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Development Academy Clubs Benefit From Strong Community Ties


CHICAGO (Nov. 19, 2008) – By providing strong competition for their young athletes every week, certain Development Academy clubs have earned the opportunity to play matches in front of more than 1,000 fans to create a strong professional atmosphere based on the support from their communities.

Clubs such as Crossfire Premier (Seattle, Wash.), Met Oval (Brooklyn, NY) and Santa Cruz County Breakers (Santa Cruz, Calif.), have witnessed first-hand the intense atmosphere that their Development Academy matches can provide. Each team has hosted matches with crowds of 1,000 or more within the last two Development Academy seasons, and they attribute the large crowds to excellent soccer as well as strong community and club support.

"We try to get a lot of the coaches in our program involved in the Academy program and let them know what’s going on so the whole club takes ownership,” said Crossfire Premier president Brian Klein. “I think the kids get into the philosophy of this club, which is that we’re all part of one club and we build from there. We make it clear that it’s the most important program that we have in the club. It’s the program they aspire to. We encourage the coaches to bring their kids to the games. And, you know, we have a nice atmosphere."

For Crossfire, Klein said the club has around 7,000 players in their recreational system and around 900 more in their Premier system. They spread news of the upcoming matches through word of mouth with coaches and players, and use their website to make sure everyone knows when games are taking place and where. Also, the club creates a family atmosphere, encouraging athletes to bring family members and teammates to matches.

It also helps that professional teams have Development Academy teams, turning matches against Chivas USA and the Los Angeles Galaxy into rivalries. Santa Cruz County Breakers captured the attention of 1,500 fans last weekend as their Under-15/16 and Under-17/18 Development Academy teams went undefeated against their West Conference rivals Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA.

The rivalry aspect also works well to draw fans to Met Oval games, where long-standing competition against other local clubs such as Albertson (Albertson, NY) and B/W Gottschee (Queens, NY) draw large, passionate crowds. It also helps that well-known coaches, such as local legend Andreas Lindberg and 2007-08 Development Academy coach of the year Giovanni Savarese, are at the helm of the Academy squads. Met Oval also has longtime grass roots support in the community as the club was formed in 1925.

“The Met Oval-Gottschee game drew a lot of people, the Met Oval-Albertson game drew a lot of people,” said Jim Vogt, president of the Metropolitan Oval Foundation, when talking about big matches against local rivals. “Between the three organizations you have three good clubs that are going to be neck and neck throughout the whole season so you can get 1,000 people to come out and watch those games because the rivalries are that big between us.”

Another facet of community involvement that enhances the community atmosphere involves the use of local sponsors and support to help defray the costs of playing in the elite program. Occasionally, sponsors include parents of other players, who pitch in to help some players who otherwise would be excluded.

“Through sponsors, through hard work, through out-of-the-box thinking, as it is now, the players pay very little money based on what they get in return,” said Vogt. “Hopefully, within the next year it will be free and we'll provide scholarships for players.”

Met Oval’s U-15/16 squad will face off against FC Westchester (Westchester, NY) at the Metropolitan Oval at 12 p.m. ET on Saturday, Nov. 22, followed by the U-17/18 squads at 2 p.m. ET. On the West Coast, both Crossfire and Santa Cruz will rest during the weekend.

Under-15/16 Results:

Friday, November 14
Washington Premier 3 – 0 Nomads

Saturday, November 15
PA Classics 0 – 0 FC Westchester
FC DELCO 3 – 1 Met Oval
PDA 1 – 4 Albertson
Bridge FA 3 – 1 Richmond Kickers
IMG Academy 5 – 0 Virginia Rush
Clearwater Chargers 2 – 0 Richmond Strikers
CASL Chelsea FC Academy 0 – 2 U-17 YNT
Real Colorado 1 – 3 Lonestar
Chicago Magic AS Monaco 2 – 0 Vardar
Chicago Fire 0 – 1 Derby County Wolves
Empire United 1 – 1 CASA
Colorado Raids 1 – 2 Classics Elite
FC Dallas 1 – 1 Dallas Texans
Texas SC 2 – 0 Ohio Elite
Texas Rush AHFC 1 – 4 Columbus Crew
FC Portland 0 – 3 San Diego Surf
Santa Cruz County Breakers 3 – 2 LA Galaxy
Mustang 1 – 2 Chivas USA

Sunday, November 16
PA Classics 0 – 1 Met Oval
PDA 1 – 3 BW Gottschee
FC DELCO 1 – 1 FC Westchester
Clearwater Chargers 1 – 0 Virginia Rush
IMG 3 – 2 Richmond Strikers
Bridge FA 1 – 1 Concorde Fire
Real Colorado 5 – 0 Classics Elite
Colorado Rapids 2 – 2 Lonestar
Texas Rush AHFC 2 – 1 Ohio Elite
Texas SC 1 – 0 Columbus Crew
Chicago Magic AS Monaco 0 – 0 Derby County Wolves
Chicago Fire 1 – 1 Vardar
Solar SC 1 – 3 Andromeda
Mustang 2 – 2 LA Galaxy
Washington Premier 0 – 0 San Diego Surf
FC Portland 1 – 3 Nomads
Santa Cruz County Breakers 1 – 1 Chivas USA


Under-17/18 Results:

Friday, November 14
Washington Premier 0 – 3 Nomads

Saturday, November 15
PA Classics 2 – 1 FC Westchester
FC DELCO 2 – 4 Met Oval
PDA 0 – 2 Albertson
Bridge FA 2 – 1 Richmond Kickers
IMG Academy 0 – 1 Virginia Rush
Clearwater Chargers 1 – 4 Richmond Strikers
CASL Chelsea FC Academy 0 – 2 U-17 YNT
Real Colorado 1 – 0 Lonestar
Chicago Magic AS Monaco 1 – 0 Vardar
Chicago Fire 1 – 4 Derby County Wolves
Empire United 1 – 2 CASA
Colorado Raids 2 – 0 Classics Elite
FC Dallas 1 – 1 Dallas Texans
Texas SC 2 – 2 Ohio Elite
Texas Rush AHFC 0 – 3 Columbus Crew
FC Portland 1 – 2 San Diego Surf
Santa Cruz County Breakers 2 – 0 LA Galaxy
Mustang 0 – 3 Chivas USA

Sunday, November 16
PA Classics 2 – 1 Met Oval
PDA 0 – 1 BW Gottschee
FC DELCO 2 – 2 FC Westchester
Clearwater Chargers 4 – 0 Virginia Rush
IMG 4 – 0 Richmond Strikers
Bridge FA 1 – 2 Concorde Fire
Real Colorado 5 – 0 Classics Elite
Colorado Rapids 2 – 2 Lonestar
Texas Rush AHFC 2 – 1 Ohio Elite
Texas SC 1 – 0 Columbus Crew
Chicago Magic AS Monaco 0 – 0 Derby County Wolves
Chicago Fire 1 – 1 Vardar
Solar SC 1 – 3 Andromeda
Mustang 3 – 5 LA Galaxy
Washington Premier 1 – 2 San Diego Surf
FC Portland 1 – 9 Nomads
Santa Cruz County Breakers 3 – 2 Chivas USA


Under-15/16 Upcoming Matches:

Saturday, November 22
Kickoff               Match                                                                 Venue
11:00 a.m. ET  South Central Premier vs. BW Gottschee  University of Bridgeport
12:00 p.m. ET  Met Oval vs. FC Westchester                         Metropolitan Oval
1:00 p.m. ET    Birmingham United vs. Atlanta Fire United Sports Blast Soccer Complex
2:00 p.m. ET    AFC Lightning vs. Concorde Fire                  McCurry Park
10:00 a.m. MT Real Colorado vs. Colorado Rapids            Highlands Heritage Park
1:00 p.m. CT   Solar vs. Texas SC                                            Southern Methodist University
2:00 p.m. CT   FC Dallas vs. Andromeda                               Pizza Hut Park
2:00 p.m. CT   Dallas Texans vs. Texas Rush AHFC           University of Texas at Dallas
4:00 p.m. CT   Lonestar vs. Colorado Rush                          St. Stephen’s Episcopal School
4:00 p.m. CT   Vardar vs. Empire United                                Ultimate Soccer Arena
5:00 p.m. CT   Classics Elite vs. Carmel United                   Trinity University
10:00 a.m. PT  Arsenal vs. San Diego Surf                             University of Calif., Riverside
12:00 p.m. PT  FC Portland vs. Washington Premier           Liberty High School
1:00 p.m. PT     Real So Cal vs. LA Galaxy                              Oaks Christian High School

Sunday, November 23
Kickoff               Match                                                                  Venue
9:00 a.m. CT    Lonestar vs. Carmel United                          St. Stephen’s Episcopal School
10:00 a.m. CT  Derby County Wolves vs. Empire United    Stevenson High School
11:00 a.m. CT  Classics Elite vs. Colorado Rush                Trinity University1
11:00 a.m. CT  Dallas Texans vs. Texas SC                         University of Texas at Dallas
1:00 p.m. CT     Solar vs. Texas Rush AHFC                          Southern Methodist University

Monday, November 24
Kickoff         Match                                                     Venue
6:00 p.m.    FC DELCO vs. PA Classics              United Sports Training Center


Under-17/18 Upcoming Matches:

Saturday, November 22
Kickoff             Match                                                                   Venue
1:00 p.m. ET   South Central Premier vs. BW Gottschee   University of Bridgeport
2:00 p.m. ET   Met Oval vs. FC Westchester                         Metropolitan Oval
3:00 p.m. ET   Birmingham United vs. Atlanta Fire United Sports Blast Soccer Complex
4:00 p.m. ET   AFC Lightning vs. Concorde Fire                  McCurry Park
12:00 p.m. MT Real Colorado vs. Colorado Rapids           Highlands Heritage Park
3:00 p.m. CT   Solar vs. Texas SC Southern                        Methodist University
4:00 p.m. CT   FC Dallas vs. Andromeda                             Pizza Hut Park
4:00 p.m. CT   Dallas Texans vs. Texas Rush AHFC         University of Texas at Dallas
6:00 p.m. CT   Lonestar vs. Colorado Rush                         St. Stephen’s Episcopal School
6:00 p.m. CT   Vardar vs. Empire United                               Ultimate Soccer Arena
7:00 p.m. CT   Classics Elite vs. Carmel United                  Trinity University
12:00 p.m. PT  Arsenal vs. San Diego Surf                           University of Calif., Riverside
2:00 p.m. PT     FC Portland vs. Washington Premier         Liberty High School
3:00 p.m. PT     Real So Cal vs. LA Galaxy                            Oaks Christian High School

Sunday, November 23
Kickoff                  Match                                                                  Venue
11:00 a.m. CT     Lonestar vs. Carmel United                          St. Stephen’s Episcopal School
12:00 p.m. CT     Derby County Wolves vs. Empire United    Stevenson High School
1:00 p.m. CT       Classics Elite vs. Colorado Rush                Trinity University1
1:00 p.m. CT       Dallas Texans vs. Texas SC                          University of Texas at Dallas
3:00 p.m. CT       Solar vs. Texas Rush AHFC                           Southern Methodist University

Monday, November 24
Kickoff          Match                                               Venue
8:00 p.m.     FC DELCO vs. PA Classics         United Sports Training Center



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