Since initially announcing the first 25 entrants for the inaugural class of the U.S. Soccer Girls' Development Academy, U.S. Soccer has since followed up with two subsequent releases of more teams entering the fray, including the final group of teams on Wednesday.
Los Angeles Football Club, which has taken up a partnership with Slammers FC in developing a girls academy program, now have 10 teams in Southern California to face in GDA league play, which will begin in a year's time:
|Real So Cal||Woodland Hills|
|West Coast Futbol Club||Laguna Hills|
|LA Galaxy San Diego||San Diego|
|LA Premier FC||La Cañada|
|San Diego Surf||San Diego|
|So Cal Blues||Rancho Capistrano|
Based on how the boys' development academy is set up, one expects this Southern California group to form one 11-team division, where most of the teams' play is concentrated, with possible trips up the West Coast and into Arizona for occasional league games.
The new GDA will feature three age groups: U-14/15, U-16/17 and U-18/19, according to U.S. Soccer to "encourage clubs to provide 'play up' opportunities," which means they want academy teams to take the competitive risk of playing particularly promising younger players in higher age groups to further encourage their development.
We're still a year out from play starting, but the plans are coming together nicely and in the meantime, the boys academy program will enter USSDA play later this month. More on that coming up soon!
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