28 more Girls’ DA clubs announced

As expected, here is a second batch of clubs that are getting Girls’ Developmemt Academy status:

Boca United (Boca Raton, Fla.)
FC Stars (Acton, Mass.)
San Juan Soccer Club (Rancho Cordova, Calif.)
Charlotte Soccer Academy (Matthews, N.C.)
FC Virginia (Chantilly, Va.)
Shattuck-St. Mary’s Rev SC (Faribault, Minn.)
Clay County Soccer Club (Fleming Island, Fla.)
IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
Sting Soccer Club (Addison, Texas)
Dallas Texans (Plano, Texas)
Jacksonville Armada Youth Academy (JFC) (Jacksonville, Fla.)
TSC Hurricane (Tulsa, Okla.)
LA Galaxy San Diego (San Diego, Calif.)
Davis Legacy (Davis, Calif.)
LA Premier FC (La Canada, Calif.)
Virginia Development Academy (Woodbridge, Va.)
Eagles SC (Camarillo, Calif.)
Legends FC (Chino, Calif.)
West Florida Flames (Brandon, Fla.)
East Meadow SC (East Meadow, N.Y.)
Lonestar Soccer Club (Austin, Texas)
Weston FC (Weston, Fla.)
Eastside FC (Preston, Wash.)
Match Fit Academy (Morris Plains, N.J.)
World Class FC (Orangeburg, N.Y.)
Eclipse Select (Oak Brook, Ill.)
Midwest United FC (Grand Rapids, Mich.)

Click here for the USSF announcement.

I suspect there will be more in the coming weeks.

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

2 thoughts on “28 more Girls’ DA clubs announced

  1. what are your thoughts on this? Will 28 DA teams improve the WNT pool? Is that the primary goal? It seems that Pugh wasn’t in need of the DA system to shine, there is little change in the USWNT roster from year to year, the NWSL has a limited number of spots for professional women–there are a lot of moving parts to this. Is this DA system really geared towards college, like the ECNL, even though US Soccer claims otherwise….?

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    • You raise good questions. Keep in mind that we now have 53 clubs with Girls’ DA status and there will probably be more.

      I believe that the issue comes down to misaligned incentives.

      U.S. Soccer should have only one objective in my mind: develop the strongest possible soccer players (male and female) to (1) increase the attractiveness of soccer as entertainment in this country (which, in turn, leads to growth and more dollars flowing into the game), and (2) to make our MNT and WNT as competitive internationally as possible (not just today, but 10, 20, 30…years from now).

      The challenge is that a youth club’s and youth coaches’ incentives are not necessarily aligned with those goals. For example, a club might be more interested in satisfying the needs/preferences of colleges. Or they might be focusing too much on accommodating their local community. Or the DoC has his buddies sitting pretty as coaches.

      There probably also are deep philosophical differences regarding playing style and player development and selection. For example, too many clubs and coaches might prefer primarily athletic/physical girls and don’t focus on skills development and creativity. A former male pro player from Argentina who now coaches here in the US refers to these kinds of players as ‘horses’ and when you look at top teams play at Surf Cup, for example, then that’s what you see predominantly. Fast, strong, big girls with too little technical skills and creativity.

      U.S. Soccer might well be concerned about that as we look ahead 5, 10, 20…years, given that other countries in Europe started emphasizing much more technical development. Our WNT can still win a World Cup right now, but we might be living on borrowed time.

      Here’s one of my blog posts on that: https://sfbayareasoccerdad.com/2016/02/24/why-do-our-women-dominate-internationally-and-why-might-that-change-soon/.

      So USSF arguably has no choice but to centrally control elite player development, just like in every other top soccer country. You can select coaches, force coaches to certify higher, implement a nationwide curriculum, make changes quickly from the top down, and avoid the politics that inevitably comes from an affiliation of clubs which is ECNL.

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