We've rounded up all the best NYC soccer programs for budding kid athletes, from preschoolers just learning to kick that checkered orb, to middle-schoolers ready to master the roll and step over dribble.
Kids' soccer is a year-round sport in NYC: You can get your kids into the game through a day camp over the summer, at drop-in classes throughout the year, or by participating in a season-long program with one of the youth soccer organizations listed below. Bonus: Many of these places also offer soccer-themed birthday parties.
Read on for eight spots offering soccer sessions to NYC kids. You can find even more options in our NYC Directory and our NYC Classes and Enrichment Programs Guide.
Kick and Play
Kick and Play is associated with Super Soccer Stars for older kids (see below), but these classes are specifically for toddlers, teaching them pre-soccer skills, as well as improved motor skills and balance as they test out those newly-running legs. Classes include age-appropriate fun with mini goal posts and balls and sometimes even non-soccer props. Parents can play along as the kids sing catchy songs, stretch, run, and chase balls. Sessions are held year-round, including on weekends, and class locations are scattered throughout the city, including some in city parks and local school gyms.
Super Soccer Stars
Up to 12 years
Super Soccer Stars carries that supportive Kick and Play environment into sessions for the big kids that offer a bit more structure, including more formal drills. Choose from full semester sessions, drop-in classes, afterschool lessons, and even summer camp. Classes take place indoors and outdoors in all five boroughs, as well as the Hamptons, Long Island, Westchester, and New Jersey. This organization also runs two other soccer programs for kids who get serious about the game and want to up the competition: Stars Premier for ages 5 and up and NY Stars Premier Travel for ages 8 to 16.
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Preschoolers through teens can join a soccer class or camp at The Field House. Photo courtesy of Chelsea Piers.
The Field House — Chelsea Piers
Chelsea Piers is a sports hub year-round, with classes in more than a dozen sports for all ages. Its soccer programs are divided by age and skill or interest level. Little Athletes, ages 2-5, learn the fundamentals of the sport and how to work together. Ages 5-14 learn more advanced skills, and the organization also runs a competitive youth soccer league for ages 8-18.
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Soccer R Us offers classes for kids in Prospect Park.
Soccer R Us — Prospect Lefferts Gardens
Courses are divided by age, including a 45-minute parent-and-me class for toddlers. Younger children and their parents can participate in bonding and pre-soccer skill-building activities like simple drills and warm-ups, as well as through songs and games. Preschoolers and kindergartners can build on their budding skills, while older kids can foster a sense of teamwork and cooperation. Classes move to an indoor space in Prospect Lefferts Gardens during the fall and winter and take place in the Prospect Park Parade Grounds during the spring and summer.
Sonic Soccer Academy — multiple locations in Brooklyn
The Sonic Soccer Academy offers both coed classes and a beginner Girls' Academy just for young women. Sessions are held in indoor and outdoor locations throughout Brooklyn, including Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights, but also Bay Ridge and Windsor Terrace. Typical classes aim to develop motor skills, teach soccer basics, and give kids a chance to put their skills to the test with some actual game time. While the youngest might focus on balance, older kids move on to dribbling, defending, and otherwise developing technical skills and a love of the game.
Soccer Kids NYC — multiple locations in Queens
Children can enroll in seven-week seasons with Soccer Kids NYC throughout the year. They can also try a summer camp or afterschool session. Classes are grouped by age to ensure that no one is left out. Kids will sprint, jump, dribble, and even crawl through obstacle courses. Although the program is headquartered in Middle Village, classes are held all around Queens, including Elmhurst, Flushing, and elsewhere. No trial classes are offered, but this program gives you a full refund if your kid decides it just isn't for him before the third class. Win-win!
Super Kickers — multiple locations in Queens
Super Kickers is home to more than just soccer, including classes in dance, martial arts, and even piano. The soccer programs focus on getting exercise, working together, and developing soccer skills. A more advanced soccer program is also available for kids who want to take their game to the next level. Locations are scattered around Queens, with spots in Astoria, Jackson Heights, Middle Village, and Ridgewood.
Riverdale Soccer Club — Riverdale
The Riverdale Soccer Club offers spring and fall sessions, which fill up fast so it's a good idea to grab a spot early. This soccer club is also a bit more serious, as programs require tryouts, though there is a 90-minute "Peewee" instructional program for first- and second-graders on Sunday mornings in the spring that includes drills and some game play. Overall, though, this is one for players with a little experience already.
Don't forget to check out our NYC Guide and Directory for additional classes and activities for kids.
Top image: Soccer R Us. Photo courtesy of the class.
A version of this story was published in 2016; it has since been updated. Katie Nave Freeman contributed additional reporting.