In an effort to improve the infrastructure of youth player development, ten elite youth clubs, all members of U.S. Soccer’s Girls Development Academy, have joined forces to launch the Development Player League Academy II.
Albion SC, LA Galaxy, Legends SC, LA Galaxy SD, Eagles SC, LA Premier FC, SC Del Sol, Beach FC, Real So Cal and Pateadores will all work together to the benefit of player development in the Southwest region of the United States in a league designed to sit just under the Federation’s girls DA for the following age groups: 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001 and 2000/1999.
On the surface, the Development Player League (DPL) looks to be a mechanism by which each of these clubs can extend the player pool of their elite Development Academy teams, and create a seamless bridge between the DA and Academy II.
This Hybrid Program is designed for the Elite, Ultra-Competitive player that has the ability to play Academy soccer but for whatever reason may not be ready to make the full commitmtent OR for the player that aspires to play at the academy level but needs more time in a competitive environment, above the club level, to refine their skills or mature physically before making the step up to a full-time Academy player.
The ACADEMY II player will effectively be an option to be a Developmental Player in the eyes of US Soccer and will be able to participate in outside competition and High School, while still being eligible to play a maximum of (6) full Academy games and can be promoted into the Academy squad at any time (*At that point they would have to stop all outside compeition).
“Through conversations with our membership we quickly realized that there was a gap in our system with the implementation of the new U.S. Soccer Girls Development Academy and after sharing those concerns with other DOC’s it became apparent that if we collaborate the gap can be closed,” said Barry Ritson, Executive Director of Los Angeles Premier FC.
Although mirroring the USSF DA in many ways, players in the DPL will be able to play High School soccer. Teams will also be able to compete in US Youth Soccer’s National Championships on a local, regional and national level. In addition, the Academy II teams will participate in 2 major showcases, the Silverlakes Showcase in November and the Las Vegas Showcase in March, for college exposure.
“At Legends FC, we have been very attentive to our academy program as a whole,” said Kevin Boyd, Academy Director at Legends FC. “It is a tribute to all 10 directors that we were able to work together and create a league that fits all the different needs.”
“This is a great opportunity for all of our clubs. We are thankful to the federation for supporting us in this venture,” says Jon Szczuka, Club Director of Pateadores.
“Players participating in this league will be able to compete against some of the best competition while choosing to mirror the development philosophy of U.S. Soccer,” said Noah Gins, CEO/Executive Director Albion SC. “The clubs participating in this league are committed to excellence, proper development and high level competition and I am very proud to be involved in its inception.”