USL News Release
Friday, April 23, 2010
TAMPA, FL – United Soccer Leagues announced today the addition of a ninth club to its Super Y-League (SYL) Southeast Division. Chicago Fire Juniors (CFJ) Florida, based in the Fort Myers/Naples metropolitan area, comes together with the union of Florida Premier Soccer Club, Gulf Coast Soccer Academy and Southwest Florida United Soccer Academy. CFJ Florida will begin placing boys and girls teams in the SYL in 2011.
“Chicago Fire Juniors Florida wanted to join the Super Y-League because of the competition the league provides,” CFJ-Florida Executive Director, Mark Prizant said. “The fact the SYL includes the youth academies of USL First and Second Division, PDL, W-League, MLS clubs, as well as many of the premier youth clubs, provides an opportunity to compete with the best clubs in the nation week in and week out.”
CFJ-Florida becomes the eighth Fire Juniors satellite program outside of the MLS team’s hub in Naperville, IL. The club is also the third CFJ club to compete in the USL Super-Y League.
“We’re ecstatic to welcome another extension of our club in Southwest Florida,” Chicago Fire Director of Player Development John Dorn said. “We view the region as an excellent growth market which provides unlimited opportunities both in terms of player development and the added benefit of another warm-weather market for our elite teams to visit during the winter months here in Chicago. Our hope is that an initiative like this brings together as many great soccer entities in the area as possible.”
Already competing in the SYL’s Southeast Division is Florida Soccer Alliance (Deltona, FL), the Wellington Wave (Royal Palm Beach, FL), Schulz Academy (Boca Raton, FL), Schulz Academy PDL (Fort Lauderdale, FL), Plantation FC (Plantation, FL), West Pines United (Pembroke Pines, FL), Kendall SC (Miami, FL) and Tampa Bay Premier.
“CFJ Florida establishes a sturdy SYL presence in Southwest Florida,” SYL Director Erin McGauley said. “The Fire has a history of success in the SYL. Combining their knowledge of the game and player development with the hotbed of talent in the Fort Myers region is a perfect situation. I expect the club will quickly establish a formidable reputation within the league. “
“Chicago Fire Juniors Florida will be competing against some of the best clubs in the state of Florida,” Prizant added. “Competition makes you better and this league will certainly give our players the opportunity for growth. It also allows our players the opportunity to play year round. In addition, we feel the ODP system within the league will help to identify players in our program within their natural environment.
“Chicago Fire Juniors Florida follows the philosophy, technical training and player development standards used by one of MLS’s best youth soccer academies. Chicago Fire provides players with a consistent development curriculum; therefore, as a player moves through the Chicago Fire Juniors Florida program each year builds on the last. In addition, the Fire provides our players with a clear pathway to professionalism, International playing opportunities and additional showcasing opportunities through the Chicago Fire Juniors affiliate network.”
Tryout information for CFJ-Florida will be forthcoming in the next few weeks. Please stay tuned to www.chicagofirejuniorsflorida.com for more information relating to the newest Chicago Fire Juniors club.
About the Chicago Fire Juniors
Established in 2004 as the official youth soccer club of Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire, the Chicago Fire Juniors have since expanded to include branches in Chicago land, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi and Louisiana. The eight clubs are now a key feature of the Chicago Fire’s Player Development Pyramid. This “Pyramid” creates a progressive developmental structure providing players with the unique opportunity to move from introductory play, competitive play and elite youth play into academy (Fire Academy U16 & U18) and development programs (PDL, NPSL, Super-20) – finally, onto the Fire MLS team. The Chicago Fire Juniors, in association with the Chicago Red Eleven of the women’s W-League, replicate the Player Development Pyramid for females by providing young ladies the opportunity to play at a high level. For more information on the Chicago Fire Juniors contact Brian Roberts at (708) 496 6773 or firstname.lastname@example.org.