The United States Development Academy is the highest level of soccer available to young players in the country. We feel fortunate at FC Boulder to have been entrusted with the responsibility of growing players and providing them access to opportunities that include the possibility of National Team exposure, professional soccer, and/or pathways to the college game.
Starting with what is most important…
- Do you have a son who is demonstrating exceptional ability and aptitude in soccer?
- Does your son have a passion to want to always play soccer?
- Are you concerned that perhaps your son has not yet experienced a soccer environment that challenges him at a level that is reflective of his natural ability?
- Does your son enjoy being pushed to compete against players who are better than he is?
- Do you want to encourage your son’s passion and joy in the game by putting him into a progressive, engaging, and dynamic learning environment?
- Are you less concerned about your son winning matches at a young age, and instead are much more interested in what kind of player he will be at 16 or 17 years of age?
If you have answered positively to any of these questions, it might be worth your while to look carefully at the US Soccer Development Academy at FC Boulder as an option for your son for the 2018-19 season.
FC Boulder and the US Soccer Development Academy
Two years ago, FC Boulder accepted an invitation to serve as an ambassador for US Soccer in the state of Colorado. The commitment we made to US Soccer was to be one of seven portals intended to identify, develop, and channel the most talented players throughout Colorado into the pathway of the US Soccer National Teams.
We said ‘yes’ to this invitation because we believe that development is our core mission and competency. We said ‘yes’ to this invitation because, like US Soccer, we recognize that the most talented players must be treated differently. To borrow an analogy from the education world, if you have a 4th grade student reading at the 7th grade level, by all means, give him the 7th grade book. The same is true in soccer; exceptional talent must be recognized and developed in unique ways.
Does this mean our club is elitist, and only cares about the “top” players? Absolutely not – far from it. What it does mean is that, at FC Boulder, we pride ourselves on our understanding of what the term “player development” means, and that we seek to create optimal environments for all players to grow in the game, over time.
The Development Academy at FC Boulder is simply one instantiation of this philosophy – an effort to provide an exceptional opportunity for exceptional players, focusing less on winning matches at 12 or 13 years of age, and rather focusing our energy toward the longer-term development and success of our players.
What’s important to FC Boulder and our Development Academy Program…
Our Development Academy staff consists of veteran coaches with loads of experience not only developing fantastic soccer players and teams, but fine human beings as well; we believe you cannot have one without the other. As mandated by US Soccer, all of our Academy coaches are highly licensed through US Soccer and the United Soccer Coaches Association, and embody the highest standards of coaching excellence, demeanor, professionalism, and mentorship.
Our coaching staff implements a program-wide curriculum, using contemporary methods of instruction that reflect the best thinking of leading soccer educators in the world, based on what we know to be true about human learning, psychology, physiology, and motivation.
We create an exceptional learning environment by…
- Grounding ourselves daily in Our Values that guide our club, and holding ourselves accountable to the principle that our coaching is, first and foremost, dedicated to the goal of positively impacting the lives and futures of young people in powerful ways;
- Providing year-round soccer programming (including two months of Futsal training) that is carefully structured to ensure that our boys do not burn out physically or mentally, and also have opportunity to explore other sports and passions that we believe ultimately make them better athletes, soccer players, and people;
- Maintaining high standards for the behaviors, training habits, mentality, and technical/tactical execution of our players.
- Teaching our players how to derive joy from the game (it should be fun!), while at the same time developing a competitive mindset and passion for growth that can be found in champions across all sports;
- Providing players with regular, formative assessment toward co-constructed (with coaches and parents) goals for improvement;
- Promoting our players — when we know that they are ready mentally and physically to be successful — to US Soccer Technical Advisors and coaching staff.
The Facts: The US Soccer Development Academy at FC Boulder
The Teams: For the 2018-19 season DA season, we will be forming the most competitive rosters possible for the following age groups:
– U14 (born in 2005 or later); 11v11, one team, roster of up to 18 players
– U13 (born in 2006 or later); 11v11, one team, roster of up to 18 players
– U12 (born in 2007 or later); 9v9, two teams, rosters of up to 13 players per team
The League: We play in a Colorado-based league with other DA clubs that include: Fort Collins Arsenal, Colorado Rapids, Colorado Rush, Real Colorado, Colorado Storm and Pride Soccer Club.
The Coaching Staff: The coaching staff of the FC Boulder Development Academy consists of some of the most qualified and experienced coaches in the area. US Soccer requires that all head coaches of Development Academy teams must have a US Soccer “B” license or better. In addition, all coaches for the Development Academy must undergo initial screening in the application process, and demonstrate continued professional growth during their time as a Development Academy coach. Please see below for the biographies of the 2018-19 FC Boulder Development Academy Staff coaches.
The Expectations: Playing for the FC Boulder Development Academy and under the guidance of US Soccer brings expectations for commitment, focus, attitude, competitiveness, and passion for the game that are at a different level from many other club teams.
While we abide by mandatory “rest” periods for our young players across the yearly calendar (June/July; December), the DA soccer experience requires a significant commitment of time and energy. Our teams train three or four times per week, and compete in both a fall and spring league with 24 matches spread across the calendar year.Both the U13 and U14 teams will travel to national level showcase events during the fall (2018) season. The U12 teams will play in a regional Futsal event in January of 2019. There is no guarantee for equal playing time on match day. High Altitude Team Camp will take place in Winter Park during the first week of August, marking the beginning of the 2018-19 season.
The Cost: The full cost of participation in the Development Academy will be announced on or before May 1, 2018.
- U12: (TBD)
- U13: (TBD)
- U14: (TBD)
The Club has a generous scholarship program to help those families for whom cost of participation is an issue. The intent of the Development Academy is to identify the brightest talent in a given region, regardless of whether or not a family can afford the experience. We work with families to make participation in the DA financially possible
The Calendar: Though subject to change, we expect the 2018-19 DA calendar to resemble the outline below:
April/May: Player Evaluation Training Sessions and Team Selections (See above)
July 30-August 1: High Altitude Team Camp (Winter Park, CO)
August 6: Regular Fall Season Training Schedule begins (3/4x per week)
August 23-26: Preseason Tournament: Players Cup, Boulder, CO
September 8: League Play begins
Mid October: U13 and U14 Showcase Tournament
November 17: Last League Game
Nov 19-25: Off
Nov 26 – Dec 7: Two week Indoor/Futsal Training concentration
December 7: End of Fall Season/Training; Players off until January, 2019
January 7: Beginning, Winter Futsal Training (3x per week)
January 26-27: U12 Futsal tournament (Date Pending…)
February 11: Beginning introduction of outdoor training, weather permitting
February 23: Spring League Play begins
March 22-30: U14 International Travel (destination TBD)
May 18: Final League Game
The Player Evaluation & Selection Dates
We have set aside 8 dates to evaluate players interested in playing for the Development Academy in 2018-19. Click HERE to register for the DA player selection events.
Friday May 4, 5:30-7pm, East Boulder Recreation Center
Friday May 11, 5:30-7pm, East Boulder Recreation Center
U14 (2005 or younger)
Sunday May 6, 5:30-7pm, East Boulder Recreation Center
U12-U14 (2005 or younger)
Click HERE to register for the DA player selection events.
We are not necessarily looking for the tallest player (though sometimes size helps).
We are not necessarily looking for the fastest runner (though athleticism is certainly a bonus).
We are definitely not interested in players — no matter how good they may be — that are continually on the hunt for proverbial greener pastures (though we promise to pass on players once we know they are beyond what we can offer).
Rather… What we seek in the FC Boulder Development Academy are players who love the game, who train passionately with a winning mentality, who embrace a good challenge, who respect the learning process, who show eagerness to improve, who are resilient in the face of discomfort, who are willing to accept critique, who are able to embrace the notion that humility and hard work are essential toward becoming a stellar player (and great human being).
Similarly, we seek to work with parents who understand that any learning process requires both success and failure, that both winning and losing develop character, that both playing and sitting the bench can benefit development, that the young boys in the DA already have enough soccer coaches (i.e., be a parent, not another coach), and that soccer can provide their children with unspeakable joy and opportunity for growth.
Do you think that this sort of experience described above fits your son well, and does it resonate with the values that guide your family? If so, then we would love to explore the possibility of getting your son into FC Boulder’s Development Academy. Please reach out with questions to any of our coaching staff below, and continue to monitor this page for updates about player identification opportunities in the future.
For additional information, contact Jeff Frykholm (email@example.com) or any of the staff coaches listed below:
FC Boulder Development Academy Coaching Staff
Jeff Frykholm, DA Director
USSF “A” License
Coach Jeff is a long-time coach in Colorado, with 25 years of coaching experience at the highest levels in the youth game across the US. He has coached club State Cup Champion teams in two states, and has helped over 100 players find their way to the college and professional game throughout the past three decades. He has a PhD in the field of Teaching and Learning, and brings many lessons of experience from a long career in Education to his work in the game. He understands the developmental process as a teacher, coach, and parent as well, having three children come through the youth system, progressing to successful playing careers in college. Jeff has been involved in high school soccer throughout his career as well, twice being named the Coach of the Year in the state of Washington. He currently coaches both the boys’ and girls’ teams at Fairview High School, with both squads consistently ranked among the top 5A programs in the state year after year.
Kyle Lineberger, Boys Competitive Director
U14 (2005) DA Head Coach
USSF “B” License
Coach Kyle is the Director of the FC Boulder Boys Competitive program, and is an exceptionally talented and experienced coach. Under his guidance, the Boys program at FC Boulder has become recognized not only in Colorado, but on the national scene as well, for developing top level players and teams, as evidenced by recent successes in the state and region: 6 State Cup Champions, 7 State Cup Finalists, 2 Region IV Quarterfinalists, 1 Dallas Cup Finalist, 1
Jefferson Cup Finalist, 2 NPL Nationals Semi-Finalists. In 2017 alone, Kyle coached two teams to Colorado State Championships, representing Colorado at the Region IV Regional Tournament as the head coach of both squads. In addition, Kyle coaches the FC Boulder UPSL team — featuring a number of FC Boulder alumni — which has risen to the top of amateur adult soccer in Colorado. Kyle was a member of the 2017-18 FC Boulder Development Academy Staff and coached the U13 team to great success in 2017-18.
U13 (2006) DA Head Coach
USSF “A” License
One of the most decorated players in his native Guatemala, Coach Luis not only was a featured player in the Guatemalan National Team for many years, he was the first player of his country to play professionally in Europe. After retiring as a player, Luis has quickly risen through the coaching ranks due both to his passion for the game and the exceptional standards he sets for himself and his professional growth. Before coming to FC Boulder, Luis coached on the East Coast, including a chapter with New York Red Bulls. Last year he was the head coach of the FC Boulder USL PDL team, leading the team to a second place finish in the PDL Western Mountain Division. The PDL is the primary feeder for Major League Soccer. Given his extraordinary background as a player in both the professional national scene levels, Luis is uniquely positioned to help our FC Boulder DA players develop the right self-awareness, training habits, mental toughness, competitive spirit, and skill set required of those on the professional path. We are exceptionally fortunate to have a coach of Luis’ stature, experience, knowledge and professionalism at FC Boulder.
U12 (2007) Head Coach
USSF “B” License
A native of Cambridge, England, Coach Dave joins FC Boulder after remarkable, early success in his coaching career in both club and college levels in Michigan. Dave moved to Boulder after establishing himself as a lead coach in the most highly regarded club in Michigan. In 2013, he was named the Michigan State Youth Soccer Association Boys Competitive Coach of the Year for his hard work and dedication in boys soccer within the state. At the same time, he was building Schoolcraft College into a nationally ranked program within the Junior College ranks as the head coach of the school, taking the team to back-to-back National Tournament appearances in his first two years at the school. In addition to his present coaching responsibilities at FC Boulder, Dave is also on the coaching staff of NCAA Division II Metro State College in Denver. Dave is a fantastic coach, bringing his unique perspective, creative training sessions, sense of humor and exceptional knowledge to the training environment.
U12 (2007) Head Coach
USSF “B” License (in progress)
Coach Leigh enters his second year with FC Boulder. A native of Liverpool, England, his youth playing career included stops in both the Liverpool and Everton Academies. Leigh came to the US to pursue playing opportunities both professionally and in the college game. He played a combined eight seasons in the USL PDL with Toronto Lynx, Des Moines Menace, and FC Boulder, and finished up a stellar college career at Bellevue University. Coach Leigh has had a wide range of coaching assignments, including experience at the high school level, club soccer in Nebraska and Colorado, the Nebraska ODP program, with the PDL Club Des Moines Menace, and as an assistant coach at Midland University. He was a member of the FC Boulder Development Academy Coaching Staff in 2017-18, where he coached the U14 team. He is currently enrolled in his USSF “B” license course. In addition to providing terrific mentoring to FC Boulder players from the perspective of a professional-track youth player, Leigh brings uncommon organization, discipline, and energy to the coaching environment, and is a tremendous asset to FC Boulder and the US Development Academy.