In 2019/20 US Soccer introduced the Developmental Player Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to create a more player-centered environment, where clubs can make decisions that provide the best development opportunities for each player to reach his full potential based on an Individual Development Plan (IDP), which includes elements such as playing time for each player and placing the player in the right environment according to his ability level.
Developmental players can come from all Affiliated Clubs or from within the club (our U12 and U16 non-DA teams)
The Developmental Player Initiative provides opportunities for players who are not yet ready to compete consistently at the Academy Level to play regularly in games outside of the DA program, in environments that are beneficial to player development. As part of this initiative, all players can be either registered as full-time players (FT) or developmental players (DP). FTs train and play exclusively with the Richmond United DA teams, while DPs split time between Richmond United and their “home” teams at Richmond United Affiliate clubs.
Developmental Player Guidelines
- Training - DPs will train 4 times per week. 1-2 times with Richmond United and 2-3 times with their affiliate club. Players will have additional opportunities to attend more Richmond United practices during times when the affiliate club does not provide practices (for example, in preseason or winter, or when High School age teams stop practicing for the Spring).
- Games - Per US Development Academy Rules, DPs are allowed to play in a maximum of 12 Development Academy League games throughout the season; however, there is no limit on the number of games a DP can play in Richmond United scrimmages, friendlies, festival, or showcase games. Each DP will have an Individual Development Plan that provides an expectation for the number of Richmond United games they will participate in over the course of the season; however, this plan is flexible and can always be adapted to the individual player’s situation at any given time. DPs will play in all games with their affiliate club unless communicated otherwise by Richmond United or affiliate club staff.
- Sports Performance - DPs are invited to participate in the Richmond United Sports Performance program (U15-19)
- Futsal - DPs are invited to participate in the Richmond United Futsal program.
- Outside Competition - In accordance with US Soccer Development Academy rules, DPs cannot play school soccer. DPs can participate in outside Futsal activities as long as there is still appropriate recovery time. DPs can participate in events like ID2, PDP, ODP.