Following a comprehensive review of elite player development in the United States and around the world, U.S. Soccer created the Development Academy in 2007 to improve the everyday environment for the elite youth player.
The Development Academy is a partnership between U.S. Soccer and the top youth clubs around the country to provide the best youth players in the U.S. with an every day environment designed to produce the next generation of National Team players. The Academy’s programming philosophy of increased training, less total games and more competitive games is based on U.S. Soccer’s Best Practices utilized by the U-17 U.S. National Team Residency program.
The Academy also connects National Team coaches directly with the Academy clubs to develop and identify players and coaches for future Youth National Teams. Each Academy team is evaluated by a National Team coach at least ten times each year and each Academy club receives two formal evaluations in over 100 categories each year from National Team staff.
For more information on the Development Academy program visit the Academy Overview section.
Player Development Advantages
- More Training
- 3 mandatory training sessions per week
- Fewer Total Games
- Approximate 30 game season
- No outside participation for full-time Academy players
- 25% Minimum Start Requirement
- More Meaningful Games
- Compete against top youth clubs in the country
- FIFA Rules (i.e. no re-entry on substitutions, January 1 birthday cut-off, players participate on older teams if appropriate)
- Top Instruction
- Players receive integrated oversight from Academy club coaches and U.S. Soccer coaches in their local environment.
- Connection to U.S. Soccer Resources
- Select teams compete against U.S. Youth National Teams
- Regular Game and Training Evaluations by National Team staff
- Referees assigned by U.S. Soccer
- SPARQ Testing and Training
- Gatorade Hydration Testing and Education
- ProZone and Interplay Analysis
Player Identification Advantages
- Direct connection to U.S. Soccer National Team Scouting Network (NTSN)
- National Team coaches evaluated over 80% of all Academy games in the 2010-11 season
- Showcases are premier scouting venues:
- 400-500 college coaches
- 25 Professional Scouts
- National Team Staff observe every game
- Online player profile for all Academy players
- Showcase games footage can be purchased
- Over 250 players from Academy clubs were called into an YNT camp or trip since fall 2007 from 59 different Academy clubs
Academy Rules and Regulations
The Development Academy program is administered by the U.S. Soccer Federation based on FIFA requirements and player development principles. To learn more about the Rules and Regulations of the Development Academy please visit the Development Academy Administrator page.
Tryout Information for Academy Clubs
If you are interested in joining a Development Academy club, please visit the Academy Club Team Pages and contact your local club for information on upcoming tryouts and trials.
Academy Scholarship Program
The Development Academy Scholarship Program supported by NIKE and the U.S. Soccer Foundation is designed to provide opportunities for full-time Academy players who require financial assistance to participate in the Development Academy.
For more information on the program please visit the Development Academy Scholarship Program page.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have additional questions about the Development Academy program, please visit the FAQ section of the Academy web site.