In August of 2007 the Rapids Soccer Academy was accepted as a charter member of US Soccer’s Development Academy, a nationwide youth development initiative, organized by the U.S. Soccer Federation, created to enhance the development of the country’s top players through high technical standards and a focus on meaningful competition.
Formed in accordance with Major League Soccer’s 2007 Homegrown Player Initiative, our goal is to create a program for each player that will allow him to reach his full potential, whatever that may be. For the majority of our players, college soccer will be the pinnacle of their careers, but a select few will have the ability to play beyond that level.
Major League Soccer now allows clubs to create a clear path from amateur soccer to the professional league while retaining the rights to the players that they help develop. The Academy’s top players in each age group will be identified as Homegrown Players after spending 12 months in the program. A Homegrown Player who is talented enough to play in MLS will now have the ability to sign a Generation Adidas contract for his hometown club and not be placed in the MLS SuperDraft.
- MORE: Rapids Academy Alumni
In February 2013 the Rapids announced that the Development Academy teams will be fully funded by the club starting in the 2013-14 season. The Rapids’ program will also expand to include a Development Academy team at the U-14 level in addition to the existing U-16 and U-18 sides, with all administrative, coaching, facilities, equipment, travel and other costs covered by the club.
The U.S Soccer Development Academy features 80 of the top youth teams in the country competing in a league system at the U-18, U-16 levels, and U-14 age groups. The teams are divided into 10 geographically based divisions, each of which will send a single qualifier to the national finals after the regular season concludes in late June.
Further questions about the Development Academy can be answered in this U.S. Soccer FAQ
For questions about the Development Academy Teams please contact Program Manager Jamie Smith at 303-727-3755 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Academy weather hotline is 303-727-3397.