Soccer for Kids in Des Moines

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Soccer for Kids in Des Moines

Soccer season is coming and it has quickly become one of the world’s most popular sports. There are many great youth soccer programs to get your child involved whether you want a fun, laid-back program or a more competitive club. Signing up for soccer is different from other sports as kids are categorized according to birth year instead of grade level. When you view playing levels you will see “U” next to the age number which stands for “under.” For example, 4U means “under 4.” Some programs start as early as 18 months and are geared toward only small children and others go up to 19 years old. Whether you are looking for team sports or want your child to learn the fundamentals of the game check out our guide to soccer for kids in Des Moines, Iowa.

Check out these other guides to sports and activities in Des Moines, Iowa:

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Multiple Locations


Address: Locations in Clive and Ankeny

Phone: (515) 635-1807

Facebook: CHAMP 

Website: CHAMP

CHAMP is a smaller soccer program for kids starting at 18 months through age 6 taught at parks in both Ankeny and Clive. The goal is to introduce kids to sports, engage them in physical activity, and instill confidence and coordination. Coach Nancy uses fun games and songs to engage the kids and she is positive and caring. My son enjoyed her soccer program at ages 2 and 3 and it was a great introduction to soccer at an age-appropriate level.


Address: Locations in West Des Moines and Des Moines

Phone: 800-486-8385

Website: HappyFeet Iowa

HappyFeet introduces soccer to kids at daycares and preschools and offers leagues for kids 18 months through 4th grade. Each team has a HappyFeet/Legends trained coach who works with each age group to teach soccer skills such as hand-eye coordination and building confidence. 

i9 Sports

Address: Locations in Johnston, Waukee, and West Des Moines

Website: Des Moines i9 Sports

i9 Sports provides youth sports leagues for a variety of programs including flag football, soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball, and ZIP Lacrosse. Leagues are for kids ages 3 and up for all skill levels featuring instruction on soccer skills according to age, practice before each game one day per week, and everyone gets to play. Each week i9 further emphasizes sportsmanship by awarding a member of each team an i9 Sports Sportsmanship Medal. Coaches and referees are i9 Sports Certified and receive a background check. They offer all-girls soccer teams as well as co-ed teams.

Johnston Urbandale Soccer Club (JUSC)

Address: Locations in Johnston and Urbandale

Contact: Contact Form

Website: JUSC

JUSC is a not-for-profit organization that resulted from merging the Johnston Soccer Club and the Urbandale Soccer Club. They also have a partnership with the West Des Moines Soccer Club called Sporting Iowa. JUSC serves youth from 4U through 19U and their programs are for kids wanting to learn the basics to those wanting to be competitive top players. Programs vary by level and include 4U-8U Discovery (non-competitive which teaches the basics), 9U-19U Recreational (fun, relaxed environment to play soccer without tryouts), 9U-10U Academy (prepares kids for the next level of select soccer and operated by Sporting Iowa) and 11U-19U Select (highest level of soccer and taught by professional coaches only). JUSC also offers camps as well as Street Soccer.

Junior Menace

Address: Locations in Des Moines, Grimes, and Waukee

Phone: (515) 457-6367

Website: Junior Menace 

This developmental soccer program for kids ages 3-9 is for all ability levels and kids learn skills through fun activities, scrimmages, and games. It’s great for beginners to learn basic skills through advanced levels. These developmental skills clinics are taught by licensed soccer coaches, assistant high school select-level players, and college players. The program is available in the fall, winter, and spring and locations vary by season. Registrations are accepted on a rolling basis so families don’t have to worry about deadlines. In the summer they hold soccer camps taught by players from the Des Moines Menace for kids ages 3-14. 

Northwest Soccer Club

Address: Field locations in Windsor Heights and Des Moines

Website: Northwest Soccer Club

This youth recreational soccer program aims to improve the self-confidence and overall development of each player for ages 4-19. They have three levels of play with Level 3, their recreational program, the foundation of the club meant to provide fun for each player. Their Level 2 program is for a higher level of competition and Level 1 is the most competitive level. Parents are needed as volunteers for coaching, providing snacks, assisting with projects, and becoming members of the Board.

Soccer Shots Central Iowa

Locations: Ankeny, Des Moines, Grimes, Urbandale, Waukee West Des Moines

Website: Soccer Shots Central Iowa

Soccer Shots is a nationwide children’s soccer program for ages 2-8 with three different programs according to age. They also provide services to childcare centers and preschools. Programs teach soccer skills through fun games, introduce positive character traits such as respect, and focus on individual skills as they get older. Sessions are held weekly for 30-40 minutes and kids don’t need any equipment to participate.

Soccer, early childhood sports

Des Moines

Des Moines Parks and Recreation

Website: Des Moines Parks and Recreations 

Depending on the season, Des Moines Parks and Recreation offers PeeWee Soccer for kids in Pre-K and Kindergarten with games and practices one evening each week to teach basic skills. They utilize parent coaches and all equipment is provided. They also offer Youth Soccer for Grades 1-7 with a parent coach with practice during the week and games on the weekends.

Des Moines Soccer Club

Website: Des Moines Soccer Club

Des Moines Soccer Club was formed with the merger of Soccer West Soccer Club and Soccer South Soccer Club. Their mission is to make soccer accessible for those who want to play with an emphasis on sportsmanship, respect, working hard, striving to win and always doing the right thing. The program starts at age 3 with their Kickstart program. Recreational soccer is available for all levels with academy-level training for 9U/10U ages and tries out for select teams for 11U-High School players. 


Dallas Center-Grimes Soccer Club (DCG)

Website: DCG Soccer Club

The Dallas Center-Grimes Soccer Club is located at the Grimes Sports Complex. It has recreational programs starting at 5U, an Academy program for 9U-10U to increase skills in soccer development, and a Select program.


Apex Soccer Academy

Website: Apex Soccer Academy

The Apex Soccer Academy has a 9U-10U Academy program under the Iowa Soccer Academy Central Iowa League. It gives youth in Warren County (Norwalk, Carlisle, Indianola, and other communities) a higher level of soccer but with a connection to their home clubs. It focuses on individual development. They also have a Select program for 11U-19U with professional coaches, and players must try out and receive invitations to join.

Norwalk Soccer Club

Website: Norwalk Soccer Club

Norwalk Soccer Club is a non-profit organization for 7U through 14U recreational soccer. There are no tryouts and coaches are volunteers. Most teams practice twice per week during the Fall and Spring seasons. Their 7U-8U program is for learning skills so they don’t keep score during games. For kids in the 11U and up program, it becomes more competitive.

West Des Moines, West Des Moines RecPlex, Midamerican Energy RecPlex, indoor public ice skating, indoor play, Des Moines, Iowa

West Des Moines

MidAmerican Energy Company RecPlex 

Website: The RecPlex 

The RecPlex offers many great activities including ice skating, hockey, soccer, basketball, and E-sports. Drop-in turf times are a great way to practice your skills. For more information check out our post 9 Things Any Family Can Do at the West Des Moines RecPlex. Throughout the year they offer different soccer programs through West Des Moines Parks and Recreation. 

For Spring/Summer 2023, they have a Little Kickers Soccer League for ages 4-7 where kids have 15 minutes of practice and then play a soccer game for 45 minutes. Coaches are volunteers and kids are taught soccer skills as well as teamwork and sportsmanship. My son played basketball at the RecPlex and we felt it was a positive and encouraging environment where everyone cheered and encouraged each other. 

They also have a Bulldog Soccer Camp for recreation players ages 7-12 taught by players and coaches from the Drake Women’s Soccer Team.

West Des Moines Parks and Recreation

Website: West Des Moines Parks & Recreation 

Class offerings change each season so check their website for their current classes. This spring season of 2023 there are several options for soccer classes.  

Rounded Minds teaches skills through fun and games while teaching teamwork and helping the kids learn Spanish. It’s a great format to introduce your child to a second language or reinforce what they already know. My son enjoyed singing songs in Spanish while learning skills for different sports. Their soccer program is for ages 2-6.

Start Smart Programs are non-competitive and the parent or caregiver attends with the child. It’s a great no pressure way to introduce your child to soccer. Classes are for ages 3-6.

West Des Moines Soccer Club

Website: West Des Moines Soccer Club 

This non-profit organization offers programs for ages 3-19 for all ability levels. Programs are held at the Raccoon River Soccer Complex and the Hidden Valley Soccer Complex. Depending on the age and competition level of the kids, teams are either coached by the professional coaching staff or by volunteers under the guidance of professional staff. Kids can join recreational soccer for fun and learning or academy soccer for more intense training. They have fall and spring programming as well as camps throughout the year.


Vision Soccer Academy (VSA)

Address: 2655 SE LA Grant Parkway, Waukee, IA 50263

Phone: (515) 978-8040

Website: VSA

VSA is a soccer club serving kids ages 3-19 including the recreational, academy, and select programs depending on age level and intensity. Their Mighty Tikes program is for kids who are age 3 but too young for the U5 program to learn motor and social skills as well as basic soccer skills. VSA strives to teach players how to be part of a team, encourage excellence, and attract top-quality soccer organizations.

Whitney Alaniz, MOT OTR/L

Whitney Alaniz, MOT OTR/L

Whitney Alaniz, MOT OTR/L is an occupational therapist turned (mostly) stay-at-home mom. She has worked with adults to young toddlers and has a special interest in early childhood development targeting fine motor skills, feeding, sensory processing, and coordination. She loves incorporating this knowledge with her own two little boys through play. When she’s not running after her little ones she enjoys traveling, cooking new recipes and eating chocolate from her secret stash.

6 thoughts on “Soccer for Kids in Des Moines

  1. Hi Erin!
    If you ever update this article, I would love it if you could include Soccer West Soccer Club. We are a recreational club located right in the heart of Des Moines at 63rd and Grand. We have programs for kids as young as 3 years-old all the way through high school. Check us out!


  2. Avatar A Norwalk Mom says:

    Norwalk also has soccer available through Parks & Rec. I’ve noticed Norwalk is often missing from articles.

  3. Avatar amanda mcsherry says:

    Thank you so much for this.

  4. Avatar Teresa Sieglaff says:

    Looking for a soccer team for my grandson. Is it too late to get him on a team so he can play?

  5. I was happy to find this list as we are new to the area and trying to find a soccer program similar to our previous city. The downside was that clicking on links from your article linked me to spam sites that added malware to my computer. Wanted to let you know.

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