CHICAGO (July 16, 2007) – U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy has now grown to 47 clubs from across the country with the recent addition of 16 more clubs, nearing the expected capacity for the inaugural season. With the launch of the new Development Academy, 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. The concept was unveiled on June 4 and the response has been unprecedented.
“We are very excited about the excellent roster of clubs that have the desire to change their development environment,” said U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach John Hackworth. “The quality of applications has been outstanding and we are approaching our targeted number of expected slots for the Inaugural Academy Season.”
“We are very pleased with the quality of the clubs currently admitted into the Development Academy,” said U.S. Soccer’s Director of Coaching Education Bob Jenkins. “These clubs embrace the Development Academy’s mission of changing the development environment for the elite player both now and for the long term.”
The 16 latest clubs added to U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy continue to reflect the high quality of participants:
- AFC Lightning Soccer Club (Georgia)
- Arsenal SC (California)
- Birmingham United Soccer Association (Alabama)
- Carmel United Soccer Club (Indiana)
- Empire United Soccer Academy (New York)
- FC Milwaukee (Wisconsin)
- FC Portland Soccer Academy (Oregon)
- Internationals Soccer Club (Ohio)
- Irvine Strikers (California)
- Metro United Soccer Club (Illinois)
- Metropolitan Oval Foundation, Inc. (New York)
- North Meck Soccer Club (North Carolina)
- Ohio Elite Soccer Academy (Ohio)
- PA Classics (Pennsylvania)
- Schulz Academy (Florida)
- Scott Gallagher (Missouri)
After the latest round of Academy admissions, it is anticipated that only a limited number of remaining spots are available for the inaugural Academy Season. The Selection Committee has reviewed over 100 applications thus far and expects the final selection process to be very competitive.
“With only a few weeks remaining in the application window, we encourage interested clubs to send in their applications for review,” said U.S. Soccer’s Director of Coaching Education Bob Jenkins. “The selection process thus far has been very intense and will only increase in the final weeks.”
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.
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 47 current clubs representing 22 states and the District of Columbia:|
District of Columbia