SAN FRANCISCO (June 29th, 2020) - San Francisco Elite Academy is excited to announce that they have entered into a strategic partnership with the Hawai’i Soccer Academy, located in the Aloha State. The Hawai’i Soccer Academy is the elite soccer program in the state, raising the bar in the Hawaii soccer community.
This partnership will enable boys and girls from the Hawai’i Soccer Academy to play with the San Francisco Elite Academy teams in both Showcase Events and league games, allowing for additional exposure to top profession scouts, national team scouts as well as college coaches.
San Francisco Elite Academy is a member of the newly formed Major League Soccer (MLS) Youth Development league, the top boy’s platform in the country as well as a founding member of the recently launched Girls Academy League.
The clubs have agreed to help further establish Hawai’i Soccer Academy’s vision to provide opportunities outside of the Hawaiian Islands, and with this cooperative business relationship, it will enhance the ability to be even more efficient in the promotion of Hawaii’s soccer players.
“Providing a pathway for the kids from Hawai’i is a huge priority of ours, and this wonderful opportunity was something we couldn’t be more excited about,” mentioned James Escobar Sasiadek, President, Hawai'i Soccer Academy. “I have known Joe Dugan, the Founder of S.F. Elite, since early 2015 when we both attended a U.S. Coaching Course together at S.F. State. He and his exceptional staff have built the top club in San Francisco, and have become one of the most recognized clubs in the country. Joe and I have always talked about working together to help Hawai’i kids gain more opportunities and pathways to professional and college teams, and with their clubs recent acceptance to the boys MLS league, and girls GA league, in addition to his clubs outstanding college pathways, we both agreed now was the time to make the dream a reality.”
Tom Atencio, Director of Player Development for the San Francisco Elite Academy said “I see great value in joining forces with the Hawai’i Academy as it will help both clubs in terms of player and team development, which has always been a focus and a core value here at S.F. Elite. We are in talks to collaborate on tournaments both in San Francisco and Hawai’i, which would certainly benefit both clubs. Despite the obvious paradise location that an H.S.A. tournament would provide, being able to build a top class tournament that could potentially draw in teams from across the country, and even internationally is something we are excited about.”
**About Hawai'i Soccer Academy**
Hawai’i Soccer Academy, located on the island of Oahu, serves nearly 300 athletes across the state, and currently has 22 competitive teams, ranging from 2003 to 2014 born, both boys and girls. In addition to a highly recognized youth academy, the club has produced numerous top teams, ODP National, Regional, and State players, USYS State Cup Champions, National Soccer Showcase Champions, and will graduate its first class of college recruits in 2021.
One of the fastest growing clubs in the Hawaiian Islands, their dedicated staff of Nationally Licensed coaches help promote the game thru an organized, structured, and age appropriate soccer curriculum for its members.
Hawaii Soccer Academy, continues to work tirelessly to provide opportunities within the state, and has now built professional pathways, university and college pathways, and career guidance for all of the H.S.A. athletes, outside of the islands.
The Academy is presently in the works to provide top facilities for their athletes to train island wide, with eyes on planning and organizing a future tournament to showcase the talent and quality within the Hawaiian Islands.
San Francisco has been sheltering in place since mid-March, and although players and teams are no longer training outdoors together, the training and learning has never stopped for the San Francisco Elite Academy (SFEA).
The SFEA coaches quickly adapted their training sessions to meet the needs of their respective teams. Sebastian Carrasco, Lead Coach for Athletic Development, holds regular workout sessions via zoom across multiple teams, helping the players find new ways to stay fit. While most coaches are utilizing video conferencing to meet with their teams, other coaches such as Chris Flanagan are using alternative means to engage their teams. Coach Chris, who is concerned about his players screen time during the shelter in place, created an alternative way for his players to engage as a team. “I chose to use an asynchronous learning model where my team would be given weekly prompts and then share their work publicly. I built a website, to support this concept. I made it a place to offer them direction, encouragement and links; and, importantly, a place to see and share and celebrate their work as well as the work of their teammates.”
While physical training is important during the shelter-in-place order, the SFEA coaches and staff are utilizing guest speakers to improve the players Soccer IQ. Topics include: the college pathway, playing professionally and internationally and mental health. Guest speakers include Welsh international player and Seattle OL Reign player, Jess Fishlock, MBE, Jonathan Orozco, Oakland Roots SC (NISA), David Abidor, Oakland Roots SC (NISA), John Pulskamp, Sporting FC, Marlon Vargas, Seattle Sounders, Katie Duong, University of Minnesota, U20 US National Team, and Camila Bodden, Carnegie Mellon, and Brian Baxter, Sports Psychology, Amplify Sports.
The SFEA players are actively engaged in their weekly training sessions. Coach Tom Atencio, Director of Player Development, has empowered his players to drive their engagement. The 2004, 2005, 2006 girls team have worked together to build and understand the global soccer path for women, learning what it takes to play soccer throughout the world. Additionally these players have spent sessions providing feedback to their teammates, on their strengths, weaknesses and potential. Coach Ricky Gutierrez has players from his 3 teams make presentations in front of their peers explaining “Team Tactical Principles”, giving the players a chance to practice speaking in front of their peers. Players are also using social media to demonstrate their skills by participating in the #StayAtHome challenge.
Coach Jeff Wilson, has held sessions with the older players, 2005 and above, to work on their college profiles and to understand the college recruitment process. And it is not all about the players, coaches Bobby Quinlan & Jim Millinder have both held video calls with parents, to check in on them, provide updates and give them an opportunity to socialize with other parents.
Coach Chance Daniel sums it up well, “Not being able to play games or even practice together is a huge bummer, but I have been really impressed with our players commitment to
development and the pursuit of excellence. Their energy/love for the game and their club mates has been nothing short of amazing. “
The Development Player League announced in early May that they would be adding a Girls Academy League. This new league will consist of primarily former Girls Development Academy clubs but will also include some additional elite soccer clubs. The San Francisco Elite Academy will be one of those new clubs.
The goal of the Girls Academy (GA) is primarily to offer former Development Academy clubs and other elite girls clubs an opportunity to play competitive soccer regionally and to showcase their talent nationally.
Tom Atencio, Director of Player Development and Girls Academy Director, stated that “the San Francisco Elite Academy is pleased to join the Girls Academy and is excited to further the clubs’ growth on the national stage. SFEA continues to move forward and provide opportunities for players through a combination of self realization and age appropriate rhythm training. Congratulations to all players, coaches and staff.”
The Girls Academy will include teams in the U13- U18/U19 age groups. SFEA will compete in the Northwest division. The San Francisco Elite Academy will also continue to compete in the NPL / Champions League of NorCal Premier.
Jim Millinder, Girls Director of Coaching “I think this is an outstanding opportunity for the San Francisco Elite Academy. Playing against top quality competition is what we have always had our sights on in the development of all of our players and teams. From a recruiting standpoint for our players this will give them the opportunity to be seen by a large amount of college coaches.”
For more details click here Girls Academy FAQ
SAN FRANCISCO (May 13, 2020) - The San Francisco Elite Academy has been invited to be a founding member of a partnership with Major League Soccer (MLS) and 95 youth clubs to create an elite level national league. The partnership will transform youth player development in the United States and Canada. The new platform, which will include more than 8,000 players throughout the U.S. and Canada, will consist of elite year-round competition, as well as player identification initiatives, coaching education opportunities, and additional programming to create the premier player development environment. We are proud to be invited to participate and look forward to having a voice at the national level for player development.
SFEA had over 140 players at various high schools in the San Francisco Bay Area playing soccer during the winter season. When the high school season ended earlier this month, 40 SFEA players earned honors in their respective leagues. Five of those recipients earned the highest league honors of Most Valuable Player: Hannah McCord, Raquel Lau, Simone Barragan-Shaw, Lucinda Anderson and Ian Ryan. The complete list of players by league is below. Congratulations to all of the honorees. This is a great celebration for all of the San Francisco soccer community.
Hannah McCord - Most Valuable Midfielder
Raquel Lau - Most Valuable Goalie
Shannon Li - First Team
Madison Delmonte - Second Team
Sarah Ginsberg - Second Team
Kalea Papandrew - Second Team
Amaya Jarzombek - Second Team
Lila Miranda - Second Team
Luke Woodhouse - First Team
Carlo Malig - Second Team
West Catholic Athletic League (WCAL)
Simone Barragan-Shaw - Midfielder of the Year
Caeley Goldstein - First Team
Elle Van Giesen - First Team
Sophie Simpson - First Team
Maddie Kjeldgaard - Second Team
Katrina Avila - Second Team
Megan McHugh - Second Team
Evalani Dudum - Second Team
Ellis Brenneman - First Team
Declan Patankar - First Team
Alexandre Bonville - Second Team
Jonah Bhisitkul - Honorable Mention
Reid Pollino - Honorable Mention
Bay Area Conference - BCL West
Lucinda Anderson - Most Valuable Player
Julietta Seirmarco - First Team
Audrey Soss - First Team
Grace Schneider - First Team
Kate Mazzucco - First team
Margaret Murphy-Weiss - First Team
Naima Blanco-Norberg - First Team
Caroline Spencer - Second Team
Brittany Righetti - Second Team
Ian Ryan - Co- Most Valuable Player
Owen Flanagan - First Team
Thibault Jamey - First Team
Max Beldner - First Team
Dylan Davis - Second Team
Sam Jubb - Second Team
Marin County Athletic League (MCAL)
Nick Milhorn - Second Team
Sydney Wishner - Honorable Mention
Edit: (First paragraph, third sentence) Simone Barragan-Show to Simone Barragan-Shaw
The SF Elite Academy
Our mission is to provide an elite level program for soccer players in San Francisco.