St. Louis Scott Gallagher Soccer Club

SLSG IL - US Soccer Development Academy


What is the SLSG Metro Academy?

The SLSG Metro Academy is an elite environment focused on training, player development, and participation at the highest level of youth soccer.


Where will I get the most College Exposure?

The Academy is now the top tier in youth soccer in this country. US Soccer placed the Academy above ODP and much higher than the USYS team that is playing State Cup. The better college programs are now attending the Academy events rather than USYS events. To date the SLSG Metro Academy has an astounding college placement rate of 100%. Over the past two seasons the SLSG Metro Academy Program has placed 27 players in NCAA Division I soccer programs, 6 in Division II, 1 in Division III, and 2 players in NAIA programs.


How will SLSG Metro Academy Players be selected?

Players can be selected through 3 different means: players from current SLSG Metro Academy team can be appointed, players can be selected by participating in open try-outs, and, lastly, players can appointed after being scouted by Academy staff in their USYS competition.


Do SLSG Metro Academy Staff members scout USYS matches for potential players?

Absolutely, SLSG Metro Academy Staff scout countless matches in the St. Louis Metro Area and throughout Southern Illinois each year. If you are interested in having an Academy Staff member come see you play please send an email with relevant information to Blake Decker


How many players will be a part of the SLSG Metro Academy?

20-25 players will be rostered per team.


What is a developmental player?

Developmental players are able to train with the Academy and must be apart of the SLSG club. Developmental roster players can still play in USYS competition, but are eligible to be play in up to 6 Academy matches and can be called up as full-time Academy members.


What is the cost of the Academy?

A $600 program fee includes: league fees, referee fees, uniforms, training gear (3 kits), travel polo, embellishment, staff stipends, Speed and Agility training with licensed speed coaches, warm-ups, and travel bag. Travel fees are not included. In keeping with the professional environment of the SLSG Metro Academy, staff and players travel together as a Program. Traveling as a group also helps to offset travel costs. The SLSG Metro Academy books all travel for players at group rates and then players purchase travel packages individually. Travel packages include travel to and from event, transportation at events, and lodging. Parents are welcome to travel on their own itinerary. In order to ensure that elite players are not prevented from participating in the Academy League due to financial reasons, the USSF introduced a scholarship program this season which all players can apply for to help offset travel costs.


What is the level of competition?

The level of competition is second to none. The best testament to this is the fact that the US Youth National Team now only plays Academy teams when competing against domestic competition.


Are USSDA age groups different than USYS age groups?

Yes, USSDA age groups are based on the calendar year, as is the practice in international play. As an illustration, any player born in 1993 would be eligible to play on the U-16 Developmental Academy as opposed to the USYS model where only those born after August 1, 1993 would be allowed to play U-16.


Will participation in the SLSG Metro Academy negatively impact player’s education?

Academy players are expected to maintain the highest level of excellence on and off the field. Training schedules and travel rosters are provided well in advance to give players plenty of time to complete school work if they budget their time responsibly. In addition, mandatory study tables are a part of all trips and players are expected to maintain a level of responsibility required at the professional level. Furthermore, the experience players gain in time management is invaluable in terms of preparing them for the responsibilities they will have at college.


Are players allowed to play in State Cup or participate in ODP?

No. Academy players are only allowed to play in USSDA sanctioned events and for their respective high schools.


What clubs participate in the USSDA?

The inaugural season consisted of 63 of the top clubs in the nation along with the US Youth national team. The second season saw the addition 12 clubs, 3 of which are the youth programs for Major League Soccer teams. Season 3 brought the total number of teams to 77 with nearly every single Major League
Soccer franchise represented. To put it bluntly, the best soccer clubs in the country who have produced the best players and teams, play in the academy.


Why is the environment for player development in USSDA a better?

The USSDA turns the game focused model of the past on its head and puts the emphasis on continued player development. The amount of competition is limited to 30 superior quality matches per season with ample time given to training and player development.


What type of exposure does the USSDA provide for players?

The US Development Academy is now the first layer of identification for the US Men’s National Team Program. SLSG Metro Academy players will have the opportunity to play in front of National Staff coaches and National team scouts. Scouts at SLSG Metro Academy matches have included former U-17 National Team coach and Academy Director John Hackworth, former head Academy scout and current assistant coach at the LA Galaxy Dave Sarchin, as well as and former MLS player and National Staff coach Rual Diaz Arse. Clearly, most players will not be asked into a Youth National team camp, but most will play college soccer. College coaches regularly scout our league matches and the showcases in the winter and spring are attended by 200+ programs from across the country. To view a list of coaches who have attend Academy Showcases, please visit and choose “Academy”

SLSG IL - Boys Leagues

SLSG IL - Girls Leagues

SLSG IL - USDA Coaches Profile

SLSG IL - USDA Coaches Profile

SLSG IL - USDA Contact

SLSG IL - USDA Contact

Jeremy Alumbaugh -


Blake Decker -

Kevin Stoll -

SLSG Twitter

SLSG Twitter