Top youth soccer talent in Bowie now has a direct connection with professional soccer team DC United, thanks to a historic affiliate agreement between the team, Freestate Soccer Alliance and Adidas.
About six years ago, U.S. professional soccer decided to create the Development Academy to help it track the top youth soccer players in the country, according to Patrick Noel, who serves as the technical director of Freestate Soccer.
The agreement, reached in December, will give top, male Freestate players the opportunity to join the DC United Academy teams.
“Getting in with DC United allows us to have a connection with the Development Academy for our top players," said Noel, who is also the director of coaching for the club’s boys teams.
According to Noel, Academy teams give young players access to professional coaches, players and player development models.
The agreement places a strong priority on the Under-14, Under-16 and Under-18 age groups, but there will be opportunities for younger players as well.
“Obviously, DC United is hoping to get players that can make their first team one day, but along the way they will have youth teams that we will feed players into,” said Noel. “For our younger kids ages 11 to 14 there will be all sorts of opportunities for us to send our best players to DC to train on occasion.”
Noel said DC United also will host “play days” for younger players to help identify up and coming talent in the club.
For more information on the Freestate Soccer Alliance, you can check out its website here.
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