FC Barcelona, one of the world's most iconic clubs, has announced plans to open and operate a state of the art facility on New York's Long Island. Thi
FC Barcelona, one of the world’s most iconic clubs, has announced plans to open and operate a state of the art facility on New York’s Long Island. This will be the first ever fully-owned FC Barcelona youth soccer academy in the United States, and will educate the next generation of American soccer players using the same winning methodologies from the famous La Masia where living legends like Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez honed their craft before joining Barcelona’s first team.
Franc Carbo, the Director of the FCBEscola Academy Programs Worldwide, explained the reasoning for the club’s investment in the American youth soccer player.
“Our main goal is to help the development and growth of soccer in the United States. We are here to collaborate. We hope to give, to as many kids as possible, what it means to experience FC Barcelona,” said Carbo.
Carbo has been in his role as worldwide director since September of 2016, and previously had overseen the American activities of FC Barcelona’s Escola, having served the club for the last eight years.
“The idea for the Escola project is to create fans of Barca from around the world. So many kids around the world dream of playing for Barca and realistically that’s just not possible for everyone. The idea is to bring the experience, the methodology of training, to New York, and give players a taste of Barca.”
The academy will be built on a massive facility that is set to be home to more than 50 coaches and technical directors from Barcelona, and represents another tangible example of commitment to excellence in youth soccer development in the United States from FC Barcelona, which first opened an office in New York City in September of 2016. The facility, located in Suffolk County, includes 10 regulation outdoor fields, LED lighting, 4k camera systems on every field, a large indoor facility, outdoor stadium season, as well as concession and retail stands.
“We decided to build our first direct project in NY because of the proximity to our office and base of operations,” continued Carbo. “We are working to be one of the best academies in the New York area. We want to be leading the market in terms of numbers and quality as soon as possible and provide these opportunities to kids.”
In accordance with the club’s ‘Mes Que Un Club’ mantra, the academy will also include access to a college recruiting platform and after school tutoring onsite.
“We totally agree that we need to develop human beings apart from football players. At the end of the day, if one of these kids becomes the next Messi that’s great, but if one of them becomes the next Mark Zuckerberg, we would be incredibly proud of that as well. If we can have kids who are journalists, economists, layers, doctors etc we would be so happy.”
“Personally, I’m very envious of the university system in the US when it comes to sports. You give a lot of value to athletics in higher education.” – Franc Carbo
While the academy is not set to open until July of 2017, with competition due to kick of in September, Barcelona has announced that free tryouts for certain age groups will commence for boys and girls born between years 2003 and 2011.
Barcelona recently confirmed plans to field a professional women’s soccer team in the NWSL and there appears to be no limit to the desire to compete at the highest levels for all Barcelona teams. Specific details as to which leagues the youth teams will compete in have yet to be released, but one would assume that the U.S. Soccer Development Academy stage will be graced by the blaugrana sooner rather than later.
- NYIT College: May 22, 23, 24, 25, 31 and June 2, 5, 7, 9, from 5:00pm – 8:00pm
- St Joseph’s College: June 1, 6, 8, from 5:00pm – 8:00pm
- TBD facility: June 3, 10: 9:00am – 2:00pm
- Please see website for complete details on specific times for various age groups
Those interested in taking part in the selection tryouts can find more information here.