Today, Major League Soccer announced a list of the founding members of their new youth development program.
The full MLS announcement can be found HERE. Fred Lipka, VP and Technical Director of MLS Player Development, said the new program will “change the face of youth development in the US and Canada.”
What we know: The list of founding clubs.
The clubs joining the new MLS-led program can be found at the link above. California clubs joining the league will be:
- Albion SC
- Ballistic United
- Chula Vista FC
- City SC
- De Anza Force
- L.A. United Futbol Academy
- LA Galaxy
- LA Surf Soccer Club
- Los Angeles Football Club
- Murrieta Surf Soccer Club
- Sacramento Republic
- San Jose Earthquakes
- Santa Barbara Soccer Club
- SF Elite
- SF Glens
- Silicon Valley SA
- Total Futbol Academy (TFA)
- Ventura County Fusion
What we know: No high school soccer
The MLS announcements about the upcoming youth program have always included the words “year-round competition.” Parents and players can read that and assume the league is saying the players will not be allowed to leave their team to join their high school soccer teams.
What we don’t know: The actual name of the program
The words “Elite” and “Platform” have been bouncing around the MLS announcements since the recent demise of the Development Academy. Major League Soccer, however, has not formally announced the “brand” of their new youth development program. Today’s announcement says, “More information about the competition structure as well as the platform’s official brand will be announced at a later date.”
What we don’t know: How other clubs can apply
Ninety-five clubs were announced as “founding members” of this new youth system. Today’s press release also mentioned that clubs wanting to join will have the opportunity to apply: “Applications for additional clubs to join will be available in the coming weeks”
SoccerNation’s Shawn Beyer working hard gathering information about this new program for players and parents. Stay tuned for the valuable info he’s brining soon!