USSF shakes up youth landscape by Mike Woitalla, Tuesday, Jun 5, 2007

 
From Soccer America

The U.S. Soccer Federation is launching the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, which promises to dramatically decrease the men’s national team program’s dependence on the Olympic Development Program to identify players. The Federation has started accepting applications from the nation’s elite youth clubs to run academy teams for U-16 and U-18 boys to compete in the academy’s regional leagues. Up to 80 clubs will be chosen by U.S. Soccer’s national team coaches to run academy teams. Players in the academy program will not take part in ODP. To counter the "growing trend of clubs playing an excessive quantity of games in lieu of consistent training patterns," academy teams will not play in any other leagues, tournaments or State Cup competitions. Players will only be allowed to compete on their designated academy team (with exceptions for high school soccer and national team duty). The Federation says ODP, which is run by U.S. Youth Soccer and state associations, will continue "unimpeded" because the spots opened up academy players who won’t take part will be filled by additional players.

The Federation released several documents pertaining to the new program that will provide opportunities for more than 2,000 players:
Academy Overview, On the Field Details, Academy Presentation, Membership Application for clubs.
Thursday, June 7, 2007