How do I join the Development Academy?

For Players:

The Development Academy invites all players who seek to be an elite player and compete at the highest competitive levels to join a DA team. The DA program consists of many member youth clubs across the country.

For a player to join the DA, they will need to contact the club they are interested in joining and ask about the club's identification process. Find a club near you with club contact information in the DA Club Map.

For Clubs:

All member clubs participating in the Development Academy meet the high standards for training and game environments set forth by the Academy to ensure players are developing their skills in an elite environment.

Club Development oversees youth clubs across the country and continuously evaluate performance of DA and non-DA clubs year-round.


How much does it cost to join the DA?

The U.S. Soccer Development Acaademy believes ability and drive should determine whether a player is selected to join a DA roster, not the ability to pay.

Player fees are determined by each individual club and vary widely. However, scholarships are available to players with financial need. Click here for more information about scholarships. The Academy strives to ensure no player is denied access by financial barriers.

Clubs pay a registration fee of $50 per player and cover all travel expenses except those relating to the Development Academy Championships. U.S. Soccer covers all travel expenses to the Championships for every team that qualifies.


What does full-time (FT) and part-time (PT) mean?

Full-time is the status for a player who is registered and plays only with their DA team. A part-time player is not fully ready to compete at the DA level. A PT player benefits from being registered with the DA club in addition to being registered with the affiliate club. These two clubs work together to ensure the player is developing to their full potential and to eventually be ready to be FT with the DA.


Can I compete in other competitions like high school or ODP in addition to the DA?

When a player decides to join the DA, that player is committing to strive to become world-class. The DA believes players are most likely to become world-class if they train and compete in a consistent environment. The DA schedule is designed to balance training and meaningful games to optimize player development and maximize player safety.

Playing sports always comes with risk, but players increase their risk of overuse injuries or burnout when they compete in additional competitions. Development Academy training and game environments put player safety at the forefront. Injuries are one of the biggest setbacks to development a player can face.

Therefore, players competing in the DA may only compete in outside competition if called up for Youth National Team duty or if given written consent by U.S. Soccer Development Academy staff.


Can younger players compete in older age groups?

U.S. Soccer Technical Staff encourages players to "play up" with an older age group when appropriate.


Can a player transfer to another club mid-season?
How does a player get released from a club?

Transfers can happen at any time during the season prior to the Player Add Deadline, which occurs during the spring season. Players must get a release from their current club before they can transfer to another DA club. Players can request a release by contacting the club directly. Players can leave the DA at any time during the year without getting a release. Any club fees must be settled prior to leaving.


How can I apply for a job with U.S. Soccer and/or the Development Academy?

The United States Soccer Federation seeks motivated individuals to fill full-time, part-time, seasonal, and volunteer staff positions. These opportunities will be posted when the need arises. To apply for an available position, please click here.