What is it?
The United States 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 Soccer Leagues. It succeeded the Super Y-League as the premier youth soccer league in the U.S.
The DA program provides the optimum developmental environment for the nation’s top youth soccer players, coaches and referees by emphasizing development through quality training and limited, meaningful competition. Campton United SC is proud to have its DA team as part of its developmental structure. The development system at Campton United SC begins with our U-5 to U-10 ‘ Soccer School’ teams (formerly our ‘ youth academy’). It provides the platform for players to move into the National Premier League (NPL) which we compete in through exclusive membership with our Midwest Developmental League (MDL) teams. The Campton United SC ‘Soccer School’ currently supports 16 boys and girls teams which feed into NISL, IWSL, MDL and MRL teams; we currently have over 40 boys and girls competitive teams.
About the DA
The (DA) was established to primarily focus on youth player development in the United States. The league consisted of 64 elite youth soccer clubs from around the country in its inaugural season. Each team was comprised by geographic proximity, with two age groups (U15/16 and U17/18). These 64 teams were divided into eight conferences with each team playing approximately 30 home and away matches during an eight-month season.
Today, the program includes a U12, U13, U14 divisions and has expanded to 134 clubs competing in ten geographically-based divisions during a ten-month season.
Although some attributes of the league have changed, the basic mission and principles remain the same: Increased focus on training, meaningful competition and a direct connection to U.S. National Team programming and National Staff.
U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy program is driven by the game and its players, coaches and referees. This game-centric approach allows for long-term development to occur through a deep understanding of what makes players successful around the world. As the sport of soccer grows in the United States, young players in our country need the proper environment to compete against the world’s elite. The U.S. Soccer Development Academy program provides the optimum developmental environment for the nation’s top youth soccer players, coaches and referees by emphasizing development through quality training and limited, meaningful competition.
Academy teams spend a greater amount of time focused on training to improve as individuals and as a team. The teams and players receive direct feedback and evaluations from National Team Staff in both training and game environments.
The Academy program features teams from the top youth clubs from around the country. Each Academy team plays approximately 30 regular season games to ensure all games are meaningful. Games are also played according to FIFA's Laws of the Game and officiated by a pool of the nation's top young referees in order to prepare players for the next level of competition.
Members of our Men’s National Team Scouting Network regularly attend Academy games, so players are evaluated over the course of the season and in their natural positions allowing for the best player assessment.
In the nearly ten years since its inception, the USSDA program has dramatically impacted the player development process in the United States.
A significant percentage of the youth national team player pool have come from within the Academy program, and approximately 75% of each graduating class from the Academy participates in college soccer the following fall. Virtually all college programs use the Academy program as a scouting vehicle and the program has received increased attention from professional scouts representing domestic and international clubs.