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Development Academy 2014

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Q: What is the U.S. Soccer Development Academy?
A: U.S. Soccer created the Development Academy in 2007 to improve the everyday environment for the elite youth male player. The Development Academy is a partnership between U.S. Soccer and the top youth clubs around the country to provide the best youth players in the U.S. with an everyday environment designed to produce the next generation of National Team players.

Q: What is Richmond United?
A: Richmond United is a new organization established by the Richmond Strikers and Richmond Kickers when the two clubs united their respective U.S. Soccer Development Academy programs to introduce a collaborative cost-free Academy program designed to serve the most talented male players in the region.  With over 50 years of combined operational experience and unassailable reputations for success on and off the field, the Richmond Kickers and Richmond Strikers will build upon the tradition of player development that is respected both regionally and nationally.

Q: What is Richmond United's Vision?
A: The vision of the newly formed Richmond United is to provide a cost-free Academy program offering the most comprehensive player development environment in Virginia that will unite the Richmond community, inspire our players and achieve excellence.

Q: What is Richmond United's Mission?
A:  To serve the Richmond soccer community by providing the most comprehensive, cost-free, player development environment in Virginia by uniting talented players, coaching expertise, club resources and state of the art facilities.

Q: What are Richmond United's Objectives?
A:  Richmond United has four main goals:
1. To attract the best players from a 75 mile radius of Richmond
2. To graduate 75% of players to Division I College programs
3. To achieve Five-Star recognition on U.S. Soccer Technical Report
4. To produce nationally respected players, coaches and teams

Q: How much does it cost to play on a U14, U16 or U18 Richmond United Academy team?
A:  Through the support of strategic partnerships and multiple donors, the Richmond United U13/14, U15/16 and U17/18 Academy players will not be required to pay traditional player fees, and all hotel, flight and ground transportation expenses associated with league travel will be covered by the clubs.  Valued at $30,000 for a six-year player, this cost-free Academy eliminates the most significant barrier for talented soccer players to compete in U.S. Soccer’s world-class program.

Q: Which age groups compete for Richmond United?
A: Richmond United will field U13/14, U15/16 and U17/18 teams in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

Q: Who will oversee Richmond United?
A: Richmond United will be managed by one of the highest caliber, licensed technical staffs in the country, including Leigh Cowlishaw, Michael Milazzo, Jay Howell and Ihor Dotsenko, who will be responsible for setting and maintaining the Richmond United mission and vision.

Q: Who will coach the teams?

  • Ihor Dotsenko will be the Head Coach of the Richmond United U17/18 Team
  • Michael Milazzo will be the Head Coach of the Richmond United U15/16 Team.
  • Ihor Dotsenko and Michael Milazzo will serve as co-coaches of the Richmond United U13/14 Team.

In addition, each team will have an assistant coach and there will be one goalkeeper coach for the teams, as well as additional technical support from both the Richmond Kickers and Richmond Strikers.

Q: How many players will be selected?
A: 18-22 full time players will be selected for each team. Developmental players will also be selected on an ongoing basis.

Q: What is a Developmental Player?
A: A Developmental Player (DP) is a player who is not a full time-rostered player but is invited to train with the age appropriate Academy team.  A DP is only allowed to play for a Kickers or Strikers affiliate team to continue their development and get the appropriate amount of competitive games.

Q: Where will Richmond United Academy teams train and play home games?
A: The Richmond United teams will train four times per week, alternating between Ukrop Park and Striker Park.  Richmond United home games will also alternate between Ukrop Park and Striker Park locations.

Q: How often do Richmond United Academy teams travel?
A: Playing on a Richmond United team requires significant commitment. Teams travel approximately 10-12 times per year with mostly regional travel and some national travel.

Q: Can I play for a Richmond United Academy team AND my high school team?
A: No, Richmond United players cannot play on their high school teams. The U.S. Soccer Development Academy is a year-round, highly competitive program that is designed for the top players in the nation.

Q: How will players be selected and when are tryouts?
A: Talent ID weekends will be held January 25-26 at Ukrop Park, February 15-16 at Striker Park and March 15 at City Stadium.  Selected trialists will join current Kickers and Strikers Academy players in combined training sessions.

Players interested in joining the Richmond United Academy should send the following information: player's name, date of birth and a detailed playing history and references, to Michael Milazzo at  Richmond Kickers and Richmond Strikers Academy teams can select an additional eight players prior to April 7, 2014. 

Current Academy players on the Richmond Kickers and Richmond Strikers teams will also be evaluated on an ongoing basis in training, games and combined training sessions.

Q: Are players required to live in Richmond to play for Richmond United?
A: No, players are not required to live in Richmond. In fact, Richmond United is looking to attract the best players from a 75 mile radius of Richmond. However all players must realize the significant commitment required to play for a Richmond United Academy team with four training sessions per week in addition to games and travel.

Q: What are Richmond United's uniform colors?
A:  Richmond United’s uniforms will be black and white, while incorporating red and orange highlights to represent the traditional colors of the Kickers and Strikers.  The custom jerseys will feature both the Kickers and Strikers logos.

Player Uniform Packages will include:
Two uniforms (home and away)
Training gear
Training top and pants
Rain Jacket
Winter Jacket
Travel Polo
Optional items

Q: How many Academy players have gone on to play D1 College?
A: Since the U.S. Soccer Development Academy’s inception in 2007, the Kickers and Strikers have graduated over 50 players to Division 1 colleges.

Q: Can Richmond United players train and compete with the Richmond Kickers Professional team?
A:  Yes, NCAA and USL PRO rules allow Richmond United Academy players to play for the Richmond Kickers professional team, while maintaining their collegiate eligibility. Players will have a direct link to the Richmond Kickers pro staff and organization and may earn opportunities to compete with the first team.

Q: What is the Richmond United U23 team?
A: The Richmond United U23s is a summer development team that will compete against other professional teams from USL, NASL AND MLS.  The team will be comprised of Richmond Kickers professional players, local college standouts and the top Richmond United Academy players.  The team will train throughout the summer playing 6-10 matches.

© 2013 Richmond Kickers, 2001 Maywill Street, Suite 203, Richmond, VA 23230
Phone: 804 644-5425   Fax: 804-591-2680

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