FC Dallas USSDA Academy Program

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US SOCCER DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY

U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy program is driven by the game and its players, coaches and referees. This game-centric approach allows for long-term development to occur through a deep understanding of what makes players successful around the world. As the sport of soccer grows in the United States, young players in our country need the proper environment to compete against the world’s elite. The U.S. Soccer Development Academy program provides the optimum developmental environment for the nation’s top youth soccer players, coaches and referees by emphasizing development through quality training and limited, meaningful competition. Currently, FC Dallas has three Development Academy teams: U-13, U-14, U-15, U-16 and U-18 boys teams referred to as the FCD Academy.

HOMEGROWN HISTORY

At the heart of the FC Dallas Academy philosophy is preparing players for the first team to compete in Major League Soccer.

FC Dallas has signed an MLS record 13 Homegrown players to the first team.

FC Dallas players who have signed Homegrown contracts (as of 12/1/14) are: Bryan Leyva, Ruben Luna, Moises Hernandez, Victor Ulloa, Richard Sanchez, Bradlee Baladez, London Woodberry, Kellyn Acosta, Danny Garcia, Jesse Gonzalez, Coy Craft, Jonathan Top and Alejandro Zendejas.

FC Dallas Homegrown players logged an MLS high 4,607 minutes or 14% of the team’s total minutes in 2014 with 61 combined games played and 50 starts. Homegrown midfielder Victor Ulloa became the first Homegrown player in franchise history to play over 2,000 minutes in a single season in 2014. 

FC DALLAS ACADEMY SUCCESS

WATCH: 2012 U-18 National Championship

The FC Dallas Academy has been extremely successful since joining the US Soccer Development Academy in the 2008-2009 season. The FCD U-18 & U-16 teams have made the USSDA playoffs in every possible season and in 2012, the FC Dallas U-18s won the US Soccer Development Academy National Championship. In US Soccer evaluations released after the 2011-2012 season, FC Dallas was ranked as the #2 academy in the country.

WATCH: 2012 U-18 National Championship

Under-18

  • USSDA National Champions: 2012
  • USSDA Finals Week : 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014
  • USSDA Playoffs: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
  • USSDA Texas/Frontier Division Champions: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
  • Dallas Cup Super Group: 2010, 2011(semifinals), 2012, 2014

Under-16

  • USSDA Finals Week: 2009
  • USSDA Playoffs: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
  • USSDA Texas/Frontier Division Champions: 2013, 2014

INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE

At least 28 FC Dallas Academy players have appeared with the youth national teams of the United States, Canada or Mexico. Three FC Dallas Academy alumni, Kellyn Acosta, Danny Garcia & Richard Sanchez, appeared in the 2013 FIFA Under-20 World Cup and goalkeeper Richard Sanchez won the U-17 FIFA World Cup with Mexico.

NCAA EXPERIENCE

Since 2008, over 30 FC Dallas Academy players have earned Division 1 NCAA soccer scholarships with dozens more playing in Division II & NAIA. The FC Dallas Academy has produced All-ACC, All-AAC and All-Conference USA award winners as well as an NCAA soccer national champion(Boyd Okwuono) & ACC Freshman of the Year(Danny Garcia).

In 2012 alone, FCD Academy alumni won the following awards:

  • Mikey Ambrose - All-ACC Second Team, All-ACC Freshman Team
  • Bradlee Baladez – All-Conference USA Second Team
  • Danny Garcia - ACC Freshman of the Year, All-ACC Second Team, All-ACC Freshman Team
  • Jaime Ibarra – Co-Conference USA Player of the year, Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year, All-Conference USA First Team
  • Boyd Okwuono – All-ACC First Team
  • Damien Rosales – All-Conference USA Second Team
  • London Woodberry – All-ACC Second Team

INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

FC Dallas Academy players get the opportunity to play some of the strongest competition from all over the world. in August 2014, the FCD U-15s traveled to Mexico City for a tournament against Liga MX youth teams.

In April 2013, the U-18 Academy traveled to Guadalajara, Mexico for a week of friendlies against strong Mexican youth sides while earlier in the year an Under-14 side traveled to Bolivia for the Tahuichi Mundialito. In the spring of 2010 the club took a team of players to Amsterdam to compete in the AEGON Future Cup. The FC Dallas squad, made up of a collection of U-18 and U-16 players, faced teams from AFC AJAX, FC Barcelona, Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and AC Milan, among others.

The next year FCD took a full U-18 team and a full U-16 team to Madrid for a week of international friendlies against teams from Rayo Vallecano, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and others. The FC Dallas Academy teams have also played host to a number of international powers right here in Frisco, including Tigres from Mexico, Chelsea from England and FC Barcelona from Spain.

PRE ACADEMY

FC Dallas fielded U.S. Club Soccer sanctioned U-13, U-14 and U-15 Pre Academy teams for the first time in the 2011-2012 season. Pre Academy teams play in a 10-month season beginning in September and ending in June. Games will mirror the U.S. Development Academy schedule in a home and away format. FC Dallas Academy and Pre Academy teams will travel and play against like opponents for division games only. Out of division U-18 and U-16 weekends will not include the U-13-U-15 categories to reduce the cost for those younger players.

Players in the Texas Pre Academy League are registered through U.S. Club Soccer and can be dual registered to local FC Dallas Classic League teams and participate in those matches as well, although there will be numerous conflicts with scheduling. These teams will train three times per week in the evenings during the 2011-2012 soccer year. A typical week of training would include several different types of sessions including technical, tactical and functional sessions. The training format will mirror the style of work being used at the U-18 and U-16 levels in order to better prepare players for the transition into the older categories.
 

MEANINGFUL TRAINING

Academy teams spend a greater amount of time focused on training to improve as individuals and as a team. The teams and players receive direct feedback and evaluations from FCD’s professional staff. To round out the complete training environment, Academy players are tested in their physical capabilities using The FCD Way© testing methodology. FCD Development Academy players also receive The FCD Way© curriculum for soccer-specific athletic training. Each athlete then gains a greater understanding of how they compare physically against their peers and what they need to do to achieve their optimal performance levels.

COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT

The Academy program features teams from the top youth clubs from around the country. Development Academy teams play approximately 30 regular season games to ensure all games are meaningful and highly competitive. Games are played according to FIFA’s Laws of the Game and officiated by a pool of the nation’s top young referees in order to prepare players for the next level of competition. National Team scouts regularly attend Academy games, so players are evaluated over the course of the season and in their natural positions, allowing for better player assessment. In 2008, more than 100 players from Academy clubs were included in U.S. Youth National Teams and almost 800 graduates from the inaugural Academy class participated in college soccer the following fall. Virtually all college programs use the Academy program as a scouting vehicle and the program has received increased attention from professional scouts representing domestic and international clubs.