AS Roma has announced the addition of five elite U.S youth soccer academies to its growing USA Academy programme.
Those clubs – Crossfire Premier, Lonestar Soccer Club, Players Development Academy (PDA), Real So Cal and St. Louis Scott Gallagher – join the most comprehensive U.S youth academy program among foreign professional soccer clubs.
AS Roma’s USA Academy now features ten top-flight clubs from across the USA:
• Chargers (Clearwater, Fla.)
• Crossfire Premier (Redmond, Wash.)
• FC Greater Boston Bolts (Boston, Mass.)
• Lonestar Soccer Club (Austin, Texas)
• Pateadores (Southern Calif.)
• Players Development Academy (Zarephath, N.J.)
• Real Colorado (Denver, Colo.)
• Real So Cal (Woodland Hills, Calif.)
• St. Louis Scott Gallagher (St. Louis, Mo.)
• Vardar (Detroit, Mich.)
The AS Roma USA Academy is a unique programme that prioritises best practices in all areas and has a particular emphasis on player and coach development. A principal objective of the program is to identify and cultivate U.S. players that have the ability to one day compete for AS Roma at its highest level. There have already been multiple USA Academy players across different age groups that have been invited to train in Rome with AS Roma’s youth teams.
For the U.S. academies, a partnership with AS Roma allows for accelerated player development, broadened exposure and access to specialised support.
AS Roma provides U.S. academies the same resources and year-round support as it does for its Italian academies.
“We are thrilled to welcome these five elite US clubs to the AS Roma family,” said AS Roma President James Pallotta. “We are extremely proud of our USA Academy program that continues to distinguish itself from what other professional soccer clubs are doing in the US.
“It is a special nationwide partnership network that delivers real value to each of our clubs and we are in constant communication with each club in a collaborative way to find innovative ways to make the program even stronger.”
“We are honored to partner with such a reputable club like AS Roma,” said St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri Boys Technical Director Kevin Kalish. “This relationship will allow all of us at St. Louis Scott Gallagher the opportunity to continue our growth as an organisation and ultimately help us achieve our mission of becoming the best youth club in the United States.”
AS Roma’s USA Academy is a multi-faceted program, which includes ongoing coaching development and exchanges, tailored physical performance programs and team training and competition in both the United States and Italy.
Highlights from 2015 include:
• AS Roma’s U.S. Academy U15 select team participated in the Dale Farm Milk Cup 2015 tournament, which featured teams from all over the world, including English Premier League clubs Liverpool and Southampton, as well as Sydney United from Australia.
• AS Roma hosted the first USA Academy Summit in Miami on January 28 with the first five US academy clubs.
• In June, AS Roma hosted nine of the clubs for a two-day coaching and development summit at AS Roma’s training ground at Trigoria.
• AS Roma USA Academy staff received professional development from AS Roma’s Performance Coach while in Rome.
• Two sets of Roma coaches – one to the east coast and one to west coast – will be arriving in the U.S. in late-fall.
• AS Roma provides a quarterly training curriculum to each Academy club.
• The St. Louis Scott Gallagher 2000’s are sending 16 players and two coaches to Rome this November for training and competition.
• An AS Roma USA Academy showcase to identify elite players for specialised training is planned to take place in early 2016.
• AS Roma is the official professional football club of the renowned Wide World of Sports amateur and pro sports complex in Orlando, which hosts the Disney Soccer Showcase presented by AS Roma – a top U.S. youth football soccer tournament. The Primavera, Roma’s top Italian academy team, regularly competes at the Wide World of Sports and will train there in December.
The AS Roma USA Academy program is run by Alex Zecca, AS Roma’s Director of Football Development. Zecca has been involved in soccer on many levels in the United States as a player and as an investor of various organizations, both at the professional and semi-professional levels. The program is managed day-to-day by Sean Carey, who is also the League Director of the New England Premiership, a nationally recognised youth league containing the top clubs in New England.
A former professional player and experienced educator, Carey specialises in maintaining a club’s focus on player development, player identification and game day playing environment.
AS Roma’s academy in Italy is considered among the very best in Europe and trains at its state-of-art practice facility, Trigoria. The academy has nine elite teams comprised of 226 players that compete in the official championships governed by the Italian Football Federation. AS Roma’s youth teams have captured numerous Italian championships, including nine Scudetto titles for its Primavera – the oldest youth level.
Over the years, AS Roma’s youth teams have 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.
All ten clubs are also part of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.