Next Generation Series News Release
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. - United Soccer Leagues is pleased to announce the addition of Houston Dynamo Tampa Bay to its latest youth soccer initiative, the Next Generation Series. Houston Dynamo Tampa Bay is, as the title suggests, an affiliate of the MLS’ Houston Dynamo. The Dynamo will look to develop players in the Tampa area through its competing in the groundbreaking youth league.
The 2013 NGS format will consist of U12 and U14 boys and girls teams participating in an eight-month season beginning in August and culminating in April that will feature two evaluation/competition events at the world class IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Top players will be identified through the NGS Player Tracking Program and invited to attend the NGS ID Training Camp at IMG.
The world’s largest and most advanced multi-sport training and education complex, IMG Academy hosted myriad soccer team training camps in 2012, including clubs such as the Seattle Sounders, D.C. United, Columbus Crew, Sweden’s Malmö FF, as well as the U.S. Women’s National Team preparing for the London Olympic Games and the Antigua & Barbuda Men’s National Team preparing for World Cup qualifying.
"Houston Dynamo Tampa Bay’s philosophy of developing players on and off the field through playing experiences, academics, as well as the psychological approach to the game fits perfectly with NextGen," NGS Director Abe Thompson said. "The club has great leadership and I know we will be able to work together to produce the next wave of elite players."
With the guidance of Director and Coach John Clare, HDT is eager to take advantage of the new resources NGS will provide.
“As a coach, I am looking forward to all the new information that will be available,” Clare said. “And the education that will be available for the parents and the players.”
More than just another youth soccer league, NGS is a forward-looking, innovative, comprehensive, and unique development program designed to develop the complete elite youth soccer player through a defined regimen of training, competition, testing, and evaluation. Houston Dynamo Tampa Bay understands the need for a new approach to the game.
“This opportunity will give each player the proper ratio of training to games – train three to four times a week with one weekend game – this is how I believe that true development can happen for a player," Clare said. "This is unlike what is happening now, with clubs and teams focused on tournaments only, traveling all over the country playing in showcases. I believe the USL can form a year-round league where the ratio of training/games is in the right perspective, and start to produce players that can compete at a very high level.
“The U.S. does not have any world-class players like those in Germany that are playing in a Champions League final. If the United States ever wants to produce players of that caliber, this country needs to change the mindset of what development really is.”
The inspiration for NGS was the repeated and consistent message received from top youth soccer clubs and coaches that they were seeking a fresh development initiative specifically geared toward younger teams and players. NGS was launched to fill the void by providing a comprehensive platform for clubs to best prepare their young players for the challenges which await them at the next level.
“My goal is to be part of the movement that changes the mindset of how soccer should be played in this country,” Clare said.