- What is the Development Academy?
- How does a club apply to become a member of the Development Academy?
- What criteria are used to evaluate membership applications?
- What is the Scholarship Program?
- How many clubs are in the Development Academy and where are they located?
- What fees are associated with being an Academy club?
- Can Academy clubs participate in non-Academy competitions?
- How is the Academy league structured?
- How many games are played and how long is the Academy season?
- How much are Academy clubs required to travel?
- Who pays for travel expenses?
- Can Academy clubs schedule 'friendly' matches during the Academy season?
- Who assigns referees for Academy games?
- How does someone tryout for an Academy club?
- What age groups compete in the Development Academy?
- Are there any rules specific to rosters?
- Can Academy clubs have younger players complete in older age groups?
- Can Academy players participate with non-Academy teams?
- Which teams participate in ten month programming and do not allow high school participation?
- How does participating in the Academy effect players being seen by elite coaches?
What is the Development Academy?
The Development Academy is a partnership between U.S. Soccer and the top youth clubs around the country to provide the best youth players in the U.S. with an every day environment designed to produce the next generation of National Team players. The Academy's programming philosophy is based on increased training, less total games and more competitive games.
The Academy also connects National Team coaches directly with the Academy clubs to develop and identify players and coaches for future Youth National Teams. Each Academy team is evaluated by a member of the Men's Scouting Network at least 10 times each year and each Academy club receives two formal evaluations in over 100 categories each year from U.S. Soccer Technical Staff.
The Development Academy is also focused on identifying and developing the next generation of elite referees. U.S. Soccer assigns up-and-coming officials to participate in Academy games at the local level and at national events.
How does a club apply to become a member of the Development Academy?
Clubs interested in being considered for the U.S. Soccer's National Team Development Academy Program must submit their Membership Application to U.S. Soccer no later than Dec. 31, 2013, to be considered for admission into the 2014-15 Academy season. Clubs can download the application here.
- National Team Coach Analysis
- History of Elite Youth Player Development
- History of Success in Elite Competitions
- Impact on existing Academy members
What is the Scholarship Program?
The Scholarship Program is a joint venture between the U.S. Soccer Federation and the U.S. Soccer Foundation to help Academy clubs and players move away from the pay-to-play model of soccer. For more information on deadlines, the application process, eligibility and program requirement click here.
How many clubs are in the Development Academy and where are they located?
There are currently 88 clubs that participate at the U-13/14 age group and 79 clubs that participate in the program at the U-15/16 and U-17/18 age levels for 2013-14. Academy clubs are located throughout the country from markets with a history of National Team player production, and for the younger age group are based in key markets that minimize the amount of travel and costs for league play.
What fees are associated with being an Academy club?
There are no team or club fees associated with becoming a U.S. Soccer Development Academy. However, players and coaches must be registered with U.S. Soccer. The registration fees are $8 per player and $25 per coach.
Can Academy clubs participate in non-Academy competitions?
Academy teams are only permitted to participate in Academy competitions (league games, showcases, Academy Playoffs and Finals Week) and non-Academy events approved by the Academy Technical Committee.
Academy teams are not permitted to participate in competitions such as State Cup, Super Y-League and US Club Soccer and high school teams.
- East Conference
- Central Conference
- West Conference
The U-13/14 age group incorporates eight (8) divisions in the three (3) conferences, with the East Conference featuring the Sunshine Division.
How many games are played and how long is the Academy season?
Each Academy club plays approximately 30 league games, including 6 games played at Showcases. The season begins in September and commences with Finals Week in July. Clubs will break from league play for periods of inactivity due to weather or the end of the season.
How much are Academy clubs required to travel?
Academy clubs can expect 15-20 away matches in a given season, some of which will require overnight travel. Exact travel distances will vary between clubs depending on their geographic proximity to their conference opponents and Academy events.
Can Academy clubs schedule 'friendly' games during the Academy season?
Academy clubs can schedule such games to provide players with a heightened development experiences. The games must not be part of an organized competition, i.e. tournament, league or camp, as defined in the non-participation regulations and all Academy standards and guidelines must be adhered to during competition.
How does someone tryout for an Academy club?
Anyone interested in trying out for an Academy club will need to contact the club directly for specific information regarding the tryout process. For club information, use the 'Club Directory' here.
What age groups compete in the Development Academy?
The program currently utilizes three (3) mixed age groups for competition: U-13/14, U-15/16 and U-17/18 age groups. Clubs competing in the U-15/16 and U-17/18 age groups must field teams at both age levels.
Can Academy clubs have younger players complete in older age groups?
Academy teams are encouraged to place players at their appropriate ability level. For example, the U-17/18 team should include a balanced mixture of 17-year-olds, 16-year-olds and a few exceptional 15-year-olds.
Are there any rules specific to rosters?
Academy clubs are required to maintain a minimum of 36 full-time players on their club player pool. There is no limit on the number of players that can be rostered as long as each player starts a minimum of 25 percent of the club's matches.
Which teams participate in 10-month programming and do not allow high school participation?
The entire Academy program does not participate in high school programming. For a complete list of clubs and more information on the 10-month season, click click here.
How does participating in the Academy affect players being seen by elite coaches?
Academy competitions provide ideal opportunities for coaches to scout players in their natural environment. Over half of all Academy matches are observed by a member of the National Team scouting network.