U.S. Soccer will expand its Development Academy (DA) to the U12 age group in the Seattle market starting in 2016-2017, and all seven Washington clubs selected are members of the Washington Youth Soccer Regional Club League (RCL). The seven clubs join fellow RCL member and current DA member Crossfire Premier in the U12 Academy next season, and all eight clubs will remain active members in the RCL.
A 9th RCL member, WA Timbers FC, has been selected for the Portland U12 Development Academy, the only Washington club selected for the Portland DA.
U.S. Soccer created the Development Academy in 2007 to provide education, resources and support to impact everyday club environments. The Academy Program’s philosophy is based on increased training and less total games. U.S. Soccer selects clubs for its Development Academy based on similar key standards of performance to which RCL clubs are held to, such as player development, staff and leadership, style of play and philosophy, training environment, facilities, respect and resources.
“U.S. Soccer recognized that our RCL clubs are already held to the high standards they they’re looking for, and that speaks to the quality of the RCL and all the clubs involved,” said RCL Administrator Todd Lincoln. “The RCL will continue to develop and raise its standards in cooperation with U.S. Soccer and the DA.”
"Having all eight clubs that have been selected to represent the U12 U.S. Development Academy come from the RCL is a great statement about the level of player development that the RCL has come to represent,” said Scott Newman, Regional Club Subcommittee and NW Nationals Director of Coaching. “It is an honor to be recognized by the DA and to be invited to participate. The DA has a focus on long term player development that models the core beliefs of the RCL. We are excited by the representative clubs and are looking forward to taking the next step forward as the leaders in development for Washington Youth Soccer."
2016-2017 Under-12 Washington Development Academy Clubs
- Crossfire Premier
- Eastside FC
- Pacific Northwest SC
- Seattle United
- Snohomish YSC
- Surf (FC Alliance & NW Nationals merger)
- Washington Premier FC
- Washington Rush
The expansion of the Development Academy at the U-12 level is intended to reduce travel distances between clubs, while also allowing clubs to cast a wider net for committed players in existing and new markets that have the potential to develop into elite soccer players. The Under-12 age group is the youngest age group at which clubs will participate in Development Academy markets.