[DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY] The U.S. Soccer Development Academy will add three teams in the 2013-14 season: Olney-Bethesda (Md.), the Philadelphia Union and Phoenix FC. The Maryland club is a partnership of Olney Soccer and Bethesda Soccer Club. The other two are professional academy teams.
“Over the past several years, the Union has dedicated a lot of time and resources to carefully research, build and implement a comprehensive youth player development system while working closely with their surrounding clubs," said U.S. Soccer Director of Scouting Tony Lepore. “Both Bethesda SC and Olney BGC have a strong history of youth national team player development and high quality of training environment and age appropriate philosophy expected from a Development Academy club. The addition of Phoenix FC as the second team from Arizona brings in a club with a strong commitment to resources, funding and technical leadership in an area that has seen early success from Real Salt Lake AZ over the past three seasons.”
Philadelphia becomes the 18th MLS organization to be a part of the Development Academy system. Only Toronto FC is not part of the Development Academy.
The Union has had an affiliation agreement with FC Delco, which has sent two players to the MLS as homegrown players: Zach Pfefferand Jimmy McLaughlin.
Phoenix FC is in its first season in USL PRO.