FC Kansas City is the latest club to join U.S. Soccer’s inaugural Girls’ Development Academy.
The Academy program, which now includes 74 clubs across the country, is meant to bolster opportunities for young female soccer players. Play will begin in the fall of 2017, and will include three combined age groups (U-14/15, U-16/17 and U-18/19).
Most other National Women’s Soccer League teams have partnered with the Development Academy in addition to FCKC. The Western New York Flash, Houston Dash, Boston Breakers, Orlando Pride, Washington Spirit, Sky Blue FC, Portland Thorns and Seattle Reign will all be part of the program.
Sporting Blue Valley, an Overland Park-based team that’s affiliated with Sporting KC, will also be part of the Girls’ Development Academy.
FCKC’s youth program, which has been in existence since 2013, is also directed by FCKC coach Vlatko Andonovski. Andonovski recently stepped down as head coach from the Missouri Comets, a Major Arena Soccer League team, to focus on FCKC and his duties as youth technical director.
“The Developmental Academy is the piece that we were missing to complete the puzzle because we now will be able to streamline everything from our youngest players in the club to the professional team,” Andonovski said in a team statement. “I’m excited about this opportunity because young soccer players in the Kansas City area will have better options to achieve their goals, whether that is a college scholarship, a professional contract or a spot on the National Team, and FC Kansas City can help accommodate them.”