Orlando City DA Joins Soccer Institute at Montverde Academy
There is a powerful, new trend in elite player development — the residential academy. The benefits are numerous and afford immersion into a soccer culture that is otherwise impossible when playing at a day-only (Non-Residential) Development Academy. Here is the latest youth soccer news:
The U15, U17 and U19 boys age groups will move to Montverde’s facilities by the end of the month.
The girls’ teams and the boys U-12 through U-14 groups will remain the same and continue to use Sylvan Lake Park facilities in Sanford, Fla.
“This is an entirely new strategy designed to increase and grow the overall investment in our Development Academy while offering our younger players the best development opportunities,” CEO Alex Leitão said. “S.I.M.A. is an accomplished program with a consistent track record of producing top young talents and exceptional young adults.”
“We are excited about this new partnership with Orlando City SC because of what we feel we can accomplish by bringing our resources and expertise together. We really offer the holistic approach,” said Mike Potempa, S.I.M.A. Director of Coaching. “Being a residential academy, we extend the Orlando City DA’s reach and house the talented players.”
The holistic approach of having everyone at one place at a residential academy is a huge benefit for player development — and, allows the coaches to know how the players are doing on and off the field.
“Our residential capabilities will allow us to implement a domestic scouting network to attract the best youth talents throughout the U.S. for a world-class education in the classroom and superior training environment with our technical staff on the field. I believe this is the ideal model of youth soccer development necessary to make a major global impact.”
Potempa, who has been coaching for 18 years and is a former U.S. youth national team player and All-American at Clemson University, believes the residential academy program allows him to implement his player development philosophy across the board.
“When you have a day academy, you only know what is happening 2 hours a day,” said Potempa. “My staff and I work with these boys all day, we know what their diet is, how they are doing at their training and how they are doing at school. This holistic approach is very important to youth development.”
How many players will be rostered on the DA teams?
“Our philosophy is quality and not quantity,” said Potempa. “We want to concentrate on players who have the potential of being a professional.”
Orlando City Development Academy players will continue to be coached by professional youth coaches. They will also have access to S.I.M.A.’s on-site residency programs for student-athletes and the opportunity to take advantage of its college preparatory academic programs.
Orlando City First Team assistant coach and Academy technical director Bobby Murphy will oversee the development of Academy prospects in conjunction with Potempa.
“I am very excited to be working with the U15 group,” said Gavin Taylor, the new U15 DA coach. “There is a huge opportunity to develop truly world class players with the partnership between SIMA & Orlando City.”
Formerly a coach at Fulham F.C. in England, Taylor added, “I have felt for years that true talent is here but the conditions for success hasn’t been offered. With our coaching team, academic program and facilities, we have everything in place to be the best in the business.”
The S.I.M.A. program has earned multiple national championships and holds the longest active unbeaten streak in the history of high school soccer in the United States. The S.I.M.A. program has produced 17 student-athletes who have signed professional contracts at 18 years old in Major League Soccer (MLS), the United Soccer League (USL) and various leagues around the world.
“The Academy was founded in 1912 and consistently provides children from around the world with an exceptional college preparatory education. We are looking forward to working together with Orlando City to continue preparing athletes on and off the field and to prepare them for life itself,” said Dr. Kasey C. Kesselring, Headmaster of the Academy.
The partnership will also see more investment at the elementary youth levels. Beginning in February 2018, free early childhood soccer development programs for boys and girls in Orlando between the ages of 3 and 12 will be available at the campus of Montverde.
“Through this new partnership, we feel we are creating an environment where our Academy kids can develop into well-rounded young adults and soccer players who could compete at the highest professional levels,” added Leitão.
Original Source: Press Release from Orlando City