Second Largest Development Academy Expansion Welcomes 17 New Clubs for 2017-2018 Season

17 Clubs, 165 teams and 2 divisions added for 2017-18 Development Academy Season

CHICAGO (Feb. 3, 2017) - As part of its ongoing effort to develop world-class players, coaches, and referees, the U.S. Soccer Development Academy has announced its second largest expansion of total teams to the player development pathway structure since the Academy started in 2007.

New clubs were selected for admission to the Development Academy's eleventh season based on club leadership and quality of coaching staff, desire to embrace Development Academy philosophy and core values, infrastructure and investment of resources, player production history, player pool depth and geographic location.

The expansion includes 17 new, unique clubs accepted into the Academy, 108 existing clubs receiving promotions into additional age groups and two new geographical regions - the Portland and Seattle markets - being introduced at the U-13 and U-14 age groups. In conjunction with the recent U-15 single age group announcement for the 2017-2018 Development Academy season, 15 new teams will be added to the U-11/12 age group, 27 new teams will be added to U-13, 34 teams added to U-14, 82 teams added at the new U-15 age group, five additional teams to U-16/17 (formerly U-15/16) and two new teams will be added to U-18/19 (formerly U-17/18). Along with the 17 new Academy clubs introduced there will be a total of 165 additional teams, 2 new divisions and one newly introduced age group added for the 2017-2018 Academy season.

The statistical representation below illustrates a comparison between the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 Academy seasons.

2016-2017

2017-2018

Age Groups

# of Divisions

# of Clubs

Age Groups

# of Divisions

# of Clubs

U-12

17

135

U-11/12

18

150

U-13

10

90

U-13

12

115

U-14

10

91

U-14

12

123

-

-

-

U-15

7

82

U-15/16

7

73

U-16/17

7

77

U-17/18

7

72

U-18/19

7

73

5

51

Total Teams: 461
Unique Academy Clubs: 150

6

63

Total Teams: 620 Unique Academy Clubs: 165

"The Development Academy is extremely excited to announce our second largest expansion to date, welcoming 165 new teams across all of our age groups," Development Academy Director Jared Micklos said. "This expansion is a direct reflection of the commitment from existing Academy clubs and the permeating effect of the Academy influence on additional clubs across the country that are adopting the Academy philosophy. When the Academy added 230 teams for the current 2016-2017 Academy season, our primary objective was to establish a base at the U-12 level. This early success at U-12 has created an opportunity to expand the player pathway, especially at the U-13 and U-14 age groups."

2017-2018 Development Academy season outlook at each age group, with list of new teams (and divisions in parenthesis):

At U-11/12, all but one of the 15 teams entering the age group for the 2017-2018 Academy season are new clubs to the Academy. Cincinnati United Premier and San Antonio FC are the only new clubs who have been accepted into multiple age groups along with U-11/12 for their inaugural Academy membership. Both clubs will also field U-13 and U-14 teams in the Mid-America and Frontier divisions, respectively. In total, the 15 additional clubs being added to the U-11/12 2017-2018 Academy season will bring the number of U-11/12 teams to 150.

NEW CLUBS WELCOMED AT U-11/12:

  • Ajax United (Bay Area)
  • California Odyssey SC (Bay Area)
  • Charlotte Soccer Academy North (Carolina)
  • Cincinnati United Premier (Great Lakes)
  • Discoveries Soccer Club (Carolina)
  • Elk Grove Soccer (Bay Area)
  • Legends FC (LA)
  • Los Angeles Premier FC (LA)
  • Murrieta Surf Soccer Club (LA)
  • Mustang Soccer Club (Bay Area)
  • Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals (North Atlantic)
  • Rebels Soccer Club (San Diego)
  • San Francisco Glens Evolution (Bay Area)
  • San Antonio FC (Texas)

EXISTING CLUBS PROMOTED INTO U-12:

  • New York City FC (NY Metro)

The addition of 27 U-13 and 34 U-14 teams in 2017-2018 is primarily due to the expansion of two new divisions in Oregon and Washington. Combined, these two markets currently have 17 teams participating at U-12. The recent success and player development efforts from the clubs in these markets are the driving forces behind the expansion. This growth expands the player pathway in the Northwest region, which will create additional opportunities for player development.

NEW CLUBS WELCOMED AT U-13:

  • Cincinnati United Premier (Mid-America)
  • Minnesota United FC (Mid-America)
  • San Antonio FC (Frontier)
  • South Florida Surf (Sunshine)

EXISTING CLUBS PROMOTED INTO U-13:

  • AFC Lightning (South Atlantic)
  • Campton United SC (Mid-America)
  • Capital Area RailHawks - CASL South (South Atlantic)
  • Crossfire Premier (Washington)
  • Eastside FC (Washington)
  • Florida Rush Soccer Club (Sunshine)
  • Greater Seattle Surf SC (Washington)
  • ISL FC (South Atlantic)
  • LA Galaxy San Diego (Southwest)
  • Lanier Soccer Association (South Atlantic)
  • Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) (Southwest)
  • Minnesota Thunder Academy (Mid-America)
  • NEFC (Northeast)
  • New York City FC (Northeast)
  • NTH - NASA (South Atlantic)
  • Pacific Northwest Soccer Club (Washington)
  • Seattle United (Washington)
  • Snohomish Youth Soccer Club (Washington)
  • Southern Soccer Academy (South Atlantic)
  • TSF Academy (Metro)
  • United Futbol Academy (South Atlantic)
  • Washington Premier FC (Washington)
  • Washington Rush (Washington)

NEW CLUBS WELCOMED AT U-14:

  • Cincinnati United Premier (Mid-America)
  • Minnesota United FC (Mid-America)
  • San Antonio FC (Frontier)
  • South Florida Surf (Sunshine)

EXISTING CLUBS PROMOTED INTO U-14:

  • AFC Lightning (South Atlantic)
  • BSC Oregon (Oregon)
  • Campton United SC (Mid-America)
  • Capital Area RailHawks - CASL South (South Atlantic)
  • Capital FC Timbers (Oregon)
  • Crossfire Oregon (Oregon)
  • Crossfire Premier (Washington)
  • Eastside FC (Washington)
  • Eastside Timbers (Oregon)
  • C. Portland Academy (Oregon)
  • Florida Rush Soccer Club (Sunshine)
  • Greater Seattle Surf SC (Washington)
  • ISL FC (South Atlantic)
  • LA Galaxy San Diego (Southwest)
  • Lanier Soccer Association (South Atlantic)
  • Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) (Southwest)
  • Minnesota Thunder Academy (Mid-America)
  • NEFC (Northeast)
  • NTH - NASA (South Atlantic)
  • Pacific Northwest Soccer Club (Washington)
  • Portland Timbers (Washington)
  • Seattle United (Washington)
  • Snohomish Youth Soccer Club (Washington)
  • Southern Soccer Academy (South Atlantic)
  • TSF Academy (Metro)
  • United Futbol Academy (South Atlantic)
  • Washington Premier FC (Washington)
  • Washington Rush (Washington)
  • Washington Timbers FC Academy (Oregon)
  • Westside Timbers Soccer Club (Oregon)

At the U-15 age group, 10 additional clubs have been promoted for 2017-2018, along with the 72 current clubs who received automatic expansion into the U-15 single age group. Greater details of the U-15 expansion were highlighted earlier this month.

NEW CLUBS WELCOMED AT U-15:

  • Grande Sports Academy (Southwest)

EXISTING CLUBS PROMOTED INTO U-15:

  • Albion SC (Southwest)
  • Armada FC Pro Academy (Southeast)
  • Ballistic United SC (Northwest)
  • Cedar Stars Academy - Bergen (Atlantic)
  • Los Angeles United Futbol Academy (Southwest)
  • New York Soccer Club (Northeast)
  • Tampa Bay United (Southeast)
  • United Futbol Academy (Southeast)
  • Virginia Development Academy (Atlantic)

The U-16/17 age group will see a total of five teams expand into its 2017-2018 divisions.

NEW CLUBS WELCOMED AT U-16/17:

  • Grande Sports Academy (Southwest)

EXISTING CLUBS PROMOTED INTO U-16/17:

  • Albion SC (Southwest)
  • Armada FC Pro Academy (Southeast)
  • United Futbol Academy (Southeast)
  • Virginia Development Academy (Atlantic)

At the U-18/19 level, one MLS Academy club and one full-time residency program headline the expansion effort to 73 teams. New York City FC continues their planned growth and will now field teams at all age groups, and Grande Sports Academy will enter the Development Academy for the first time at the U-15, U-16/17 and U-18/19 age groups.

NEW CLUBS WELCOMED AT U-18/19:

  • Grande Sports Academy (Southwest)

EXISTING CLUBS PROMOTED INTO U-18/19:

  • New York City FC (Northeast)

With an eye towards the future of the Development Academy, Director Jared Micklos added, "We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with existing and new Academy clubs to build a foundation of players that will progress through the Academy pathway as we strive to develop world-class players."

Notes:

  • At the start of the 2017-2018 Boys Development Academy season:
    • U-18/19: eligible for players born Jan. 1, 1999 or later
    • U-16/17: eligible for players born Jan. 1, 2001 or later
    • U-15: eligible for players born Jan. 1, 2003 or later
    • U-14: eligible for players born Jan. 1, 2004 or later
    • U-13: eligible for players born Jan. 1, 2005 or later
    • U-11/12: eligible for players born Jan. 1, 2006 or later
  • In 2015-2016, the Development Academy registered 5,916 players across 231 teams from 96 clubs participate in 3,509 games
  • The 2016-2017 Development Academy season will conclude with approximately 10,783 players across 461 teams from 150 clubs playing 8,036 games
  • The 2017-2018 Development Academy season is expected to once again see rapid growth as more than 3,000 boys players will be added into the development pathway, with an additional 1,500 games being played

About the Academy
Following a comprehensive review of elite player development in the United States and around the world, U.S. Soccer created the Development Academy in 2007 for male players in the U-15 to U-18 age groups. In 2013, the Academy expanded to include the U-13/14 age group, and in 2016, the Academy launched the U-12 age group, which has continued to improve development by setting standards and improving the everyday environment for elite players and clubs. Academy alumni have progressed to play at elite amateur and professional levels with 109 Academy graduates rostered in the MLS in 2016 and 23 Academy players earning U.S. MNT caps.