U.S. Soccer officially announces the immediate closure of the Development Academy
It’s official. U.S. Soccer has announced the closure of the Development Academy, in a letter to member clubs signed by Secretary General and CEO Will Wilson, Sporting Director Earnie Stewart and President Cindy Parlow Cone.
The letter was released at the same time as Major League Soccer’s announcement that MLS is launching a new competition platform for MLS Academies and non-MLS clubs that are departing the DA.
See below for the full letter from the Federation:
“It is with profound disappointment that we have made the determination to end the operation of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, effective immediately.
This was an incredibly difficult decision to make, but the extraordinary and unanticipated circumstances around the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in a financial situation that does not allow for the continuation of the Development Academy program into the future. We know that suddenly discontinuing a program that has been with U.S. Soccer for many years is shocking, but these unprecedented times required acting now.
We are proud of the tremendous amount of hard work and dedication that everyone involved has contributed to the Development Academy clubs throughout the years for the benefit of thousands of young players. A sincere thanks goes to all of you at the grassroots level where the most important work is done. We are grateful.
We know you will have a lot of questions about what this means for the future of your club, and we recognize those concerns. While we do not have all the answers on what the future will look like across the youth soccer landscape, as the governing body of the sport in the United States we are committed to doing as much as we can to assist during these extremely challenging times.
In the immediate future, we will continue to engage all stakeholders across the youth soccer landscape. At the same time, we will also look to increase our efforts on coaching education as well as being engaged and active in the identification and scouting of youth players across the country for all our National Teams.
In the absence of the Development Academy, we can all still take the lessons we have learned over the years and continue the implementation of high-quality player development environments across the country. Thanks to your hard work and collaboration, the Development Academy set the bar for elite player development. Finally, we have every confidence that all of our membership will work together to implement the Academy philosophy and standards that are important to provide players the best environments to reach their full potentials.
In spite of this difficult financial decision, we are committed to working together and look forward to a bright future.
Please stay healthy and safe,
U.S. Soccer Secretary General and CEO
U.S. Soccer Sporting Director
Cindy Parlow Cone
U.S. Soccer President