With U.S. Soccer’s inaugural girl’s Development Academy season set to begin in the fall of 2017, U.S. Soccer has been busy searching for and accepting clubs into the girls Development Academy program (full story). To date, U.S. Soccer has recruited 74 clubs into the program, which is designed to accelerate the development of world-class female soccer players in the U.S. In the third & final wave of admitted clubs for the 2017 season, U.S. Soccer has added Sporting Club Network’s very own Academy Affiliate club, Sporting Blue Valley (Overland Park, KS).
Sporting Blue Valley, along with the other 73 clubs administered into the Development Academy (DA) program were chosen through close evaluation from U.S. Soccer’s technical staff based on the following criteria:
- Leadership of the club and quality of the coaching staff
- Desire to embrace and promote the core values of the program
- U.S. Soccer license levels of coaching staff
- Infrastructure of the club and the resources currently being invested in development (facilities, scholarships, staff to player ratio, etc.)
- History of player production for Youth National Teams, the senior Women’s National Team and professional leagues
- Market and depth of the player pool, geographic location and proximity to other elite clubs
The main purpose of the girl’s DA is to provide a positive atmosphere while maximizing training and player development to allow for a professional path for female soccer players. This will include, increasing the training to game ratio (clubs will be expected to train a minimum of four times a week), playing fewer but more meaningful games, as well as assistance for coaching education and development. The U.S Soccer girl’s DA will create and foster new standards within female developmental soccer to allow for the best learning and training opportunities.
The DA will feature three combined age groups: U-14/15, U-16/17 and U-18/19. The combined age groups will require clubs to form teams with a balanced roster of players from two distinct birth years and encourage clubs to provide “play up” opportunities to help accelerate development. The games will be scouted by U.S. Soccer and the program will serve as the primary pathway to U.S. Soccer’s Youth National Teams to allow each player to reach their full potential.
The competitive framework from the DA will focus on the core values of the program, emphasizing on quality coaching and teaching in a positive learning environment for players with zero tolerance for poor behavior from coaches.
More about U.S. Soccer Development Academy
In 2007, U.S. Soccer started its Development Academy Program for boys to serve as the elite player development model for the country. By doing this, the DA has significantly improved the everyday environment for players, coaches, and clubs. The girl’s DA will be structured after the boy’s DA to support player development and the long-term growth of professional soccer.
Sporting Blue Valley has been a Sporting Club Network Academy Affiliate club based in Overland Park, KS since 2011. For more information about Sporting Blue Valley, click here.
More about the Sporting Club Network
The Sporting Club Network (SCN) is an affiliation program between athletic organizations and Sporting Club, the parent company of Sporting Kansas City (SKC) and Swope Park Rangers (SPR). Through this new and innovative partnership program, member clubs and organizations have exclusive access to opportunities and events tied to Sporting Club’s professional soccer teams and facilities. The combined membership of the program exceeds over 70,000 members, highlighted by the largest Academy Affiliate program across the U.S. with 15 branded academy affiliates representing the Sporting name & helping support the club’s larger player development goals.