In this day and age of elite soccer programs that cost thousands of dollars for the nation’s top players to participate in, this is a welcome breath of fresh air:
Brad Friedel‘s Premier Soccer Academy is the kind of program that makes a soccer parent do a double take. The kind of program that is followed up quickly with a “What’s the catch?” The kind of program that Americans have a hard time comprehending, even though clubs like his are relatively commonplace in other parts of the world.
And it has nothing to do with the state-of-the-art facility (which cost roughly $10 million and is located 30 miles outside of Cleveland) or the impressive roster of coaches Friedel, goalkeeper for the English Premier League’s Blackburn Rovers, has culled from across the globe. What comes as such a shock is the sticker price parents will pay for their children to take part in the residency program that is at the crux of PSA. The grand total for room and board at this year-round program that aims to seek out and develop the next generation of elite youth players? Absolutely nothing.
Now that’s paying it forward! Besides Bradenton, are there any other free soccer academies like this that aren’t tied to professional clubs?