ORLANDO, Fla. (Via Orlando City SC) – Orlando City SC partners with Chargers Soccer Club, one of the oldest and largest youth soccer programs in Florida. The partnership is aimed at expanding opportunities for local youth to climb the Orlando City development pyramid to the First Team.
“We are very excited to start this partnership with Chargers. It’s our belief that player development is best achieved when working together with other clubs in our region to focus on the players,” Orlando City General Manager Niki Budalic said. “We understand our role in the development pyramid and providing opportunities to elite players will be a priority as part of an expanded scouting network. Our shared vision and philosophy make for a great starting point and we look forward to working with Roberto, Jim and the rest of the Chargers organization.”
The partnership will offer Chargers elevated player development and identification opportunities to both its boys and girls youth soccer programs. Chargers’ most advanced players will be able to continue their elite development through the Orlando City SC U.S. Soccer Development Academy and eventually work their way to Orlando City B and the First Team.
U.S. Soccer will launch the Girls Development Academy program in Fall 2017 to provide elite young female talents the proper development opportunities to pursue their professional soccer dreams. Like Orlando City, Orlando Pride will have its own U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
“We’re thrilled to be partners of such a prestigious MLS Club,” Chargers SC Academy Director Roberto Lopez said. “It provides our players with a pathway to professional soccer. Over the years, Chargers SC has produced top professional and national team players and now we can channel all our energy to help accelerate that process and help Orlando identify and develop young talented players.”
“I’m excited by our partnership with Chargers and the future benefits this will bring to both clubs,” Orlando City Pro Academy Director David Longwell said. “We are committed to creating a pathway in Florida for the highest level of players to progress to Orlando City’s Academy and First Team. Partnerships with clubs like Chargers will support the pathway for players to achieve this. I’ve been impressed with how Roberto and his Academy staff are developing players and I’m looking forward to working with them for the foreseeable future.”
Chargers SC has produced many notable professionals, including veteran MLS goalkeepers Jeff Attinella and Zac MacMath and midfielder Bobby Boswell. Notable female alumni include Adriana Rodrigues, currently of FC Nuenkirch in Switzerland, and Bryane Heaberlin, who plays at FFC Turbine Potsdam in Germany.