San Francisco, CA, April 10, 2019—The San Francisco Nighthawks, a founding member of the WPSL , a second tier women's league just under the NWSL and the largest amateur women’s soccer league in the world, and the San Francisco Elite Academy (SFEA) announced today a groundbreaking partnership to create a local player pathway for female soccer talent. The two organizations will work closely together to advance their common goal of growing women’s soccer in the city of San Francisco while promoting health and wellness to a wide audience of youth through soccer, the beautiful game.
The new partnership has several important features:
By collaborating on female soccer player development, the SF Nighthawks and SFEA will create a clear player pathway for girls from the youth playing level to college to the Women's Premier Soccer League. SFEA’s female players will now have the opportunity to represent themselves and their city at the top amateur level as they prepare for college soccer play and beyond. Through the two organizations cooperation, the program also gives female players needed exposure to the highest levels of play and coaching while allowing local players to benefit from guidance and mentorship from current college players and coaches.
“We are beyond honored to partner with The San Francisco Elite Academy and help mentor these young talented players, giving them the opportunities to play at the highest level and grow as players” said the Nighthawks General Manager, Jill Lounsbury. "The Nighthawks fought hard for 4 years for the Beach Chalet fields for all soccer players but mainly to help our best home-grown players in San Francisco. We were pleased beyond belief when SFEA started, because we knew how important it would be for the city's youth players."
Joe Dugan, SFEA President, shared in the excitement about working with the Nighthawks: "From league titles to tournament wins to seeing players move on to college programs, our SFEA girls' players and teams have enjoyed unprecedented success these past few years. Through our partnership with San Francisco Nighthawks, we are delighted to offer the girls and young women in our program a level of top, local play that inspires and drives them toward successful soccer careers."
In addition, the two organizations will promote their activities, events, and initiatives through their various communications channels to their thousands of members and followers.
SF Elite and SF Nighthawks will also host joint volunteer and social events during the course of the year. Members of both organizations will be able to have fun together and give back to the community. Events will be announced very shortly.
About the San Francisco Nighthawks
The San Francisco Nighthawks is an American women's soccer team, founded in 1995. Nighthawks are a founding member of the WPSL, a second tier league just under the NWSL and the largest amateur women’s league in the world. The team plays in the North Division of the Pacific Conference. Nighthawk's home games are played at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, California. Nighthawks' Club Awards: 2018, 2017, and 2016 GGWSL Premier Champions. 2014 US Futsal National Champions. 3-peat Champions, Las Vegas Silver Mug Tournament (2009, 2010, 2011) - the first team to win the 'Silver Mug' three years in a row.
About the San Francisco Elite Academy
The San Francisco Elite Academy (SFEA) is the top college placement youth soccer program in San Francisco, in just four years we have over 30 former players now competing in college soccer. We are developing the next generation of players to the highest standards, ensuring they receive the necessary training and support to successfully represent San Francisco at the highest level of play, our community, and our country.
Congratulations to the SFEA 2002 Boys, as well as the 2003 and 2005 Girls' teams, for claiming NorCal Champions League spots for the spring of 2019. Champions League divisions represent the highest level of play in northern California outside U.S. Soccer Development Academy play. All three teams had remarkable fall seasons that ended with them being in the critical top spots of their NPL 1 divisions.
For the 2002 Boys, NPL Champions League was our team goal for the fall," said Bobby Quinlan, head coach of the SFEA 2002 boys. As a group we created a set of values and expectations and it included Champions League play as a critical goal. I'm very proud of the team for working to be better each day, and now we look forward to competing for Champions League and State Cup titles this spring."
For the 2003 Girls it will be a second Champions League qualification in a row. Nonetheless, head coach Jeff Wilson knows that his 2003 girls cherish the high level competition. "The 2003 girls love competing against the very best players and clubs throughout Northern California. Like their accomplishments on the field, these girls are also successfully excelling in the classrooms of some of the most prestigious high schools in the bay area. They've learned to balance daily schedules filled with college preparatory courses as well as competition against the most accomplished soccer players around. It all adds up to these 2003 girls being prepared for many great things ahead."
Currently, the 2002 Boys and 2003 teams are on a winter break while most of their players participate in high school play. The 2005 girls, who have also qualified for Champions League, are continuing to train together as a group over the winter. "The 2005 Girls have really benefited with our club philosophy of mixing some training and play opportunties across age groups," said Tom Atencio, head coach of the 2005 Girls. "They go against the 2004 Girls quite often and that highly competitive environment carries them into games and in turn the Champions League for spring as well as our great results at 2018 Surf College Cup. In fact, across the 2004 and 2005 teams we have 8 players on the state PDP team, which is comparable to the very best ECNL teams in northern California. It's a credit to the girls themselves as well as the carefully considered training environment we've established to help them be the top players they want to become."
Good luck to all three teams this spring as they compete in the very highest divisions of Norcal play available.
US Club Soccer, the sanctioning body for NorCal soccer and top leagues all over the country, has selected the San Francisco Elite Academy as one of just 46 clubs nationwide (and the first in San Francisco) to earn the designation of being a Players First-licensed club.
US Club reviewed clubs nationwide and selected those that met or exceeded rigorous Players First standards related to Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety.
"We're really appreciative of this recognition from US Club," said Joe Dugan, President of the San Francisco Elite Academy. "Our club's core pillars align perfectly with the Player First philosophy. We've always been the San Francisco club trying to raise the bar for a competitive youth soccer experience. We understand that a club isn't only about wins and losses, but it's about creating a holistic environment for growth that benefits young people for the entire lives.
Visit our Players First page on the website for more details or read about Players First from US Club here.
Teams, Players and Coaches Offered Access to the World’s Top Soccer Academies
SAN FRANCISCO, CA. – The San Francisco Elite Academy (SFEA) announced today a partnership with Generation Adidas International, the premier provider of elite developmental soccer opportunities and incomparable access to the worldʼs top academies and tournaments. Through the partnership, SFEA teams and players, boys and girls, will have the opportunity to travel abroad in order to train at top academies, play competitive friendly matches, participate in top youth tournaments, visit stadiums, attend elite professional matches, and more.
Generation Adidas International partner clubs include the Real Madrid Foundation (closely aligned with Real Madrid F.C.), A.F.C Ajax, S.L. Benfica, Valencia C.F., and Fulham F.C. and many others. Additionally, Generation Adidas International maintains operations working out of four european travel hubs--London, Amsterdam, Madrid and Rome--allowing them to carefully tailor dozens of various soccer experiences for participating teams.
Designed for the top-level, U.S. team, player, and coaching staff, Adidas Global International affords a unique opportunity to see the game through the eyes of the world’s best clubs. Those who participate return to their home environments with a new appreciation for the highest standards of the game and the work required to be the best, but also with memories of a cultural experience and exchange that lasts a lifetime.
Initially, SFEA and Generation Adidas International will work together to build custom itineraries for qualified teams, including unique opportunities for our girls teams. In addition, they will work to identify appropriate international tournament opportunities as well as coaching education tours to help our staff bring back best practices from the world’s top training environments.
“The San Francisco Elite Academy is about providing next level opportunities for our teams and players,” said Joe Dugan, President of the San Francisco Elite Academy. “Through our partnership with Generation Adidas International we’re able to offer select teams a unique training and playing experience abroad while looking to grow our relationship to eventually include academy visits for our broader coaching staff as well.”
For more information about our new Generation Adidas International partnership please visit our Generation Adidas page on our website located et www.sfea.org
About San Francisco Elite Academy
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. For more information please visit www.sfea.org.
About Generation Adidas International
Generation Adidas International, like no other brand, is dedicated to providing top level soccer developmental and educational experiences for youth players, college players, coaches and fans. In the area of youth development, Generation Adidas International is the only brand that offers real, tangible, and meaningful access to its global partners. Our strategic relationships with the world’s top professional youth academies provide adidas partner youth teams and coaches access to Europe’s and South America’s top echelon of professional training and competition. Through its affiliations with the world’s top professional soccer academies, federations and tournaments,Generation Adidas International offers the most complete soccer travel experience. Our programs are designed
to promote the development of youth soccer through elite levels of competition and Team Travel Programs, International Tournaments, Coaching Education, and Clinics. For more information please visit www.generationadidasinternational.com
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.
The SF Elite Academy
Our mission is to provide an elite level program for soccer players in San Francisco.