages 15-17 for the East Meadow Soccer Club.  San Filippo is a native of Levittown, New York and PW PAL is proud to count him among our Professional Coaching family.