U.S. Soccer
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US Soccer

North Carolina Captures Inaugural U.S. Soccer Spring Men's College Program Title

U.S. Soccer’s Spring Men’s College Program, which saw six participating NCAA Men’s Division I schools face one another across seven weeks, culminated in Winston Salem, N.C. with a Coaching Education Workshop and three games at Wake Forest University’s W. Dennie Spry Stadium. The pilot program, instituted as part of U.S. Soccer’s ongoing effort to develop world class players, coaches, and referees, was initiated to provide meaningful competition with international standards to the participating colleges. Providing further player development opportunities for potential U.S. Olympic and Men’s National Team players in zone three (18+), the initiative also placed a focus on coaching education, with all six head coaches completing a U.S. Soccer Coaching Education workshop.

On top of clinching the inaugural season title heading into the final weekend of games, University of North Carolina took down conference rivals Duke 1-0 behind a second half score from midfielder Jeremy Kelly. With the win, the Tar Heels went undefeated in group play, posting three shutouts and outscoring the rest of the field 13-2. Georgetown and Wake Forest also found victories on the final slate of games, outpacing Clemson 5-2 and Virginia 2-1, respectively.

“I couldn’t be happier that we had the opportunity to work with U.S. Soccer,” UNC head coach Carlos Somoano said. “The culture of college athletics combined with the support and expertise of U.S. soccer can only help to grow our beautiful game in this country. We are extremely proud to have won the league in its inaugural season. Playing under FIFA rules was fantastic, and every game was competitive as each team presented different challenges. In the future I hope U.S. Soccer and college soccer can expand on our relationship to build our sport and help our student athletes gain valuable experiences.”

Final Standings

School

GP

W

L

D

GD

GF

GA

SO Wins

Points

University of North Carolina

5

5

0

0

11

13

2

3

15

Duke University

5

2

3

0

1

6

5

0

6

Georgetown University

5

2

3

0

-2

9

11

0

6

University of Virginia

5

2

3

0

-2

8

10

0

6

Wake Forest University

5

2

3

0

-2

5

7

0

6

Clemson University

5

2

3

0

-4

10

14

0

6

Schedule and Results

Date

Home

Home Score

Away Score

Away

3/4/18

University of North Carolina

4

1

Clemson University

3/17/18

University of Virginia

1

4

Georgetown University

3/17/18

Clemson University

3

1

Wake Forest University

3/24/18

Georgetown University

0

4

University of North Carolina

3/24/18

Duke University

0

2

University of Virginia

3/29/18

Wake Forest University

2

1

Duke University

4/7/18

University of North Carolina

2

1

University of Virginia

4/7/18

Clemson University

1

2

Duke University

4/8/18

Georgetown University

0

1

Wake Forest University

4/14/18

Duke University

3

0

Georgetown University

4/14/18

Wake Forest University

0

2

University of North Carolina

4/15/18

University of Virginia

2

3

Clemson University

4/21/18

Duke University

0

1

University of North Carolina

4/21/18

Georgetown University

5

2

Clemson University

4/21/18

Wake Forest University

1

2

University of Virginia

Before the triplet of games Saturday, U.S Soccer Coaching Education Director Barry Pauwels and Instructor Wim Van Zwam led a collaborative discussion with the Head Coaches of the six participating schools, as each made final presentations to the program’s coaching education workshop. The contents of the workshop included player development plans, the youth to professional transition, player preparation and recovery best practices and the creating culture and identity within a program.

"The sharing of ideas is something that we are always hungry for as coaches,” Georgetown head coach Brian Wiese said. “For U.S. Soccer to organize this initiative, and then following it up with the coaching education workshop, it provided us with a great opportunity to talking about the game and open up and learn from each other. Barry, Wim and Tab (Ramos) really opened up to a lot of how they think about the game, and it was wonderful to forge these relationships between U.S. Soccer and the college game."

With each of the 15 games played under international standards, each game provided additional opportunities for U.S. Soccer Talent Identification to identify players and expand the Youth National Team player pools. On hand during the coaching education workshop and Saturday’s trio of games was U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos, who reflected on the positive impact of the program and the strengthened connection between U.S. Soccer and the college game.

“This program was a major step in helping the college game become an even more important part of our player development pathway,” Ramos said. “The games were highly competitive, and we were able to identify some young players who were not on our Youth National Team radar after the fall season. We would like to thank these leading college programs who have been willing to think outside the box with us as we look to make the program even stronger next spring.”

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ACADEMY Apr 27, 2018
US Soccer

First Ever Biologically Banded Games Bring Awareness to Player Development Initiative

For the first time in organized youth sports in the United States, eight U.S. Soccer Development Academy clubs fielding teams of players grouped by similar biological maturity, instead of chronological age, took the fields at Round Rock Multipurpose Complex in U.S. Soccer’s Bio-Banding Initiative kickoff event. The initiative, part of U.S. Soccer’s ongoing effort to develop world class players, coaches, and referees, was spearheaded by the federation’s High Performance department.

From April 21-22, the participating Development Academy clubs fielding both boys and girls bio-banded teams (Lonestar SC Academy, Solar Soccer Club, Dallas Texans and Houston Dash Youth Girls / Houston Dynamo Youth Boys) competed in two 80-minute games against normally familiar division rivals at their chronological age teams.

“This event was something that intrigued us as a club,” Lonestar SC Academy Director Victor Pace said. “We found it very interesting and very supportive. For us, on both ends of the scale, it was important that we looked at this to see how it could benefit us as a club. Especially in our younger ages, we've got a lot of late developers. The physical challenges our players face in our conference, which is very strong, are insurmountable in some games just because of the physical nature. So, this environment provided them with another opportunity or another avenue to see what they can do.”

With rosters of 16-18 players, each team was bio-banded by a five percent maturity range. For the four boys’ sides, that band was 91-96%, while the band on the girls’ side was 95-99%. Any player in the club’s pool of Academy players between U-13 (birth year 2005) to U-16 (birth year 2002), who’s current percentage to final maturity was between the five percent band, was eligible for roster selection. Of the 135 players falling in the bands and selected by their club to participate, 24 (18%) came from U-13 teams, 55 (41%) from U-14, 54 (40%) from U-15 and 2 (1%) from U-16.

Bio Banding

To understand more about how percentage to physical maturity is calculated, watch the bio-banding animation video below.

The purpose and science behind bio-banding is to create a new, challenging environment for players that eliminates physical dominance and sees that players rely more on technical and tactical abilities. In allowing players to experience a bio-banded environment, the player development tool can help not only late maturing players, but also early maturers reach their highest potential as soccer players.

“Bio-banding benefits both the early and late maturing players,” U.S. Soccer High Performance Director James Bunce said. “The early maturer is the one that often gets overlooked as a beneficiary of the bio-banding concept. Early matures are the ones that are often dominating their age groups and while that might be perceived as really exciting and successful at the younger age groups, it's kind of like a false dawn and potentially a step back in their optimal development. When they get older and everyone’s maturity and physicality levels out, they can often drop out of the system because they’ve been over relying on their physical attributes as a youth player.

“Late maturers are more often the ones that drop out of the game, which is obviously really sad as there's a potential that we could be missing out on a world class player. We want to optimize everyone's participation in this amazing game and bio-banding allows late maturers to not be suppressed by the dominance of the physical players in their normal age groups. And then, once they do reach full maturity, those physical attributes will come with them and they will also have those technical and tactical skills that they likely relied on more heavily when they were younger.”

Throughout the weekend, Bunce, the high performance team, and other U.S. Soccer staff members on hand spoke with numerous parents and spectators. While a common stigma in the game is that playing up can be seen as a reward and playing down can have a negative connotation, parents in attendance learned more about and embraced the benefits of the initiative.

“I thought the teams were very well balanced,” Houston Dash Youth parent Rudy Hollenbach said. “Every player seemed to be at about the same level, physically, and that allowed the games to develop very evenly… We see it a lot (in the normal age groups), where a long ball is played forward and then the physically stronger girls can run by the defender and it becomes sort of this kick-and-rush game. Here, we didn't see any of that. It was very well balanced. The game was usually played out of the back… Girls that normally sometimes struggle a little bit, got more into the games. They really had a good opportunity to play well and play as part of the team. I think overall the team effort was much better because everyone got involved.”

Hollenbach was also quick to point out how important he feels bio-banding is to player development and the importance of spreading the education of the science.

“It's about looking at each individual player. And it's not necessarily all about winning. It's important, I completely understand, but I think the development aspect is more important. It's not based on whoever was the best when he or she was 13 or 14, but it's about getting to that 17-18 range, where all players are able to really blossom… I think it's a much more gradual development approach and that's really the key aspect. I think for a lot of parents it can be tough to understand. I'm hoping to help the process by educating people and helping explain why bio-banding is a good idea.”

Also in attendance were three of the world's top experts in child development and growth maturation, with over 2000 combined published scientific journal articles. Professor Robert Malina, Dr. Sean Cumming and Professor Alan Rogol each made their way to Round Rock, Texas, to help educate and answer questions from parents, coaches and players.

“For U.S. Soccer to put on this event and begin this initiative, I think it's a terrific idea,” Rogol said. “This is not something that is done once and that’s it. It's a work in progress. This is not going to change the game overnight, but it’s going to enhance it by getting more kids involved. The initiative will help teach later maturing kids skills that they will be able to take into later years of playing of sports, but not at the price of being run over when they're 12 or 13 or 14. And for early maturers, those physical advantages right now may not persist when they reach 16, 17, 18, and that's a very important message to teach. I can't see a downside of it!”

Amongst the U.S. Soccer technical staff in attendance for the weekend was Development Academy Director Jared Micklos and Development Academy Technical Directors Aloys Wijnker and Miriam Hickey. One connection between bio-banding and the Boys’ Development Academy is how the Academy already institutes a policy for late maturing players.

“For the 2017-18 season, the Development Academy leadership and technical group decided that we would institute a policy for late maturing players were clubs can select two players at U-16 and U-15 that can play down one age group,” U.S. Soccer Development Academy Director Jared Micklos said. “The Academy philosophy is about moving players up when they're ready, but we also thought that moving players down might be an opportunity for those players who aren't as physically matured to be able to have success at a younger age group. It's a club wide policy, so it's not team-based. After a player comes down, if they're having success, they can go back up and play with their natural, chronological age.”

“By no means does bio-banding replace the chronological age system. It is a useful, additional tool for coaches and staff to help create individual development plans as we, as a country, continue to strive to develop word-class players. Every player has a unique player pathway and we believe the education around the differences of physical maturity will go a long way in providing individually based environments for each player to thrive and develop.”

As U.S. Soccer continues to educate coaches, players, parents and fans on what bio-banding is and how the initiative can help provide meaningful opportunities for player development, educating clubs leaders that are at the forefront of player development marks the starting point for how the initiative will continue to flourish. By providing the tools and education to clubs who want to implement bio-banding into their everyday environments, the initiative will continue to grow and thrive across the landscape.

“In the end, everyone is coming together to create a pathway for every player,” Development Academy Boys’ Technical Directors Aloys Wijnker said. “There is not one pathway and everyone is doing the same thing. Soccer is a game. You're playing on a team. On the other hand, it's also a sport for individual players. Everyone has an individual development pathway and this is one tool that can help to create that pathway and give every player a better chance to become the best player they can be once they reach their final physical development.”
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ACADEMY Apr 26, 2018

What Is U.S. Soccer's Bio-Banding Initiative?

Bio-banding allows players to be grouped based on their maturity and biological age and not by their chronological age. By doing this, massive swings in maturity that can be seen within the current chronological groupings are removed. By grouping players based on maturity, the physical advantages that early maturing players have when playing against less mature players are reduced. Read more
ACADEMY Apr 5, 2018

U.S. Soccer Introduces Bio Banding Initiative

CHICAGO (April 5, 2018) – As part of its ongoing effort to develop world class players, coaches, and referees, the U.S. Soccer High Performance Department will work in conjunction with four Development Academy clubs to put on the first bio-banded event in any sport in the United States. It will also be the first organized event of its kind featuring female soccer athletes. Bio-banding allows Read more
ACADEMY Apr 5, 2018
US Soccer

U.S. Soccer Partners with STATSports as Official On-Field Performance Monitoring Device

CHICAGO (March 29, 2018) – In a milestone agreement, the world’s largest GPS partnership will provide performance monitoring units to players across the U.S. Men’s, Women’s, Youth, Paralympic, Futsal and Beach National Teams, Development Academy clubs and NWSL. 

The systematic approach between U.S. Soccer and STATSports will align data, information and support within the elite player pathway as U.S. Soccer continues its primary objective to develop world class players, coaches and referees. The partnership will result in the world’s largest player data monitoring program and is seen as a platform to identify future stars of the game. It is also the first step towards giving coaches and players across the U.S. access to the performance technology used by the top professionals and teams around the world. 

A highlight of the partnership is the servicing of the technology to U.S. Soccer Development Academy teams. U.S. Soccer will provide a number of Development Academy clubs with free STATSports systems and offer Academy clubs the ability to be a part of this initiative that will help improve the development of world class players. By providing all NWSL and U.S. National Teams the technology and offering Development Academy clubs the same system, U.S. Soccer will create an unprecedented opportunity to support the knowledge and growth of the game for all elite players. As a result of this initiative, physical periodization will be optimized and talent identification will have another avenue of support. 

Worn in a vest and positioned between the shoulder blades, the APEX Athlete Monitoring devices quantify physical performance including physical load and movement during training and matches for athletes. The high-resolution units measure physical metrics including distance, speed, acceleration, deceleration, high-speed running, load and heart rate. A typical training session will see millions of data points collected on a player, providing an unparalleled insight into their performance. 

The STATSports APEX GPS device is cutting edge in regard to its size, accuracy and the ability to monitor in real time. The live capabilities of the APEX Team Series system make it possible to make real time decisions to adapt training or player actions. The data can be streamed to a phone, iPad or smart watch making the hardware easy to incorporate onto the training pitch. 

STATSports

“The APEX GPS device is the most accurate and gives us the optimal ability to support all our National Teams and Development Academy clubs,” U.S. Soccer High Performance Director James Bunce said. “The ability to utilize the system live to help make instant and informed decisions is second to none. By developing a customizable, centralized hub to analyze data from players across the U.S., we will be able to assess, monitor and optimize the physical development for those players. This project has the potential to collect data on a scale that has not been achieved before in any sport or organization and will support our mission to develop world class players through numerous avenues including benchmarking, injury prevention and talent identification. 

“We believe there is tremendous potential for the APEX GPS device to track performance, improve education for parents, players and coaches, and to enhance player health and safety for the more than 4 million registered players in the U.S.” 

STATSports, based in Newry, Northern Ireland, already supplies clubs in the English Premier League, including Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur and the Brazil, Germany, Portugal, Belgium and England football associations. Numerous elite teams in each of the NFL, NHL, Rugby Union, NBA, Track and Field and field hockey also use the company’s APEX Team Series GPS units, which provide real-time data to players and coaches to drive improved performance. 

STATSports’ suite of player development hardware and software provides U.S. Soccer coaches, high performance staff and players the ability to holistically analyze each player’s individual response to training sessions and games, through real-time feedback. This ability will continue to remain a crucial element in enhancing performance on the field while also reducing the chances of players under-training or picking up injuries through over-training. 

“We are extremely excited to partner with STATSports,” U.S. Soccer Director of Sport Development Ryan Mooney said. “This technology will drive our support, improve performance, and better monitor health and safety across all of our National Teams and our nation’s elite players in the Development Academy. By partnering with a world leader in wearable performance tracking, we will help drive and improve player environments through the exchange of data between clubs and U.S. Soccer as players enter and leave National Team camps. Over time, this information will be used to research, support and educate the entire landscape.” 

“By incorporating the same system of wearable performance tracking devices across the elite player landscape, U.S. Soccer for the first time has the unique ability to analyze and support all teams and players. Through a centralized hub to analyze data, U.S. Soccer will be able to disseminate insights to help elevate players across the country.” 

STATSports Group Managing Director Jarlath Quinn added, “Players, parents and coaches are looking for data that can really help them improve and the APEX Athlete series GPS units do just that.” 

“Key performance indicators are emerging by position that will assist with developing national standards, player development initiatives, national team selections, in-game tactical considerations, review training responses in real time and adjust practices based upon environmental change and conditions. This is an incredible initiative for STATSports, and this ground-breaking partnership will see our technology make its much-anticipated entry into the consumer wearables market. 

“We know the APEX GPS units give players, coaches and sports scientists real-time data that helps improve performance. Key performance indicators are emerging by position that will assist with developing national standards, player development initiatives, national team selections, in-game tactical considerations, review training responses in real time and adjust practices based upon environmental change and conditions. The added release of the APEX Athlete Series will mean all players in the U.S. will have the ability to access this technology.” 

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The U.S. Soccer Federation is the official governing body of the sport of soccer in the United States. While U.S. Soccer continues to strive to make soccer the preeminent sport in the United States, its primary objective is to develop world class coaches, players and referees. 

STATSports is the world’s leading provider of GPS player tracking and analysis solutions for elite sports teams and is worn by athletes during practice games and matches to collect intricate data on their performance and physical wellbeing. It has offices in Chicago and its headquarters are in Newry in Northern Ireland.
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MNT WNT YNT ACADEMY Mar 29, 2018
US Soccer

U.S. Soccer Development Academy Welcomes 16 New Clubs for 2018-19 Season

CHICAGO (March 9, 2018) – As part of its ongoing effort to impact everyday environments to develop world-class players, the U.S. Soccer Development Academy has expanded its membership of 197 existing clubs for the 2018-2019 season, welcoming 16 new clubs that include 32 additional teams, as well as 38 additional teams from existing clubs. 

NEW CLUBS JOINING THE DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY FOR 2018-19 SEASON

Club

Gender

Age Group(s)

Division

Dallas Texans Fort Worth

Boys

U-12

Texas

GPS Florida West

Boys

U-12

Florida South

Houston Dynamo Academy - West

Boys

U-12

Texas

Lonestar SC Academy South

Boys

U-12

Texas

Northeast United Soccer Club

Boys

U-12, U-13, U-14

Oregon

OC Surf Soccer Club

Boys

U-13, U-14

Southwest

Oklahoma Energy FC

Girls

U-14, U-15, U-16/17, U-18/19

Frontier

RGV FC Toros Academy

Boys

U-15, U-16/17, U-18/19

Frontier

Sacramento United Soccer Club

Boys

U-12

Valley

San Jose Surf Soccer Club

Boys

U-12

Bay Area

Solar Soccer Club West

Boys

U-12

Texas

Sporting Omaha

Girls

U-14, U-15, U-16/17, U-18/19

Frontier

Tigres San Antonio

Boys

U-12

Texas

Toronto FC

Boys

U-15, U-16/17, U-18/19

Mid-America

Utah Royals FC (Phoenix, Ariz.)

Girls

U-14, U-15, U-16/17, U-18/19

Southwest

Ventura County Fusion

Boys

U-12

LA

ACADEMY CLUBS ADDING NEW GENDER TEAMS FOR 2018-19 SEASON

Club

Gender

Age Groups

Division

Arlington Soccer Association

Girls

U-14, U-15

Atlantic

West Florida Flames

Boys

U-12, U-13, U-14

Florida North

ACADEMY CLUBS ADDING AGE-GROUPS FOR 2018-19 SEASON

Club

Gender

Age Group(s)

Division

Albion SC

Boys

U-18/19

Southwest

Arlington Soccer Association

Boys

U-15

Atlantic

Armada FC Pro Academy Boys U-18/19 Southeast

Ballistic United

Boys

U-16/17

Northwest

Cedar Stars Academy - Bergen

Boys

U-16/17

Atlantic

Chula Vista FC

Boys

U-13

Southwest

Cincinnati United Premier

Boys

U-15

Mid-America

Davis Legacy Soccer Club

Boys

U-12

Valley

Discoveries Soccer Club

Boys

U-13, U-14

South Atlantic

LA Galaxy San Diego

Boys

U-15

Southwest

Legends FC

Boys

U-13, U-14

Southwest

Los Angeles Football Club

Boys

U-15

Southwest

Los Angeles Premier Futbol Club

Boys

U-13

Southwest

Loudoun Soccer

Boys

U-15

Atlantic

Metropolitan Oval

Boys

U-15, U-16/17

Northeast

Minnesota United FC

Boys

U-15

Mid-America

Murrieta Surf Soccer Club

Boys

U-13

Southwest

Mustang SC

Boys

U-13, U-14

NorCal

New York Soccer Club

Boys

U-16/17

Northeast

San Antonio FC

Boys

U-15

Frontier

San Diego Soccer Club

Boys

U-13, U-14

Southwest

San Francisco Elite Academy

Boys

U-13

NorCal

San Francisco Glens Evolution

Boys

U-13

NorCal

Star Academy FC

Boys

U-13

NorCal

Total Futbol Academy

Boys

U-13, U-14

Southwest

United Futbol Academy

Boys

U-18/19

Southeast

Virginia Development Academy

Boys

U-18/19

Atlantic

New clubs and clubs receiving expansion into new age groups were selected for admission to the Development Academy's 12th season based on:

  • Academy leadership and quality of coaching staff
  • Desire to embrace Development Academy philosophy and core values
  • Infrastructure and investment of resources
  • Player production history, player pool depth and geographic location

Four new clubs are being introduced for the second year of Girls’ programming, while 12 Academies will be welcomed for Boys’ programming. These new clubs will account for 14 and 20 additional teams, respectively, while 27 existing clubs on the Boys’ side have been granted additional teams in age groups where they previously did not field a team.

While the number of divisions remains the same for both gender programs, clubs from two new geographical regions are joining the Girls’ Development Academy: Oklahoma Energy FC (Oklahoma City, Ok.) and Sporting Omaha (Omaha, Neb.). While a small number of clubs were added for the 2018-19 Girls' Development Academy Season, there was an encouragingly sizeable pool of applicants.

With the addition of Utah Royals FC, eight of nine NWSL clubs will be represented in the Academy. The addition of Toronto FC means that all 23 current MLS clubs are now part of the Development Academy.

In total, the Boys’ Development Academy will see 12 new teams added to the U-12 age group, 14 to U-13, eight to U-14, 10 to U-15, six to U-16/17 and five additional six teams added to U-18/19. The 2018-19 Girls’ Development Academy season will welcome a total of four new teams to U-14, four to U-15, three to U-16/17 and three to U-18/19.

The charts below compare the 2017-18 Academy season with the upcoming 2018-19 season.

U.S. Soccer Boys' Development Academy

 

2017-18

2018-19

Age Groups

Divisions

Clubs

Age Groups

Divisions

Clubs

U-12

18

150

U-12

18

162

U-13

12

115

U-13

12

129

U-14

12

123

U-14

12

131

U-15

7

82

U-15

7

92

U-16/17

7

77

U-16/17

7

83

U-18/19

7

73

U-18/19

7

79

6

63

Teams: 620 Unique Clubs: 165

6

63

Teams: 676
Unique Clubs: 178

U.S. Soccer Girls' Development Academy

2017-18

2018-19

Age Groups

Divisions

Clubs

Age Groups

Divisions

Clubs

U-14

7

69

U-14

7

73

U-15

7

69

U-15

7

73

U-16/17

7

69

U-16/17

7

72

U-18/19

7

69

U-18/19

7

72

4

28

Teams: 276
Unique Clubs: 69

4

28

Teams: 290
Unique Clubs: 73

“The Development Academy is focused on creating a clear pathway for players across the country. The expansion for the 2018-19 season creates opportunities in new markets that show potential, while building on existing markets that have successfully developed players,” Development Academy Director Jared Micklos said. “This expansion is based on the quality of work that Clubs and coaches are doing in their environments every day, investing in the development of each individual player. We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with existing and new Academy clubs as we continue our mission to develop world-class players."

BY THE NUMBERS:

  • At the start of the 2018-19 Boys’ Development Academy season:
    • U-18/19: eligible for players born Jan. 1, 2000 or later
    • U-16/17: eligible for players born Jan. 1, 2002 or later
    • U-15: eligible for players born Jan. 1, 2004 or later
    • U-14: eligible for players born Jan. 1, 2005 or later
    • U-13: eligible for players born Jan. 1, 2006 or later
    • U-12: eligible for players born Jan. 1, 2007 or later
  • In 2015-16, the Development Academy registered 5,916 players across 231 teams from 96 clubs that played in 3,509 games.
  • The 2016-17 Development Academy season concluded with 10,783 players registered across 461 teams from 150 clubs playing 8,036 games.
  • The 2017-18 Development Academy season will conclude with over 19,000 players across 896 teams from 197 clubs playing over 13,000 games.

U.S. Soccer and Development Academy staff will continue to review applications and markets for potential growth for the 2018-19 Academy season based on new developments and a continued analysis of clubs and their player development environments.

ABOUT THE ACADEMY

Following a comprehensive review of elite player development in the United States and around world, U.S. Soccer created the Development Academy program in 2007 to improve everyday environments with standards focused on individual player development. The Academy launched with two combined age groups for male players, U-15/16 and U-17/18. In 2013, the Academy expanded to include the U-13/14 age group, and in 2016, the Academy launched the U-12 program, which has continued to build a player pathway for elite players and clubs.

In 2017, the Girls' Development Academy was launched with a mission to improve the player development landscape and create a pathway for elite female players. Today, the Academy is comprised of teams across six age groups in the Boys' program: U-12, U-13, U-14, U-15, U-16/17, and U-18/19 and four age groups in the Girls' program: U-14, U-15, U-16/17, and U-18/19.

As Boys' Academy alumni have progressed to play at elite amateur and professional levels with MLS paving the way, NWSL clubs have also created Academy teams to develop the same pathway for future female players to progress to the professional level.

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ACADEMY Mar 9, 2018
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