U.S. SOCCER GIRLS DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY
What is DA? DA stands for Development Academy. It is a program for the best female soccer players in the country providing a direct pathway to the United States Youth National Team. The DA is run by the U.S. Soccer Federation.
How many DA programs are there in Houston? One. The Houston Dash.
Will Houston Dash have an ECNL too? We are still confirming which league our second teams will compete in. We may participate in ECNL, TCL (Texas Champions League) or DA2 which is a new league formed with the other DA clubs.
How much will it cost? DA training fees and travel costs will be comparable with a regular elite level competitive team.
Who can play in the DA? We will form 4 teams for Fall 2017:
- U14 – Players born in 2004 and 2005
- U15 – Players born in 2003
- U17 – Players born in 2001 and 2002
- U19 – Players born in 1999 and 2000
How many players will be on each team? Maximum roster size allowed is 23. We plan to roster 20 players to start the season.
How is the roster selected in the double birth year age groups (U17/U19)? It will be made up of the best players available with the understanding that we will give some younger players the opportunity to play up.
Who will the coaches be? Nick O’Shea plus two coaches to be confirmed shortly. One of the new coaches will be connected with the Houston Dash professional team.
Other than the coaching staff, how else will the DA be connected to the Houston Dash professional team? The U19 DA team will scrimmage the Houston Dash Professional team at least once during preseason and will have a shared training philosophy and curriculum. One fixture for each of the 4 DA teams will be played at BBVA Compass stadium each season (before or after a Dash game). "Our players will be at DA training in the evenings as much as possible (taking into consideration our schedule). The Dash staff and I will take an active role in training and player development with the youth teams on an ongoing basis." - Randy Waldrum, Head Coach - Houston Dash
When & where will DA train? The DA Program will train four days per week:
- Lents Family Park West
- Houston Amateur Sports Park
What is a Development Player? The DA allows a certain number of Development Players. This is a player who is in the club, primarily plays on the second team but can play up to 5 times with the DA team. A Developmental Player can be elevated to a full time DA player at any time.
What uniforms will the Dash DA wear? The teams will wear Nike uniforms that are similar to the professional team.
Can DA players participate in High School Soccer? The purpose of getting the best players together is so they can compete and practice at the highest level for 10 months of the year. We believe this environment is the best for player development and we are seeking highly competitive players with aspirations of representing Houston on the national stage. However, US Soccer does allow some DA players to suspend club participation for a couple months to play for their High School. There may be unique circumstances where exercising this option for an individual player is in the best interest of the player, the team and the club.
How do I get on a DA team? US Soccer discourages formal tryouts and encourages DA clubs to invite players into the team environment at any time throughout the year. Several players in the Greater Houston area have already been identified and will be contacted directly. In our first year, we may still have a couple of traditional open tryouts and potentially an invite only tryout. Interested players should complete this form to receive more information when it becomes available.