As the club enters MLS in 2019, FCC will begin its youth talent identification later this year
CINCINNATI – Ahead of its entry into Major League Soccer for the 2019 season, FC Cincinnati will start to build the foundation of its FC Cincinnati Academy this fall.
Upon its full launch in 2019, the FC Cincinnati Academy will offer the region’s elite players unparalleled access to professional coaching, development and superior competition, and a defined pathway to a professional soccer career.
All aspects of the program will be conducted under the auspices of the FC Cincinnati technical staff – in order to promote a consistent style and level of play throughout all teams in the club – and is meant for players who will go on to play soccer at the highest levels of the sport.
In order to prepare for the full launch of the FC Cincinnati Academy in 2019, FCC will kick off its player identification programming in November.
“The FC Cincinnati Academy will not be a new club in the area, but rather a next step for the very best players in our region who have the potential to play professionally for our first team,” Luke Sassano, FC Cincinnati Technical Director, said. “As we begin to identify elite youth players in the Greater Cincinnati area, we have such enormous respect for all of the current youth clubs and organizations for their long-time efforts to grow interest and ability in soccer at all levels over the last several decades.”
All MLS Academies play in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy (DA) – including the three Canada-based clubs – and FCC will submit its formal application to U.S. Soccer this fall. FC Cincinnati has the intention of entering the USSDA for the 2019-20 season.
As with almost every MLS Academy, all of the FC Cincinnati Academy players’ expenses related to soccer competition will be covered by the club, meaning players and their families will not be asked to pay any annual fees or be charged any money to play for FCC. All of the players’ needs – including equipment, uniforms, facilities and team travel to and from competitions – will be paid for by the club.
Through a series of ID clinics throughout the Greater Cincinnati area this winter, FC Cincinnati will identify of pool of potential youth players who have the ability, talent and demeanor to represent FCC ahead of the club’s anticipated DA debut for the 2019-20 academic year.
FCC expects to begin play in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy with two older age groups, and will build out its development pyramid over the next few years, as well as expanding feeder and talent identification programming.
In addition to the 23 current MLS academies, other top youth clubs around the nation also earn spots in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy and compete alongside the MLS sides in the nation’s top level of youth soccer.
On top of fielding elite youth teams, FC Cincinnati will also launch coaching education opportunities for all cubs in the region.
“As we strive to become the heart of soccer in America and as we implement our youth development structure, we believe it’s our obligation to support all youth soccer in the Greater Cincinnati and Tri-State area,” Sassano said. “Our goal, coming in with our MLS academy, is to further foster soccer’s growth in the region and increase both the level of play and the level of coaching offered to young players, regardless of ability and financial resources.
“We are excited to work with our local youth clubs and organizations to offer different identification access pathways for all players in the region.” Sassano continued.
“As we begin our youth programming, I’m very excited to start integrating Cincinnati’s top young players into the FC Cincinnati system,” Head Coach Alan Koch said. “This is an exciting beginning for FC Cincinnati and the future of our club.”
Further information about programming this fall and winter will be released in the coming weeks and months.