Blau Weiss Gottschee, the oldest club in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, and Manhattan Kickers FC have merged to form BW Gottschee NYC.
Queens-based Gottschee, formed in 1951 by Gottschers from what is now Slovenia who had fled to Austria during World War II, has produced such players asJoe Fink, Siggi Stritzl, Arnold Mausser, Erhardt Kapp, Michael Windischmannand Dario Brose.
It became one of the first 11 teams invited to join the Development Academy two years ago.
"By integrating the player pools and coaching staffs of these two clubs, you increase the chances for exposure by better enabling the club to compete nationally," says Milton Espinoza Jr., BW Gottschee NYC's academy administrator.
The Kickers are one of the most successful youth programs in Manhattan for players 7-14.
The new club will offer the most training facilities in the boroughs: two in Queens at Brennan Field and Leavitts Park, two in Brooklyn at Aviator Sports & Recreation, four in Manhattan at Pier 40, East 6th Street, Sara Roosevelt Park and Grand Street, in addition to the new fields at Randall's Island.
They will run Manhattan and Queens programs for ages 6 through 13.
The Director of Coaching will be former Columbia coach Dieter Ficken, and Curt Rosenthal has been named Technical Director.