Development Academy Terminated

The Developmental Academys logo.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Developmental Academy’s logo.

Payton Rofe, Staff Writer & Copy Editor

U.S. soccer has shut down its youth Development Academy due to the financial hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic. According to NBC Sports, “The U.S. Soccer Federation has terminated its Development Academy after 13 years, calling it “a difficult financial decision.” Both boys and girls, whose soccer clubs participated in the U.S. Development Academy program, are now struggling to find a new soccer league to join. Unfortunately, some clubs will not be able to find a new league. 

A major aspect of the DA was for the assessment and recruitment of players for the U.S. National Teams. Now with the elimination of the DA, there are numerous questions on how this process will take place. When asked about the collapse of the DA program, former professional women’s soccer player Sarah Devine shared, “I’m disappointed in the loss of professionalism these players received because of the demise of the US Soccer DA. It was a place where players were not only afforded opportunities to play, but to train at a collegiate volume, film all games and receive their play, compete against other teams with similar aspirations, and have US Soccer representatives observe their play. It is important that we continue to give players this kind of love and care no matter the governing body of the soccer league.”  

A possible answer for female soccer players may rest within the Development Player League (DPL). The DPL has just created the Girls Academy (GA) which is intended to be an extremely competitive league for the former DA teams that lost their spots when U.S. Soccer disbanded the DA league. Hopefully, the GA can pick up the reins where the DA left off and all these extremely talented soccer players will once again have the opportunity to train, compete, and showcase their talents at the highest level.