D.C. United Academy

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D.C. United Academy
Full name D.C. United Youth and Development Academy
Founded 2005
Stadium RFK Auxiliary Fields
Washington, D.C.
League Super Y-League
Northeast Pre-Academy League

The D.C. United Academy is the youth and development program for the Major League Soccer club D.C. United. The program consists of teams at four age levels:[1] the under-23 and under-20 teams, as well as the Academy (U-18/17 & U-16/15) and Pre-Academy teams (U-14, U-13). While the U-23 team plays in the fourth tier, USL Premier Development League, the U-20 team plays in the Super-20 League, and the Academy and Pre-Academy teams play in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy leagues.

The D.C. United Academy has been one of the most successful MLS academies.[2] Many players have been signed directly from the Academy to the professional team, or have later played professionally. Notable players to have graduated from the D.C United Academy include Bill Hamid, who has been called up by the U.S. national team and who was the MLS 2014 Goalkeeper of the Year, and Andy Najar, who has been capped for Honduras and who was the MLS 2010 Rookie of the Year.[3][4][5]


The D.C. United Academy was created in 2005 in an effort to provide local talent an opportunity to have professional training. D.C. United was one of the first MLS clubs to develop its own academy.[6] The DC United Academy gained some press in 2013 when DC United Academy graduate Michael Seaton made his league debut with DC United; Seaton was the first player to play an MLS game who was born after MLS began play in 1996.[7] D.C. United decided in 2015, however, to reduce its outlays on its academy in part to help defray the expenses associated with the team's new soccer-specific stadium.[8]


D.C. United Academy Structure
Level Type League
Senior team Professional Major League Soccer
Reserve team Professional United Soccer League
U-23 Amateur PDL
U-18 Development Academy USSDA
U-16 Development Academy USSDA
U-15 Development Academy USSDA
U-14 Pre-Development Academy USSDA
U-13 Pre-Development Academy NE Pre-Academy League
U-12 Pre-Development Academy NE Pre-Academy League

Like most Major League Soccer teams, United's academy features youth pre-academy teams that ascend to the ranks of the senior team on the professional level. Starting in 2016, United will field their reserve team in the third-division United Soccer League. Beneath their reserve and senior squads is the under-23 side, whom play in the Premier Development League.

The U-16 team playing Triangle F.C. in the 2006 Super Y League semifinals.

The teenage brackets represent the main academy as well as the pre-academy structure. Players from the under-15 to the under-18 age level play in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy league, playing against other academy teams around the nation. Unlike most soccer leagues in the U.S., the USSDA academy league runs on a winter-based schedule, with the season going from August until June.

Consisting of players aged from under-12 to under-14, the Pre-Academy is a stepping stone for younger players to adapt to an academy setting. This age group of players participates in Northeast Pre-Academy League.[9]

For players at the U-10 level and below, United offers speciality training camps.

D.C. United, unlike most other MLS team academies, charges fees for its players. Fees are $2,500 per year for the U-14 team, and $1,500 for the U-16 and U-18 teams, although available financial aid reduces these costs.[10] The fees defray costs such as travel, lodging, and uniforms.

Notable alumni[edit]

Andy Najar, who transferred from DC United to Belgium's Anderlecht for a reported $2 million, was the first player from the DC United Academy — and first from any MLS academy — to move to Europe on a permanent contract.[11] The youngest DC United Academy signing is Chris Durkin, who signed for DC United in 2016 at 16 years old.[12] Furthermore, several DC United Academy players have played with U.S. national youth teams.[13]

The following list reflects players who have graduated from the D.C. United Academy and subsequently signed a professional contract.

Name Turned Pro Current Club National team*
Bill Hamid 2009 United States D.C. United  United States
Andy Najar 2010 Belgium Anderlecht[14]  Honduras
Conor Shanosky 2010 United States Louisville City FC U.S. under-20
Ethan White 2010 United States New York City FC U.S. under-20
Michael Seaton 2013 Israel Hapoel Ramat Gan Givatayim  Jamaica
Collin Martin 2013 United States Minnesota United[15] U.S. under-20
Jalen Robinson 2014 United States D.C. United[16][17] U.S. under-18
Romain Gall 2014 Sweden Nyköpings BIS U.S. under-20
Samir Badr United States Bethlehem Steel FC U.S. under-20
Iyassu Bekele United States FC Wichita  Ethiopia
Tyler Rudy United States Puerto Rico FC
Travis Pittman United States Richmond Kickers
Chris Durkin 2016 United States D.C. United[18]
Ian Harkes 2017 United States D.C. United

Note: Where a player has played with multiple levels of a national team (e.g., men's team, under-20 team, under-18 team), only the highest level is listed.

Source: D.C. United

The Academy[edit]

U23 Team[edit]

Further information: D.C. United U-23

U18 Team[edit]

As of 4 February 2016.[19]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
0 United States GK Lance DaSilva
2 Brazil DF Jonathan Sousa
3 United States DF Trey Vinson
4 United States DF Donovan Pines
5 Netherlands FW Taofik Lucas-Walker
6 United States FW Carson Jeffris
9 Nigeria FW Raheem Lawal
10 United States MF Jose Carranza
11 United States FW Lucas Mendes
13 United States MF Max Edwards
No. Position Player
14 United States DF Mark Elmore
16 United States MF Grant Robinson
18 United States FW Nicholas Brown
19 United States DF Brandon Williamson
21 United States MF Collin Jouan
22 United States DF Avionne Flanagan
23 United States DF Jonathan Bell
24 El Salvador MF Juan Ramirez
25 Togo MF Fola Adetola
31 United States GK Jacob Braham


Academy Management and Medical staff
Position Staff
Academy Technical Coach Bolivia Jaime Moreno
Coordinator, Youth Development United States Urbano Castro, Jr.
Director, D.C. United Camps United States Nolan Sheldon
Manager, D.C. United Camps United States Kendra Hansen
Team Doctor United States Dr. Michael Oberlander

Last updated: July 11, 2011
Source: D.C. United Academy

Academy Coaching staff
Position Staff
U-23 Head Coach Bolivia Jaime Moreno
U-23 Assistant Coaches United States Judah Cooks
United States Nolan Sheldon
England Daf Evans
U-18 Head Coach United States Judah Cooks
U-16 Head Coach Brazil Roberto da Silva
U-16 Assistant Coach United States Nolan Sheldon
U-15 Head Coach United States Tom Torres
U-15/14 Trainer El Salvador Ronald Cerritos
U-15/14 Goalkeeping Coach United States Pete Calabrese
U-14 Head Coach Italy Mike Marschiano
U-14 Assistant Coach Italy Mike Dello-Russo

Last updated: July 11, 2011
Source: D.C. United Academy


From 2005 until 2012, D.C. United fielded a reserve team that played in the MLS Reserve Division. The reserve team disbanded when Major League Soccer and USL Pro announced a player development partnership, and United announced Richmond Kickers as their USL Pro affiliate.[20]



Season MLS Reserve League Top goalscorer(s)
GP W T L GF GA Pts Pos Name Goals
2005 12 8 0 4 26 21 24 1st Jamil Walker 9
2006 12 6 1 5 22 11 19 5th
2007 12 4 5 3 16 12 17 5th
2008 12 5 1 4 19 21 16 5th
2011 9 6 3 0 21 9 21 Eastern Division
Joseph Ngwenya 4

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The kids are coming", ESPN, Leander Schaerlaeckens, June 1, 2010.
  2. ^ "DC United Announces Residential Academy", Vavel, Liam McMahon, February 20, 2015.
  3. ^ "D.C. United to launch youth academy residency program in Maryland", Washington Post, Steven Goff, February 19, 2015.
  4. ^ "Orlando City eager to build strong pipeline from developmental academy to MLS level", Orlando Sentinel, Paul Tenorio, July 4, 2015.
  5. ^ "D.C. United’s Homegrown talent leads the way in MLS awards", SoccerWire.com, Chris Teale, December 9, 2014.
  6. ^ "D.C. United’s Homegrown talent leads the way in MLS awards", SoccerWire.com, Chris Teale, December 9, 2014.
  7. ^ "D.C. United Loans Michael Seaton to Örebro SK", Last Word on Sports, Alec Rivera, April 1, 2015.
  8. ^ "D.C. United’s bizarre approach to development continues apace", Top Drawer Soccer, Will Parchman, August 5, 2015.
  9. ^ "U–11 & U–13 Training Program: About the Program". D.C. United. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  10. ^ "D.C. United has the most expensive MLS Academy", Black and Red United, Ben Bromley, August 5, 2015.
  11. ^ "D.C. United selling Andy Najar to Anderlecht", Washington Post, Steven Goff, January 30, 2013.
  12. ^ "Glen Allen native Chris Durkin signs with D.C. United", Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 14, 2016.
  13. ^ "D.C. United to play in U-13 Concacaf Champions League Tournament", Soccer America, Mike Woitalla, August 3, 2015.
  14. ^ "Former D.C. United star Andy Najar extends Anderlecht contract through 2018", Sports Illustrated, Avi Creditor, April 29, 2014.
  15. ^ "Minnesota United acquires Collin Martin in trade with D.C. United", Goal.com, Ben Valentine, January 3, 2017.
  16. ^ "Mount St. Joe grad Robinson leaves Wake, signs with D.C. United", Baltimore Sun, January 7, 2014.
  17. ^ "As a defender and student, D.C. United’s Jalen Robinson is on course", Washington Post, Steven Goff, June 30, 2016.
  18. ^ "Glen Allen teen signs homegrown deal with D.C. United", WTVR.com, Vernon Freemna Jr, June 14, 2016.
  19. ^ "D.C. United U-18 Academy Team". dcunited.com. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  20. ^ "D.C. United, Richmond Kickers announce landmark affiliation". D.C. United. DCUnited.com. Retrieved May 19, 2013. 

External links[edit]