Awarded USSF Development Academy Status
Rochester, NY (July 16, 2007) –Today it was announced that The Empire United Soccer Academy (Empire USA) will be formed through the unification of the principle youth soccer clubs from Central and Western New York, including the Buffalo United Soccer Club, Rochester Junior Rhinos Soccer Club, and the Syracuse Football Club. “Our focus will continue to be to provide best-in-class development and training opportunities for players at all levels,” said Empire USA, Executive Director, Jim Mort.
Beginning with U7 through U19, players will have the opportunity to participate in league, tournament, regional and national level programs based upon ability. Emphasis will be placed upon the cornerstone philosophies of player development: tactical (decision making), technical (skills), psychological (attitude, motivation and mental preparedness), physical (speed, strength, agility).
To eliminate the divergent patterns in youth soccer, The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) has announced the U.S. Soccer Development Academy which will provide the highest level of youth soccer development in the nation. This program, which will begin in 2007-2008, will include approximately 80 clubs from across the country. Empire USA is pleased to announce that it has been accepted into the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
“After completing an extensive review and discussion across the country, we feel that it is the right time for U.S. Soccer to lead a change is the sport at the youth level,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “We need to shift the focus of our young elite players from an ‘overburdened, game emphasis’ model to a ‘meaningful training and competition’ model. This will ultimately lead to more success and will allow players to develop their full potential.”
The initial phase of this national competition will occur at two levels. Players will be grouped based on talent, and age beginning with Boys U16 and U18 levels. Teams will be placed in conferences geographically and are expected to play between 30-38 matches during the season. For the 2007-2008 season, training and game play for other age groups will remain in the control of the Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse organizations.