Capital Area RailHawks added as Girls Development Academy member
Raleigh, NC – The Capital Area Soccer League (CASL) and the Carolina RailHawks are excited to expand their elite player development partnership by launching the Capital Area RailHawks Girls’ Development Academy (Girls’ DA) for the fall of 2017. The Girls’ DA will fall under the current Capital Area RailHawks Development Program.
“It’s an exciting time for the women’s game in our country,” said Paul Forster, CASL Director of Soccer. “Our partnership with the Carolina RailHawks will allow our female players to have a professional soccer option on their doorstep. In partnering, we can continue to grow the game on the women’s side and embrace a wonderful opportunity for the elite level female player. We feel confident that we have a staff, facilities, and community that will embrace this new program.”
The Girls’ DA will help expand the pool of elite level players in the area. Initially, the program will feature three combined age groups: U-14/15, U-16/17, and U-18/19. In addition to combining the most elite players from each birth year to form the mixed age group player pool, players will have the opportunity to play “up” on an older age team to help accelerate development.
“This is another great day for the community. The establishment of the Capital Area RailHawks Girls Academy works in coordination with our desire to bring a National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) team to the Triangle,” said Steve Malik, Carolina RailHawks owner. “We are planning for a day when local players are the backbone of a world class NWSL team playing locally here in the Triangle.”
U.S. Soccer is launching the Girls’ Development Academy Program as an effort to advance the development of world-class female players. The Academy will focus on positively impacting the everyday club environments to assist in maximizing female youth player development across the country. U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy games will be scouted by U.S. Soccer and the program will serve as a pathway to U.S. Soccer’s Youth National Teams.
“The addition of a Girls Development Academy to the Capital Area RailHawks program is an important moment for soccer in North Carolina. This new program will provide the most talented players in our state the opportunity to reach their full potential and showcase their abilities to professional and national team scouts, as well as college coaches,” said Curt Johnson, Carolina RailHawks President.
U.S. Soccer started its Development Academy Program for boys in 2007 and the program, which currently consists of 152 clubs across five age groups, serves as the elite player development model for the country and has significantly improved the everyday environment for players, coaches, and clubs. U.S. Soccer is also excited to launch this program working alongside the NWSL and its efforts to support player development and the long-term growth of professional women’s soccer in the United States.
The Capital Area RailHawks Academy was formed in 2013, serving the area’s highest level of boys’ players and coaches, while competing in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. Since its inception, the Capital Area RailHawks Academy boasts 20 players called into U.S. Soccer Youth National Teams, 71 players committed to play college soccer, 10 players signed to Carolina RailHawks amateur contracts, and over 1,000 players scouted for academy placement.
Program specifics for the Capital Area RailHawks Girls’ DA, along with future trials and team selections information, will be the subject of future announcements.