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 SF Elite Academy
Our mission is to provide an elite level program for soccer players in San Francisco.