YOUTH: U.S. Soccer selects first 11 clubs for Academy

The first group of clubs that will field U-16 and U-18 in the inaugural season of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy , which kicks off this fall, have been chosen. The first 11 are: Atlanta Fire United Soccer Association (Georgia), B/W Gottschee (New York), Capitol Area Soccer League (North Carolina), De Anza Force Soccer Club (Northern California), FC DELCO (Pennsylvania), FC Greater Boston Bolts (Massachusetts), Michigan Wolves (Michigan), Nomads Soccer Club (Southern California), Players Development Academy (New Jersey), Seacoast United (New Hampshire) and FC Westchester (New York).

The nationwide Development Academy, which was unveiled on June 4, is in the midst of accepting applications from clubs that will field teams to be divided into regions based on geographic proximity. Each region will be comprised of 15 to 20 teams, with each team playing between 30 to 38 home and away matches during an eight-month season. The winner of each region play in the Academy Finals at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

"It's been just a little more than a week, and we have been extremely pleased with the quality of applications we have received," said U.S. Under-17 men's national team coach John Hackworth. "We are 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."

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