Website Manager

Development Academy

Carlos Zavala     
Director of Coaching
[email protected],org

Dave De Hart
US Development Academy Coach
[email protected]

The U.S. Soccer Development Academy (DA) is an American soccer league, considered the top tier of youth soccer in the United states. Formed in 2007, the league features youth academies and youth clubs from various organizations, including Major League Soccer, the North American Soccer League and the United States Soccer League.

Ajax United Academy is excited and pleased to announce its acceptance as a membership partner in the highly regarded US Soccer Development Academy (DA) for the 2018-2019 season.  The Ajax United Academy boys will compete against other DA clubs who have been accepted into the program at the 2007-2008 birth date age group beginning in fall 2017.  Ajax United has had considerable success at the regional level but will now have the chance to compete in the national scene.  As an Academy Club member, our club has the potential to develop players who will become part of our National Team programs.


To review the direction and format of the Academy U-12 program, please see the new Player Development Initiatives
For more information on the Development Academy, please visit

Try Out Information:
Boys born in 2007-2008
Date:  Monday, May 14, 2018 & Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Time:  7:00 pm to 8:30 pm (Arrive 30 minutes early for check in)
Location:  Mary Grogan Community Park
Bring:  Soccer cleats, shin guards, soccer ball, and plenty of water.

Development Academy Overview

The U.S. Soccer Development Academy is a program for our highest level players.  We are excited and honored that the Ajax United Soccer Club has again been awarded a U12 boys Academy team in February of this year for the upcoming Development Academy competition beginning in September 2018.  This team is for 2007 and 2008 birth year players and will compete in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy program through June 2019.  The U.S. Academy program requires us to identify and form two U12 teams (approx. 22 players total).  These teams will train as one group and players can be interchanged for Academy competitions.

Prior to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy League play beginning in September the group will begin training in mid July 2018 and compete in tournament play in preparation for the upcoming DA schedule. 
Please visit the following U.S. Soccer link to further explore this opportunity:
What is the Development Academy Program?

Following a comprehensive review of elite player development in the United States and around the world, U.S. Soccer created the Development Academy in 2007. The Academy Program's philosophy is based on increased training, less total games, and more meaningful games using international rules of competition.

The U.S. Soccer Development Academy is comprised of teams from approximately 150 total clubs across the nation, offering high level coaching, training and play in five different age groups (U-12, U-13, U-14, U-15/16, and U-17/18) for our top players.

The Academy Program focuses on positively impacting everyday club environments to assist in maximizing youth player development across the country. The Academy values individual development of elite players over winning trophies and titles. The Academy sets the standard for elite environments for youth soccer clubs nationwide and is a part of U.S. Soccer's global leadership position in youth soccer that will impact thousands of players.

Program Benefits for Players

Consistent Training Environments
Development Academy clubs are required to train a minimum of three (3) days per week and rest one (1) day per week during the Academy season.
Fewer, More Meaningful Games
Each Academy team plays approximately 25-30 league games, including 6-9 games played at Showcases. Teams that advance from the Academy Playoffs could expect to play up to three (3) additional games.
Our game-to-training ratio ensures our players are getting adequate rest
Teams may have one (1) or two (2) games per weekend based on travel, with no more than one game per day.
No outside activity/competitions
To maintain a focus on club training environments, Academy players and teams do not play in any outside competitions without written permission from the U.S. Soccer Development Academy staff. This includes any other leagues, tournaments, State Cup competitions, ODP or All-Star events. Development Academy players for all teams must choose to participate in the Academy full-time and forgo playing for their high school teams.
Full-time Academy players can only participate on their designated Academy team, with only two exceptions: U.S. Soccer Training Centers and Youth National Team duty.  The Development Academy upholds this rule because we believe elite players require world class environments. The Development Academy's 10-month Program allows for a greater opportunity to institute style of play and implement a system according to U.S. Soccer's Development Philosophy. It also gives teams increased opportunities for younger kids in their club to "play up" against older players in both training and matches, thereby accelerating their development.
International Standards
The DA follows international rules of competition developed by FIFA. These include no reentry on substitutions, the January 1st birthday cutoff, and players playing-up with older teams when appropriate.
Professionalized Coaching
Players receive integrated oversight from Academy club coaches and U.S. Soccer Technical Advisors in their local environment. Developing a world-class coaching system is fundamental to developing world-class players. Education is a continuous process. As the game of soccer is constantly evolving, it is important that coaches are knowledgeable on current domestic and international trends. U.S. Soccer Coaching Education supports the Development Academy in its initiative to require minimum certification for all technical staff. These requirements can be seen below:
Academy club directors → USSF 'A' License and must complete the Academy Director's course
Academy club technical staff → USSF 'B' license (minimum)
Connections to U.S. Soccer Resources and Talent Identification Opportunities
The Development Academy offers various talent identification opportunities for Academy players through both league play and at events. Since the 2007-08 Development Academy season, 19 Academy alumni have earned Men's National Team Call-Ups and 1,250 Academy players earned Youth National Team call-ups. Over 160 Development Academy alumni have played in Major League Soccer, with approximately another 50+ alumni at professional environments overseas.
League Play
The Academy connects National Team coaches directly with the Academy clubs to develop and identify players and coaches for future Youth National Teams.  Each Academy club is evaluated by a member of the U.S. Soccer Scouting Network at least ten (10) times each year.  U.S. Soccer scouts attended over 50% (2,100+) of DA games in the 2017-2018 season.
Development Academy Events
Development Academy events are premier scouting venues for players to be identified for U.S. Soccer Training Centers and Youth National Teams.  National Team staff members observe every game.  Domestic and international professional scouts in attendance at all matches.
Please contact Head Coach Dave de Hart for any additional information: [email protected]

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