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Boynton Knights Forms Partnership With Boca United For Running of USSF Development Academy Soccer Programs For Elite Players (Boys and Girls)!!

Boca Raton, Fl (April 22, 2017) – Boca United FC is pleased to announce that the club has signed a partnership agreement with the Boynton Beach Knights FC in which the two south Florida based soccer clubs will work together to combine resources and support in the running of USSF Development Academy Programs for elite level young players (Boys and Girls).

Boca United has been a member of the USSF Development Academy League since 2013 and Boca United Academy Director Eric Eichmann has been actively looking to expand the “footprint” of the Academy program by seeking partnerships with other local clubs that share the same player development philosophy, playing style, and vision. After observing the improvement of Boynton Beach Knights club over the last several years under the leadership and guidance of Boynton Director of Coaching and Player Development, Asaf Lubezky, and after months of detailed discussions and meetings, it was clear that a partnership between the two clubs made sense and most importantly would be based on a solid foundation of a shared player development philosophy which both club directors felt was imperative to the long term success of the partnership.

“I am extremely excited about our new partnership with coach Asaf and the Boynton Beach Knights club,” said Boca United Director Eric Eichmann. “Combining our resources and efforts will only help to improve and enhance our boys and girls USSF Development Academy Programs. Furthermore, in addition to our primary responsibilities as a USSF Development Academy club of identifying the top talent in the South Florida / Treasure Coast area, offering them a high performance professional training environment and competition, and developing their character as young people, we feel that our Academy also has a responsibility to do our part to help improve youth soccer in general throughout our surrounding communities. Our partnership with Boynton Beach is a great way for us to start to achieve that objective while simultaneously offering more players a direct pathway to the USSF Academy League which is the highest level of competition in the country.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the players and soccer families in our community and we are excited to be part of something very special for the players,”


Boynton Beach Director of Coaching Asaf Lubezky said. “I am looking forward to working with Coach Eric and Boca United as we collaborate on this player development project and combine resources to offer a very professional program for the players in our area.”

The Boca United Academy Program has already had 7 players sign on with various MLS professional Academy Programs with 2-3 more likely to sign in summer 2017. The club has also developed and helped many girls and boys players move on to play college soccer.


“Our partnership with the Boynton Beach Knights club will provide player development opportunities and exposure to college and professional scouts for even more young aspiring soccer players in our area,” said Boca United Executive Director John Hurst.

For the upcoming 2017-18 season the name of the jointly supported Academy will remain Boca United and all selected Academy players will register with the Boca United Academy Program. However, the Academy name will change for the 2018/19 season and beyond. The new Academy name will be created soon and will reflect the new partnership and represent both programs and our area in general.

It is important to note that the new partnership is designed to allow both clubs to work together to support and improve the two USSF Academy Programs (Boys and Girls) by combining resources (ie: players, staff, training resources, etc.). However, in addition to the jointly supported Academy teams, both clubs will continue to operate their respective competitive programs and offer non-Academy teams in all age groups as they have always done in the past. 

 The non-Academy teams at each club will be considered Pre-Academy teams and those players will have the ability to be moved from the Pre-Academy teams into the USSF Academy Program teams at any time during the year based on their development and performance in the Pre-Academy team/program.

For the 2017-18 season Boca United will have Academy teams in the following age groups:


Girls

U14 (born in 2004/2005)
U15 (born in 2003)
U16/17 (born in 2002/2001)
U18/19 (born in 2000/1999)

Boys
U12 (born in 2006/2007)
U13 (born in 2005)
U14 (born in 2004)
U15 (born in 2003)
U16/17 (born in 2002/2001)
U18/19 (born in 2000/1999)

The Boca United Academy Program is open to all boys and girls from ANY club in the south Florida and Treasure Coast area. All players interested in the 2017-18 Academy program AND/OR Pre-Academy program must attend upcoming Academy ID Camps which will be held on various dates and locations throughout April and May. The Academy ID Camps will be utilized to select players for BOTH the Academy and Pre-Academy teams. All players will be considered for Academy teams first (unless they express a desire to only be considered for Pre-Academy teams) and if they are not selected for the Academy team they will be considered for selection to the Pre-Academy team/program.

Any Boynton Beach Knights players who have already been selected for the Boynton Beach competitive program (non-Academy teams) and would still like to be considered for selection to the Boca United Academy teams/program this year can do so by registering for and attending the upcoming Academy ID Camps. If selected for the Academy Program those players (including any deposit of funds) will be transferred from Boynton team to the Boca United Academy team. If not selected, the player will remain in their Boynton non-Academy team.

The next Academy ID Camps for ALL GIRLS age groups U14, U15, U16/17, and U18/19 will be held April 30 at Loggers Run Park in Boca Raton. There will also be another GIRLS ID Camp held in the middle of May (date and location TBD) with the final tryouts likely to be held the week of May 30-June 4.

The next Academy ID Camps for U12, U13, U14 and U15 BOYS age groups will be held April 30 at Loggers Run Park in Boca Raton while the next Academy ID Camp for the U16/17 and U18/19 BOYS will be held May 13 at Loggers Run Park. There are additional BOYS ID Camps scheduled in the middle of May with the final tryouts likely to be held the week of May 30-June 4.

Most of the Academy ID Camp dates and locations have already been posted on the Boca United website at www.GBYSA.org but more dates will be added so please check the website often during the next few weeks.

All players interested in joining the Boca United Academy and/or Pre-Academy programs must register for the Academy ID Camps online and by doing so will receive email updates if there are any changes to the Academy ID Camp schedule including when the additional dates are added.

Boca United and Boynton Beach Knights look forward to working together through our new partnership to help improve youth soccer in our community and providing a direct pathway to higher level training and competition for even more players in south Florida as we move into the future.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ’s)


Q: Why did the two clubs decide to form a partnership?
A: Boca United has been a member of the USSF Development Academy League since 2013 and Boca United Academy Director Eric Eichmann has been actively looking to expand the “footprint” of the Academy Program by seeking partnerships with other local clubs that share the same player development philosophy, playing style, and vision.

After observing the improvement of Boynton Beach Knights club over the last several years under the leadership and guidance of Boynton Director of Coaching and Player Development, Asaf Lubezky, and after months of detailed discussions and meetings, it was clear that a partnership between the two clubs made sense and most importantly would be based on a solid foundation of a shared player development philosophy which both club directors felt was imperative for the long term success of the partnership.

Both clubs share the same core beliefs when it comes to player development and teaching methodology and both clubs shared a vision for the Academy Programs (Boys and Girls) to help improve youth soccer in general in our community. The clubs recognize that by combining resources they will be able to help not only the players in the Boys and Girls Development Academy Programs but all of the players in their respective clubs. In addition to this, the new partnership will help strengthen youth soccer in south Florida overall by offering more players a direct pathway to the USSF Development Academy league which is the highest level of youth soccer in the country.

By combining resources and efforts to run the Boys and Girls Academy Programs, Boca United and Boynton Beach Knights will be able to better achieve their objectives of developing the personal character and soccer playing abilities of each of our young players, provide them with more opportunities to be scouted, and ultimately help them progress to higher levels of soccer including college and professional careers.

Q: Who will run the Academy Program and will the name be changed?
A: For the upcoming 2017-18 season the name of the jointly supported Academy will remain Boca United and all selected Academy players will register with the Boca United Academy Program. However, the Academy name will change for the 2018/19 season and beyond. The new Academy name will be created soon and will reflect the new partnership and represent both programs and our area in general.

Effective immediately, the Boca United Academy Program will be run jointly by Boca United DOC Eric Eichmann and Boynton Beach Knights DOC Asaf Lubezky. The two DOC’s will work together to pool their resources including but not limited to players, staff, training curriculums, facilities, and more.

Q: Will both clubs offer non-Academy competitive teams as they have done in the past?
A: Yes. Both clubs will continue to offer competitive travel teams as they have done in the past. 
 It is important to note that the new partnership is designed to allow both clubs to work together to support and improve the two USSF Academy Programs (Boys and Girls) by combining resources (ie: players, staff, training curriculums, facilities, etc.).

However, in addition to the jointly supported USSF Academy teams, both clubs WILL continue to operate their respective competitive programs and offer non-Academy teams in all age groups. The non-Academy teams at each club will be considered Pre-Academy teams and any players selected for those teams will continue to be developed using the same training curriculum topics.

Players selected for the Pre-Academy teams will continue to be evaluated on a regular basis throughout the season and will have the ability to be moved from Pre-Academy teams to the Boca United Academy teams at any time during the year based on their effort, development, and performance in the Pre-Academy team/program.

Q: When are tryouts for the BOYS and GIRLS Academy Programs?
A: All players interested in the 2017-18 Boca United Academy Program AND/OR Pre-Academy Program must attend upcoming Academy ID Camps which will be held on various dates and locations throughout April and May (tryout dates vary by gender and age group). The Academy ID Camps will be utilized to select BOYS and GIRLS players for BOTH the Academy and Pre-Academy teams. All players will be considered for Academy teams first (unless they express a desire to only be considered for Pre-Academy teams) and if they are not selected for the Academy team they will be considered for selection to the Pre-Academy team/program.

Note: Any Boynton Beach Knights players who have already been selected for the Boynton Beach competitive program (non-Academy teams) and would still like to be considered for selection to the Boca United Academy teams this year can do so by registering for and attending the upcoming Academy ID Camps. If selected for the Academy Program, those players (including any deposit of funds) will be transferred from Boynton Beach team to the Boca United Academy team. If not selected for the Boca United Academy, the player will remain in their Boynton non-Academy team.

The next Academy ID Camps for ALL GIRLS age groups U14, U15, U16/17, and U18/19 will be held April 30 at Loggers Run Park in Boca Raton. There will be another GIRLS ID Camp held in the middle of May (date and location TBD) for all GIRLS age groups with the final GIRLS tryouts likely to be held the week of May 30-June 4.

The next Academy ID Camp for the BOYS U12, U13, U14 and U15 age groups will be held April 30 at Loggers Run Park in Boca Raton while the next Academy ID Camp for the BOYS U16/17 and U18/19 age groups will be held May 13 at Loggers Run Park. There are additional BOYS ID Camps scheduled in the middle of May for all BOYS age groups with the final BOYS tryouts likely to be held the week of May 30-June 4.
Most of the Academy ID Camp dates and locations have already been posted on the Boca United website at www.GBYSA.org However, more dates will be added so please check the website often during the next few weeks.

All players interested in joining the Boca United Academy and/or Pre-Academy programs must register for the Academy ID Camps online and by doing so will receive email updates if there are any changes to the Academy ID Camp schedule including when the additional tryout dates are added.

Q: What type of player is the Academy Program geared towards?
A: The USSF Development Academy offers the highest level of youth soccer training and competition in the country. The stated goal of the USSF Development Academy league is to develop world class players. While the Boca United Academy Program is open to all boys and girls from ANY club in the south Florida and Treasure Coast area, the program is geared for players with the highest level of dedication, commitment, work ethic, ability, and willingness to learn and grow each and every day both as players on the field and as young men and women off the field.

Q: Are there other full USSF Development Academy Programs in our area?
A: Our new jointly run Boca United Academy is the only USSF Development Academy in Palm Beach and Martin County to offer a full Academy (ie: teams in all Academy age groups) for both BOYS and GIRLS. As a full Academy Program, it is our responsibility to identify the top youth players in the area for the USSF and attempt to get them into our Academy Program as soon as feasible in order to provide those players with a high performance training environment and consistent competitive game schedule that the USSF Development Academy league offers.

Q: Where will Academy training sessions be held?
A: Academy training sessions will be held at fields located in both Boca Raton and Boynton Beach throughout each week of the program year. We will release the full training schedule prior to the start of pre-season training which will begin in late July or first week of August.

Q: Will the name of the Boca United Academy Program be changed?
A: The name of the new Academy partnership will remain Boca United for the upcoming 2017-18 season. However, we will be changing the Academy name, logo, uniforms, colors, etc. for the 2018/19 season and beyond. The new Academy name will be created soon, and it will be a name that represents both programs and our area in general.

Q: How important is developing quality character traits in Academy Program players?
A: We believe that strong character traits help athletes succeed in sports and in life. One of our primary objectives within our Academy curriculum is to use the sport of football (ie: soccer) to develop quality character traits in the young men and women who are members of our program. We feel that quality character traits such as honesty, respect, dedication, commitment, discipline, and unselfishness are extremely important for long term player development and success. We believe that players with these character traits will help create and maintain a high performance training environment and vibrant club culture that will maximize the development and potential of each player in our program.

Q: What will the Academy’s training program focus on?
A: The training program will focus on fully developing players technically, tactically, physically, and mentally in order to prepare them for success at the highest levels of play (ie: college or professional). Our age-appropriate training curriculum will help the players learn the necessary skills required at each age and will be offered in a sequence that will be built upon each year as they go through the program.

Q: Is winning important?
A: It is extremely important that players are always striving to win every time they play. However, we must make sure that we teach players to play the game correctly and develop the skills that will be required for them to be successful playing at a high level (ie: college or professional level) while they strive to win games, etc.

Therefore, we will strive to play soccer that demonstrates skill, creativity, and intelligence while simultaneously challenging our players to constantly increase their speed of play, attack more effectively, create chances to score goals, and hopefully win. However, we will not sacrifice player development simply for the sake of winning games.

Our playing philosophy includes a strong belief and conviction in building attacks out of the back (ie defensive third of the field), maintaining possession of the ball, and always looking for opportunities to play the ball forward and penetrate the opponent’s defense in order to create goal scoring opportunities (ie: possession with a purpose to attack and score goals).

It is difficult to build the ball out of the back. It requires players to work harder off the ball in order to give teammates more passing options. It also requires players to be technically sound in terms of being able to receive and pass the ball under pressure and problem solve. Being able to perform all of these skills at a high rate of speed will ultimately lead to controlling games and ultimately result in winning more games over the long term.

Most importantly, this playing style and philosophy will help prepare players for handling the demands of high level football. A winning attitude and desire to succeed are very important and we will expect that from all our players at all times. However, as teachers of the game, we will simultaneously make sure that we keep the big picture of player development in mind at all times.

Q: What are the Academy’s expectations for parents?
A: We expect our parents are to be positive and supportive of the program as well as respectful at all times. 
The Development Academy league offers the highest level of competition in the country. It is very challenging and demanding for the players that participate in the program. We will cultivate a club culture that nurtures development and learning for our players and we expect our parents to assist us in creating and maintaining that culture on and off the field.

With the proper parent support, the players will be in an environment in which they can flourish and meet all the challenges that the Development Academy program has to offer them as they grow as players and mature as young men and women.

We feel that it is a privilege for players to be a member of the Academy Program and there are a large number of players eager to join the program. While we understand and appreciate the personal and emotional connection that parents can have with regards to their children sports activities, there will be a no tolerance policy for parents who allow those personal emotions to become negative or disruptive to the programs overall goals and objectives. If necessary, we will remove members from the Academy Program if we feel their behavior is counterproductive to the type of positive player development and learning culture that we want to maintain at our club.

Q: What are the Academy’s expectations for players?
A: We feel that quality character traits such as honesty, respect, dedication, commitment, discipline, and unselfishness are vitally important for long term player development and success. Players with these character traits will help us create and maintain a high performance training environment and a club culture that will allow us to maximize the development and potential of each player in our program. We expect our players to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with these quality character traits at all times while they strive to become the best players they can be and the best people they can be.
We expect our players to work hard, attend all training sessions and games, and focus their energy on the things that they have direct control over such as their attitude, concentration, and effort. As the players develop their character and their playing abilities, they will help contribute to the type of professional environment that will accelerate the development of all of the players in the Academy Program.

Q: Is the Academy Program for everyone?
A: The Academy Program is for elite players with a grow mindset and desire to learn and grow progressively as a person and player through the sport of football. If your child is interested in developing to their full potential in a competitive environment, they are a candidate for the Academy program. If your child is ultimately selected for the Academy Program, we strongly recommend that you take advantage of this special opportunity to train and play with the best players in the state and country.

Q: How many times a week does the Academy Train?
A: The Academy teams will train 4-5 times a week.

Q: How much does it cost to play in the Academy?
A: The annual fee to join the Academy Program last year was $1,850 and we anticipate the annual fee to join the program for the 2017-18 season will be approximately the same amount. There are additional fees if and when the teams travel and those travel fees will vary by team and event.

Q: How much field space does each team use in training?
A: As per USSF guidelines, every Academy age group will use a minimum of half a field in training with some teams having access to one full field for training whenever possible.

Q: What is a Pre-Academy team?
A: In addition to jointly supporting and running the USSF Academy Program teams, both clubs will continue to offer their own respective competitive (non-Academy) travel teams as they have in the past. The non-Academy teams at each club will be considered Pre-Academy teams and those players will continue to be developed using the same training curriculum topics. 
Players selected for the Pre-Academy teams will continue to be evaluated on a regular basis throughout the season and will have the ability to be moved from Pre-Academy teams to the Boca United Academy teams at any time during the year based on their effort, development, and performance in the Pre-Academy team/program.

Q: Tryouts for the Pre-Academy teams at Boca United are being held simultaneously with tryouts for Boca United Academy teams. These tryouts are called Academy ID Camps and are scheduled during the months of April and May with some tryout sessions having already been held back in March. Boynton Beach has already held some tryouts earlier this season. If offered a spot on a Pre-Academy team at Boca United or Boynton Beach Knights how would I know if I should accept it or wait to see if my child makes the Academy team?
A: If your child is offered a spot on a pre-Academy team for either club, then we suggest that you to accept and register as soon as possible. If your child subsequently attends one of the upcoming Boca United Academy ID Camps and is selected for the Academy Program, then we will transfer your deposit and apply it towards their Academy Program registration.

Q: What leagues and tournaments will the Academy play in next season?
A: The Academy Program plays in the U.S Development Academy league (Southeast division). The program consists of a 10-month season with approximately 28-32 league games.

In addition to the Academy league games, both the BOYS and GIRLS Academy programs will participate in USSF national showcase events where our players will compete against the top clubs and players in the country have an opportunity to be scouted.

The BOYS Academy will have two national showcases for U16/17 & U18/19 age groups, one regional and one national showcase for U14 & U15 age groups, and a FUTSAL showcase for U12 & U13 age groups. All BOYS national showcase events will offer exposure to USSF Youth National team, professional, and college scouts.

The GIRLS Academy will have two national showcases for the U14 age group, three national showcases for the U15 & U16/17 age groups, and one national showcase for the U18/19 age group. All showcase events will offer exposure to USSF Youth National Team and college scouts as well as possibly professional scouts.

Q: How are players chosen to play each weekend and is playing time guaranteed?
A: Players must compete constantly in training and games and are evaluated daily by the Academy coaching staff. The Academy coaching staff will issue player assignments on a weekly basis throughout the season. Player must compete in order to be named to the game rosters each week. Players must also compete to be named to the rosters for each USSF showcase event.

We believe playing time is extremely important for a player’s development, especially in the younger age groups. Therefore we will always strive to find games for all our players. However, players are expected to compete daily for playing time and playing time is NOT guaranteed.

Q: What types of off field development will my child receive by being part of the program?
A: Each player will receive performance evaluations to provide them with feedback on how they are doing during the program year and identify areas for improvement.

The club has also implemented a Video Analysis Program where all Academy games will be filmed. The staff will conduct videos sessions with each team on a regular basis in order to accelerate the learning process and to analyze individual and team performance.

Q: What are Player Development Advantages with the Academy program?
· Top instruction. Players receive integrated oversight from Academy club coaches and U.S. Soccer Technical Advisors in their local environment.
· Consistent Training Environment: Four (4) mandatory training sessions per week.
· More Competitive Games
· Compete against top youth clubs in the country.
· FIFA rules (i.e. no reentry on substitutions, January 1 birthday cutoff, players participate on older teams when appropriate)
· Approximate 30-game season, No outside participation for full-time Academy players.
· 25 percent minimum start requirement.
· Connection to U.S. Soccer Resources.
· Select teams compete against U.S. Youth National Teams.
· Regular game and training evaluations by U.S. Soccer Men’s and Women’s Scouting Network staff.
· Referees assigned by U.S. Soccer.

Q: What are the Player Identification Advantages?
· Direct connection to Men’s and Women’s Scouting Network for identification of potential National Team pool players.
· Showcases are premier scouting venues:
· 400-500 college coaches. 25+ professional scouts.
· National Team staff members observe every game.
· Online player profile for all Academy players.
There have been more than 2,000 instances of players being called into BOYS Youth or Senior Team events since the fall of 2007 from 72 different BOYS Academy clubs. The GIRLS Academy inaugural season will be the 2017-18 season.
Over 100 Development Academy alumni current playing in Major League Soccer, with approximately another 50 alumni at professional environments overseas.

Q: Where do I go for more information on the USSF Development Academy? 
A: You can read more about the BOYS and GIRLS USSF Academy Programs by visiting the USSF website at:
USSF Development Academy BOYS - http://www.ussoccerda.com/overview
USSF Development Academy GIRLS - http://www.ussoccerda.com/girls-academy

Q: Where do I go to register my child for the Boca United Academy ID Camp tryouts?
A: Most of the Boca United Academy ID Camp dates and locations have already been posted on the Boca United website at www.GBYSA.org More dates will be added so please check the website often during the next few weeks.

All players interested in joining the Boca United Academy and/or Pre-Academy programs must register for the Academy ID Camps online. 
 Please visit the club website at www.GBYSA.org …..then click on “US Soccer Development Academy” …..and then click on either “BOYS USSDA ID Camp” or “GIRLS USSDA ID Camp”

Q: What if I have further questions?
A: Please send any questions you may have to the following email addresses:
For questions pertaining to the BOYS Academy: BocaunitedBOYSacademy@gmail.com
For questions pertaining to the GIRLS Academy: BocauniteGIRLSacademy@gmail.com

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