Development Academy adds 56 Clubs for U-12 Division

Fifty-six clubs will join the U.S. Soccer Development Academy at the U-12 level, which the DA will launch for the 2016-17 season. They join 78 existing Academy members that field teams for U-12 competition for a total of 134 clubs.

The expansion is intended to reduce travel distances between clubs at the youngest division in the DA, which also competes at the U-14, U-16 and U-18 levels.

"Expanding to the U-12 age group and the addition of 56 new member clubs will improve the overall environment at an earlier development stage and help clubs create a more positive step-by-step learning pathway for players," said U.S. Soccer Director of Scouting Tony Lepore said in a release.

U.S. Soccer has also announced that the 56 new clubs have made a financial commitment of more than $1 million for player scholarships that will subsidize more than 600 players, including 400 who will play cost-free.

New U-12 Academy Clubs (Fall 2016)
Bay Area, Calif.
San Francisco Elite Academy, Santa Rosa United

Los Angeles
Los Angeles FC, Total Futbol Academy

San Diego
Chula Vista FC, LA Galaxy San Diego, San Diego Soccer Club, West Coast FC

Arsenal Colorado, Colorado Storm Soccer Association, FC Boulder, Pride SC

Albion SC Plantation, FC Florida, Florida Rush SC, Players Club of Tampa Bay, Wellington SC

AFC Lightning, Atlanta United FC, Lanier Soccer Association, North Atlanta Soccer Association, Southern Soccer Academy, United Futbol Academy

Campton United SC, Chicago Fire Juniors City/ South, FC United Soccer Club, Fort Wayne United FC, Indiana Elite FC, Sockers FC Naperville

New England
Bayside FC, Global Premier Soccer, NEFC, Valeo Futbol Club

New York/New Jersey
New York Cosmos, TSF Academy

North Carolina
Capital Area RailHawks-CASL Del Sol, Capital Area RailHawks-CASL South, Queen City Mutiny

BSC Oregon, Capital FC Timbers, Crossfire Oregon, Eastside Timbers, FC Portland Academy, Washington Timbers FC Academy, Westside Timbers Soccer Club

Houston Express SC,

Eastside FC, Greater Seattle Surf, Pacific Northwest SC, Seattle United, Snohomish Youth Soccer Club, Washington Premier FC, Washington Rush

Washington, D.C.
Arlington Soccer Association, Loudoun Soccer, McLean Youth Soccer

13 comments about "Development Academy adds 56 Clubs for U-12 Division ".
  1. GA Soccer Forum, February 2, 2016 at 2:32 p.m.

    Its funny - here US Soccer is going away from the U(categorization), but they refer to them as u12s without stating that they will be 2004s for the 2016-2017 season.....

    So if your kid isn't a top 2004 playing 9v9 DA, it looks like they will be playing 11v11 based upon earlier small sided mandates.

  2. Rick Golden, February 2, 2016 at 4:04 p.m.

    The 3 clubs that you listed in Washington DC are all actually in Virginia.

  3. John Schultz, February 3, 2016 at 9:17 a.m.

    Chicago Fire Jrs. South??? If you have a Chicago Fire DA why would you add a Jrs South?? Or better yet give another club the opportunity? Sockers Fc Naperville same thing. Already a Sockers FC. I could name several clubs that show better talent and better record than the ones added in Illinois than FC United. Fc United hasnt even competed at NPL level and are probably the most expensive club to play for in all of illinois. Raiders, Cicero Mayas, and several other clubs have better records over many years. Makes no sense if development is truly the target here.

  4. John Schultz, February 3, 2016 at 9:41 a.m.

    Are there no more clubs other than CASL in North Carolina? Or Timbers in Oregon? Monopolizing the talent. How can you avoid politics and entitlement when its the same clubs that determine a player's future?

  5. Scott Johnson replied, February 4, 2016 at 2:47 a.m.

    The four clubs listed with "Timbers" in the name (as well as three other youth clubs in Oregon) are all distinct clubs with distinct operations, although all are affiliated with the Timbers. And as noted below, the three other Oregon clubs joining the program are not Timbers affiliates. (And I can think of several other high quality youth clubs in the area that aren't joining as well).

  6. K Michael, February 3, 2016 at 1:31 p.m.

    Great step!! Close the travel distance, more slots for play opportunity and competition and the beginnings of a financial commitment to level the entry barrier. Well done, USSF. Now, let's get the Solidarity Pay System in place, continue to manage and accommodate for Relative Age Effect and late-bloomers and the first American "Messi" may be trotting through the front door this fall.

  7. R2 Dad replied, February 3, 2016 at 3:39 p.m.

    We already have two "messi's in our neighborhood, but the academy teams don't know what to do with them. One is played as a center back because the academy coaches can't be bother to train up the ball-handling skills of their back line so they can get the ball to midfield on the ground, and the other is "too small/slow" and sits on the bench most of the time. We have the players; what we don't have are enough ex-professionals to tell the club owner/coaches how to play the game. Licenses only mean you should know better and don't ensure said license-holder will choose values that will develop players over winning. The Academy system is only perpetuating the bad habits of "regular" clubs.

  8. John Schultz, February 3, 2016 at 2:46 p.m.

    Lets keep this blog going and report on club fees. I know for a fact Fc United is one of the most expensive clubs to play for in all Illinois. My guess is they will want to make a good impression at U12/U13 by giving a few teams full scholarships but keeping those fees of $3000+ or even raising them for all other age groups and teams.

  9. Scott Johnson replied, February 4, 2016 at 5:50 p.m.

    All of the Timbers-related clubs have their fees posted on their respective websites. Westside Timbers (where I have kids playing) was $1350 for U12 this past soccer year, if paid in full up front, $1450 if payments staggered through the year--those are the undiscounted prices. (If you have more than one child in the program, or receive financial aid, it's less). More expensive then rec, obviously, but far less than many of the pay-to-play horror stories I've heard about elsewhere. Whether a similar pricing structure will apply to the DA program--indeed, whether it will be a separate program or WTFC will simply rebrand their U12 "Copa" (first) team, has not been announced yet. (All the information I've said is available on the website).

  10. R2 Dad, February 3, 2016 at 4:41 p.m.

    The Academy food chain is still dysfunctional. It's the club-hopping player that is crimping development for himself and his team. Many of the very skilled players have a know-it-all parent, yanking the kid from club to club because Dad/Mom knows best. 4+ teams in 5 years?--doesn't matter. Dad/Mom is from country X and coaches from his/her country know best. The clubs don't play a system so all the parents fixate on is Who is My Kid's Coach? It's the owners/coaches as well; they burn out trying to juggle the parents, the finances, coach coverage on weekends. Is your child's academy coach at training sessions AND games to reinforce concepts from the week? Are they still getting smoked season after season without developing a core group of players, or is there constant churn? How does this all get fixed? I fear we will wait through several more generations of players before realizing the Academy system, while better than nothing, is just part of a much larger required solution.

  11. Michael Koslow, February 3, 2016 at 4:47 p.m.

    What will those clubs and players do once they age out of the U12 Academy if their club does not have a U14/U16/U18 Academy team? Those clubs who develop the U12 will not want to loose them to a different Academy Club who has the older age groups.

  12. Scott Johnson, February 4, 2016 at 2:45 a.m.

    I made this correction on the other posting on this topic, but I'll make it here as well: Washington Timbers are based in Vancouver WA, not in Oregon, even though they are associated with the Portland Timbers. (And BSC, Crossfire, and FCP are not Timbers affiliates, for those concerned that Oregon's pro team is pushing out the competition).
    One question I do have--will the DA mandate changes in curriculum, and/or de-emphasize winning of tournaments?

  13. GA Soccer Forum, February 4, 2016 at 10:09 a.m.

    Exactly, so now you have all these clubs with just u12 DA.

    What happens the next year, when they age out of DA, and they have to fall back to "regular" play. For example, its not clear yet, but u13 is the start of competitive classic play here in Georgia, the nonDA 2004s will be playing at this level etc. (assuming no changes are made). These teams will have already competed for example for RPL and national league spots. Whats going to happen when these kids age out of u12 DA and their teams are placed in lower brackets etc...

    Here in Georgia it appears u12 DA will just replace our "traditional u9-u12 competitive play".

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