Academy Q and A

Q: What is the U.S. Soccer Development Academy?

A: U.S. Soccer created the Development Academy in 2007 to improve the everyday environment for the elite youth male player. The Development Academy is a partnership between U.S. Soccer and the top youth clubs around the country to provide the best youth players in the U.S. with an everyday environment designed to produce the next generation of National Team players.

Q: What is Richmond United?

A: Richmond United was established, in 2014, by the Richmond Strikers and Richmond Kickers when the two clubs united their respective U.S. Soccer Development Academy programs to introduce a collaborative Academy program designed to serve the most talented male players in the region.  With over 50 years of combined operational experience and unassailable reputations for success on and off the field, the Richmond Kickers and Richmond Strikers will build upon the tradition of player development that is respected both regionally and nationally.

Q: What is Richmond United's Vision?

A: Richmond United’s vision is to offer the most comprehensive and successful player development environment for soccer in the Central Virginia region. We will inspire our members, strive to achieve excellence and unite our soccer community. We want to be a positive outlier among youth soccer clubs in the US.

Q: What is Richmond United's Mission?

A:  Inspire, support and develop the next generation of passionate soccer players, coaches and fans

Q: What are Richmond United's Objectives?

A:  Richmond United has four main goals:

  1. To attract the best players from a 75 mile radius of Richmond
  2. To graduate 75% of players to Division I College programs
  3. To produce nationally respected players, coaches and teams
  4. Produce at least two players each season that will be signed to Amateur/Pro contracts with the first team

Q: What are Richmond United's Players, Coaches and Staff Attitudes?

A: Richmond United's Players, Coaches and Staff main Attitudes are Pride, Passion and Perseverance. Pride: All Richmond United Academy Players, Coaches and Staff are expected to be proud members of the Richmond United Academy program and must represent Richmond United as such. Passion: All Richmond United Academy Players, Coaches and Staff are expected to be passionate about the game of soccer and must strive to excel in everything that they do. Perseverance: All Richmond United Academy Players, Coaches and Staff are expected to be humble, respectful and persevering at all times; constantly striving to push back limits, to improve and to learn something new.

Q: Who will oversee Richmond United?

A: Richmond United will be managed by one of the highest caliber, licensed technical staffs in the country, including Leigh Cowlishaw (Senior Management), Jay Howell (Senior Management) and Sascha Goerres (Academy Director), who will be responsible for setting and maintaining the Richmond United mission and vision.

Q: Which age groups compete for Richmond United?

A: Richmond United will field following teams in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy for the 2018-2019 seasonal year.

  • U12 - players born in 2007 and younger
  • U13 - players born in 2006
  • U14 - players born in 2005
  • U15 - players born in 2004
  • U17 - players born in 2003 & 2002
  • U19 - players born in 2001 & 2000

In addition, Richmond United will field a U16 team (players born in 2002) that will compete in the US Youth Soccer National League Atlantic Development Player EDP Conference. This league consists of only U16 teams from Development Academy clubs.

Q: Who will coach the teams?

A: Richmond United Academy Coaching Staff for the 2018/19 season will consist of the following coaches:

  • U19 (players born in 2000/01) - Stephan Rigaud, USSF A-Youth License
  • U17 (players born in 2002/03) - Stephan Rigaud, USSF A-Youth License
  • U16 (players born in 2003) - Don Hughes, USSF "A" License
  • U15 (players born in 2004) - Don Hughes, USSF "A" License
  • U14 (players born in 2005) - Sascha Görres, USSF A-Youth License
  • U13 (players born in 2006) - Michael Callahan, USSF “B” License
  • U12 (players born in 2007 and younger) - Michael Callahan, USSF “B” License
  • Goalkeeper Coach - Adrian Clewlow
  • Assistant Coach (U12 and U14) - Matthew Delicate, USSF "A" License

Furthermore, the technical staff of Richmond United will be enhanced by additional technical support from both the Richmond Kickers and Richmond Strikers.

Q: How many players will be selected?

A: 16-20 full time players will be selected for each of the U13, U14, U15, U16 age groups. 16-23 players will be selected for the U17 and U19 age groups. 22-26 full time players will be selected for the U12 age group. The U12 age group will be split into two teams of 11-13 players on each game day and each team will be playing 9v9 against other league opponents.

Q: Where will Richmond United Academy teams train and play home games?

A: The Richmond United U13, U14, U15, U16, U17 and U19 teams will train four times per week, alternating between Ukrop Park, Capital Park and Glover Park.  The Richmond United U12 team will train three times per week. Richmond United home games will be played at either Ukrop Park, Striker Park or West Creek Soccer fields. During the winter, when grass fields are closed, practices might be held at alternate locations, for example River City Sportsplex and Striker Park.

Q: How often do Richmond United Academy teams travel?

A: Playing on a Richmond United team requires significant commitment. Teams travel approximately 10-12 times per year with mostly regional travel and some national travel.

Q: Can I play for a Richmond United Academy team AND my high school / middle school soccer team?

A: No. In accordance with US Soccer DA Rules and Regulations, Richmond United players cannot play on their high school or middle school soccer teams. The U.S. Soccer Development Academy is a year-round, highly competitive program that is designed for the top players in the nation.

Q: How will players be selected and when are tryouts?

A: Richmond United Academy complies with U.S. Soccer Development Academy guidelines as it relates to identifying and evaluating players. We do not hold open tryouts in order to select players. Players interested in joining the Richmond United Academy should submit their information through this online form .

Richmond United will communicated with every interested player about possible next steps.

Q: Are players required to live in Richmond to play for Richmond United?

A: No, players are not required to live in Richmond. In fact, Richmond United is looking to attract the best players from a 75 mile radius of Richmond. Currently, there are players from as far as Charlottesville, Fredericksburg,Williamsburg, Lynchburg, Norfolk and Stafford on Richmond United rosters.  However all players must realize the significant commitment required to play for a Richmond United Academy team with four training sessions per week in addition to games and travel.

Q: How much does it cost to play on a Richmond United Academy team?

A: For the U12, U13 and U14 Richmond United Academy teams, fees for the 2018/19 season are $3100. For the U15, U16, U17 and U19 Richmond United Academy teams, fees for the 2018/19 season are $3300.This fee includes bus travel and flights as well as hotel costs for overnight away games and showcases (only U13-U19). As part of this fee, all Richmond United Academy players will also receive a brand new uniform package for the 2018/19 season. 

Q: Does Richmond United offer Financial Assistance?

A: Yes, we are pleased to be able to offer both full and partial financial assistance to those who qualify. In addition, US Soccer provides financial assistance as well.

Q: What are Richmond United's uniform colors?

A:  Richmond United’s uniforms will be black and white, while incorporating red and orange highlights to represent the traditional colors of the Kickers and Strikers.   Player Uniform Packages will include: Two uniforms (home and away) Training gear: jerseys, shorts, socks Training top and pants Rain Jacket Travel Polo or Travel Jersey Backpack

Q: How many Academy players have gone on to play D1 College?

A: Since Richmond United's inception in 2014/15, we have graduated over 20 players to Division 1 colleges. The full list of Academy graduates can be found here .

Q: Can Richmond United players train and compete with the Richmond Kickers Professional team?

A:  Yes, NCAA and USL PRO rules allow Richmond United Academy players to play for the Richmond Kickers professional team, while maintaining their collegiate eligibility. Players will have a direct link to the Richmond Kickers pro staff and organization and may earn opportunities to compete with the first team. All questions related to Richmond United Academy should be directed to Sascha Goerres at sgoerres@richmondutd.com .

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