The Montreal Impact to join the development academy for the 2012-2013 season

U16 and U18 teams to join for start of 2012-2013 season

CHICAGO – The Montreal Impact and Portland Timbers have been selected to join the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, Tuesday, following an extensive review process. The Impact U18 and U16 teams will join the Academy for the start of the 2012-13 season.

With the additions of Portland and Montreal, the Development Academy expands to 80 clubs for the 2012-13 season.

"This is excellent news for the club as this championship groups the best clubs in all of North America and MLS," declared the director of the Impact Academy Philippe Eullaffroy. "This league will be an excellent developmental tool for the U16 and U18 teams, an excellent transition for the U21 level and a source of additional motivation for the U14s. This league will help develop our players so that they may succeed at the pro level." 

“It’s important as a club to play at the highest level in North America,” said Impact sporting director Nick De Santis. “A lot of young players from this league developed into very good players. We want to put our players in a professional environment and they need to be challenged at a young age to progress. It will also be a measuring tool to see where we are in North America.”

The Impact will join the East Conference’s new-look Northeast Division that features Albertson SC (Great Neck, N.Y.), Empire United (Rochester, N.Y.), FC Greater Boston (Waban, Mass.), FC Westchester (Scarsdale, N.Y.), Met Oval (Lynbrook, N.Y.), the New England Revolution (Foxborough, Mass.), New York Red Bulls (Secaucus, N.J.), N.Y. Cosmos Academy (Queens, N.Y.), Oakwood Soccer Club (Glastonbury, Conn.), Seacoast United (Hampton, N.H.) and South Central Premier (Branford, Conn.).

The Development Academy was created in 2007 to enhance the player development environment for elite youth players in the U.S., with specific focus on increasing the number of training sessions, decreasing the total number of games, while increasing the number of quality matches to maintain the highest level of coaching, refereeing and competition available in an everyday environment.

More than half of the Academy matches are attended by National Team scouts, resulting in a comprehensive system to evaluate player, coach and referee talent.

Earlier this year, the Development Academy announced it is moving to a 10-month season starting with the 2012-13 season. The 10-month schedule will begin in September and will run through June (or July based on postseason play).

The Impact U21 team will still play in the Canadian Soccer League in 2012.

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