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Western New York Flash Selected as Inaugural Club for U.S. Soccer Girls' Development Program

08/17/2016 1:19 PM -






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ELMA, NY (August 17, 2016) – The Western New York Flash announced today that they will be one of the 74 member clubs for the inaugural year of the U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy. The Development Academy is an initiative designed to accelerate the development of world-class female players that will begin play in the fall of 2017.


“We are excited to be a founding member of the United States Soccer Girls’ Development Academy,” Western New York Flash Academy Director of Coaching Rob Ferguson said. “Since I arrived in Buffalo, we have repeatedly said that we are committed to changing the landscape for female soccer players in western New York. Joining the U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy is one piece of that changing landscape. When you pair this amazing achievement with our participation in the ECNL, the launch of our new Jr. Academy Program for 6-10 year olds, and our College Placement Program, it makes 2016 a very exciting time for the Western New York Flash and our Flash Academy.”


Since 2007, U.S. Soccer’s Boys’ Development Academy has served as the elite male youth player development model for the country and has significantly improved the everyday environment for players, coaches, referees, and clubs.


The Girls’ Development Academy will be structured with many of the same principles and will begin play in the fall of 2017. The following 22 clubs were announced today as founding members of the the Girls’ Development Academy.


·      Western New York Flash (Elma, N.Y.)

·      FC Kansas City (Prarie Village, Kan.)

·      Houston Dash (Houston, Texas)

·      Cedar Stars Academy – Monmouth (Tinton Falls, N.J.)

·      Empire United (Rochester, N.Y.)

·      FC Fury New York (Bay Shore, N.Y.)

·      FC United (Northfield, Ill.)

·      Houston United (Houston, Texas)

·      Indiana Fire (Westfield, Ind.)

·      La Roca Futbol Club (Kaysville, Utah)

·      Burlingame SC – MLVA (Burlingame, Calif.)

·      Nationals (Royal Oak, Mich.)

·      Oakwood Soccer Club (Glastonbury, Conn.)

·      PA Classics (Manheim, Pa.)

·      Pateadores (Costa Mesa, Calif.)

·      PSV Union (Palo Alto, Calif.)

·      Real So Cal (Woodland Hills, Calif.)

·      SC del Sol (Phoenix, Ariz.)

·      Sereno Soccer Club (Phoenix, Ariz.)

·      Sporting Blue Valley (Overland Park, Kan.)

·      Texas Rush Soccer Club (The Woodlands, Texas)

·      West Coast Futbol Club (Laguna Hills, Calif.)


Club applications were evaluated and accepted by U.S. Soccer’s technical staff based on the leadership of the club and quality of the coaching staff, the desire to embrace and promote the core values of the program, the license levels of their coaching staff, the infrastructure of the club and the resources currently being invested in development (facilities, scholarships, staff to player ratio, etc.), the history of player production for Youth National Teams, the market and depth of the player pool, and the geographic location and the proximity to other elite clubs.

The Academy program will focus on positively impacting everyday club environments to maximize elite female youth player development. Increasing the training to game ratio, playing fewer but more meaningful games and providing assistance for coaching education and development are just some of the standards and best practices the program will promote. 

U.S. Soccer will officially launch the Girls’ Development Academy Program in the fall of 2017. For additional information about the program, please visit the U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy website. To contact the Flash about interest in this program, email rferguson@wnyflashsoccer.com.


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