Boys DA FAQ's

FAQ’s Regarding Development Academy

What is the US Soccer Development Academy League?

The Boys’ Development Academy (DA) is part of U.S. Soccer's global leadership position in men'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 players.

What are Some of the Benefits of Playing in the Boys' 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.

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 some additional games played over showcase events. The season will likely begin in September and commence with showcase in June. 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).

How Many Players Does the Academy Allow on a Roster?


Age Group

FT Min

FT Max

# of Adds




No Max/Min









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 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 site is JC Handly Park in Brandon per geographic selection to participate in DA by U.S. Soccer.

Will I be allowed to play school sports while in the DA?

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.

Can Academy Clubs Participate in Non-Academy Competitions?

To maintain a focus on training, Academy teams do not play in any other leagues, tournaments, 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. Development Academy players for all teams must choose to participate in the Academy full-time with the exception of the High School Sports rule/waiver.

What is the Cost to Play in the Development Academy?

At West Florida Flames, the registration fee is $1750 plus a $80 volunteer fee that is refunded upon completing 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 will TBD.

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?

See link for Development Academy Evaluations/Trials: Development Academy Player Evaluation/Trial Request Form

Boys DA ID Camp Registration: Boys DA ID Clinic

Anyone interested in being identified can also contact the Director of Academy Operations, Jorge “Yoyo” Zavala, at and he will guide you where appropriate. 

Also, there are open ID camps. Check our club website for Camp ID details and registration info

For more information on the Development Academy: