With more than a month to go before the deadline to apply to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, 21 clubs have already been accepted to field boys U-16 and U-18 teams in the program that launches next fall. The Academy, an extension of the U.S. national team program, was unveiled June 4. On Tuesday, U.S. Soccer named 10 clubs that are joining the 11 clubs that were accepted June 15. So far, clubs from 12 states are represented. The 10 newest clubs are Chicago Magic & Chicago Sockers (Ill.), IMG Soccer Academy, Kendall Soccer Coalition (Florida) & Clearwater Chargers (Fla.), Crossfire Premier (Wash.), Greensboro Youth SC (N.C.), Mustang FC (Calif.), Oakwood (Conn.) and Vardar (Michigan). U.S. Soccer coaches will select qualified applicants on a rolling basis until Aug. 1.
U.S. SOCCER DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY CLUBS (by state)
De Anza Force SC
Clearwater Chargers SC
IMG Soccer Academy
Kendall Soccer Coalition
Atlanta Fire United Soccer Association
Chicago Magic SC
FC Greater Boston Bolts
Players Development Academy
CASL-Capitol Area Soccer League
Greensboro Youth SC
Crossfire Premier SC
The U-16 and U-18 teams, with a minimum roster of 22 players, will be divided into conferences with each team playing between 30 and 38 home and away matches during an eight-month season. Each conference will be comprised of 15 to 20 teams based on geographic proximity. The winner of each conference will play in the Academy Finals at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
Up to 80 clubs are eventually expected to take part, although the total during the first season may be less.
"We continue to be impressed with both the quality and quantity of applications we are receiving," said U.S. U-17 boys national team coach John Hackworth. "After less than a month, we remain focused on working with clubs from all over the country to make sure they have the right information and ability to be a part of this initiative."
Said U.S. Soccer's Director of Coaching Education Bob Jenkins: "We are very encouraged by the progress so far. The key component to the Development Academy is a focus from the clubs on doing what it takes to get their coaches and players focused on long-term player development."