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U.S. Soccer Development Academy

Seventh Season of Development Academy Play Kicks off Saturday Sept. 7th


CHICAGO (Sept. 6, 2013) – The 2013-14 Development Academy season opens this Saturday and Sunday and marks the seventh campaign since the Academy system was put in place in 2007.

For the first time, the Academy is launching an Under-13/14 age division that includes 88 teams participating in three different conferences and eight divisions. This age group is focused strictly on development and providing players with more training sessions and quality games. The new age group will also operate in a carefully designed competitive model that limits the amount of travel, provides more local training opportunities in the biggest markets and maintains low participation costs.

“This U-13/14 group is the right thing to set the foundation,” said U.S. Under-14 Boys’ National Team head coach Hugo Perez. “The No. 1 thing is the future of our players and football in our country, and this gives them the best preparation to keep improving. I feel this is one of the biggest steps that we’ve taken since the start of the Academy, and it is going to benefit the National Team program.” 

In the U-15/16 age group, Real Salt Lake AZ look to build upon their national championship 2012-13 campaign. Coach Freddy Juarez has steadfastly believed in the club’s Development Academy setup. The team’s 2012-13 Academy title simply reaffirmed that its development process has been working to the fullest at Grande Sports Academy in Casa Grande, Ariz.

“You always know you have a good team, and when you’re competitive and doing the right thing, it makes everyone else believe,” Juarez said. “The players came close in our first year when we got third, and you hope the players buy into it. You don’t have to be a residency program to win, but it’s been a huge part of our success. The training five times a week, the locker room camaraderie, it makes a difference.” 

New York Red Bulls Academy has another championship to defend, this time in the U-17/18 age group. Their system has been a stomping ground for the country’s top-level player development season after season. From the days of Juan Agudelo, to the player depth that produced a 2011-12 U-15/16 crown and a 2012-13 U-17/18 championship, to the influx of players to represent the National Team squads, the Red Bulls have produced and maintained high standards in the Development Academy.

“Even though we only return a few players who were at Finals Week, it should be a seamless transition,” Red Bulls U-17/18 head coach Paul O’Donnell said. “Wes Wade has been a National Team player, Alex Tejera had a good year, and Evan Louro will be a big factor. Last season we had Santiago Castaño in the goal for Finals Week – otherwise Evan would have been the main guy. He’s played a high level of games at Residency against some strong competition.” 

PREVIOUS U-15/16 ACADEMY CHAMPIONS:

  • 2007-08: Carmel United (now Indiana Fire)
  • 2008-09: Derby County Wolves (now Crew Soccer Academy Wolves)
  • 2009-10: Chicago Fire
  • 2010-11: LA Galaxy
  • 2011-12: New York Red Bulls
  • 2012-13: Real Salt Lake AZ

PREVIOUS U-17/18 ACADEMY CHAMPIONS:

  • 2007-08: Baltimore Bays (now Baltimore Bays Chelsea)
  • 2008-09: Carmel United (now Indiana Fire)
  • 2009-10: Vardar SC (now Vardar SC Freiburg)
  • 2010-11: Pateadores
  • 2011-12: FC Dallas
  • 2012-13: New York Red Bulls

For all Development Academy results, visit ussda.demosphere.com or click on the following links:

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