MLS club finally adopts academy program

[SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES] The San Jose Earthquakes, the notable MLS holdout on the academy scene, launched the Earthquakes Youth Academy, which will field a pair of academy teams in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy system, beginning next season.

The academy's launch coincides with the construction of the "Nutrilite Training Center" as the club's home training base.

"The Academy is something that has been in the works for a long time now and it is very rewarding to see the plans finally coming to fruition," Earthquakes general manager John Doyle said. "The Earthquakes Academy is an awesome opportunity for youth in the Bay Area to train in a professional environment and reach their full potential as soccer players."

Fred Wilson will take over as the Earthquakes Academy Director of Administration and Travel. He has been the general manager of Mustang Soccer, the Danville, Calif., program Doyle has directed and which the Quakes will partner with.

The Quakes have tabbed a pair of former professional players to serve as head coaches, Carl Edwards for the U-18 squad and Cris Gilmore for the U-16s. Patrick Uriz and Joe Owen will be assistant coaches for the respective teams.

The Earthquakes will fully fund all team-related expenses for the 44 players in the academy pool -- 22 apiece at the U-16 and U-18 levels.

The only other Bay Area academy programs have been Mustang Soccer and De Anza Force.

UPDATE: Other new teams for 2011: Minnesota Thunder, St. Mary's-Shattuck School and the Seattle Sounders.

Quakes Tryout Dates:
Sunday, April 18 Danville 10 am
Saturday, April 24 Santa Clara 4 pm
Sunday, April 25 Fairfield 6 pm
Saturday, May 1 Fremont 5 pm
Sunday, May 2 San Francisco 5 pm

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