U.S. Soccer Development Academy

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U.S. Soccer Development Academy
Country United States
Other club(s) from Canada
Confederation USSF
Founded 2007
Conferences 3
Number of teams 96
Current champions

FC Dallas (U17/18)

FC Dallas (U15/16)
Website USSDA website

The United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) is an American soccer league, considered the top tier of youth soccer in the United States. Formed in 2007, the league features youth academies and youth clubs from various organizations, including Major League Soccer, the North American Soccer League and the United Soccer Leagues. It succeeded the Super Y-League as the premier youth soccer league in the U.S. Its mission is to provide education, resources, and support to impact everyday club environments in order to develop world-class players.

As of the 2015-16 season, the Academy has 96 total clubs, in three age groups: U-13/14, U-15/16, and U-17/18. The Academy is currently in the process of expanding its programming to include 56 new clubs at the U-12 age group and to develop a Girls' Development Academy that will begin in Fall 2017.

Joining an Academy Club[edit]

For players to join the Academy, they must first join one of the member clubs. The Academy suggests any interested player should contact the club directly for specific information regarding the tryout process. Clubs can be found based on age group within the three regional conferences.

Clubs must apply directly to the Academy through the ussoccerda.org website. Applications for the Girls' Development Academy are now open. Applications for the Boys' clubs are available in early fall on the Development Academy website. Accepted clubs join the Academy the following fall season.


The U.S. Soccer Development Academy was founded in 2007, after a comprehensive review of elite player development conducted by the USSF, to serve as the top tier for youth soccer in the United States and provide an elite everyday environment for player development. The organization was created as a partnership between U.S. Soccer and top level clubs across the country, emphasizing increased training with more competitive games versus more games in general, with the ultimate goal of producing top level players for the US men's national team.[1]

In addition, the league serves to connect national team coaches at all age levels directly with elite youth players, while also serving as a venue for advanced coaching and referee development.[2]

The league is unique from other professional soccer leagues domestically, as it runs on a winter-based schedule. The season generally begins in September and ends in June or July. There is usually a hiatus in January and February while players have the summer off. Most of the clubs are associated with professional teams, either in North America through MLS, the NASL or the USL, or with European clubs. The professional teams cover most, if not all of the fees, while the academies offer a pipeline of talent to the professional club.

The league also welcomed two Canadian teams, the respective academy sides for the professional clubs of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC and the Montreal Impact of MLS. The only MLS club whose youth teams do not participate in the league is Toronto FC.


USSDA Champions
Season U17/18 U15/16
2007-2008 Baltimore Bays Chelsea Carmel United SC
2008-2009 Carmel United SC Derby County Wolves
2009-2010 Vardar SC Freiburg Chicago Fire Academy
2010-2011 Pateadores Academy Los Angeles Galaxy Academy
2011-2012 FC Dallas Development Academy New York Red Bulls Academy
2012-2013 New York Red Bulls Academy Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy
2013-2014 Players Development Academy Los Angeles Galaxy Academy
2014-2015 Chicago Fire Academy FC Dallas Development Academy
2015-2016 FC Dallas Development Academy FC Dallas Development Academy
Original USSDA logo

Growth and Development[edit]

Player Development Initiatives[edit]

U.S. Soccer's new Player Development Initiatives (PDIs) are geared towards giving players the right tools to succeed and develop to the best of their abilities in age appropriate environments. For more information about best practices, the Birth Year Mandate, and further resources, please visit the U.S. Soccer Player Development Initiatives homepage.

Coaching Education[edit]

The Academy offers a pathway to U.S. Soccer coaching education resources and licenses through the Digital Coaching Center.

U-12 Program[edit]

The Development Academy will expand to include the U-12 age group beginning in fall 2016.The U-12 Academy program will improve the training environment for players at younger ages by providing more and higher quality training, more meaningful yet less total games, and age-appropriate learning environments.

U-13 and U-14 Single Age Groups[edit]

The Development Academy will split the U-13/14 age group into single age groups to create foundation of the pathway at U-12, U-13, and U-14 to focus on individual player development. This will provide the base for a long-term streamlined pathway with flexibility to move players between rosters within the club, a better transition period for players from 9v9 to 11v11, and include late developers.

The U-13 Academy Program will follow the same schedule as the current U-13/14 program, consisting of divisional play, futsal training, and a reigonal showcase event.

Girls' Development Academy[edit]

The Development Academy is pleased to announce the launch of the Girls' Development Academy in fall 2017. The Girls' Development Academy 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.

Age Groups[edit]

The Academy has 96 total clubs, in three age groups: U-13/14, U-15/16, and U-17/18. These 96 clubs are all located within nine (9) geographically-based divisions at the U-13/14 age group and seven (7) geographically-based divisions at both the U-15/16 and U-17/18 levels.

  • The U-13/14 league is divided into nine divisions in three conferences:
    • East Conference
      • Northeast
      • Metro
      • North Atlantic
      • South Atlantic
      • Sunshine
    • Central Conference
      • Mid-America
      • Frontier
    • West Conference
      • Northwest
      • Southwest
  • The U-15/16 and U-17/18 leagues are divided into seven divisions in three conferences:
    • East Conference
      • Northeast
      • Atlantic
      • Southeast
    • Central Conference
      • Frontier
      • Mid-America
    • West Conference
      • Northwest
      • Southwest

2015-16 Clubs[edit]

West Conference[edit]

Northwest Division[edit]

Academy City State Professional Affiliate
Crossfire Premier Redmond  Washington Internazionale
De Anza Force Saratoga  California
Juventus Sport Club Redwood City  California
Portland Timbers Portland  Oregon Portland Timbers
San Jose Earthquakes San Jose  California San Jose Earthquakes
Sacramento Republic FC Sacramento  California Sacramento Republic FC
Santa Cruz Breakers Academy Santa Cruz  California
Seattle Sounders FC Seattle  Washington Seattle Sounders
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Vancouver  British Columbia Vancouver Whitecaps

Southwest Division[edit]

Academy City State Professional Affiliate
Arsenal FC Temecula  California
FC Golden State Pasadena  California
Los Angeles Galaxy Carson  California Los Angeles Galaxy
Nomads SC San Diego  California
Pateadores Rancho Santa Margarita  California
Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy Casa Grande  Arizona Real Salt Lake
Real So Cal Woodland Hills  California
San Diego Surf San Diego  California
Strikers FC Irvine  California
Santa Barbara Soccer Club Academy Santa Barbara, California  California

Central Conference[edit]

Frontier Division[edit]

Academy City State Professional Affiliate
Colorado Rapids Commerce City  Colorado Colorado Rapids
Colorado Rush Littleton  Colorado
Dallas Texans Dallas  Texas Manchester United
FC Dallas Frisco  Texas FC Dallas
Houston Dynamo Houston  Texas Houston Dynamo
Lonestar SC Academy Austin  Texas
Real Colorado Highlands Ranch  Colorado Real Colorado Foxes
Solar Chelsea SC Dallas  Texas Chelsea F.C.
Sporting Kansas City Kansas City  Kansas Sporting Kansas City
Texans SC Houston Spring  Texas
Texas Rush Houston  Texas

Mid-America Division[edit]

Academy City State Professional Affiliate
Chicago Fire Academy Bridgeview  Illinois Chicago Fire
Chicago Magic PSG Frankfort  Illinois Paris Saint-Germain
Cleveland Internationals Cleveland  Ohio
Crew Soccer Academy Columbus  Ohio Columbus Crew
Crew Soccer Academy Wolves Livonia  Michigan Columbus Crew
Indiana Fire Academy Carmel  Indiana Chicago Fire
Minnesota Thunder Academy Minneapolis  Minnesota
Shattuck-Saint Mary's Faribault  Minnesota
St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro Collinsville  Illinois
St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri St. Louis  Missouri
Sockers FC Palatine  Illinois
Vardar Soccer Club Rochester Hills  Michigan

East Conference[edit]

Southeast Division[edit]

Academy City State Professional Affiliate
Boca United FC Boca Raton  Florida
Carolina Rapids SC Huntersville  North Carolina Colorado Rapids
Capital Area RailHawks Academy - CASL Raleigh  North Carolina Carolina Railhawks
Chargers Soccer Club Clearwater  Florida
Charlotte Soccer Academy Charlotte  North Carolina
Concorde Fire Atlanta  Georgia
Georgia United Marietta  Georgia
IMG Academy Bradenton  Florida
Kendall SC Miami  Florida
North Carolina Fusion Greensboro  North Carolina Carolina Dynamo
Orlando City SC Orlando  Florida Orlando City SC
South Carolina United Battery Academy Charleston  South Carolina Charleston Battery
Weston FC Weston  Florida

Atlantic Division[edit]

Academy City State Professional Affiliate
Baltimore Armour Baltimore  Maryland
Bethesda-Olney Bethesda  Maryland
Continental FC DELCO West Chester  Pennsylvania
D.C. United Academy Washington  District of Columbia D.C. United
New York Red Bulls Academy Harrison  New Jersey New York Red Bulls
NJCSA Aberdeen  New Jersey
PA Classics Manheim  Pennsylvania
Philadelphia Union Chester  Pennsylvania Philadelphia Union
Players Development Academy Somerset  New Jersey Celtic F.C.
Richmond United Academy Richmond  Virginia Richmond Kickers
Virginia Rush Virginia Beach  Virginia

Northeast Division[edit]

Academy City State Professional Affiliate
Albertson SC Hempstead  New York
BSC CT Academy Norwalk  Connecticut
BW Gottschee Academy Queens  New York New York City FC
Empire United Rochester  New York
FC Boston Bolts Boston  Massachusetts Celtic F.C.
FC Westchester New Rochelle  New York Everton F.C.
Montreal Impact Academy Montreal  Quebec Montreal Impact
New England Revolution Foxborough  Massachusetts New England Revolution
Oakwood Soccer Club Hartford  Connecticut
Seacoast United Hampton  New Hampshire


  1. ^ "U.S. Soccer Development Academy". www.underconsideration.com. December 17, 2012. Retrieved July 23, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Academy Overview". USSoccer.com. Retrieved June 22, 2015. 

External links[edit]