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It’s the way we play the game.

Thank you for your interest in Houston Express Soccer Club (HESC). HESC offers programs for recreational and competitive players. Please enter your email address to receive news and information.

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Competitive (U11+)

About Competitive

The Ins and Outs of Competitive Soccer

The Houston Express program accepts boys and girls age U8 and up (see age group charts) who are ready for rigorous training and a competitive environment.  If your child is in the U8 to U10 age group, please click here for more information about the Academy program. This fall, Express will field approximately 1,100 players on 85 teams.

Houston Express teams are trained and coached by licensed professional staff and compete in various area and regional leagues, such as Eastern District Division 1 (EDDOA), Eastern District Super II (EDS2), Houston Youth Soccer Association (HYSA), State Classic League (SCL), and Premier League West (PLW).

Developing Well-Rounded Players

Houston Express has an outstanding curriculum, designed to develop well-rounded players in a positive, challenging environment. Our Club is committed to a consistent style of play across all age groups and genders.  The style is implemented and enforced by our professional coaching staff, under the direction of our Director of Coaching, Mark Gibbs. The Express style of play, offensively, is a controlled ball possession game that encourages creativity, flair and confidence with the ball at our feet while taking on defenders.  Defensively, we emphasize one-on-one defending and group defending tactics to pressure our opponents into giving up the ball.  We like our players to defend all areas of the field. It’s the way we play the game.

Express teams play seasonal games against other Clubs in Houston and in tournaments both locally and throughout Texas and the United States. Our U13 and older teams compete in statewide and national cup competitions. Express teams have won state titles each of the last four years and have advanced to both regional and national competitions. In addition, we have teams who have traveled outside the country, most recently in Latin America and Europe.

Houston Express Team Placement

The HESC coaching staff creates teams according to level of play. All prospective players must attend semi-annual evaluations, so they can be appropriately placed. Player performance and development can fluctuate greatly from year to year, so it is not uncommon for players to move from team to team within their age group as they develop. 

Our professional coaching staff (NOT parents or Team Managers) make all player placement decisions. Team formations are generally completed around 7 days after the last player evaluation session.  Please respect the decisions of our coaching staff; their decisions are FINAL.

Houston Express Coaching and Games

Run by our professional coaching staff, Houston Express teams train at least twice weekly – dates and times vary. Games are played on weekends. Locations vary based upon the leagues and tournaments in which teams participate.

Levels of Express Play

The particular league in which any given team plays is determined by our professional training staff and by teams qualifying for higher levels of play. Houston Express teams participate in one of the following:

US Club Soccer National Premier League
– Houston Express will field one team in each age group from U13 – U17 to compete in the National Premier League. The NPL provides a National Competitive Developmental platform, where our players can be scouted/evaluated by US Soccer National Staff and Advisors. This will be the natural progression within our Player Development beliefs, where our players will be able to showcase their talent at the next level. Our teams will compete in the NPL in conjunction with their US Youth Soccer Leagues (RPL, PLW, SLC, EDDOA, etc.).

US Youth Soccer National League – is the most prestigious youth league in the United States. Only 16 teams in each age group from across the entire US qualify to participate in this elite league. Each team plays against 7 other teams from across the country in regional events.

Southern Regional Premier League (RPL) – Also known as the US Youth Soccer Region III Premier League, the RPL is a fully sanctioned US Youth Soccer competitive league designed to provide boys and girls U14-U18 with the opportunity to compete at a very high level and aid in the development of US Youth Soccer players.  The Regional Premier League consists of teams from each part of Region III including three teams in the East (NC/SC/GA/FL) and West (NTX/STX/OK) and two teams from the Central (AR/LA/TN/AL/MS). Premier League teams are travel teams, playing other teams in the twelve state region.

Premier League West (PLW), is a US Youth Soccer Region III league that consists of the top teams in the Western region of US Youth Soccer Region III (Oklahoma, North Texas and South Texas) that did not qualify for a higher league (Regional Premier League or National Premier League).

State Classic League (SCL) was launched in Fall 2009 and is organized and managed by South Texas Youth Soccer Association (STYSA). It is designed to give the top teams in the U14 through U18 age groups a level of competition beyond that offered in Division 1 play. Games are played in the South Texas region.

Eastern District Division One Association (EDDOA) – Division I encompasses ages U11-U18 and until 2009, it was the highest level of competitive play. It remains the highest level of play for ages U11-U13. It is for players who are committed to playing a full schedule in both the fall and spring seasons. Games are played on fields located 30 to 60 minutes from South Campus.  Participation on a Division I team is expected to be in preference to (but not necessarily to the exclusion of) participation in other sports.

Eastern District Super 2 (EDS2) – Super 2 is for players who are committed to playing a full schedule in both the fall and spring seasons. Games are played on fields located 30 to 60 minutes from South Campus. Participation on a S2 team is expected to be in preference to (but not necessarily to the exclusion of) participation in other sports.

Houston Youth Soccer Association (HYSA) – offers Division 2 and Division 3 competition for ages 11 to 18. Games are played on Saturdays (U14 and below) or Sundays (U15 and above), half at the home South Campus fields and half at fields approximately 30-45 minutes away. Many Division 2 and Division 3 players play fall and spring seasons, but some play only in the fall. This level of play allows kids who enjoy soccer but do not choose it necessarily as their primary activity.