Crossfire Premier Development Academy Programming–2017/18

As part of its ongoing effort to develop world-class players, coaches and referees, the U.S. Soccer Development Academy has announced its second largest expansion of total teams to the player development pathway structure since the Academy started in 2007–an expansion that greatly enhances Crossfire Premier’s ability to provide its players with a complete development pathway that will take them from Zone 1 through the beginning of Zone 3.

This expansion in the boys’ Academy programming comes at the same time as the launch of the Girls’ Development Academy, an initiative designed to accelerate the development of world-class female players. Crossfire Premier was one of the first 25 clubs across the country accepted into the new program, which will begin play in the fall of 2017.

On the boys’ side, the growth expands the player pathway in the Pacific Northwest region, which will create additional opportunities for player development by adding U-13 and U-14 single-age Development Academy divisions, following the successful introduction of the U-12 DA division this season. The strategic move to expand the pathway is part of a long-term plan for player development, and will provide Academy clubs with the opportunity to enhance their efforts to develop world-class players.

In addition, the Academy has added a U-15 single-age group, which includes Crossfire Premier. The Crossfire Premier U-15 DA team will play a similar schedule to the U-16/17 and U-18/19 Academy teams, as well as augmenting their schedule with international competition and by participating in select, top tournaments approved for Academy teams.

“The addition of the U-15 age group is another important step to ensure players have the opportunities they need to develop on and off the field,” U.S. Soccer Development Academy Director Jared Micklos said. “We have all seen the benefits of the increased opportunities this season with the split of last season’s U-13/14 division into single U-13 and U-14 age groups. We believe the U-15 age group will be another avenue for clubs to further their player development efforts.”

The change to a U-15 single-age group means there will be six consecutive boys’ age groups featured in 2017-18 Academy divisions, providing a continuous pathway for players from Zone 1 (age 6-11), through Zone 2 (age 12-17), and into Zone 3 (age 18 and above). Having single-age groups throughout the foundational ages (U-12 through U-15) creates a player pathway with no gaps in maturity. This further allows Crossfire Academy coaches and technical staff to mitigate relative age effect and gives an additional ability to play younger players up when they are ready.

Since 2007, the U.S. Soccer Development Academy has served as the elite male youth player-development model for the country and has significantly improved the everyday environment for players, coaches, referees and clubs. The Girls’ Development Academy will be structured with many of the same principles and will begin play in the fall of 2017. The program will focus on positively impacting everyday club environments to maximize elite female youth player development. Increasing the training to game ratio, playing fewer but more meaningful games and providing assistance for coaching education and development are just some of the standards and best practices the program will promote.

“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. “The Development Academy program will offer clubs support and education to positively impact the development of players and coaches throughout the country.”

“We all know how important it is to create the correct environment and expectations for elite player development, something that was highlighted for me during my time as Development Director for our youth Women’s National Teams,” said U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis. “The Development Academy is an important step forward to continue the growth of the women’s game in the United States, and to create the best pathway for players to reach their full potential.”

Crossfire Premier will have teams in each of the four Girls’ Development Academy divisions: U-18/19, U-16/17, U-15 and U-14. As on the boys’ side, the two oldest age groups will be entirely fully-funded by Crossfire Premier, with all fees and travel costs covered by the club (including all flights). Teams will begin forming in late June/early July 2017, with Crossfire Girls’ Academy and club staff currently evaluating players for trial invites and eventual team selection.

 

In all, between the Boys’ and Girls’ Development Academy, Crossfire Premier will field 9 total DA teams in 2017-18 and beyond. For next season’s teams, the relevant information is below.

2017-18 Boys’ Development Academy

U-18/19 Players born after January 1, 1999 (99/00)

  • Fully-funded
  • Crossfire Challenge
  • Surf Cup (July 27-31)
  • Arizona Winter Training
  • Compete in a full Development Academy schedule, to include Winter Showcase and National Playoffs

U-16/17 Players born after January 1, 2001 (01/02)

  • Fully-funded
  • Crossfire Challenge
  • Surf Cup (July 27-31)
  • Compete in a full Development Academy schedule, to include Winter Showcase and National Playoffs

U-15 Players born after January 1, 2003

  • Compete in a full Development Academy schedule, to include Showcase event
  • Manchester City Cup (Memorial Day Weekend, 2017)
  • Crossfire Challenge
  • Surf Cup (July 27-31)
  • Fitland Football Cup U15 (Sittard, Netherlands)
  • Arizona Winter Training Camp
  • Season augmented further with select top tournaments

U-14 Players born after January 1, 2004

  • Compete in a full DA schedule within the Washington U-14 DA Division
  • Regional DA Showcase event
  • Manchester City Cup (Memorial Day Weekend, 2017)
  • Crossfire Challenge
  • Surf Cup (August 3-7)
  • Season schedule further augmented with select Academy-approved tournaments
  • Madrid Cup (September 2017)

U-13 Players born after January 1, 2005

  • Compete in a full DA schedule within the Washington U-13 DA Division
  • Regional DA Futsal Showcase event
  • Crossfire Challenge
  • Surf Cup (August 3-7)
  • Euro-Bierbeek Miniementornooi (Bierbeek, Belgium)
  • Dallas Cup (April 2018)
  • Season schedule augmented with select Academy-approved tournaments
  • AS Roma USA Academy event (Florida – December)

U-11/12 Players born after January 1, 2006 (06/07)

  • Rood Wit U10 Tournament (Breda, Netherlands) – 07
  • Liverpool FC Academy Cup (Liverpool, England) – 06
  • Compete in a full DA schedule within the Washington U-11/12 DA Division
  • Regional DA Futsal Showcase event
  • Crossfire Challenge
  • Surf Cup (August 3-7)
  • Season schedule augmented with select Academy-approved tournaments
  • AS Roma USA Academy event (Florida – December)
  • AS Roma Tour (Rome, Italy – Spring break)

2017-18 Girls’ Development Academy

U-18/19 Players born after January 1, 1999 (99/00)

  • Fully-funded
  • Compete in a full Development Academy schedule, to include Winter Showcase and National Playoffs
  • Crossfire Challenge
  • Surf Cup (July 27-30)

U-16/17 Players born after January 1, 2001 (01/02)

  • Fully-funded
  • Compete in a full Development Academy schedule, to include Winter Showcase and National Playoffs
  • Crossfire Challenge
  • Surf Cup (July27-30)

U-15 Players born after January 1, 2003

  • Compete in a full Development Academy schedule, to include Showcase events
  • Season schedule augmented with select Academy-approved tournaments
  • Crossfire Challenge
  • Surf Cup (July 27-30)
  • Dallas Cup

U-14 Players born after January 1, 2004

  • Compete in a full Development Academy schedule, to include Showcase events
  • Season schedule augmented with select Academy-approved tournaments
  • Crossfire Challenge
  • Surf Cup (August 3-7)
  • Dallas Cup

*With the exception of the oldest two full Development Academy age groups (both boys & girls), all travel is paid by families on a per-trip basis. Crossfire Foundation subsidizes or assists with travel for these younger age groups depending on fundraising results and annual budgets.

For questions about the program or to recommend a player for an Academy trial, please contact academy@crossfiresoccer.org. For more information on the Crossfire Premier Development Academy, as well as updates on other teams and programs, follow @crossfireprmr on Twitter and @crossfire.premier on Instagram.

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