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FYI-Feb 23, 2016- US Soccer officially Girls DA Pixel
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FYI-Feb 23, 2016- US Soccer officially Girls DA

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Post by FusionFC2011 23/02/16, 05:30 pm

U.S. Soccer officially announces Girls Development Academy
By News Desk / February 23, 2016

Carson, California - Saturday, July 19, 2014: The LA Galaxy defeated Real Salt Lake AZ 2-0 in the 2013-14 Development Academy U-15/16 Championship at StubHub Center.
CHICAGO (Via U.S. Soccer) – In an effort to accelerate the development of world-class female players, U.S. Soccer is launching a Girls’ Development Academy Program in the fall of 2017.

The Academy will focus on positively impacting the everyday club environments to assist in maximizing female youth player development across the country.

+ALL SocceWire.com Girls’ Development Academy coverage

U.S. Soccer started its Development Academy Program for boys in 2007 and the program, which currently consists of 152 clubs across five age groups, serves as the elite player development model for the country and has significantly improved the everyday environment for players, coaches and clubs. The Girls’ DA will be structured with many of the same principles and will begin play in the fall of 2017. The application process for clubs interested in being part of the new program will open in May of 2016.

The institution of a Development Academy for girls is part of U.S. Soccer’s global leadership position in women’s soccer and will impact thousands of players. U.S. Soccer is also excited to launch this program working alongside the NWSL and its efforts to support player development and the long-term growth of professional soccer.


+PODCAST: ECNL President Christian Lavers on ECNL and expected launch of new U.S. Soccer Girls Development Academy

“In support of U.S. Soccer’s long-term plan for player and coach development, launching a Girls’ Development Academy is part of an unprecedented commitment to elevating the women’s game,” said U.S. Soccer Women’s Technical Director April Heinrichs. “This program will directly impact the everyday environment for clubs and further connect players and coaches to our National Teams. From a program perspective, we will educate both players and coaches on position-specific roles, physical and psychosocial planning and preparation, current coaching methodologies and the use of sport science and technology.”

The guidelines for members will feature increased training requirements with fewer, but higher quality games. U.S. Soccer’s technical standards have been designed to benefit players and coaches, and allows clubs to work directly and collaboratively with U.S. Soccer technical staff and Youth National Teams. The overall focus of the program is to assist in developing world class players, coaches and referees by prioritizing training and player development within the team concept.

From the start, the program will feature three combined age groups in the Girls’ Development Academy: U-14/15, U-16/17 and U-18/19. Clubs will be expected to train a minimum of four times a week. The players in the Girls’ Development Academy clubs will play exclusively within the Academy program and will not play in any outside competition, such as ODP or high school. The use of combined age groups will require clubs to form teams with a balanced roster of players from two distinct birth years. The games will be scouted by U.S.Soccer and the program will serve as a pathway to U.S. Soccer’s Youth National Teams.

In addition to combining the most elite players from each birth year to form the mixed age group player pool, coaches will be encouraged to play their most elite players “up” on an older age team within the club to help accelerate development.

+PODCAST: U.S. Soccer’s Girls Development Academy Plans and Issues to Consider

The competitive framework will focus on the core values of the program, which emphasizes quality coaching and teaching in a positive learning environment for players with zero tolerance for poor behavior from coaches.

Competitively, the program competition will feature local and regional matches as well as regional and national events with playing rules based on international standards, e.g., no re-entry, limited substitutions and proper rest and recovery periods. The season will be structured over a 10-month period, likely from September through July, and as in the Boys’ Development Academy, the clubs will be organized by divisions and conferences with national and/or regional events incorporated into the overall program.

Club applications will be evaluated by U.S. Soccer 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 Teams, and professional leagues
Market and depth of the player pool, geographic location and travel implications, and proximity to other elite clubs
Filed under: Development Academy, Youth Girls
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Post by CBTeamworks 24/02/16, 09:24 am

Interesting that these teams will combine two age groups. The biggest motivation from US soccer for age pure was being able to more easily identify talent by separating ages to align with world standards. What's the point in everybody below AD going age pure? Perhaps I'm not seeing the whole picture so maybe there's a good explanation or factors that I haven't considered.
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Post by Lefty 24/02/16, 09:26 am

coaches will be encouraged to play their most elite players “up” on an older age team within the club to help accelerate development.

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Post by SD69 24/02/16, 09:42 am

http://www.soccerwire.com/blog-posts/dure-is-u-s-soccer-trying-to-fixing-what-isnt-broken/

From the article that caught my eye: "And why are we creating a girls’ Development Academy without re-evaluating the boys’ Academy? At one point in the conference call, a USSF official referred to a “proven method” on the boys’ side. In what sense? Which youth national teams have excelled? What players have been produced?"
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Post by Guest 24/02/16, 12:05 pm

Seems to me that the minimum of 4 days/week of training is not a trivial issue to overcome.

Do a lot of the DA players on the Boys' side end up going the home school/on-line route, and/or do the clubs provide residential programs that include schooling along with the training at the club facility?


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Post by SD69 24/02/16, 12:12 pm

bwgophers wrote:Seems to me that the minimum of 4 days/week of training is not a trivial issue to overcome.

Do a lot of the DA players on the Boys' side end up going the home school/on-line route, and/or do the clubs provide residential programs that include schooling along with the training at the club facility?


Seems I remember reading that's how Ajax academy does it. Not sure if there are options for that domestically. I'd think you'd have to have a non-working parent/guardian to support something like this.
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Post by AtThePitch 24/02/16, 12:34 pm

SD69 wrote:
bwgophers wrote:Seems to me that the minimum of 4 days/week of training is not a trivial issue to overcome.

Do a lot of the DA players on the Boys' side end up going the home school/on-line route, and/or do the clubs provide residential programs that include schooling along with the training at the club facility?


Seems I remember reading that's how Ajax academy does it. Not sure if there are options for that domestically. I'd think you'd have to have a non-working parent/guardian to support something like this.

Seem to recall reading somewhere that FCD has a partneship with Frisco ISD or something of that nature on the boys side.
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Post by Guest 24/02/16, 01:20 pm

At one point, I thought Texans operated a residential academic program (maybe they still do?), but there was a significant cost to attend, similar to going to a private HS like Jesuit or Ursuline.

Which comes back to previous statements I made regarding costs and who's going to cover them.

As SD69 pointed out, unless you live in very close proximity to the DA club or to other players from the same DA, getting to practice 4+ times per week would make it very difficult for single parent families, or families where both parents work.  Not to mention the "time" cost to the kid as it relates to school work.

Hence my question regarding home schooling and/or residential programs.  I'm not an expert on home schooling, but doesn't it pretty much require a stay-at-home parent (which again would impact single parent families and/or more economically challenged families)?  

I'm also assuming that residential programs, even if done through a partnership with a local ISD, have significant costs.  So again, the question comes down to who is covering those costs?

On the boys side, clubs like FCD have significant monetary resources they can apply to the DA, but they also have much greater potential for ROI from developing players to play for the MLS team, or to sell to other clubs inside/outside the US.  Again, who has the $$ to spend similarly on the women's side, and who will be willing to do so?

US Soccer clearly has the trump card (the WNT program) to dictate how they want to do this, and by creating the DA, they will end up with more direct control over the identification and training pipeline for the WNT players.  However, without significant monetary investment (which I still don't see coming from anywhere), I don't see how the girl's DA will either significantly expand the player pool, or do a particularly better job with player identification and development, than the current pay-to-play club system with ECNL/National League.

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Post by AtThePitch 24/02/16, 01:30 pm

The educational aspect can be handled in any number of ways. Example is City Futsal and their FDSP program. My DD attended a charter school run by one of the ISDs and attended FDSP. School cost us nothing, the FDSP program is where the coat was.

DA at Solar is currently less expensive than FDSP, just as an example. If any money is allocated toward cost reduction this would/could bring it down to near the cost of say a top u10 academy team, just for example purposes.

Any child committing to that level of play will have to sacrifice as will the parents. I did in a big way the year mine did fdsp, all worth it, but required sacrifice.

Only thing I can say for certain is it will be interesting to watch develop over the coming years.
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Post by Guest 24/02/16, 02:00 pm

AtThePitch wrote:The educational aspect can be handled in any number of ways. Example is City Futsal and their FDSP program. My DD attended a charter school run by one of the ISDs and attended FDSP. School cost us nothing, the FDSP program is where the coat was.

DA at Solar is currently less expensive than FDSP, just as an example.  If any money is allocated toward cost reduction this would/could bring it down to near the cost of say a top u10 academy team, just for example purposes.

Any child committing to that level of play will have to sacrifice as will the parents. I did in a big way the year mine did fdsp, all worth it, but required sacrifice.

Only thing I can say for certain is it will be interesting to watch develop over the coming years.

I completely agree with every part of your statement.

My whole point is that unless US Soccer is going to invest significant $$$ into the DA system, not just to subsidize the costs of training and travel, but also to potentially subsidize the cost of classroom education, I don't see how the DA fundamentally changes or improves things over the current system. I don't see a sustainable model of where the long-term investment will come from. In essence, it will still be the same youth coaches developing the kids, and the player pool will still be strongly tied to socioeconomic status. The only difference is that US Soccer will have more direct control over the pipeline to the WNT.


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Post by kadro 24/02/16, 02:01 pm

I imagine a program like this would be something an athlete would keep in mind. If you look at the news story, it targets student athletes that spend a big part of their day training sports.
http://www.iuniversityprep.org/

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Post by CBTeamworks 24/02/16, 02:40 pm

One of the DA club selection criterion is "scholarships" which may imply that a club willing to subsidize the DA with scholarships will be given greater consideration than a club that is less willing to subsidize DA with scholarships.
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Post by Guest 24/02/16, 02:52 pm

CBTeamworks wrote:One of the DA club selection criterion is "scholarships" which may imply that a club willing to subsidize the DA with scholarships will be given greater consideration than a club that is less willing to subsidize DA with scholarships.

...and if the money to subsidize those scholarships isn't coming from US Soccer, or the club isn't directly associated with a profitable MLS team, where do you think it will come from?

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Post by SD69 24/02/16, 02:57 pm

Everyone else.
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Post by Guest 24/02/16, 03:02 pm

SD69 wrote:Everyone else.

Starting in 2017, tack an extra $100 onto the cost for your kid to have the privilege to play for FC Dallas Purple in PPL D3...

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