HOW TO GET INVOLVED WITH THE U.S. SOCCER DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY

The U.S. Soccer Development Academy kicks off its eleventh season this fall, featuring nearly 900 teams across 10 boys' and girls' age groups. After ten successful years of the Boys' Academy, 2017-18 marks the launch of the Girls' Academy. Over 6,000 players and 69 member clubs will compete in the inaugural Girls' Development Academy season.

The Academy represents the nation's highest level of youth soccer. Over ninety percent of players selected to Youth National Team programs in the 2016-17 cycle came from Academy clubs. As the Academy continues to grow and produce more and more world-class players, there's no better time to get involved.

HOW TO BE A FAN

WATCH: The Academy's 11-month season kicks off on Saturday, September 2, with the Girls' Academy's first feature match between Sky Blue - PDA (Somerset, N.J.) and FC Virginia (Chantilly, Va.). The game will be live streamed from the PDA Complex in Somerset on the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Facebook Page. Fans can begin tuning-in at 10:30 a.m. ET for the pre-game broadcast, featuring appearances from former Men's National Team player Taylor Twellman and Girls' Academy Director Miriam Hickey.

Twellman will also be a part of the Boys' program kick-off feature match on Saturday, Sept. 9, between Crew SC Academy (Columbus, Ohio) and Crew SC Academy Wolves (Wixom, Mich.), streamed live on the Academy Facebook Page from the EAS Training Center at Obetz.

The Development Academy broadcasts live from several feature games throughout the year, especially at seasonal showcase events in the Fall, Winter and Spring as well as the Summer Showcase and Playoffs and July's Academy Championships.

FOLLOW: The Development Academy is always on social media. Beyond the Facebook page, fans can follow @ussoccer_acad on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat for the latest on the Academy.

The Academy schedule and all results can be found on ussoccerda.com. Fans looking for a local team to follow, should check out the Academy membership maps. Out of the 22 current M.L.S. clubs, 21 have Boy's Academies and three carry both Boys' and Girls' Academy programs. LAFC, who will begin M.L.S. play in 2018, will see it's Boys' and Girls' Academy programs kickoff this fall. Of the ten NWSL clubs, 9 field Girls' Academy programs, including two clubs with two affiliate Academies.

SUIT UP: Development Academy merchandise is available at the official U.S. Soccer Store, and every purchase goes towards funding the future of the sport in the United States with proceeds going towards scholarships, Youth National Team programs and more.

DONATE: A portion of the U.S. Soccer Development Fund goes towards the Development Academy in its mission to develop world-class players. Donations from the fund are used for need-based scholarships and improving everyday club environments for elite youth players to reach their potential. U.S. Soccer has given more than 2.5 million dollars to 1,850 Academy players since 2008. Visit the U.S. Soccer Development Fund homepage to donate today!

HOW TO PLAY

Players can join the Development Academy by joining one of its member clubs. Each club has its own player identification process and you can find a local club with this guide based on age, region and gender.

Interested players are encouraged to contact the manager/administrator of the club.


HOW TO BECOME AN ACADEMY CLUB

The Development Academy evaluates its pool of member clubs each season. The application process for both Boys' and Girls' membership to join the Academy for the 2018-19 season will open on October 11, 2017. The application process is open to all youth soccer clubs not currently members as well as existing members wishing to expand to additional age groups.

Applications are evaluated on several factors, including infrastructure, facilities, philosophy, player development and more. The final day to submit applications is December 3, and application decisions will be announced in February 2018.