As the U.S. Soccer Development Academy counts down to its 12th consecutive season and second straight year of Girls' programming on Saturday Sept. 1, the elite player development program will be celebrating the role models that help create consistent, every day environments on and off the field for players to reach their highest potential.

In the 12 days leading up to Sept. 1 (Aug. 20-31), the Development Academy will recognize those individuals who make player development possible for YOU, the top players in the country.


Use the hashtag #MY12TH to share your story (in a photo with a few words) about who has been the 12th member of your team, supporting you to become the best player you can be and enter to be featured on, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Examples of supporters can include anyone who has allowed a player to excel and develop in his or her everyday club environment. Some examples to consider:

  • Mom / Dad
  • Brother / Sister
  • Grandpa / Grandma
  • Doctor / Physical Therapist / Trainer
  • Fan
  • Coach
  • Club Administrator / Manager
  • Mentor / Role model / Teacher
  • Donor
  • Teammate

The 12th members of every team are there to support and push 11 on the field to be better, challenging them every day to reach their optimal goal. They support you no matter what- win, lose or draw.

Who is that person for you and how have they impacted your growth and development?

Every day from Aug. 20-31, the most inspiring entries will be highlighted across all of the Academy's digital platforms.

i want to recognize my 12th player that helps me to achieve my goals on and off the field, @sammimayock. she inspires me by showing me what it's like to persevere and never give up, even when it feels like the easy option at times. several times sammi has been told in her earlier career that she wouldn't be a good fit on the first team, but she didn't stop for the world. as i continued to look up to her at a young age, she persevered and proved them wrong. she is now a college soccer player at a D1 school scoring goals and getting assists! thank you @sammimayock for encouraging me to give it my all and believing in me, even when i think i cant do it myself. i love you and can't wait to continue looking up to you as you play in college, and wherever else you may go. #MY12th @lonestarsc @ussoccer_acad

A post shared by ✨ɑʝ ϻɑץօʗĸ✨ (@ajmayock) on Aug 20, 2018 at 2:28pm PDT

#My12th man is definitely my older sister Leah. Watching her play was what inspired me to play soccer in the first place, and through her I grew to love the game on my own. Being able to experience the hard work and time she put into her own soccer career motivates me to do the same and to keep growing. She has always believed in my ability as a player and a person and she pushes me every single day to get better. I know, without a doubt, that I will always have her support and help whether that's through her wishing me good luck before practice, doing extra workouts and conditioning with me, or breaking down every single play of one of my games. My sister truly is my role model and my 12th woman - @ussoccer_acad

A post shared by Legends FC (@legendsfcsoccer) on Aug 22, 2018 at 11:55am PDT

I want to give a special shout-out to my mom. We are literally a "team". I watch her every night on the go with me making sure I never miss my DA training sessions. It's a lot for her because my dad works long hours (side note- my dad is my rock!), and it falls on her to get me to where I need to be & she never makes excuses for me to miss. She prays for me before every practice & game & she encourages me on and off the field. Her support for what I love to do is so obvious. She also takes awesome pictures of me in action on the field! She captures every emotion I feel while I'm out there! She's my mom, my personal photographer, my biggest fan and definitely #My12th ⚽️🙌🏻👩🏼 @ussoccer_acad @fancymomofboys

A post shared by Landon Shaffer (@landonshaffer6) on Aug 23, 2018 at 6:45pm PDT

#my12th My mom, Bethany Yaroma has been my team manager for 6 years now with Legends. I know my mom is a great manager, because she is the most organized person I know. She makes sure that every little detail is taken care of, like checking in the team for games and tournaments, uniform schedule, hotel reservations, emails with everything you would need to know, and so much more the list would be to long. She is currently also learning to become the next Legends FC DA Manager. I know the club picked the right person for the job. She is also in charge of helping all other team managers threw out the club with whatever questions or problems that might arise throughout the season. I think the best quality about my mom is that she is always willing to help out with anything and she always does it with a smile. You can ask anyone around you and they always say that she is the nicest person to work with. I know I'm extremely lucky to have the best team manager in Legends FC and I'm more excited for my new teammates to experience what I get everyday. -@ussoccer_acad

A post shared by legendsfcacademy (@legendsfcacademy) on Aug 30, 2018 at 10:55am PDT