New Teams to Join Academy’s Existing Clubs in New Age Group
CHICAGO (March 18, 2013) – The U.S. Soccer Development Academy has announced the inclusion of 22 new clubs to the Under-13/14 age division in preparation for the inaugural 2013-14 season. The new clubs will join existing Academy clubs in the new U-13/14 program starting next fall.
The U-13/14 Academy program is based on the same philosophy as the older Academy age groups, which features more training sessions, less games and more meaningful competition. The competitive schedule will place a greater emphasis on local games due to the younger ages of the players and will also include a futsal component during the winter.
In the coming weeks, the Development Academy will announce the full 2013-14 schedule and team/division breakdown for the U-13/14 Academy season.
“We are excited to add 22 new clubs to the Development Academy system in the U-13/14 age group,” Development Academy Director of Scouting Tony Lepore said. “We feel that it is very important to spread the Academy philosophy to an expanded pool of players and clubs in this age group as we launch our first season of U-13/14 programming this fall. The new clubs have the qualities we look for in the areas of coaching, player pools, training programs, facilities, infrastructure and age-appropriate development philosophy. They are also well located and based in key markets that help to expand the elite player pool in this age group, while incorporating a model that minimizes the amount of travel and costs for league play.”
The following clubs have been accepted as part of the new U-13/14 program:
Los Angeles/San Diego Market (5 clubs):
Albion SC (San Diego, Calif.)
Central California Aztecs (Bakersfield, Calif.)
FC Golden State (Pasadena, Calif.)
Los Angeles Futbal Academy (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Santa Barbara Soccer Club (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
San Francisco Market (7 clubs):
Ballistic United Soccer Club (Pleasanton, Calif.)
Burlingame Soccer Club (Burlingame, Calif.)
Diablo Futbol Club (Concord, Calif.)
Juventus Sport Club (Redwood City, Calif.)
Marin FC Alliance (Greenbrae, Calif.)
Merced Atlas Soccer Academy (Merced, Calif.)
Placer United Soccer Club (Rocklin, Calif.)
New York/New England Market (3 clubs):
Beachside of Connecticut Soccer Club (Norwalk, Conn.)
New York Soccer Club (Chappaqua, N.Y.)
World Class FC (WCFC) (Orangeburg, N.Y.)
Washington, D.C. Market (2 clubs):
Bethesda Soccer Club/OBGC Soccer (Frederick, Md.)
Soccer Association of Columbia (Ellicott City, Md.)
Carolina Market (2 clubs):
Carolina Elite Soccer Academy (Greenville, S.C.)
North Carolina Alliance (Hillsborough, N.C.)
Florida Market (3 clubs):
Boca United Football Club (Boca Raton, Fla.)
Jacksonville FC (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Tampa Bay United (Tampa, Fla.)
Some notable alumni have come up through the ranks among the 22 new clubs taking part in the 2013-14 U-13/14 Academy season:
- U.S. Men’s National Team and Sporting Kansas City midfielder Benny Feilhaber, a member of the 2010 FIFA World Cup team, hails from Beachside of Connecticut Soccer Club.
- U.S. MNT and San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski, who tied an MLS single-season scoring record with 27 goals in 2012, is a former player with Diablo Futbol Club.
- U.S. Youth National Team standout Joe Gyau, who plays professionally with German club St. Pauli, is a former club player at Bethesda Soccer Club.
- Former Tampa Bay United defender Anthony Wallace has one U.S. MNT cap under his belt and had an extensive run with the U-20 MNT that included several appearances in the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada.
The Development Academy was founded by U.S. Soccer in 2007 to provide an elite everyday training and competitive environment for the country’s elite youth soccer players. Since its launch, the focus of the program has been to increase the amount of meaningful training sessions for elite players by lengthening the Academy season to 10 months for all clubs, limiting the number of games and working with coaches to appropriately plan Academy teams’ training schedules for one of the longest meaningful training schedules at any level of soccer in the country. The addition of the U-13/14 age group provides the country’s most motivated and talented youth players with two additional years of intensive training to help them reach their full potential and prepare them for collegiate, professional and international soccer.