D.C. United has announced that Nolan Sheldon has been named D.C. United Academy Director. Sheldon, who currently serves as Director of D.C. United camps and Head Coach of the D.C. United Academy Under-18 team, will assume oversight of all D.C. United Academy initiatives, youth teams and training opportunities. D.C. United continues to have one of the most successful academy programs in the country, with seven players that have graduated from the youth ranks to professional Major League Soccer contracts.
“D.C. United has a successful track record of continuing the development of top youth players and graduating these players to the professional team,” said Sheldon. “I look forward to engaging and serving our soccer community to create the best possible environment in the D.C. metro area to provide opportunities for players to achieve their dream of playing professionally with D.C. United.”
Sheldon has been the D.C. United Academy Under-18 coach since 2012 and has graduated Michael Seaton, Jalen Robinson and Collin Martin to United’s First Team during that time. Prior to that appointment, he served as an assistant coach for the D.C. United Academy Under-16 team during the 2010-2011 season. He joined D.C. United in 2010 after spending three years as a staff coach for IMG Soccer Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
"Nolan has been a real star in all areas of youth development at our club during the past several years, and he is very deserving of this opportunity to lead our Academy,” said D.C. United General Manager Dave Kasper. “He has a clear vision of what high level player development is all about for players in this country, and his work ethic and administrative skills are as good as it gets. Nolan has a great track record in fostering the development of top-level youth talent, including players who have graduated to the D.C. United First Team and to top NCAA programs. We are excited about the future of our Academy.”
Sheldon is originally from Moatsville, W.V., and has been all over the East Coast with his playing and coaching career. He played for IMG Soccer Academy as a youth, collegiately at Wingate University in Wingate, North Carolina, and competed in the Premier Development League (PDL) with the Bradenton Academics. After his playing career, Sheldon began coaching and obtained his USSF A Coaching License in 2009.
Sheldon currently represents D.C. United in Major League Soccer's partnership with the French Football Federation as a candidate in the Elite Formation Coaching License (EFCL), which will conclude November 2014. He also serves on the MLS Youth Development Committee.
Sheldon replaces Sonny Silooy, who will depart after the current academy season. Silooy has been with the D.C. United Academy for three seasons.
"We thank Sonny for all of his work in our Academy during the past several years,” said Kasper. “We wish him all the best in future endeavors."