Girl DA Grows – Expands to 71 Youth Soccer Clubs
Youth Soccer News: The U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy is expanding the total number of youth soccer clubs participating in it for the upcoming 2019-20 season to 71 clubs, reflecting a total of 342 teams.
As part of its mission to impact everyday environments to develop world-class players, six new clubs will join the Girls’ Academy and two clubs will introduce new age-group teams.
This year, the DA has also introduced the Girls’ U-16 age group.
The reasons for adding a Girls U-16 single age group is to provide more players with opportunities to develop, offer age-appropriate programming in the standards-driven environments. The move willalso allow more U-15 players the opportunity to play up when appropriate. The goal is consistent — to expand the pathway furthers U.S. Soccer’s mission to create the best environments for player development now and in the future.
The upcoming third season of the Girls’ Academy will be its largest ever, set to feature nearly 7,000 players.
GIRLS’ DA BY THE NUMBERS
|Current 2018-19||Future 2019-20|
|Age Groups||Clubs||Age Groups||Clubs|
|Total Groups: 4||Teams: 251
|Total Groups: 5||Teams: 342
“The growth of the Academy is not simply measured in the number of new clubs or players,” said Jared Micklos, Youth National Teams Director. “It is about the commitment of both existing and new clubs to raise the collective standard and create optimal environments focused on the development of players that will pay dividends for years to come.”
“After a thorough review of the everyday environments at applicant clubs, a select number were chosen to join the Girls’ Academy for its third season,” said Miriam Hickey, U.S. Soccer Director of Club Development. “It is evident that these clubs are passionate about providing opportunities for female players to have access to fun, challenging and safe environments that encourage them to reach their full potential.
“In these environments, the club leaders and coaches will serve as role models to ensure that players remain lifelong participants,” said Hickey. “
These female players are our future on the field, as well as our next generation of coaches, referees and fans. Together with our Club Development Managers across the country we look forward to providing support and collaborating with current and new Academy clubs.”
Six new clubs will join the Girls’ Academy in its third year, including one from a new geographic region: Albion SC Las Vegas, the first Academy club from Nevada for either gender.
2019-20 GIRLS’ DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY CLUB ADDITIONS
|Albion SC Las Vegas||Henderson, Nev.||All (U-14, U-15, U-16, U-17, U-18/19)||West|
|Cedar Stars Academy – Bergen||South Hackensack, N.J.||U-14, U-15||East|
|Salvo SC||Eagan, Minn.||All (U-14, U-15, U-16, U-17, U-18/19)||Central|
|SJEB Rush||Marlton, N.J.||U-14, U-15||East|
|South Shore Select||Hingham, Mass.||All (U-14, U-15, U-16, U-17, U-18/19)||East|
|STA Development Academy||Randolph, N.J.||All (U-14, U-15, U-16, U-17, U-18/19)||East|
ACADEMY CLUBS ADDING AGE GROUPS FOR 2019-20 SEASON
|Club||Location||New Age Group(s)||Conference|
|Arlington Soccer Association||Arlington, Va.||U-16, U-17, U-18/19||East|
|Long Island SC||Plainview, N.Y.||U-16||East|
New clubs and new age-group teams were selected for admission to the Academy following a thorough review process by the U.S. Soccer Club Development department based on:
- Academy leadership and quality of coaching staff
- Desire to embrace Development Academy philosophy and core values
- Infrastructure and investment of resources
- Player production history, player pool depth and geographic location
SJEB Rush will join the Girls’ Academy at the U-14 and U-15 levels after competing in the Girls’ U-13 pilot program during the 2018-19 season. Already a part of the Boys’ Academy, Cedar Stars Academy – Bergen will join the Girls’ Academy for the 2019-20 season. In addition to Cedar Stars and SJEB, two more new clubs come from the East Coast in South Shore Select and STA Development Academy, while Salvo SC becomes the second Girls’ Academy club based in Minnesota.
Following the launch of its Girls’ Academy programming this season at the U-14 and U-15 level. Arlington Soccer Association will expand to the U-16, U-17 and U-18/19 age groups for 2019-20. Long Island SC will also add a team in the new U-16 age group.
At the start of the 2019-20 Girls’ Academy season, the following age eligibility dates will be in effect:
- U-18/19: Players born Jan. 1, 2001 or later
- U-17: Players born Jan. 1, 2003 or later
- U-16: Players born Jan. 1, 2004 or later
- U-15: Players born Jan. 1, 2005 or later
- U-14: Players born Jan. 1, 2006 or later
Source: U.S. Soccer Release