Grande Sports World

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Grande Sports Academy
Full name Grande Sports Academy
Founded 2010
Ground Grande Sports World
Casa Grande, Arizona
Owners Ron Burks & Michael Saunders
Head Coach Martín Vásquez
League U.S. Soccer Development Academy
Website Club home page

Grande Sports World [1] is a 40-acre (160,000 m2), $20 million athletic training and physical rehabilitation complex adjacent to the Francisco Grande Hotel & Golf Resort located in Casa Grande, Arizona, approximately 45 minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The hotel and golf course was originally developed as the Spring Training headquarters for the San Francisco Giants.

Facilities[edit]

The Grande Sports World ("GSW") complex includes a 58,000-square-foot (5,400 m2) training and conditioning building, which exceeds the quality found in most professional sports training facilities. The sports performance building has four professional locker rooms with 284 full-size professional lockers; physical therapy and rehabilitation areas; 16 meeting rooms/classrooms with each accommodating up to 30 people; and a 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) training and conditioning area with state-of-the-art equipment, and two physical therapy pools. In addition, nine soccer/lacrosse/football/rugby/field hockey fields are available with professional lighting on six of the eight fields.

GSW is unique in that it is a multi-sport team training facility that offers athletes the opportunity to have their hotel, all of their meals, the fields, and their training and conditioning located in an attractive campus environment in one convenient location.

U.S. Soccer Development Academy - Real Salt Lake-AZ[edit]

The U.S. Soccer Federation [2] approved GSW as a U.S. Soccer Development Academy [3] affiliated with Real Salt Lake of Major League Soccer (MLS) for Under-16 and Under-18 boys in Arizona. Ten members of the academy have previously played for one of the U.S. National teams.[4][5] This is the first and only soccer residency program in the US associated with an MLS team.[6] The academy teams are coached and trained by the GSW Soccer Staff to compete at the highest level in the United States and to eventually play at the collegiate, professional and international level.

Academy Accomplishments:

  • Current residents have a 3.67 GPA and over half of the residents have a 4.0 or higher GPA
  • 2014 USSDA U16 National Championship Finalist
  • 2014 Best Training Facility Award by US Soccer
  • Earned prestigious US Soccer “Style of Play” Award for 2014 and 2013.
  • 2013 USSDA U16 National Champions.
  • Every GSA graduate has been offered a college scholarship or has signed a professional contract.
  • Nine GSA players have signed a professional contract with Real Salt Lake.
  • Three GSA players have signed a professional contract with Real Monarchs.
  • Eight GSA players have signed a professional contract with other professional teams: Seattle Sounders, Columbus Crew, Bayer Leverkusen, Brondby IF, Molde FK, FC Pyunik, Hong Kong Rangers FC.
  • One GSA player has signed with Manchester United Academy.
  • From 2011-2015 a total of 44 of our current players and alumni played on one of the U20, U18, U17, U16 and U15 National Teams (USA, Bermuda, Canada, Serbia, Mexico, El Salvador, Chile, Zimbabwe, Mexico, Bosnia-Herzegovina, New Zealand).
  • 2014 USSDA U16 Academy Western Conference Player of the Year
  • 2014 USSDA Western Conference U18 Starting XI (1 player)
  • 2014 USSDA Western Conference U16 Starting XI (2 players)
  • 2014 NSCAA All Americans (2 players)
  • 2013 NSCAA All Americans (3 players)
  • 2013 USSDA Western Conference U18 Starting XI (2 players)
  • 2013 USSDA Western Conference U16 Starting XI (2 players)
  • 2012 USSDA U16 Academy Player of the Year
  • 2012 NSCAA All Americans (3 players)
  • 2012 Western Conference U18 Player of the Year.
  • 2012 Western Conference U16 Player of the Year.
  • 2012 USSDA Western Conference U18 Starting XI (3 players)
  • 2012 USSDA Western Conference U16 Starting XI (2 players)

Soccer Coaching Staff[edit]

GSW's soccer staff is composed of MLS and US National and Mexico National Team veterans. No soccer camp or academy in American has a soccer coaching staff with the amount of actual professional playing time competing at the highest levels and as qualified as the staff at GSW.

Martin Vasquez, the Grande Sports Academy Head Coach and the Director of Soccer, is the former first assistant coach for Jurgen Klinsmann, Head Coach of the US Men's National Team. Martin is a former US National and Mexico National team player, México Primera División (Mexico First Division) professional player, MLS player, and MLS Head Coach. Martin was an assistant coach to Klinsmann at FC Bayern Munich, under Klinsmann.

Name Nation
Vásquez, MartínMartín Vásquez  USA
Bruce, TonyTony Bruce  Scotland
Kraus, MichaelMichael Kraus  USA
Brauner, HenryHenry Brauner  Philippines
Fresquez, JuanJuan Fresquez  USA
Hernandez, IgnacioIgnacio Hernandez  Mexico

Hotel[edit]

The 103-room Francisco Grande Hotel and Golf Resort was built in 1961 by Horace Stoneham, then the owner of the San Francisco Giants baseball club as the Giant's spring training facility. The ballroom can accommodate up to 400 people, there are meeting rooms, restaurant, bar, swimming pool and considerable space on the hotel grounds for other outdoor activities. The resort received a $10 million renovation in 2003. A beautiful tree-lined golf course adjoins the resort.

Golf Course[edit]

The fifty-year old golf course at the Francisco Grande Hotel and Golf Resort is 7,500 yards (approx. 6858 meters) in length (depending on the chosen tee), one of the longest in Arizona, and was designed by Ralph Plummer, the architect for the Colonial in Fort Worth, Tryall in Jamaica and Ben Hogan's home course, Shady Oaks in Fort Worth. The tree-lined golf course has approximately 1,500 trees and adjoins the resort.

References[edit]