Big News for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy!

Sixteen Clubs and 70 Teams Added for 2018-19 Development Academy Season

CHICAGO (March 9, 2018) – As part of its ongoing effort to impact everyday environments to develop world-class players, the U.S. Soccer Development Academy has expanded its membership of 197 existing clubs for the 2018-2019 season, welcoming 16 new clubs that include 32 additional teams, as well as 38 additional teams from existing clubs.



Club Gender Age Group(s) Division
Dallas Texans Fort Worth Boys U-12 Texas
GPS Florida West Boys U-12 Florida South
Houston Dynamo Academy – West Boys U-12 Texas
Lonestar SC Academy South Boys U-12 Texas
Northeast United Soccer Club Boys U-12, U-13, U-14 Oregon
OC Surf Soccer Club Boys U-13, U-14 Southwest
Oklahoma Energy FC Girls U-14, U-15, U-16/17, U-18/19 Frontier
RGV FC Toros Academy Boys U-15, U-16/17, U-18/19 Frontier
Sacramento United Soccer Club Boys U-12 Valley
San Jose Surf Soccer Club Boys U-12 Bay Area
Solar Soccer Club West Boys U-12 Texas
Sporting Omaha Girls U-14, U-15, U-16/17, U-18/19 Frontier
Tigres San Antonio Boys U-12 Texas
Toronto FC Boys U-15, U-16/17, U-18/19 Mid-America
Utah Royals FC (Phoenix, Ariz.) Girls U-14, U-15, U-16/17, U-18/19 Southwest
Ventura County Fusion Boys U-12 LA


Club Gender Age Groups Division
Arlington Soccer Association Girls U-14, U-15 Atlantic
West Florida Flames Boys U-12, U-13, U-14 Florida North


Club Gender Age Group(s) Division
Albion SC Boys U-18/19 Southwest
Arlington Soccer Association Boys U-15 Atlantic
Armada FC Pro Academy Boys U-18/19 Southeast
Ballistic United Boys U-16/17 Northwest
Cedar Stars Academy – Bergen Boys U-16/17 Atlantic
Chula Vista FC Boys U-13 Southwest
Cincinnati United Premier Boys U-15 Mid-America
Davis Legacy Soccer Club Boys U-12 Valley
Discoveries Soccer Club Boys U-13, U-14 South Atlantic
LA Galaxy San Diego Boys U-15 Southwest
Legends FC Boys U-13, U-14 Southwest
Los Angeles Football Club Boys U-15 Southwest
Los Angeles Premier Futbol Club Boys U-13 Southwest
Loudoun Soccer Boys U-15 Atlantic
Metropolitan Oval Boys U-15, U-16/17 Northeast
Minnesota United FC Boys U-15 Mid-America
Murrieta Surf Soccer Club Boys U-13 Southwest
Mustang SC Boys U-13, U-14 NorCal
New York Soccer Club Boys U-16/17 Northeast
San Antonio FC Boys U-15 Frontier
San Diego Soccer Club Boys U-13, U-14 Southwest
San Francisco Elite Academy Boys U-13 NorCal
San Francisco Glens Evolution Boys U-13 NorCal
Star Academy FC Boys U-13 NorCal
Total Futbol Academy Boys U-13, U-14 Southwest
United Futbol Academy Boys U-18/19 Southeast
Virginia Development Academy Boys U-18/19 Atlantic

New clubs and clubs receiving expansion into new age groups were selected for admission to the Development Academy’s 12th season 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

Four new clubs are being introduced for the second year of Girls’ programming, while 12 Academies will be welcomed for Boys’ programming. These new clubs will account for 14 and 20 additional teams, respectively, while 27 existing clubs on the Boys’ side have been granted additional teams in age groups where they previously did not field a team.

While the number of divisions remains the same for both gender programs, clubs from two new geographical regions are joining the Girls’ Development Academy: Oklahoma Energy FC (Oklahoma City, Ok.) and Sporting Omaha (Omaha, Neb.). While a small number of clubs were added for the 2018-19 Girls’ Development Academy Season, there was an encouragingly sizeable pool of applicants.

With the addition of Utah Royals FC, eight of nine NWSL clubs will be represented in the Academy. The addition of Toronto FC means that all 23 current MLS clubs are now part of the Development Academy.

In total, the Boys’ Development Academy will see 12 new teams added to the U-12 age group, 14 to U-13, eight to U-14, 10 to U-15, six to U-16/17 and six additional new teams added to U-18/19. The 2018-19 Girls’ Development Academy season will welcome a total of four new teams to U-14, four to U-15, three to U-16/17 and three to U-18/19.

The charts below compare the 2017-18 Academy season with the upcoming 2018-19 season.

U.S. Soccer Boys’ Development Academy
2017-18 2018-19
Age Groups Divisions Clubs Age Groups Divisions Clubs
U-12 18 150 U-12 18 162
U-13 12 115 U-13 12 129
U-14 12 123 U-14 12 131
U-15 7 82 U-15 7 92
U-16/17 7 77 U-16/17 7 83
U-18/19 7 73 U-18/19 7 79
6 63 Teams: 620
Unique Clubs: 165
6 63 Teams: 676
Unique Clubs: 178
U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy
2017-18 2018-19
Age Groups Divisions Clubs Age Groups Divisions Clubs
U-14 7 69 U-14 7 73
U-15 7 69 U-15 7 73
U-16/17 7 69 U-16/17 7 72
U-18/19 7 69 U-18/19 7 72
4 28 Teams: 276
Unique Clubs: 69
4 28 Teams: 290
Unique Clubs: 73

“The Development Academy is focused on creating a clear pathway for players across the country. The expansion for the 2018-19 season creates opportunities in new markets that show potential, while building on existing markets that have successfully developed players,” Development Academy Director Jared Micklos said. “This expansion is based on the quality of work that Clubs and coaches are doing in their environments every day, investing in the development of each individual player. We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with existing and new Academy clubs as we continue our mission to develop world-class players.”

• At the start of the 2018-19 Boys’ Development Academy season:
o U-18/19: eligible for players born Jan. 1, 2000 or later
o U-16/17: eligible for players born Jan. 1, 2002 or later
o U-15: eligible for players born Jan. 1, 2004 or later
o U-14: eligible for players born Jan. 1, 2005 or later
o U-13: eligible for players born Jan. 1, 2006 or later
o U-12: eligible for players born Jan. 1, 2007 or later
• In 2015-16, the Development Academy registered 5,916 players across 231 teams from 96 clubs that played in 3,509 games.
• The 2016-17 Development Academy season concluded with 10,783 players registered across 461 teams from 150 clubs playing 8,036 games.
• The 2017-18 Development Academy season will conclude with over 19,000 players across 896 teams from 197 clubs playing over 13,000 games.

U.S. Soccer and Development Academy staff will continue to review applications and markets for potential growth for the 2018-19 Academy season based on new developments and a continued analysis of clubs and their player development environments.

Following a comprehensive review of elite player development in the United States and around world, U.S. Soccer created the Development Academy program in 2007 to improve everyday environments with standards focused on individual player development. The Academy launched with two combined age groups for male players, U-15/16 and U-17/18. In 2013, the Academy expanded to include the U-13/14 age group, and in 2016, the Academy launched the U-12 program, which has continued to build a player pathway for elite players and clubs.

In 2017, the Girls’ Development Academy was launched with a mission to improve the player development landscape and create a pathway for elite female players. Today, the Academy is comprised of teams across six age groups in the Boys’ program: U-12, U-13, U-14, U-15, U-16/17, and U-18/19 and four age groups in the Girls’ program: U-14, U-15, U-16/17, and U-18/19.

As Boys’ Academy alumni have progressed to play at elite amateur and professional levels with MLS paving the way, NWSL clubs have also created Academy teams to develop the same pathway for future female players to progress to the professional level.