FAQ’s Regarding Development Academy
What is the US Soccer Development Academy League?
The Girls' Development Academy (DA) is part of U.S. Soccer's global leadership position in women's soccer and connects with its long-term plan to improve player and coach development. The mission of the program is to provide education, resources and support to directly impact the everyday environment for clubs to develop world-class female players. Creating the Girls' DA provides the elite female player with an improved player development model in which players can focus solely on training with the appropriate number and level of games. This model focuses on developing the individual player within the club environment, which allows for additional training sessions per season to enhance player development.
What are Some of the Benefits of Playing in the Girls' DA?
The Academy's elite training environment promotes increased technical standards and allows for greater accountability for players and coaches. Coaches can devote more time to these areas in training. Both players and coaches must learn to deal with and manage the challenges of playing in games using international rules, which is what players will experience at the highest levels. The Academy program provides an improved environment with the proper training-to-game ratio that supports year-round periodization for development.
Who are the Clubs Participating in the Southeast Conference?
West Florida Flames - Boca United – IMG Academy – Weston FC - Orlando Pride – Carolina Railhawks – Charlotte Soccer Academy - United Futbol Academy – United Soccer Alliance – Concorde Fire – NTH Tophat
How Many Games are Played and How Long is the Academy Season? How Many Showcases are Hosted Per Year?
Each Academy team plays approximately 25 to 30 league games, with an additional 6 to 9 games played over showcase events. Teams that advance from the Academy Playoffs could expect to play up to an additional 3 games. The season will likely begin in September and commence with Championships in July. Clubs will break from league play for periods of rest (including inactivity due to weather), during a winter break (December/January) and/or following the end of the regular season (July).
Will There be Continued College Exposure Within the DA?
Yes, the Academy showcases are specifically geared to college exposure and youth national team scouting. West Florida Flames will continue to provide college advisory and support for their members. We are proud of the current success rate of WFF players committing to play in college.
How Many Players Does the Academy Allow on a Roster?
A minimum of 32 Full-time (FT) players across the two groups olders (U19/U17) and younger (U15/U14) are required at the start of the season.
Can Younger Players Compete in Older Age Groups?
Yes, it is encouraged that younger players play up based on relative age effect, talent, development needs and opponent.
What is a Developmental Player?
A Developmental Player (DP) is a high-potential “bubble player” that trains with the DA player pool, but is better off playing games with the “second level” team from within the club. All DPs must come from within the club (proof of roster from current season required). DPs do not count against FT roster totals. DPs can play in a maximum of six (6) Academy games.
What if I Don’t Make a Development Academy team?
If you are not selected for an Academy team, you could be selected for a Pre-Academy team and selected as a Developmental Player. Players can be assigned Developmental Player status beginning October 1st of the 2018-2019 season. Pre-Academy teams will follow a similar model to the Academy teams with oversight from Academy staff.
How Many Days Does a Development Academy Team Train?
There is a requirement of four (4) times per week. The average training cycle with games equates to 3-4 trainings per week.
Where Will the West Florida Flames Academy Facility be Located?
Our current site is JC Handly Park in Brandon. We continue to evaluate our structure to further enhance our geographic capabilities. We currently have access to East Lake Fields and Lakewood Ranch Fields.
Will I be Allowed to Play High School Sports While in the DA?
There will be rules based on Academy guidelines to able to particpate in school sports. Age group U17 and younger will not be able to particpate in School sports unless guidelines and requirements to participate in School sports are approved by Development Academy Staff. You must identify the timeframe of participation within the school sport as US Soccer rules prohibit participation in the Academy while participating in school sports concurrently. US Soccer is focused on the players, their development and health. Players suffer more injuries due to overuse and US Soccer wants to support players with proper periodization.
You may return to the Academy after school sports have ended.
Participating in school sports, dependent on time of season, can exclude you from trainings, scrimmages, games and showcases.
Can Academy Clubs Participate in Non-Academy Competitions?
To maintain a focus on training, Academy teams do not play in any other leagues, showcases (Unless Approved by US Soccer), State Cup competitions, ODP or All-Star events 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 one exception: National Team duty.
What is the Cost to Play in the Development Academy?
At West Florida Flames, the registration fee is $1875 plus a $100 volunteer fee that is refunded upon completing (6) six hours WFF volunteer hours.
What is the Travel Fee and Who Pays for Travel Expenses?
DA club players are responsible for all travel expenses. The fees are varying based on schedule provided. Estimated cost is between $1600 - $2200.
Are There Scholarships Available in the Development Academy?
Yes, both West Florida Flames and US Soccer Development Academy offer a scholarship program to support families in need. West Florida Flames Soccer Club strives to provide an opportunity to play soccer at all levels despite financial limitations.
How Does Someone Tryout for a West Florida Flames DA Team?
Anyone interested in being identified can contact the Development Academy Director of Soccer Operations, Jorge Zavala, at firstname.lastname@example.org to participate in a regular training session. Also, the DA staff will be present at all open competitive tryouts to continue to evaluate players.
For more information on the Development Academy http://www.ussoccerda.com/girls-academy-faqs