Two Clubs Added for Girls' Development Academy Inaugural Season

Sky Blue - NYSC Partnership and Placer United Soccer Club Establish U.S. Soccer Development Academy Programs for Fall 2017

CHICAGO (May 16, 2017) - As part of its overall goal to improve the player development pathway for girls players, the U.S. Soccer Development Academy has announced the addition of two member programs for the inaugural U.S. Soccer Girls' Development Academy season, kicking off Sept. 2, 2017: Sky Blue - NYSC and Placer United Soccer Club.

Sky Blue FC of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) and New York Soccer Club (NYSC) announced a formal partnership to establish Sky Blue - NYSC, an existing soccer program that will benefit from the connection to a professional club, will compete in the Northeast Division of the Girls' Development Academy.

"We are proud and honored to partner with Sky Blue FC to form what will be the leading development program for girls in the Southern New York and Connecticut marketplace," said Stephan Feldgoise, Chairman of New York Soccer Club. "Sky Blue - NYSC will provide the top players with unrivaled development, clear access to the professional game with Sky Blue FC and national exposure through the U.S. Soccer Girls' Development Academy."

Placer United Soccer Club will also commence play in 2017 as an inaugural member of the U.S. Soccer Girls' Development Academy. Placer will compete in the Northwest Division.

"Placer United is honored to be part of the new U.S. Soccer Girls' Development Academy program," Placer United Director of Soccer Operations Paul O'Brien said. "We were evaluated on the quality and U.S. Soccer licenses of our coaching staff, the club's facilities, staff to player ratios, and our history of player production to Youth National Teams and professional teams, to name just a few of the rigorous qualifications."

"Our coaches have really done a great job of continued coaching education and achievement of a higher level of USSF soccer licenses, so we can improve and better educate our players in a game that gets more challenging at the higher levels of play."

Four age groups will exist in the Girls' Development Academy (U-14 (2004/2005), U-15 (2003), U-16/17 (2002/2001), and U-18/19 (2000/1999)). The Academy program is focused on simplifying the calendar by incorporating a training to game ratio that will involve playing more meaningful games on a consistent schedule. The average season schedule will operate from September to July, playing approximately 25-35 games per season, varying by geographic region. Clubs will be organized by divisions and conferences, with national and/or regional events supplementing regular season play.

Girls' DA by the numbers:

  • 7 - Number of Girls' Development Academy regions: Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Mid-America, Frontier, Northwest, Southwest
  • 69 - Number of clubs joining the Girls' Development Academy in Fall 2017
  • 135 - Number of USSF 'A' licensed coaches currently committed to Girls' Development Academy clubs
  • 179 - Number of unique boys' and girls' Academies, developing the next generation of talent
  • 1,544 - Number of players to receive full scholarships from Girls' Academy Clubs
  • 6,400 - Number of projected Development Academy girls' players for inaugural season
  • 11,200 - Current number of players in the Development Academy