In January 2015, AS Roma announced the expansion of its renowned youth soccer academy program to the United States. The club now has a direct, year-round partnership with 11 elite U.S. soccer academies with a focus on identifying and developing top-tier players.
“We are very proud to launch our U.S. Academy program and to formalise our partnership with select top-flight U.S clubs,” claimed AS Roma President James Pallotta at the time. “Player development in the United States continues to be a top priority for us. We are confident this initiative will be great for the country and club and produce many star players of tomorrow.”
In creating its expanded academy, Roma has built a comprehensive partnership program with the U.S.-based clubs, all with the objective of developing elite players. Elements include ongoing coaching development and exchanges, tailored physical performance programs and team training and competitions in both the United States and Europe.
“Since day one we have been committed not only to identifying the best partner clubs but ensuring we have constant input from them to ensure the program is successful,” explained AS Roma CEO Italo Zanzi. “We have a truly unique opportunity to bring together the best of youth football from Italy and the U.S. and produce fantastic results.”
“As someone who spent their youth living in both the U.S. and Italy, there’s a personal satisfaction that comes with seeing Roma investing significant resources to player development in the States. There’s a lot of talent here – and it’s great that the club continues to recognise that.”Mia Hamm
AS Roma’s academy in Italy is considered among the very best in Europe with 10 elite teams comprised of 226 players that compete in the official championships governed by the Italian Football Federation.
Roma’s youth teams have captured numerous Italian championships, including nine Scudetto titles for its Primavera – the oldest youth level. Over the years, Roma’s youth teams has produced 671 players that have competed for AS Roma’s first team, 23 players currently playing in Serie A and three FIFA World Cup champions in Francesco Totti, Daniele De Rossi and Bruno Conti.
Mia Hamm, arguably America’s most successful soccer player ever and now a Board Director of AS Roma, commented: “As someone who spent their youth living in both the U.S. and Italy, there’s a personal satisfaction that comes with seeing Roma investing significant resources to player development in the States. There’s a lot of talent here – and it’s great that the club continues to recognise that.”
In January, Roma hosted its first U.S. Academy Summit in Miami, where club ownership and executives met with leaders from each academy club and in June, representatives from each of the clubs in the program attended a two-day coaching and development summit at the club’s training ground in Rome.
“I think the ultimate mission with the Roma academy is basically player identification,” revealed Mike Lupenec from Vardar academy in Detroit. “Are there any kids in our academy that can play at this level in Europe?”
For Jon Szczuka from Pateadores in California, the weekend was a unique insight into the inner-workings of a European giant and he believes it can only help the mission to develop a new generation of elite American players. “This partnership is a tremendous opportunity to expose the interworking of AS Roma and something that we don’t get in southern California,” claimed Szczuka.
The 11 clubs in the AS Roma USA Academy are all members of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
The Chargers Soccer Club provides soccer opportunities to players throughout the Tampa Bay region with programs and fields in the Clearwater, Lakewood Ranch and Tampa communities, covering all sides of Tampa Bay.
The Chargers Soccer Club has approximately 90 competitive teams, USSF Development Academy Program, three recreational programs, TOPS Soccer and an adult recreational league totaling about 3,000 players utilizing 50 soccer fields.
Click here to visit the Chargers website.
The Vardar Soccer Club of Michigan is dedicated to the development of excellence and is the top soccer club in the state of Michigan.
The club has earned the reputation on a nationwide basis of consistently producing winning teams. Since 1982, Vardar has produced exceptional players and teams with the highest individual and team records.
Click here to visit the Vardar website.
St. Louis Scott Gallagher Soccer Club
St. Louis Scott Gallagher (SLSG) is a youth soccer club operating in the greater St. Louis metropolitan area. The result of a 2007 merger of three of the area’s leading soccer clubs -Busch Soccer Club, Scott Gallagher Soccer Club and Metro United Soccer Club - SLSG houses more than 275 teams for both boys and girls in age groups ranging U6 to U20.
SLSG operates teams in both Missouri and Illinois, including teams competing in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy and Elite Clubs National League (ECNL).
Click here to visit the SLSG website.
Real So Cal Soccer Club
Real So Cal Soccer Club, based in the San Fernando and Conejo Valley areas, is one of the most successful and highly respected youth soccer organizations in the United States The program supports over 800 competitive players on 50 teams from U8 to U18 boys and girls as well as a 3,000 player recreational league. Players begin in the recreational program aged four and can continue developing as a player through to the age of 18.
Real So Cal teams have won countless league, tournament and state titles combined, as well as United States National Championships and World Championships. Real So Cal participates in the United States Soccer Federation Development Academy for boys and the Elite Clubs National League for girls. These programs are generally recognized as the highest levels of club team competitition in the country.
Click here to visit the Real So Cal website.
FC Boston was created as result of a 2015 merger combining the complementary strengths of Scorpions SC and FC Greater Boston Bolts. FC Boston’s broad footprint, which stretches from central MA eastward to the coast and from southern New Hampshire into Rhode Island, attracts players from the populous and competitive playing fields in New England.
FC Boston has enrolled almost 2,000 players and will manage 130+ boys and girls teams in the U9 to U19 age groups. FC Boston is one of a handful of clubs with membership in the US Soccer Development Academy and the Elite Club National League. In addition to membership in those two pre-eminent leagues in the US, FC Boston also has membership in the National Premier League and New England Premiership.
Click here to visit the FC Boston website.
Crossfire Premier Soccer Club is based in Redmond, Washington, a few miles east of Seattle, Washington, USA.
The Crossfire Premier Soccer Club provides professional training and player development to qualified players to assist them in advancing to play at the highest levels of play available in the state.
Crossfire Premier coaching has produced players that have risen above the Crossfire Premier levels and onto playing for Division 1 Colleges, the National Residency Programs, US Soccer National teams and pools (U15-U20), and onto careers in the US and European leagues.
One such example is DeAndre Yedlin, who played for Crossfire Premier for four years as a youth player and went on to play for Seattle Sounders in the MLS before moving to Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League. In 2014, DeAndre was selected to represent the United States in the FIFA World Cup.
Click here to visit the Crossfire website.
Real Colorado was founded as the Douglas County Soccer Association in 1986 as a grassroots effort to provide a positive soccer experience to local youth in Douglas County. It now We now serves 4,600 players representing 3,700 families, which comprise over 450 teams.
Soccer organisations in Colorado are many; but Real Colorado has separated itself at the national level by the caliber of student-athletes who represent the club.
As members of the Red Bull league and the US Soccer Developmental Academy, the club has won championships at the local, state and national level and consistently rank as one of the Top 20 clubs in the U.S. from Soccer America. Real players have gone on to play in Major League Soccer.
Click here to visit the Real Colorado website.
The Pateadores believe that the pursuit of excellence in the areas of academics and soccer helps develop maturity and self-confidence.
Pateadores is a Spanish slang term that means ‘kickers’. The colours for the Pateadores Soccer Club have been blue and yellow since the inception of the club in 1987. The crest was adopted in 1989 with the black swan added in 1995 to symbolise the club's unique style of play, which is aggressive, territorial and graceful.
The Pats Elite player pool is provided multiple opportunities to compete and showcase their talents in front of a broad scope of college coaches. Each player enrolled in the Pats Elite Program has the opportunity to compete in at least two showcases per year. This player pool also have access to the most updated technology in video and player promotion.
Click here to visit the Pateadores website.
PDA Soccer Club
The objective of the PDA Soccer Club is to provide a year-round soccer training program that will develop players to their greatest potential, focusing on top-quality instruction and exposure to the highest levels of competition. The club has a boys team and a girls team in each of the age groups including U11 through to U19. These teams compete in premier leagues throughout the northeast and mid-Atlantic states and participate in highly competitive tournaments nationwide.
It is the goal of PDA to offer players optimal opportunities to gain the recognition that will enable them to achieve continued success as athletes on the country's top collegiate teams, United States national teams and/or professional soccer teams.
The PDA offers a scholarship fund to players in need of financial aid for participation on the Soccer Club teams. This fund has been generously donated by individuals and businesses.
Click here to visit the PDA Soccer Club website.
Lonestar Soccer Club
Lonestar Soccer Club is a youth organisation which offers all levels of play for young people from 4 to 19 years of age. Lonestar promotes an active, healthy lifestyle and love for the 'beautiful game'. Lonestar develops complete soccer players with key core values which we believe provide our players the best opportunity to succeed at the next level whether that is high school, college, professional soccer or life outside of competitive sports.
Click here to visit the Lonestar Soccer Club website.
The Concorde Fire Soccer Club strives to achieve excellence through outstanding coaching, training facilities, and competitive spirit. Formed in 1982, Concorde Fire has established a nationally recognized boys and girls program, fielding 2,300+ players in age groups ranging from U6 to U19.
Based in Atlanta, the Fire are members of the Georgia Soccer Association and also participate in the U.S. Development Academy and Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) the most competitive youth soccer leagues in the United States.
Click here to visit the Concorde Fire website.