A fairly new phenomenon in US youth soccer has been the creation of partnerships between top US youth soccer clubs and the youth development programs of many EPL clubs. Here in North Carolina we’ve seen Chelsea FC partner with CASL in Raleigh and Reading FC with Charlotte United. While initially seen by some as a marketing ploy, it’s becoming clear that both sides are intent on exploring the beneficial possibilities of forming these trans-Atlantic partnerships.
I had the pleasure of watching some Chelsea FC youth players face off against a CASL team this summer during my ‘D’ class. It was a lot of fun to watch, and was a heck of a learning experience for both sides I expect. As a league administrator, you realize the possibilities are endless for something like this, not only benefiting the US clubs, but also the EPL academy programs.
In addition to partnerships with some US clubs, Chelsea has also partnered with the Disney Soccer Showcase, one of the top soccer tournaments in the US. This partnership will allow for Chelsea’s youth teams to face off against some of the best US youth soccer teams:
America’s most prestigious youth soccer tournament, Disney’s Soccer Showcase presented by Chelsea FC, kicks off next week at the Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando. England’s Chelsea FC U17 squad, which features some of the UK’s best young players, will be the only international team taking part. With more than 230 of the U.S.’s best boys teams, the Disney Showcase sets up a rare matchup between England’s and America’s best youth soccer players.
If you happen to be in or near Orlando, you should try to catch one of these matches. Here is the schedule:
- Saturday, Dec. 27 at 4:30 p.m., Chelsea FC v DC United USSF (Washington, DC)
- Sunday, Dec. 28 at 2:30 p.m., Chelsea FC v Lonestar SC 92 Red (Austin)
- Monday, Dec. 29 at 10:30 a.m., Chelsea FC v Lower Merion SC (Pennsylvania)
In addition to the matches, Chelsea Academy manager Neil Bath will give a presentation to coaches during the showcase based on the organizational model of the Chelsea Academy.