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US Development Academy FAQ

What is the Development Academy? 

The Development Academy is a partnership between U.S. Soccer and the top youth clubs around the country to provide the best youth players in the U.S. with an every day environment designed to produce the next generation of National Team players. The Academy’s programming philosophy of increased training, less total games and more competitive games is based on U.S. Soccer’s Best Practices utilized by the U-17 U.S. National Team Residency program.

The Academy also connects National Team coaches directly with the Academy clubs to develop and identify players and coaches for future Youth National Teams. Each Academy team is evaluated by a National Team coach at least ten times each year and each Academy club receives two formal evaluations in over 100 categories each year from National Team staff.

The Development Academy is also focused on identifying and developing the next generation of elite referees. U.S. Soccer assigns up-and-coming officials to participate in Academy games at the local level and at national events.

What is Pre-Academy?

The Pre-Academy offers the same high level of competition and intelligent training schedule that incited the initial drive for the Development Academy, only for the u-12 though u-15 age groups.  Across several geographic divisions, youth clubs (a large percentage of which are currently participating in the USDA) now have the chance to develop players in a competitive atmosphere at a younger age.  This allows clubs with several age brackets the opportunity to groom their players from as early as 10 or 11 and keep these players on a well-thought out training regimen to best develop young talent.

What is Bethesda’s Vision?

To have the best coaching method which will develop international and national team players

Who oversees the Bethesda Academy ?

Jonathon Colton oversees the Academy Program as Director of Coaching and Technical Director

How many days per week will the USSF Development teams train?

USSF Development Academy teams will train a total of 4 days per week. Players are expected to attend all practices to be considered for competition in games.

How many games are played and how long is the Academy season?

Each Academy club plays approximately 30 league games, including 6 games played at Showcases. The season begins in September and commences with Finals Week in July.

How many players are selected per team?

Each team will select between 18-22 players for the given year.

How do Development Academy players get exposure to US National teams?

US Soccer Training Centers are sessions that are hosted every few months in various locations where National Team coaches train & identify players. US Soccer Training Centers will replace ODP (USYS) sessions and zero costs are associated for players who are invited to attend these sessions.  US Soccer scouts attend the majority of divisional games to identify players for National team camps & US Training centers.

What about College exposure?

Development Academy players undoubtedly receive the best college exposure of any club in the country two USSF Development Academy Showcase events and attendance of college coaches at divisional conference games.  The USSF Development Academy program will certainly help players to pursue their college dreams & make them a reality.

How much are Academy clubs required to travel? 

Academy clubs can expect 15-20 away matches in a given season, some of which will require overnight travel. Exact travel distances will vary depending on their geographic proximity to their opponents and Academy events.

Can Academy players participate with non-Academy teams during the season? 

Full-time Academy players are only permitted to participate on their Academy team and National Team duty. BOSA players can not play on their high school teams.

What is the Scholarship Program? 

The Scholarship Program is a joint venture between the U.S. Soccer Federation and the U.S. Soccer Foundation to help Academy clubs and players move away from the pay-to-play model of soccer. For more information on deadlines, the application process, eligibility and program requirement click

Who will coach the teams?

The Academy coaching staff can be found HERE

Where will the Academy Teams train?

Currently the Academy teams divide their practice time between Richard Montgomery High School and Wootton High School. Both sites are turf which allow our teams to train even during inclement weather. 

How many Academy players have gone on to Division I College Programs?

In the past two years Bethesda SC has had over 35 players join Division I programs with others joining top Division II, III programs as well.

You can access US Soccers FAQ Page HERE

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