United Soccer Leagues announced today the acceptance of SA United Soccer Club into the Next Generation Series (NextGen). The joint venture between USL and IMG Academy features a forward-looking, innovative, comprehensive, and unique program designed to develop the complete elite youth soccer player through a defined regimen of training, competition, testing, and evaluation.
The SA United philosophy is focused on player development both on and off the field - a philosophy the club shares with the Next Generation Series.
"There are so many talented players in south Texas who are limited to the exposure offered within their communities," SA United Director of Coaching Jay Sparrow said. "The NextGen Series will help elevate soccer in San Antonio to another level and provide those top players with an opportunity to be part of SA United Soccer Club where the focus is on the player's development, individual growth and excellence."
The inspiration for NextGen was the repeated and consistent message received from top youth soccer clubs and coaches that they were seeking a fresh development initiative specifically geared toward younger teams and players.
"Being a member of the NextGen Series will give our players the opportunity to consistently play against teams from different parts of the Southwest region," continued Sparrow. "By being pitted against teams from the other elite clubs, our players will experience a level of play beyond the standard that they experience just in south Texas. Exposure to this high level can only serve to inspire them to even greater heights."
NextGen is an exciting, new youth soccer initiative established to provide players, coaches and clubs the opportunity to take part in an the first elite-level league totally devoted to player development.
“We're thrilled to have SA United Soccer Club on board for the inaugural NextGen campaign,” NextGen Director Abe Thompson said. "The opportunity to work with a highly respected club and coaches is exciting for us. This is unchartered territory in south Texas and the impact of NextGen in the region is certain to be massive."
The 2013 Next Generation Series format will consist of U12 and U14 boys and girls teams participating in an eight-month season beginning in August and culminating in April. More than just another youth soccer league, top players will be identified through the NextGen Player Tracking Program and invited to attend the NextGen ID Training Camp at IMG presenting the unique opportunity for these elite soccer players to showcase their talents and train with distinguished IMG and NGS coaches.
"We are particularly thrilled to have IMG Academy as a major partner in the NextGen Series," Sparrow added. "IMG Academy sets the standard across the US for athlete development and so having them involved with the Ignite 360 testing twice a year will give our coaches more information about our players which will be used to refine our training techniques in order to get the best out of our boys and girls."
NextGen was launched to fill the void by providing a comprehensive platform for clubs to best prepare their young players for the challenges which await them at the next level. It's a concept that fits the SA United mold.
"The ultimate goal of being part of the Next Generation Series is to expose both our boys and girls programs to a high level of competition across the Southwest Region," Sparrow said. "It will offer our very top players the opportunity to compete against players of an equally high ability while still playing for their regular club teams within south Texas."
The world’s largest and most advanced multi-sport training and education complex, IMG Academy hosted myriad soccer team training camps in 2012, including clubs such as the Seattle Sounders, D.C. United, the Columbus Crew, Sweden’s Malmö FF, as well as the U.S. Women’s National Team preparing for the London Olympic Games and the Antigua & Barbuda Men’s National Team preparing for World Cup qualifying.
Next Generation Series: NextGen is an exciting, new youth soccer initiative undertaken by USL and IMG Academy, established to provide clubs the opportunity to take part in an elite-level league for U12 and U14 boys and girls. The NGS will take a developmental approach, which engages the player, coach, and parent, while facilitating player growth across 10 important disciplines. These disciplines will be conducted by world-renowned experts in their respective areas of performance, and will include Ignite360 athletic assessment, physical and mental conditioning, technical skill development, tactical development, and vision development; as well as instruction about nutrition, leadership, on-field communication, and injury prevention. Teams will participate in an eight-month season featuring two evaluation/competition events at IMG, and top players will be identified through the NGS Player Tracking Program and invited to attend the NGS ID Training Camp at IMG. To learn more about the Next Generation Series please visit http://www.ngssoccer.com/.