Launched in 1999, the U.S. Soccer U-17 national team Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida, will end after the current semester. Thi full article from Soccer America Daily reads as follows:
“One of our main hopes when establishing the U.S. Soccer Residency Program was that at some point advancements in youth player development would make its existence no longer necessary -- we believe that point has been reached.” U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said. “Not only did the program develop a number of key players for our national teams, it served as a model for academies across the country to follow. With the U.S. Development Academy having achieved high standards in preparing our young athletes, we are now able to impact future American professionals on a much larger scale.”
The inaugural Residency Program class in 1999 included Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley, the Golden Ball and Silver Ball winners at the 1999 U-17 World Cup, at which the USA under Coach John Ellinger finished fourth, which remains the USA’s best finish.
The current Residency Program players are preparing for the Concacaf qualifying tournament (April 21-May 7 in Panama) for the 2017 U-17 World Cup.
“It’s a bittersweet moment because the program has been invaluable for almost two decades as a critical piece of the development process for U.S. Soccer,” said U-17 national team head coach John Hackworth. “The end of the Residency Program signals the next step in the evolution of player development in this country.”
The U.S. Soccer Development Academy, a nationwide league launched in 2007, was designed to take the Residency Program model to the club level and has grown from 63 clubs to 150 with more than 10,000 registered players.
“We will maintain robust U-17 programming to accomplish our goals of providing players with international experience, and qualifying and competing in FIFA U-17 World Cups,” said Hackworth. “We will expand on our work with Development Academy coaches and clubs in order to evaluate players in their home environments on a regular basis. We owe a huge thanks to IMG for being amazing hosts, and we fully expect to continue to utilize their fantastic facilities and build on the relationship of the last 18 years.”
More than 450 players have been through the Residency Program, and more than 150 of those players have moved on to MLS or professional leagues in Europe.
The 33 Residency alums who have appeared for the full U.S. national team are:
Kellyn Acosta, Freddy Adu, Gale Agbossoumonde, Juan Agudelo, Jozy Altidore, Paul Arriola, DaMarcus Beasley, Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley, Bobby Convey, Landon Donovan, Greg Garza, Eddie Gaven, Luis Gil, Omar Gonzalez, Joe Gyau, Eddie Johnson, Perry Kitchen, Eric Lichaj, Justin Mapp, Chad Marshall, Dax McCarty, Oguchi Onyewu, Heath Pearce, Christian Pulisic, Santino Quaranta, Robbie Rogers, Rubio Rubin, Brek Shea, Jonathan Spector, Danny Szetela, Anthony Wallace.
Read the full article here.