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Under 8 (U8)

The Montclair Soccer Club’s U8 Program is a developmental soccer program where kids learn to play soccer by playing on a small field with fewer players than in full-size regulation play.

The aim of the program is to develop the players’ knowledge and love of the game. Ninety percent of the training is tactical training; teaching soccer skills and fundamental in a nurturing learning environment. The emphasis of the program is on FUN and learning the basic skills (dribbling, passing, shooting). We want to promote the joy of the sport without the worry of winning or losing, no scores or team standings are kept. A typical U8 team will have a roster of 11-12 players so that all of the players are engaged and have ample time on the field with the ball at their feet.

To Register for the U8 program, please see the Registration page.


The U8 program is an in-house program where games are all played against MSC teams. The program is run primarily by volunteer coaches. However; practice sessions are supported by our professional coaches from 24/7 Soccer Academy! Each team will have a minimum of 2 sessions with our professional soccer coaches supporting the volunteer coaches at their practice sessions. The 24/7 Soccer Academy helps promote and maintain a high standard of coaching that MSC strives to achieve.

Games are played in a format of 4 players versus 4 players, known as (4v4). Each team breaks into an A squad and a B squad. The A squad from one team plays against the A squad from a second team. There are (4) 10 minute quarters. During each quarter there is a water break.

During the 4 v 4 matches – we strive for parity and fun! We want to teach the game of soccer. We are not keeping score. We are trying to expose the players to competition, scoring, defense, and fun!

We want our kids to love team sports and games!

Team Formation

Girls and Boys teams are formed in August from the pool of players who registered in the previous April-May registration period. Teams are formed by a Volunteer Age Group Coordinator. The Age Group Coordinator assigns players to teams based on information provided at registration, i.e., gender, family requests for friends, coaches, and by school.

Teams consist of 10 to 12 players with 2 coaches! There are roughly 14 to 16 boys teams each season and roughly the same number of girls teams. A Volunteer Match Secretary schedules games for the U8 group! Teams are flighted based on age and skill level. The Match Secretary will work with coaches to best determine the appropriate flight for each team.


The season begins the weekend of April 1-2 and ends June 3-4. Most games will be on Saturdays with the possible Sunday match scheduled. No games will be held Easter weekend March 15/16th or Memorial Day weekend May 27/28th.

Our Field Coordinator, Augusto Cardoso, will be handling all match/practice schedules for Shepherds Canyon Field. All U8 games are held at Shepherd Canyon. Your Coach/Team Manager will be communicating these details once they receive the finalized schedule.


U8 sessions take place at Shepherd Canyon Park Fields in Oakland.

Uniforms and Equipment

The playing field is roughly 30 yds x 35 yds. Soccer balls and nets are provided by the Club. All players must wear shin guards and soccer cleats (no baseball cleats allowed) to all games and practices. Beginning with the 2014 Fall Season, families will need to purchase a uniform kit before the start of the season. Please navigate to the Uniforms page under the Recreational tab for additional information.


Fall: Registration for Fall teams begin generally run from April 1 and will close on May 31. Players must be under the age of 8 years-old and at least 6 years-old prior to January 1st.

Spring: Registration for Spring teams open in March on a space available basis for new players. Players must be under the age of 8 years-old as of January 1st of the previous year and at least 6 years-old as of February 1st

Please visit this website in January/February to check for announcements for the exact registration dates each year.

All Coaches Meeting

Please check the MSC Club calendar for the next scheduled event. All Head and Assistant Coaches should plan on attending!

This session introduces our Program Curriculum and Program Goals. Coaches will also receive equipment if necessary.

New Parents Night

Please check the MSC Club calendar for the next scheduled event. New Parents Night provides orientation for parents to learn about MSC and the U8 soccer program, participate in a Positive Coaching (PCA) workshop, and meet other parents. This is THE event to learn all about your child’s soccer program! Attendance at a New Parents Night is required by one parent from every family of new players. You need only attend one New Parents Night (not both).

New? If your child is a new U8 player and you have not yet attended a New Parents Night in the past, you are required to attend one of the New Parents Nights.

Returning? If you are a returning parent (regardless of age division) and have not yet attended a PCA workshop, you must attend for your child to be eligible for our soccer program. If you attended a PCA Workshop in the past, you are not required to attend again, although you are always welcome!

Coaches – if you attended Coaches Day (and nearly all of you did) you are not required (but certainly welcome)to attend New Parents Night.

Related Links

pdfU8 Coaches Guide
This is a guide for coaches which details everything needed to know about coaching U8 soccer

pdfU8 Parents Guide
This guide tells you everything you need to know about the U8 program including volunteer requirements for your team, where to buy soccer shoes, game etiquette, and helping prepare your child to play soccer. It is a must read.

docU8 Referees Guide version 1.5
This manual is designed to help guide referees through the special rules, interpretations, and game management skills required to officiate Under-8 matches for the Montclair Soccer Club.

docU8 Rules Quick Reference version 1.1
This is a quick reference guide to Under 8 Soccer.

pdfBody Mass and Offside
U8 Referee Notes.

Proudly Affiliated With

  • Cal North
  • National Soccer Coaches Association Of America
  • Us Soccer
  • Jack London Youth Soccer Sports League
  • California North Referee Administration
  • Norcal Premier
  • Us Youth Soccer
  • Positive Coaching Alliance
  • Us Club Soccer
  • Say Soccer