Merger mania hits Florida

The move for clubs to merge and form super clubs is gaining momentum in Florida.

The Clearwater Chargers and Countryside Lightning clubs recently merged, and the Brandon Area Youth Soccer League and HC United have been in discussions about a merger of their Tampa area programs.

In Central Florida, Inter-United Soccer Club merged with Orange County Soccer Club to form Florida Rush, part of the national network of Rush clubs.

Clubs in other Florida counties have been in merger talks.

Motivating factors in the moves include economies of scale (such as getting better deals from manufacturers on uniforms) and player development.

The Chargers are one of four Florida programs participating in the U.S. Soccer Development academy.

The others are the IMG Soccer Academy, based in Bradenton, and the Schulz Academy and Miami FC Kendall out of South Florida.

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