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 FC, Total Futbol Academy
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
Bayside FC, Global Premier Soccer, NEFC, Valeo Futbol Club
New York/New Jersey
New York Cosmos, TSF Academy
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
Arlington Soccer Association, Loudoun Soccer, McLean Youth Soccer