US Soccer Boys Development Academy
+ What is the Development Academy?
The Development Academy is a partnership between U.S. Soccer and the top youth clubs around the country to provide the best youth players in the U.S. with an every day environment designed to produce the next generation of National Team players. The Academy’s programming philosophy is based on increased training, less total games and more competitive games.
+ Can Academy teams participate in non-academy competitions?
Development Academy Teams are only permitted to participate in Academy Competitions (League games, Showcases, Playoffs and Finals Week) and non-academy events approved by the Academy Technical Committee. Full-Time Development Academy players do NOT participate in any high school soccer programs.
+ How many games are played and how long is the season?
Each Academy club plays approximately 30 league games, including 6 games played at Showcases. The league season begins in September and commences with Finals Week in July. Clubs will break from league play for periods of inactivity due to weather or the end of the season. Development Academy teams can only play 1 game per day and are not allowed to play 3 consecutive days of games. One mandatory rest day will be implemented in a 3 game event (Winter & Summer Showcases).
+ How much are Academy teams required to travel?
+ How many days per week will DA teams train?
Florida Rush US Soccer Development Academy teams will train a total of 4 days per week. Players are expected to attend all practices to be considered for competition in games.
+ What is a Developmental Player (DP)?
Coaching staff will select a roster of Full-Time players for each of the Development Academy teams. In addition, certain players may be selected as Developmental Players (DPs) throughout the season. DPs will play Full Time on one of the other Surf teams in their age group and will be able to play with the DA team for a total of 6 matches in a season. DPs will be able to train with the DA team on days he does not train with his primary team. The coaching staff closely watches the development of the DP and may move certain players to Full-Time status later in the season. DPs are allowed to participate in high school soccer programs.
+ Are scholarships available?
National team players will receive full scholarships from the club. Other scholarships are available based upon merit & need. The club is always creating ways to make soccer more affordable and has lots of fundraising opportunities available throughout the season in which families can participate to help off-set travel expenses. In addition, the club is always actively seeking for sponsors who can financially help the teams’ travel expenses.
+ How do Development Academy players get exposure to US National Teams?
US Soccer Training Centers are sessions that are hosted every few months in various locations in Southern California where National Team coaches train & identify players. US Soccer Training Centers will replace ODP (USYS) sessions and zero costs are associated for players who are invited to attend these sessions. US Soccer scouts attend the majority of divisional games to identify players for National team camps & US Training centers. On average, about 10-12 Surf Soccer Development Academy players are invited to attend the US Training Centers.
+ Additional Information about US Soccer Development Academy
Coaching education programs are provided by US Soccer to keep coaches up to date with the latest training techniques. US Soccer is continuously evaluating US Soccer Development Academy clubs in regards to their training facilities, training methods & playing style enforcements, coaching curriculum & other US Soccer Development Academy club obligations. For more information go to http://www.ussoccerda.com/home.php
About the Program
Created in 2007, the development academy was established to primarily focus on youth player development in the United States. The league consisted of 64 elite youth soccer clubs from around the country in its inaugural season. Each team is comprised by geographic proximity, with two age groups (U-15/16 & U-17/18). These 64 teams were divided into eight conferences with each team playing approximately 30 home and away matches during an eight-month season.
Currently in its fifth season, the program has expanded to 78 clubs competing in ten geographically-based divisions. Although some attributes have changed during the past four seasons, the basic mission and principles remain intact: increased focus on training, meaningful competition and a providing a direct connection to U.S. National Team programming.
Developing the Next Generation
U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy program is driven by the game and its players, coaches and referees. This game-centric approach allows for long-term development to occur through a deep understanding of what makes players successful around the world.
As the sport of soccer grows in the United States, young players in our country need the proper environment to compete against the world’s elite. The U.S. Soccer Development Academy program provides the optimum developmental environment for the nation’s top youth soccer players, coaches and referees by emphasizing development through quality training and limited, meaningful competition.
Academy teams spend a greater amount of time focused on training to improve as individuals and as a team. The teams and players receive direct feedback and evaluations from National Team Staff in both training and game environments. In 2012, Academy teams will be exposed to mental testing using the EXACT Sports MAP system. Using a multitude of feedback systems, each athlete gains a greater understanding of how he compares against his peers and what he needs to do to achieve their optimal performance levels.
The Academy program features teams from the top youth clubs from around the country. Each Academy team plays approximately 30 regular season games to ensure all games are meaningful. Games are also played according to FIFA’s Laws of the Game and officiated by a pool of the nation’s top young referees in order to prepare players for the next level of competition. Members of our Men’s National Team Scouting Network regularly attend Academy games, so players are evaluated over the course of the season and in their natural positions allowing for the best player assessment.