Development Academy Questions
Pre-Academy Questions
Camp Program Questions
Training Program Questions

Development Academy Questions:

What is the D.C. United Academy?
The D.C. United Academy is the highest level of the D.C. United Youth Program for youth players in age groups U-13/14, U-15/16 and U-17/18. These teams participate in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy ten months out of the year in two separate halves of the season. D.C. United usually plays from September thru December and then March thru the end of June.

How will the D.C. United Academy experience differ from a typical club setting?

The Academy system founded by U.S. Soccer is the best environment for player development. D.C. United offers top caliber instruction from coaches with USSF A and UEFA B licenses as well as elite level experience in soccer. D.C. United plays against other Developmental Academy teams on a weekly basis and at high-level national and regional competitions. These games and events expose players to a vast network of collegiate, professional and national team coaches.

What are the advantages of playing for an MLS Developmental Academy club?
D.C. United is able to provide opportunities that non-MLS Developmental Academy teams are unable to offer to players. Because D.C. United is an MLS club, U-17 players have the chance to participate in the highly competitive Generations adidas Cup that is only open to MLS Academy teams. D.C. United is also the only Academy team in the area that can sign a player to a professional contract.

What is the MLS Youth Development Initiative?

At the 2006 MLS Cup, the MLS Youth Development Initiative was launched. Each MLS Club is required to establish a youth program that will give talented players with professional aspirations the best opportunity to pursue their dreams, stay close to home, and continue their education. Players registered for at least 12 months in an MLS youth program become eligible to sign a professional contract with that team without entering the MLS Super Draft. Every player in DCU youth programs will have the best opportunity to advance to their full potential and level.

Has D.C. United produced any professional players?

Yes. The D.C. United Academy has produced a total of seven homegrown players including Bill Hamid, Collin Martin, Andy Najar, Jalen Robinson, Michael Seaton, Conor Shanoksy, and Ethan White.

How many D.C. United players have gone onto play at the collegiate level?

D.C. United has had over 80 players go on to play collegiate soccer since it’s foundation.

What are the costs for D.C. United Academy players?

Costs vary according to age division for the Academy. The U-14s pay $2,500 and the U-16 and U-18s pay $1,500. These fees cover coaches and athletic trainer fees, training and travel gear, transportation, meals and lodging costs for league, regional and national events. Full and partial scholarships are available on an as need basis for any player who applies and provides supporting documents.

Which age groups will compete in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy?

The USSDA is split into three age divisions; U-13/14, U-15/16 and U-17/18.

How many players will be selected for the Academy teams?
Each team usually has a pool of 20-25 players at any given time. Game day rosters have 18 total players on them.

How are Developmental Academy players selected?

D.C. United has a several different ways for players to be selected for the Academy program.

  • DCU has several Affiliate Club Members from across Virginia and Maryland that help scout and select talent for the D.C. United Academy program. Players who are on these affiliate teams may be recommended by their affiliate club coaches to participate in a D.C. United training session. These training sessions allow DCU to evaluate the player and possibly select them for the Academy team. This process may happen at any point during the season.
  • DCU has several scouts that actively scout players in the surrounding areas. They are out at tournaments, select events and league games to scout out potential talent. DCU also has a scouting form that players can fill out and submit so that a scout can come out and see them. For any more questions about scouting, click here.
  • Training opportunities are also available for select players. The times and duration of these training opportunities are determined by the Head Coach.
  • DCU holds open tryouts after the season ends. They typically fall at the end of June running into July. These tryouts provide players who may have been missed, just moved to the area or were unaware of D.C. United’s scouting process to be seen by DCU coaches.

When are tryouts?

Please check the D.C. United Scouting/Tryout page for current information.

How often do teams train?
During the season, the Academy teams typically train Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with one game on either Saturday or Sunday.

How long is the season?
The season typically runs from September thru July. D.C. United plays games from September to December and then trains throughout the winter months of January and February. Games begin again in March and run through June.

Where do D.C. United Academy teams train?
The location varies depending on weather and scheduling. Teams could train at the turf field that is a block north of RFK Stadium. They could also train at Spingarn High School or indoors at RFK due to inclement weather. Directions to RFK Training Complex

Who coaches the Developmental Academy teams?
D.C. United is under the direction of Director of Youth Development Sonny Silooy. Jonathan Frias coaches the U-14s, Tom Torres the U-16s and Nolan Sheldon the U-18s.

Who do the Academy teams play?

The D.C. United Academy teams compete in the Eastern Conference in the Atlantic Division. Please refer to the Academy Demosphere website for a complete list of USSDA teams.

Can D.C. United players play for other clubs or their high school teams?

No. Per U.S. soccer rules, participation with other clubs or high school teams is not allowed.

How often does the team travel?
U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy teams may make up to 10-12 trips per year for away games. Academy teams also travel to regional and national events like the Generation Adidas Cup, the Winter Showcase and the Developmental Academy Playoffs. Players travel by bus or airplane and are housed four players to a room for overnight trips.

Pre-Academy Questions:

What is the D.C. United Pre-Academy?
The Pre-Academy was founded for the development of younger players from 12-15 who are not yet old enough to play for the Developmental Academy teams. The Pre-Academy allows players to train in a competitive environment with D.C. United staff coaches. The Pre-Academy is a year-round feeder system into the Developmental Academy.

Who do the Pre-Academy teams play?
The Pre-Academy teams play other Pre-Academy teams in the Northeast Premier League.

How often do these teams train?
The teams train three to four days per week for the entire year.

What is the age breakdown of the teams?
The Pre-Academy has three age groups (U-12, U-13 and U-15).

Who coaches the Pre-Academy?
Pre-Academy teams are coached by D.C. United staff coaches that have USSF licenses, former D.C. United players and former college standouts.

What are the costs for D.C. United Pre-Academy players?

The total cost for Pre-Academy players is $2,800. This cost includes training gear, fees to cover coaches, transportation and meals for out of area games.

How are Pre-Academy players selected?
D.C. United has a several different ways for players to be selected for the Pre-Academy program.

  • DCU has several Affiliate Club Members from across Virginia and Maryland that help scout and select talent for the D.C. United Academy program. Players who are on these affiliate teams may be recommended by their affiliate club coaches to participate in a D.C. United training session. These training sessions allow DCU to evaluate the player and possibly select them for the Academy team. This process may happen at any point during the season.
  • DCU has several scouts that actively scout players in the surrounding areas. They are out at tournaments, select events and league games to scout out potential talent. DCU also has a scouting form that players can fill out and submit so that a scout can come out and see them. For any more questions about scouting, click here.
  • Training opportunities are also available for select players. The times and duration of these training opportunities are determined by the Head Coach.
  • DCU holds open tryouts during May and June for Pre-Academy players.

What are the tryout dates?

Please check the D.C. United Scouting/Tryout page for current information.

Camp Program Questions:

Camps - All

How are the campers broken up?
On the first day, the campers are broken up by age group. Upon evaluation, a player can move up or down based on coach/parent/player assessment. D.C. United is focused on the development of soccer skills in a fun and challenging environment. If moving a camper is decided appropriate, we will do what we can to make that happen. Please speak with the Camp Site Director, or with Dan Walsh (dwalsh@dcunited.com) to discuss.

Can my camper move up/down an age group?
Yes. See question above.

Does my camper need to bring a soccer ball?
No. D.C. United soccer balls will be provided at the camp. At the end of the camp, the camper will take home one ball.

My camper has a health condition, what should I do?
Please notify the Camp Site Director and Athletic Trainer on the first day of the camp about the health condition/plan of actio needed for an emergency.

Who are the coaches for the camp program?
The Camps are lead by Pre-Academy and Academy coaching staff. We also maintain a staff list of quality coaches who have been involved in prior camps, training programs, or pre-academy/academy team coaching.

Where can I find bio’s on the D.C. United Coaches?
Our primary staff can be found here.

What is the difference between a Camp and the Training Programs?

The primary difference between the two programs are: camps are open to most ages, are all coed, and involve all skill level.

  • Summer Camps (D.C. United’s Training Complex): coed U6-U17 (all skill level)
  • Summer Camps (Satellite Sites): coed U6-U14 (all skill level)
  • Summer Camps (Satellite Sites featuring Soccer Shots); coed U4-U14 (all skill level)
  • Spring Break Camps: coed U6-U17 (all skill level)
  • Winter Camps: coed U7-U11 and boys U12-U16 (all skill level)
  • The Training Program (TP): boys U9-U13 (intermediate/advanced skill level)

If the weather is bad all day, will the camp be canceled?
If the weather is to be bad all day, the Manager of Camps along with the Camp Site Director will make the call regarding the camp status and contact via e-mail addresses provided during the time of registration.

Are there scholarships available?
Yes. These are awarded on a case-by-case basis. Please contact Dan Walsh (dwalsh@dcunited) to further discuss.

What is your refund policy?
More than 30 days out from start of camp, a 75% refund is provided (25% processing fee). Less than 30 days out from start of camp, there is no refund. For a documented injury, there is a full refund.

Spring & Summer Camps

What should the campers bring?
Campers should wear appropriate clothing (shirt, shorts) shin guards, soccer cleats, soccer socks, bring a lunch, snack, water bottle, sun screen.

What does a typical day of camp look like?
Each day there will be a new soccer topic. The morning session will be geared towards individual skills training then progress into a scenario with appropriate defensive pressure, and eventually end with free play at the end of the day. There will be a 1 hour break each day for the campers to refresh, and eat lunch.

Is there after-care for the camp programs?
No. The full day camps run until 3pm, and half-day camps run until 12pm at which time the campers must be picked up.

I’m worried about the heat for the summer camps, will there be shade?
Yes. RFK has a covered pavilion, and the satellite campsites will maintain a large tent. The Camp Site Director maintains a strict schedule for rest breaks. Taking appropriate breaks for the safety of the campers takes precedence over soccer training.

Is there an inclement weather plan for the camp, and how will we be notified of weather cancellations?
Yes. For inclement weather at RFK, campers will be lead into RFK stadium and will be in the locker room until weather clears. If inclement weather lasts until the end of camp, campers can be picked up at Gate A in Lot 5 @ RFK stadium. For satellite camps, each facility will have an indoor covered area. Camp Site Directors will take campers inside in the case of inclement weather.

Will a first-team player from D.C. United attend the camp?
Yes. The RFK camps will have a D.C. United player attend the camp once during the week at lunch. They will spend the lunch time with the campers talking about their experience as a professional soccer player, answer questions, and provide an autograph to each camper. The satellite camps are set to have a D.C. United player as well, however, the appearance is based on the team schedule during the week and cannot be guaranteed.

Will a first-team player from D.C. United run the session during camp?
No. D.C. United players are busy training during the season, but will meet with the camper during lunch.

Is there a refrigerator for my camper’s lunch?
No. We do not have a refrigerator for lunches, please plan accordingly.

Winter Camps

Can I register after the camp has started?
Yes. The Winter Camp Series runs 12 weeks long. If you would like to sign up your camper after the start of the camp, please contact Dan Walsh (dwalsh@dcunited) to receive a pro-rated code for registration.

Training Program Questions

What is the difference between a Training Program and the Camps?
The primary differences between the two programs are: Training Programs are for boys aged U9-U13, and intermediate/advanced skill level. We have a handful of our U12/13 Pre-Academy players that participate in the TP. The TP is great supplemental training to those who are playing on travel teams. The TP is a six week, two hour session which runs on Sunday nights quarterly. The TP can be used by the D.C. United coaching staff to find talented young players to be invited into their Pre-Academy/Academy teams.

Where is D.C. United’s Training Complex?
The field is a block north of RFK Stadium. Directions

Is there parking at the field?
Yes.

Can parents watch?
Yes. Parents are required to stay on the east side of the field (parking lot side), or in the metal stands.

Are there Training Programs for girls?
No. The Training Program is specifically to further develop boys.

What are the make up dates on the website?
Make up dates are to be used in case a session is canceled due to an issue such as weather.

If we miss a session due to a scheduling issue, can the make up date be used?
No. The make up dates are only used for the entire group, and if a session is completely canceled.

My son is 8 years old, and the Training Program is for 9 year olds, can I register? And how do I register since Korrio won’t let me?
Yes. As long as they are within one year of the age they can register for the Training Program. To register, please change the birth year to let Korrio accept your son/daughters age.

Who are the coaches for the camp program?
The Camps are lead by pre-academy and academy coaching staff. We also maintain a staff list of quality coaches who have been involved in prior camps, training programs, or pre-academy/academy team coaching.

Where can I find bio’s on the D.C. United Coaches?
Our primary staff can be found here

I want to register my son for the winter but it says its “closed”, what can I do?
The website will be updated shortly, please contact Dan Walsh at dwalsh@dcunited.com to get registered.

Any other questions:
Please e-mail Dan Walsh at dwalsh@dcunited.com