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.
On Saturday, three San Francisco schools with a multitude of SFEA players participated in CIF's first Northern California championships for boys and girls soccer. St. Ignatius College Preparatory sought a boys Division I title; University High School chased a boys Division III title; and Lowell High School took the field seeking a girls Division IV title. While University came up just short, losing on a golden goal, both St. Ignatius boys and Lowell High School girls won their championship games on golden goals. In both SI's and Lowell's case, the golden goal was scored by an SFEA player–Alex Bailey netted for SI and Sarah Ginsburg for Lowell.
Each of the teams' rosters were littered with San Francisco Elite Academy players, who used their break from club play in the winter to lead their respective high school teams. St. Ignatius boys soccer features 7 players from SFEA, University High School boys 6 players, and Lowell High School 10 players. The large number of SFEA players in these dominant programs and others making a splash in San Francisco (like Sacred Heart that claimed a CCS section crown for both its boys and girls programs this year) is a testament to how the SFEA has helped elevate the level of soccer in the city.
"Our soccer program supports high school soccer," said Joe Dugan, President of the San Francisco Elite Academy. "While we are well aware that college recruiters lean heavily on club play as a measuring stick for a player's potential, high school soccer remains a unique and valued playing environment that affords the player a chance to stay sharp in winter and make memories that last a lifetime. And, critically, we have a number of really terrific high school programs in San Francisco led by very capable and accomplished coaches."
Congratulations to these programs and the many others here in the city that had terrific high school season.
The Santa Rosa Press Democrat on the Boys Division I title game.
The Manteca Bulletin on the Girls Division IV title game.
The San Francisco Elite Academy congratulates all of our high school players on their respective seasons. Today, we'd like to offer a special shout of praise to the many girls in our program who have taken their soccer skills to their various schools and enjoyed a great winter playing with their classmates. And we'd also like to share that two schools, Sacred Heart Cathedral (SHC) and Lowell High School, both schools are still playing—in the CIF Northern California Regional Girls Championship—feature 19 girls who pay club soccer with the San Francisco Elite Academy.
Sacred Heart Cathedral won the CCS Div 2 championship with a 2-0 win over Terra Nova last Saturday, earning themselves the #2 seed in the Division III NorCal Regional Championships. In Round 1, SHC beat Campolindo 3-2 with Senior, Paivi Miller putting in yet another mercurial performance in midfield (1 goal, 1asst), and Freshman standout Maggie Altman continuing her great run of form up front (1 goal). On Thursday, March 8, #2 SHC will face #6 Cardinal Newman, 6:30pm at Kezar Stadium.
SFEA Players at SHC include Catriona Black, Paivi Miller, Miriam Streicker-Hirt, Allison Phillips, Alyssa Forsman, Sophie Rodil, Gabby Rodil, Simone Barragan-Shaw, and Maggie Altman.
Lowell started the season with two wins in five games, before going on 14 game winning streak en route to their 21st consecutive league title, earning themselves the #4 seed in the Division IV NorCal Regional Championships. In Round 1, Lowell were able to grind out a 1-0 against #5 Oakland Tech. Lowell’s young team will face their toughest test yet on Thursday, March 8 at 4:00pm, when the face #1 University Prep in Redding, where they are 10-1 this season.
SFEA Players at Lowell include Ellie James, Camilla Bodden, Lea Thauvin, Mariko Hokamura, Hannah McCord, Kalea Pappendrew, Shannon Li, Sarah Ginsburg, Natalia Potente and Siena Stueland.
Good luck to all these girls and their school teams as they chase their respective regional titles.
Congratulations to SFEA head coach Bobby Quinlan on being selected as a NATIONAL FINALIST for the Positive Coaching Alliance's Double Goal Award. Bobby, who leads the SFEA 02 Girls NPL team and our U12 (06/07) US Soccer Development Academy team, is among approximately 25 soccer coaches who were selected from nearly 800 nominated coaches across youth sports.
The Double Goal Award recognizes outstanding coaches who have been nominated by their peers for being exceptional at teaching both on the field AND life lessons. Bobby was thankful for the nomination and recognition, saying, "This is an important award for me as it is crucial to my coaching philosophy. I am truly humbled."
Congratulations to Bobby and please join us in thanking him for the outstanding coaching he's doing for his players at the San Francisco Elite Academy.
Congratulations to Cal North ODP U17 Girls and their head coach, Jeff Wilson of the San Francisco Elite Academy on their runner-up finish at the 2018 West Regional Championships in Arizona.
The Cal North 01 Girls finished second in group play with a 2 win (wins over Idaho and Colorado) and 1 draw performance (against Eastern Washington), and then advanced to the final after beating Eastern Washington 2-1 via penalty kicks in what amounted to a rematch.
Beyond Jeff Wilson, the Cal North ODP U17 Girls also featured San Francisco Elite Players Lucinda Anderson, Brittney Righetti, and Gabrielle Garland (pictured left).
Other SFEA players participating in the West Regional Championships included Veronica Zeidman and Maggie Altman (2002 Girls), Noelle Namba (2003 Girls), and Max Lau (2001 Boys)
Congratulations to our SFEA coach and his team, as well as all our players, on a fantastic accomplishment!
The SF Elite Academy
Our mission is to provide an elite level program for soccer players in San Francisco.