USL Academy

USL Academy

“USL CLUBS ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE DOING A TREMENDOUS JOB OF DEVELOPING TOP YOUNG PROFESSIONALS, USL ACADEMY WILL ONLY ACCELERATE THAT DEVELOPMENT.” USL CEO ALEC PAPADAKIS

The United Soccer League officially unveiled one year ago its vision for the future of the league’s Academy system, with the announcement of USL Academy Cup, a new competition that will set the stage for the organization’s first ever Academy League.

2 MAJOR STEPS IN THE COMPETITION:

  • USL Academy Cup for U13 and U17 categories (Eastern and Western Conference + Regional qualifiers + National event)

The first key initiative launched under USL’s newest tier is the USL Academy Cup – a competition designed to bring together top youth prospects from all of our markets with USL clubs, all centered around identifying and developing players with the potential to reach the professional level

  • USL Academy League for U15-19 categories

High level competition to be held in Spring 2021 for the first time

FC Miami City is now opened to youth categories U13 to U19:

YOUTH-TO-PRO PATH:

In addition to the USL Academy Cup, the league will also be working diligently with each USL club to accelerate their strategic plans in the youth development space

As this infrastructure continues to grow and strengthen, the USL will look to expand and refine the cup competition into a true pre-professional academy league model that can span across the whole country. By doing so, there will be a clear youth-to-pro path in each of the communities USL clubs reside, while providing more opportunities than ever for young Americans to pursue professional soccer.

USL ACADEMY 3 TRENDING NEWS:

  • Talent identification strategy
    One of the keys to player development is ensuring every player is given the opportunity and time to build his or her game at the right level. Through a three-pronged system, the pathway through the USL Academy League and into the professional ranks is set to provide the ideal approach for players nearing the top of the youth game, and those whose pathway will take a long-term approach between the youth ranks and USL Senior Team action.
  • Player promotion
    Players will now have the chance to excel within a club’s youth network and earn a place in the USL Academy League squad of a USL Championship, League One or League Two team. There, they will go up against top players and teams in the next stage of their development, getting the chance to not only help their team to success on the field, but prove their ability to take the next step in the pathway to the pros.In creating a system where players have the opportunity to consistently prove themselves against increasing levels of competition, the USL Academy League will provide more players across the United States more opportunities to understand what it takes to reach the professional ranks, and maximize their potential.
  • Strategic alignment
    It seems a simple idea, but the USL Academy’s alignment with the professional calendar in North America is one of the key innovations to its overall structure. While previously the summer months – primarily June and July – would be considered the offseason. Now, young players will align their seasons with the professionals they are aiming to join.

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