Freedom Soccer Club (FSC) is a medium sized, non-profit, volunteer driven club located in Sykesville, MD, with a goal of providing a nurturing environment that develops a love of the game. Learn more at our "About Us" page.
While FSC does come under the umbrella of the Freedom Area Recreation Council (FARC), we are not affiliated with the FARC recreational soccer program known as Freedom Optimist Soccer.
Travel soccer at Freedom Soccer Club is a more competitive level of youth soccer when compared to recreational soccer. Players have to try out to be selected to play on an FSC team. Travel to games and tournaments is more regional than local. Travel soccer has a bigger time commitment and costs more than recreational soccer.
In general, FSC teams play year round (fall, winter, spring) with a few exceptions. Fall seasons typically consist of two 90-minute training sessions per week, 8-10 league games and 2 or more tournaments. Winter seasons typically involve playing in an indoor soccer or futsal league once a week and training once a week indoors. A typical spring season consists of two 90-minute training sessions per week, 6-8 league games and at least one tournament. Players are encouraged to practice technical skills on their own when not training with their teams.
Since FSC is a volunteer run club, parents can expect to volunteer some time at the team and club level. At the team level this could include things like coaching, being the team manager or treasurer, or working with other volunteers to line fields periodically. At the club level, some parents will be expected to head and/or serve on various committees or fill executive board positions.
In addition to helping keep the club's operational costs low, and therefore club fees low, our volunteers have a huge impact on the FSC experience for players and help shape the future of the club.
Some parents hear the term "travel team" and envision spending 3-4 hours each weekend in the car traveling to games. For the most part this is not the case.
All of our practice fields are in the Sykesville/Eldersburg area, with a few being in northern and western Howard County when turf or lights are required.
League games (8-10 in the fall, 6-8 in the spring) are usually split evenly between home and away games. All of our home fields are also in the Sykesville/Eldersburg area with the exception of some 11v11 teams that play on turf in Howard County. The majority of the teams we face in league games are within a 45 minute drive of 21784, with very few being more than an hour away.
Tournament selection is left to the coaches. There are many tournaments throughout the year that are well within a 1-hour drive of 21784. Some teams will play an "away" tournament that may require an overnight stay; most coaches limit these to 1 per season and they tend to be great team building events.
Those teams that play indoor or futsal in the winter have a variety of options, most of which are located in within a 45 minute drive of 21784.
If a player is selected and accepts an offer for a team, there is a club registration fee of $250 per year (as of the 2022/23 soccer year). In addition to that, players will have to buy a uniform kit which is typically less than $200. Uniforms are on a 2-year cycle with the next new uniform cycle beginning the 2022/23 soccer year. These could be considered "club fees".
Aside from those two items, the team will have its own budget usually put together by the coach and divided over the number of players on the team. Things included in that budget will be league registration and referee fees, tournament entry fees, team equipment, and trainer fees as well as other items. These team fees are usually collected by the team treasurer by season (fall, winter, spring) with some teams splitting them up into payments for convenience. Typical expenses for team fees (with a volunteer coach) are less than $1000 for the entire year, depending on a variety of factors. To put that in perspective, many clubs have team fees in excess of double that for the same amount of field time.
Many teams organize fundraisers to offset costs for families and FSC encourages that. There are also individual fundraising options available through the club if people are interested in that and the club does have a financial aid program for families that meet the criteria.