What is the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Program?
Following a comprehensive review of elite player development in the United States and around the world, US Soccer created the Development Academy in 2007 to improve the everyday environment for the elite youth player.
The Development Academy is a partnership between US Soccer and top youth clubs around the country to provide the best youth players in the US with an everyday environment designed to produce the next generation of National Team players. The Academy's programming philosophy is based on increased training, less total games, and more competitive games.
The Academy also connects National Team coaches directly with the Academy clubs to develop and identify players and coaches for future Youth National Teams. Each Academy team is evaluated by a member of the US Soccer Men's Scouting Network at least 10 times each year and each Academy club receives two formal evaluations in over 100 categories each year from US Soccer Technical Staff.
Developing the Next Generation
U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy program is driven by the game and its players, coaches, and referees. This game-centric approach allows for long-term development to occur through a deep understanding of what makes players successful around the world. As the sport of soccer grows in the United States, young players in our country need the proper environment to compete against the world’s elite. The U.S. Soccer Development Academy program provides the optimum development environment for the nation’s top youth soccer players, coaches and referees by emphasizing development through quality training and limited, meaningful competition.
Academy teams spend a greater amount of time focused on training to improve as individuals and as a team. The teams and players receive direct feedback and evaluations from National Team Staff and ProZone video analysis. To round-out the complete training environment, Academy teams are tested in their physical capabilities using the SPARQ testing methodology and their hydration levels by Gatorade. They also receive a SPARQ training curriculum for soccer-specific athletic training and Nutrition and Hydration recommendations from Gatorade’s Sports Science Institute. Each athlete then gains a greater understanding of how they compare physically against their peers and what they need to do to achieve their optimal performance levels.
The Academy program features teams from the top youth clubs from around the country. Each Academy team plays approximately 30 regular season games to ensure all games are meaningful. Games are also played according to FIFA’s Laws of the Game and officiated by a pool of the nation’s top young referees in order to prepare players for the next level of competition. National Team Scouts regularly attend Academy games, so players are evaluated over the course of the season and in their natural positions allowing for better player assessment.
As the program enters its second year, it has already dramatically impacted the player development process in the United States. In 2008, more than 100 players from Academy clubs were included in U.S. Youth National Teams and almost 800 graduates from the inaugural Academy class participated in college soccer the following fall. Virtually all college programs use the Academy program as a scouting vehicle and the program has received increased attention from professional scouts representing domestic and international clubs. Visit ussoccer.com to view the top Academy teams in action.
Please click here to learn more about the origins of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy program.
Seacoast United’s Development Academy Teams
The focus of Seacoast United’s US Soccer Developmental Academy (USSDA) is on player development and providing players with the best possible opportunity to develop to the highest level they are capable of achieving.
Seacoast United’s Development Academy coaching staff will be holding invitational tryouts from age appropriate players. We are the only Northern New England team and one of only 5 in all of New England. Seacoast United’s selection into this Program is recognition of the Club and it’s players. Being on a current Seacoast United team does not guarantee selection.
Invitational tryouts will be held at the beginning of November at the Seacoast United Outdoor Complex in Epping, NH. If you are an interested player wishing to receive an invite please contact Iain Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Age Groups and Roster Size
Two teams are being formed, a U18 team and a U16 team. The minimum roster size is 20 players and Seacoast will start off with a roster of 20 players for both age groups. For players not selected for the USSDA rosters there will be ongoing opportunities to be a trial player for up to six games during the USSDA season. In addition up to four players may be added to the roster during the season as long as it is before April 1.
Players on the USSDA teams are not allowed to participate in any USYSA league, State Cup or ODP.
There is a minimum requirement of three training sessions and one rest day per week for players selected. Training will run from November thru July.
Competition Format and Season
The USSDA is divided into eight conferences with each team playing 30 matches during an eight-month season. Each conference is comprised of eight teams and along with playing each team in our conference twice we will have 8 games against opponents from outside their conference as part of our season. USSDA season play will start the first weekend in December with a 3-day Showcase Event in December called the Nike Friendlies in Bradenton, Florida. The season would then continue with play scheduled to end with the National Finals in July of 2008. Several of the season games are also tentatively scheduled over four Showcase events during three-day holiday/summer weekend.
Seacoast United is in the Northeast Conference with Albertson SC (NY), BW Gottschee (NY), FC Greater Boston Bolts (MA), FC Westchester (NY), Met Oval (NY), New England Revolution (MA), Oakwood SC (CT), and South Central Premier (NY).
For a complete list of the Development Academy’s participants representing 24 states and the District of Columbia, click here.
A schedule can be found by clicking here. We anticipate playing two games in a weekend, especially when traveling. As mentioned above there will be four Showcase events that involve three games over three days.