CHICAGO (June 30, 2016) – U.S. Soccer has announced the first 25 clubs that will be a part of the Girls’ Development Academy, an initiative designed to accelerate the development of world-class female players. The new program, which will begin play in the fall of 2017, will be comprised of this first group of clubs that are among the most elite in the United States.
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.
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.
“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.”