22 Clubs Added to U.S. Soccer Girls Development Academy
U.S. Soccer’s Girls Development Academy adds 22 additional youth soccer club, bringing the total number to 74. The Academy program will focus on positively impacting everyday club environments to maximize elite female youth player development. Increasing the training to game ratio, playing fewer but more meaningful games and providing assistance for coaching education and development are some of the standards and best practices the program will promote.
Related Articles: U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy for Girls
Youth Soccer News: 22 more youth soccer clubs are being welcomed into the U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy. This is the final group announcement for the inaugural Girls’ Development Academy (DA), a part of U.S. Soccer’s global leadership position in women’ soccer. While there is still a lot of follow up going on behind the scenes, and there may be an announcement still to come of one or two more youth soccer clubs being added to the Girls DA, this is the last major group of clubs joining the prestigious fold which kicks off play in the Fall of 2017.
The mission of the U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy is to raise the bar of player development and provide education, resources and support to directly impact the everyday environment for clubs to develop world-class female players. This model focuses on the developing the individual player within the club environment, which allows for additional training sessions per season to enhance player development. U.S. Soccer collaborated with elite soccer clubs across the nation to create a program to provide the proper environment by emphasizing quality training and limited meaningful competition.
“U.S. Soccer is excited to announce additional clubs to join the Academy program, said Jared Micklos, Development Academy Director. “These clubs have made a serious commitment to the growth and development of female players in our country. Our staff look forward to supporting these clubs as we work together to continue producing world class female players. The Academy program is structured to assist clubs with creating the ideal everyday environment for the growth of each player. U.S. Soccer will work together with the Academy clubs to serve as leaders in their community.”
FC Kansas City’s youth club, based in Prairie Village, will be part of this new round of expansion. Vlatko Andonovski, who serves as the professional team’s coach and the Technical Director of the youth programs, says this will open up more opportunities for young women in the area to pursue a successful career in soccer. Andonovski was named National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Coach of the Year during the 2013 NWSL season and is a highly respected soccer coach.
“The Developmental Academy is the piece that we were missing to complete the puzzle because we now will be able to streamline everything from our youngest players in the club to the professional team,” Andonovski said. “I’m excited about this opportunity because young soccer players in the Kansas City area will have better options to achieve their goals whether that is a college scholarship, a professional contract or a spot on the National Team and FC Kansas City can help accommodate them.”
“We are excited to be a founding member of the United States Soccer Girls’ Development Academy,” Western New York Flash Academy Director of Coaching Rob Ferguson said. “Since I arrived in Buffalo, we have repeatedly said that we are committed to changing the landscape for female soccer players in western New York. Joining the U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy is one piece of that changing landscape. When you pair this amazing achievement with our participation in the ECNL, the launch of our new Jr. Academy Program for 6-10 year olds, and our College Placement Program, it makes 2016 a very exciting time for the Western New York Flash and our Flash Academy.”
Note: The following 22 clubs will join the Girls’ Development Academy along with the initial groups of 25 and 28 clubs (San Juan and Davis Legacy have since merged into one Academy club) that were announced on June 30 and July 8, respectively.
- U.S. Soccer First 25 Clubs for Girls’ Development Academy
- U.S. Soccer 28 Additional Clubs in Girls’ Development Academy
U.S. Soccer is excited to welcome the following clubs:
|Cedar Stars Academy – Monmouth (Tinton Falls, N.J.)||Indiana Fire (Westfield, Ind.)||
Real So Cal (Woodland Hills, Calif.)
|Empire United (Rochester, N.Y.)||La Roca Futbol Club (Kaysville, Utah)||SC del Sol (Phoenix, Ariz.)|
|FC Fury New York (Bay Shore, N.Y.)||Burlingame SC – MVLA (Burlingame, Calif.)||Sereno Soccer Club (Phoenix, Ariz.)|
|FC Kansas City (Prairie Village, Kan.)||Nationals (Royal Oak, Mich.)||Sporting Blue Valley (Overland Park, Kan.)|
|FC United (Northfield, Ill.)||Oakwood Soccer Club (Glastonbury, Conn.)||Texas Rush Soccer Club (The Woodlands, Texas)|
|Houston Dash (Houston, Texas)||PA Classics (Manheim, Pa.)||West Coast Futbol Club (Laguna Hills, Calif.)|
|Houston United (Houston, Texas)||Pateadores (Costa Mesa, Calif.)||Western New York Flash (Elma, N.Y.)|
|PSV Union (Palo Alto, Calif.)|
Club applications were evaluated and accepted by U.S. Soccer’s technical staff based on the following criteria:
- Leadership of the club and quality of the coaching staff
- Desire to embrace and promote the core values of the program
- U.S. Soccer license levels of coaching staff
- Infrastructure of the club and the resources currently being invested in development (facilities, scholarships, staff to player ratio, etc.)
- History of player production for U.S. Youth National Teams, the senior U.S. Women’s National Team and professional leagues
- Market and depth of the player pool, geographic location and proximity to other elite clubs
The program will feature three combined age groups: U-14/15, U-16/17 and U-18/19. Youth soccer clubs participating in the Development Academy are expected to train their teams a minimum of four times per week.
The combined age groups will require clubs to form teams with a balanced roster of players from two distinct birth years and encourage clubs to provide “play up” opportunities. The games will be scouted by U.S. Soccer and the program will serve as the primary pathway to U.S. Soccer’s Youth National Teams.
Source: US Soccer Press Release and FC Kansas City Press Release
Updated @ 8 PM with quotes from Micklos.