First 25 elite Girls Development Academy clubs announced by USSF today

Hot of the press, here are the first 25 Girls DA clubs:

Beach SC (Torrance, Calif.)
Boston Breakers (Watertown, Mass.)
CASL (Raleigh, N.C.)
Cincinnati Development Academy (Kings Hammer/CUP) (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Colorado Rush (Littleton, Co.)
Concorde Fire (Atlanta, Ga.)
Crossfire (Redmond, Wash.)
De Anza Force (Saratoga, Calif.)
FC Dallas (Frisco, Texas)
LAFC-Slammers (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Lamorinda (Moraga, Calif.)
Michigan Hawks (Livonia, Mich.)
Mustang (Danville, Calif.)
Orlando Pride/City SC (Orlando, Fla.)
Penn Fusion SA (Westtown, Pa.)
Portland Thorns (Portland, Ore.)
Real Colorado (Highlands Ranch, Co.)
San Diego Surf (San Diego, Calif.)
Seattle Reign (Seattle, Wash.)
Sky Blue FC-PDA (Bernardsville, N.J.)
So Cal Blues (Rancho Capistrano, Calif.)
Sockers FC (Palatine, Ill.)
Solar Chelsea SC (Dallas, Texas)
Tophat NTH (Atlanta, Ga.)
Washington Spirit (Boyds, Md.)

I don’t see any surprises here, but please comment below if you do.

USSF will announce additional clubs these next six months.

One point to note is that the MLS teams don’t seem to be getting an automatic spot, like for the boys. But that might just be because they haven’t submitted the paperwork yet.

I suspect that the total number of GDA clubs will eventually approach the roughly 80 boys DA clubs and roughly 80 ECNL clubs.

Or maybe USSF will want to start smaller and focus on quality. Then later expand.

We shall see.

Also, here’s some additional information from U.S. Soccer: The program will feature three combined age groups: U-14/15, U-16/17 and U-18/19. Clubs will be expected to train a minimum of four times a week. The use of combined age groups will require clubs to form teams with a balanced roster of players from two distinct birth years. The games will be scouted by U.S. Soccer and the program will serve as the primary pathway to the Youth National Teams. 

The GDA kicks off for the Fall 2017 season.

Also, if you’re not familiar with some of the tension with ECNL, here’s a recent post on USSF declining to work with ECNL and my thoughts on why.

Author: James

Lifelong player and student of the beautiful game in Germany, England, and USA. Volunteer futsal coach and USSF referee.

3 thoughts on “First 25 elite Girls Development Academy clubs announced by USSF today”

  1. Thanks for sharing, and agreed on no surprises. Was curious to see De Anza was listed as being based in Saratoga rather than Cupertino. Any insight there?


    1. I don’t Rob, but I suspect that De Anza Force’s legally registered address is in Saratoga for historical reasons, but the club uses Cupertino on their website to indicate their main practice location. But note that Force is actually much more than just one location now – their catchment area covers a lot of the Bay Area, including with Force North and South.


      1. Thanks James. I knew they used many locations for playing in the west valley (I don’t think Creekside is the crown jewel anymore, not with so many turf fields now available) but had forgotten their “expanding the brand” up the peninsula and down through Almaden.


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