D.C. United and the Player Progression Academy (PPA) have reached an agreement to partner on youth soccer initiatives focused on player identification and development.
The partnership with the PPA, whose mission is to provide the D.C. and Bethesda area youth with resources to aid soccer development, aims to collaborate on improving player development and building opportunities for players to pursue a professional path and provides a defined pathway for top players to play in the Development Academy while creating a direct connection to the MLS Academy.
“We’re happy to partner with the Player Progression Academy and a staff who share the same values and goals in youth development,” Ryan Martin, United academy director, said. “We are excited to build a long-term relationship with PPA and begin sharing resources, responsibilities and efforts of helping players in the DMV reach their full potential and give them a true pathway to the professional level.”
In addition, PPA's top U-12 players will have the opportunity to participate in elite training sessions, and both MLS and international competitions with D.C. United. In an effort to place the area's top players on a pathway to professional soccer and encourage development, the clubs will work together to identify and select players through D.C. United’s Development Academy Talent Centers throughout the spring and summer.
"On behalf of the PPA, we are thrilled to secure a partnership with D.C. United,” Michael Worden, president of the Player Progression Academy, said. “This partnership will further help us achieve our mission to give our players the best possible experience while providing a pathway to development and success."
The PPA will host a series of D.C. United Development Academy Talent Centers in the spring of 2017, which will act as the primary identification opportunity for aspiring youth players for the 2017/2018 Academy season.