LA Premier, Legends FC, LA Galaxy San Diego Added to US Soccer Girls’ Development Academy Roster

LA Premier, Legends FC, LA Galaxy San Diego Added to US Soccer Girls’ Development Academy Roster

On June 30th, news broke of the first 25 youth clubs around the country to be accepted into the inaugural 2017 Girls Development Academy class. Over the weekend, US Soccer released the names of an additional 28 clubs, bringing the total up to 53 clubs at present. Additional announcements are forthcoming from the United States Soccer Federation.

The following 28 clubs will join the Girls’ Development Academy along with the initial group of 25 clubs that were announced on June 30:

Boca United (Boca Raton, Fla.)

FC Stars (Acton, Mass.) San Juan Soccer Club (Rancho Cordova, Calif.)

Charlotte Soccer Academy (Matthews, N.C.)

FC Virginia (Chantilly, Va.)

Shattuck-St. Mary’s Rev SC (Faribault, Minn.)

Clay County Soccer Club (Fleming Island, Fla.)

IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)

Sting Soccer Club (Addison, Texas)

Dallas Texans (Plano, Texas)

Jacksonville Armada Youth Academy (JFC) (Jacksonville, Fla.)

TSC Hurricane (Tulsa, Okla.)

LA Galaxy San Diego (San Diego, Calif.)

Davis Legacy (Davis, Calif.)

LA Premier FC (La Canada, Calif.)

Virginia Development Academy (Woodbridge, Va.)

Eagles SC (Camarillo, Calif.)

Legends FC (Chino, Calif.)

West Florida Flames (Brandon, Fla.)

East Meadow SC (East Meadow, N.Y.)

Lonestar Soccer Club (Austin, Texas)

Weston FC (Weston, Fla.)

Eastside FC (Preston, Wash.)

Match Fit Academy (Morris Plains, N.J.)

World Class FC (Orangeburg, N.Y.)

Eclipse Select (Oak Brook, Ill.)

Midwest United FC (Grand Rapids, Mich.)

Washington Spirit-Maryland (Boyds, MD.)

According to the release by the US Development Academy, 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
  • US. 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 Youth National Teams, the senior Women’s National Team and professional leagues
  • Market and depth of the player pool, geographic location and travel implications and proximity to other elite clubs

One issue that has yet to be clarified, is the exact number of clubs that will compete in 2017. Additionally, it remains to be seen how the various clubs are broken down into league play.

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 just some of the standards and best practices the program will education and development are just some of the standards and best practices the program will promote.

The program will feature three combined age groups: U-14/15, U-16/17 and U-18/19. Clubs will be expected to train 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 the Youth National Teams.

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