In early 2016, Greater Seattle Surf was selected to become a part of the US Soccer’s Development Academy. GS Surf will be among fifty-six new clubs across the country that will focus on early identification and development of younger players that will provide pathways to the full Development Academies and into other National Team Programs. Development Director Paul Bayly will oversee the Academy. In 2017, Surf has been allocated a boy’s academy team in the 2004, 2005, and 2006 age groups.
In a statement from US Soccer:
“Following a comprehensive review of elite player development in the United States and around the world, U.S. Soccer created the Development Academy in 2007 to provide education, resources and support to impact everyday club environments that will develop world-class players. The Academy Program’s philosophy is based on increased training, less total games, and more meaningful games using international rules of competition.
The Academy also connects National Team coaches directly with the Academy clubs to develop and identify players and coaches for future Youth National Teams. Each Academy club is evaluated by a member of the Men’s Scouting Network at least ten (10) times each year and each Academy club receives two (2) formal reviews that provide feedback in seven (7) Key Performance Categories each year from U.S. Soccer Technical Staff.
To maintain a focus on club training environments, Academy players and teams do not play in any outside competitions without written permission from the U.S. Soccer Development Academy staff. Full-time Academy players can only participate on their designated Academy team, with only two exceptions: U.S. Soccer Training Centers and National Team duty. The Development Academy’s 10-month Program allows for a greater opportunity to institute style of play and implement a system according to U.S. Soccer’s Development Philosophy. It also gives teams increased opportunities for younger kids in their club to “play up” against older players in both training and matches, thereby accelerating their development. Academy players choosing to participate in the Academy full-time will forgo playing for their high school team.
GS Surf will participate in developing some of the best players in the country. Contact Head Coach Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar for more information on the Surf Academy.