Three San Francisco Elite Academy have earned advanced licenses so far this year, a fourth coach is close to completing his work, and a fifth coach was just accepted to a highly selective course for this fall.
This past week, SFEA head coach Bobby Quinlan (2002 Boys and 2007 Boys DA) earned the prestigious National "A" Youth License and Barry McCabe (Lead Coach for Athletic Development & Injury Prevention) earned his National "B" License. Both coaches competed months of work with repeated classroom and field visits, as well as a long mentorship with a US Soccer coaching educator.
Earlier this year, Chris Flanagan (2003 Boys and 2009 Boys) completed his National "B" License as well, meaning SFEA now has six USSF A licensed coaches and 5 USSF B licensed coaches on staff. Head coach Mauricio Diaz DeLeon (2001 Boys and 2008 Boys) is nearing completion of his National "B" License and Abigail Kalschuer (2007 Girls) just learned she has been selected to a National B Course for the fall of 2018.
At the San Francisco Elite Academy we are proud of our staff and the professionalism for which they approach their roles as coaches. Congratulations to these coaches on this significant achievement.
2018-2019 Season to Feature a Minimum of 22 Teams Playing U9 Through U19 with Participation in Norcal, NPL, and US Soccer Development Academy
SAN FRANCISCO, CA. ––The San Francisco Elite Academy (SFEA) announced today a substantial expansion of its soccer program for youth players. Beginning with the upcoming tryout period this May, SFEA will add an additional U.S. Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) team at the U13 Boys age level (2006 birth year) as well as eight new teams across boys and girls at the U9 through U13 age levels (2010-2005 birth years).
SFEA’s addition of this new youth program comes on the heels of on-the-field success this past fall as well as the introduction of a number of new, innovative programs to support player development, like SAQ+ and Peak Performance. Today’s expansion announcement also furthers SFEA’s commitment to its mission to develop elite soccer talent in San Francisco and represents yet another milestone in raising the bar for all of San Francisco’s youth soccer players.
“This starts an exciting next chapter for the San Francisco Elite Academy,” said Eddie Soto Director of Coaching for Boys and Men’s Head Coach at the University of San Francisco. “Our continued growth is something our families have been asking for, so we’re happy to be announcing we are adding younger players to our soccer programs across the board.”
At the upcoming tryouts in May, SFEA will be selecting players for the following teams, at a minimum, for the 2018-2019 playing season:
2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 (USSDA), 2006 (USSDA), 2005 (NPL), 2004 (NPL), 2003 (NPL), 2002 (NPL), 2000/2001 (NPL)
2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006 (PRE-NPPL), 2005 (NPL), 2004 (NPL), 2004, 2003 (NPL), 2003, 2002 (NPL), 2000/2001 (NPL)
“The San Francisco Elite Academy began as a promise,” said Jim Millinder, SFEA’s Director of Coaching for Girls and Women's Head Coach at the University of San Francisco. “We wanted to provide the city’s most dedicated youth players a program that elevated the level of coaching, the level of competitive play, and the level of daily training. Our new younger age group teams are about doing the same. Along with our technical partner clubs, we’ll be working to improve the foundational environment for youth players and help the next generation of great San Francisco soccer players get started.”
While a few final details about the new youth program continue to be finalized, SFEA will again be leading the market in terms of quality coaching, focussed training facilities, and development-based curriculum. In addition, SFEA youth teams will be supported with additional and specialized training as well as unique playing opportunities throughout the year.
“Our coaching staff is more highly-licensed and experienced than any other local club,” said Chris Flanagan, Director of Soccer Operations. “Together, we’ve conceived a youth program that better addresses the full-spectrum of developmental needs of the younger kids. We intend to be the club that sets a new standard for how younger soccer players are developed in San Francisco.”
For now, SFEA youth teams will be limited in number so as to provide high value and close attention to each team, as well as to recognize that younger players often choose clubs for a variety of non-soccer related reasons. Through SFEA’s Technical Partner program, youth players at other clubs will have a chance to benefit from parts of SFEA’s youth program if their club chooses to participate.
SFEA President Joe Dugan summed it up this way: “The combined lessons of our U.S. Soccer Development Academy and other specialized programs, along with the tremendous success we’ve had with our NPL-level U14 through U19 teams, have led us to establishing a more thoughtful and improved performance environment for the city’s youngest players. Since the founding of SFEA, three and a half years ago, we’ve been working tirelessly to create more opportunities for soccer players. Today’s announcement is an exciting leap forward as we’re now prepared to take the positive impact we’re making on players and expand it to more ages.”
Families and players interested in SFEA’s U.S. Soccer Development Academy or our new Youth Program are encouraged visit our website at sfea.org for more information.
The San Francisco Elite is a youth soccer club for elite-level and aspiring youth soccer players in San Francisco. The organization provides next level training at a critical juncture in a player’s development by offering highly licensed and experienced coaching, soccer-first facilities, and a proven development curriculum, backed by specialized coaching and programs. SFEA was the first team in San Francisco to have a U.S. Soccer Development Academy program and places more teams in US Club’s National Premier League than any other San Francisco club. In addition, SFEA is committed to leaving no dedicated player behind and provides over $100,000 in financial aid and scholarship funding annually.
About U.S. Soccer Development Academy
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 for male players in the U-15 to U-18 age groups. In 2013, the Academy expanded to include the U-13/14 age group, and in 2016, the Academy launched the U-12 age group, which has continued to improve development by setting standards and improving the everyday environment for elite players and clubs. Academy alumni have progressed to play at elite amateur and professional levels with 109 Academy graduates rostered in the MLS in 2016 and 23 Academy players earning U.S. MNT caps.
This fall the San Francisco Elite Academy unveiled several new programs to support the soccer and overall development of its youth athletes. SAQ+ and Peak Performance are two such programs and they are already in full swing and having a positive impact on SFEA players.
SAQ+ stands for strength, agility, quickness plus injury prevention. It’s a program that SFEA developed in partnership with Pro Performance Sports, a San Francisco-based strength and conditioning company that works with top athletes and was founded by Barry McCabe. Barry has joined SFEA’s coaching staff as lead coach for athletic development and injury prevention, and can already be seen working with SFEA teams out on the fields across the city.
"Our SAQ+ program is unique on a number of levels," said Chris Flanagan, SFEA Director of Soccer Operations. "Fundamentally it's about strength, speed and injury prevention. But the way the curriculum has been developed makes it also about improving performance at just the right time during the playing season.
Through SAQ+, SFEA teams work with Coach McCabe several times a season with customized exercises focussed on specific results and tailored to generate a varied workload. The goal is to help players become more fit while making them less susceptible to injury and more likely to be working with high energy levels at the end of the season for showcases and cup finals.
“In addition, we avoided a silo approach with this program where a specialized trainer just takes over for a couple of sessions here and there and the ideas all disappear in between. Coach McCabe is not only leading our players but he's leading our coaches, teaching them core exercises that they will run with their team on their own. And best of all we're testing players so that we can see the results and so our players can both push themselves and have important data points to share with college coaches and recruiters."
The other major program SFEA developed for this season is Peak Performance, a unique program that helps SFEA players develop the mental fortitude required to be a top athlete. Led by Yvonne Gomez, a former Olympic athlete and recognized leader in sports psychology, this program helps SFEA athletes develop confidence, game routines, focussing techniques an effective goal setting. Players meet as a team in private sessions with Coach Gomez, who beyond working with SFEA is also the mental performance coach for the University of San Francisco. Several SFEA teams have already had their first sessions with "Gogo" (as Yvonne is affectionately called) and all SFEA players have come away from their sessions with tools on how to better mentally prepare themselves for the long playing year ahead.
“The benefits of a program like Peak Performance are part of what separates great athletes from top athletes, said, Tom Atencio, SFEA Director of Coaching and Player Development. “The mental aspect of soccer becomes more and more important as players progress. And the best part is that the lessons they are receiving with this program carry over to all aspects of their lives. We are helping our players become more focussed, resilient, and goal-oriented.”
Both the SAQ+ and Peak Performance programs support SFEA's commitment to offering San Francisco's top youth soccer players a development pathway to next level soccer––whether college or professional play. To learn more about the San Francisco Elite Academy or these programs please feel free to call the office or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The SF Elite Academy
Our mission is to provide an elite level program for soccer players in San Francisco.