Why are these changes being made?
The current landscape is inconsistent and not as successful as it could be when it comes to player development. Through these initiatives, U.S. Soccer aims to develop players with more individual skill, intelligence, creativity and confidence. These changes also provide a consistent approach across the country while challenging the status quo of our soccer landscape by focusing on the development of the individual versus the success of a team. Parents can also have a better understanding of exactly what they should expect from a soccer program for their children.
Are these changes aligned with the U.S. Soccer Development Academy?
Yes. These initiatives align the entire youth player development environment with the proven approach and success of the Development Academy program. Clubs, coaches and parents who are in programs external to the Development Academy are encouraged to incorporate these philosophies of player development. These initiatives fully support the existing technical framework of the Development Academy, which serves as the model for development across the country.
How do these changes affect the current soccer landscape?
U.S. Soccer recommends putting these initiatives into place as a best practice beginning in August of 2016, as they will be mandated in August of 2017. This provides organizations two full years from the announcement in August 2015 to plan on how to best implement the initiatives in the future. Please contact your local soccer leaders for more information on how they plan on implementing these changes.
Who is required to follow these initiatives?
All of U.S. Soccer’s membership is required to put these initiatives into place no later than August of 2017. This includes, but is not limited to, all youth members and their respective competitions: State Associations, US Youth Soccer, US Club Soccer, AYSO, SAY, etc.