NEW YORK (May 13, 2020) – Major League Soccer today announced that 65 former U.S. Soccer Development Academy clubs, including our very own Saint Louis FC Academy, will join the League’s existing club academies to create a partnership that will transform youth player development in the United States and Canada.
“There is strong positive momentum and excitement among MLS club academies and elite academy clubs to co-create a platform that will deliver an unparalleled experience for the nation’s top players and clubs,” said Fred Lipka, Vice President and Technical Director of MLS Player Development.
Saint Louis FC Academy will join the MLS academies as a Founding Members of MLS’ player development platform. The new platform, which will include more than 8,000 players throughout the U.S. and Canada, will consist of high-level year-round competition, as well as player identification initiatives, coaching education opportunities, and additional programming to create the premier player development environment.
"The Saint Louis FC Academy is excited and proud to be a founding member of this MLS Elite Player Initiative,” stated Dale Schilly, Academy Director. “Its formation will bring the top youth talent in the country together and provide those players the best pathways to top-level college and professional soccer. The Platforms's collaborative philosophy in establishing its structure, operations, and competitions will also ensure that the needs of all of its member clubs and players will be considered and protected. We extend our appreciation to the MLS for the initiative it has taken to provide this incredible opportunity."
With a focus on maximizing each player’s potential, the new development platform will not only provide high-level, year-round competition for players, but will provide important programming, education and innovation in the key areas of player development:
· Player Identification
· Personal Growth
· Community Outreach
“The new professional league will allow us to continue to compete against the best Academies," said Luis Swisher, STLFC Academy Director of Coaching. “This structure will help us work together to grow the game and develop top young talents for the future, especially in the Saint Louis market.”
To view the full press release from the MLS, follow the link here.