CHICAGO (July 27, 2007) – U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy has grown to 50 clubs with the recent acceptance of three additional MLS clubs: Chivas USA, Colorado Rapids and the L.A. Galaxy. The recent additions increase the tally of MLS participants in the inaugural Academy Season to six, with the other 44 participating clubs being the leading youth clubs from across the nation.
The U.S. Soccer Federation has taken the initiative in extending its National Team program and putting an emphasis on the development of the player by improving their daily environment. The Development Academy concept is designed to shift the focus of the young elite player from an ‘overburdened, game emphasis’ model to a ‘meaningful training and competition’ model, which takes a holistic look at the Development process by incorporating elements for coaches, players and referees.
With less than one week remaining to submit Academy applications, National Team Coaches have reviewed over 125 applications and expect the final selection process to be very competitive.
“These additional MLS teams complement an already excellent field of clubs for participation in this program,” said U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach John Hackworth. “Based on the quality of the remaining applications under review, we think the quality of the participants for the Development Academy program is outstanding and will provide the foundation for long term improvements for soccer in the United States.”
The three latest MLS clubs add to the three existing MLS clubs that have enrolled in the Academy Program:
- Chivas USA (California)
- Colorado Rapids (Colorado)
- L.A. Galaxy (California)
“The clubs participating in the Academy Program represent the elite youth clubs in the United States,” said Jenkins. “These clubs were selected because of their ability to implement the best development environment for our elite youth players and their ability to develop their overall program in line with the Development Academy framework.”
Created to provide players with the best possible opportunity and environment to develop, the U.S. Soccer Development Academy is being initiated after a comprehensive review of player development systems in the United States and around the world.
“With less than one week remaining in the application window, the selection process has been very intense and will only increase in these final few days,” said U.S. Soccer’s Director of Coaching Education Bob Jenkins. “We encourage clubs who want to be considered for participation to submit their applications before the August 1 deadline.”
U.S. SOCCER DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY – STRUCTURE
|Objective:||The focus of the Academy is on player development and providing players with the best possible opportunity to develop to the highest level they are capable of achieving|
|Standards:||A minimum requirement of three training sessions and one rest day per week|
|Selection:||U.S. Soccer coaches will select qualified applicants on a rolling basis until Aug. 1|
|Age Groups:||U-16 & U-18 teams (minimum roster of 22 players); providing opportunities for more than 2,000 players|
|Competition Format:||Divided into conferences with each team playing between 30 and 38 home and away matches during an eight-month season. Each conference will be comprised of approximately 15-20 teams based on geographic proximity. The winner of each conference will play in the Academy Finals at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.|
|Teams:||Below is a complete list of the Development Academy’s 50 current clubs representing 22 states and the District of Columbia:|
District of Columbia