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U.S. Soccer Development Academy Continues to Grow With Inclusion of 10 More Clubs


CHICAGO (June 26, 2007) – Ten additional clubs have been selected to participate in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy bringing the total number to 21 clubs from across the country. 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 continue to be impressed with both the quality and quantity of applications we are receiving,” said U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach John Hackworth. “After less than a month, we remain focused on working with clubs from all over the country to make sure they have the right information and ability to be a part of this initiative.”

The 10 latest clubs added to U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy include some of the more recognizable names in the youth soccer community, including:

  • Chicago Magic Soccer Club (Illinois)
  • Clearwater Chargers Soccer Club (Florida)
  • Crossfire Premier Soccer Club (Washington)
  • Greensboro Youth Soccer Club (North Carolina)
  • IMG Soccer Academy (Florida)
  • Kendall Soccer Coalition (Florida)
  • Mustang FC (California)
  • Oakwood Soccer Club (Connecticut)
  • Sockers F.C. Chicago (Illinois)
  • Vardar (Michigan)

The first 11 clubs announced on June 15:

  • Atlanta Fire United Soccer Association (Georgia)
  • B/W Gottschee (New York)
  • CASL – Capitol Area Soccer League (North Carolina)
  • De Anza Force Soccer Club (California)
  • FC DELCO (Pennsylvania)
  • FC Greater Boston Bolts (Massachusetts)
  • Michigan Wolves (Michigan)
  • Nomads Soccer Club (California)
  • Players Development Academy (New Jersey)
  • Seacoast United (New Hampshire)
  • FC Westchester (New York)

“We are very encouraged by the progress so far,” said U.S. Soccer’s Director of Coaching Education Bob Jenkins. “The key component to the Development Academy is a focus from the clubs on doing what it takes to get their coaches and players focused on long term player development.”

Applications continue to come in and are under review with more decisions due in the coming 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.

“After completing an extensive review and discussion across the country, we feel that it is the right time for U.S. Soccer to lead a change in the sport at the youth level,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “We need to shift the focus of our young elite players from an ‘overburdened, game emphasis’ model to a ‘meaningful training and competition’ model. This will ultimately lead to more success and will allow players to develop to their full potential.”

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
Teams: The top youth sDivided 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. occer clubs in the U.S.
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.

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