How many clubs are in the Development Academy and where are they located?
There are currently 135 clubs that participate at the U-12 age group, 90 clubs that participate at the U-13 age group, 91 clubs that participate at the U-14 age group, 73 clubs at U-15/16 and and 72 clubs that participate in the program at the U-17/18 age levels for 2016-17. Academy clubs are located throughout the country from markets with a history of National Team player production, and for the younger age group the clubs are based in key markets that minimize the amount of travel and costs for league play.
Can Academy clubs participate in non-Academy competitions?
To maintain a focus on training, Academy teams do not play in any other leagues, tournaments, State Cup competitions, ODP or All-Star events without written permission from the U.S. Soccer Development Academy staff. Full-time Academy players can only participate on their designated Academy team, with only one exception: National Team duty. Development Academy players for all teams must choose to participate in the Academy full-time and forgo playing for his high school team.
How is the Academy league structured?
How many games are played and how long is the Academy season?
Each Academy team plays approximately 30 league games, including 6-9 games played at Showcases. Teams that advance from the Academy Playoffs could expect to play up to additional 3 games. The season begins in September and concludes with Championships in July. Clubs will break from league play for periods of inactivity due to weather or the end of the season.
How much are Academy clubs required to travel?
Academy clubs can expect 15-20 away matches in a given season, some of which will require overnight travel. Exact travel distances will vary between clubs depending on their geographic proximity to their conference opponents and Academy events.
Who pays for travel expenses?
Clubs are responsible for all team travel expenses. U.S. Soccer will cover all travel expenses to Championships for Academy teams that qualify for the event.
Can Academy clubs schedule 'friendly' games during the Academy season?
Academy clubs can schedule such games to provide players with a heightened development experiences. The games must not be part of an organized competition, i.e. tournament, league or camp, as defined in the non-participation regulations and all Academy standards and guidelines must be adhered to during competition.
Who assigns referees for Academy games?
U.S. Soccer assigns referees for Academy games and subsidizes the costs associated.