South Florida Football academy
Frequently Asked Questions
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Yes. All clubs will continue to offer competitive travel teams as they have done in the past.
It is important to note that the new partnership is designed to allow both clubs to work together to support and improve the MLS Programs by combining resources (ie: players, staff, training curriculums, facilities, etc.). However, in addition to the jointly supported MLS teams, all clubs WILL continue to operate their respective competitive programs and offer non-Academy teams in all age groups. The non-Academy teams at each club will be considered Pre-Academy teams and any players selected for those teams will continue to be developed using the same training curriculum topics.
Players selected for the Pre-Academy teams will continue to be evaluated on a regular basis throughout the season and will have the ability to be moved from Pre-Academy teams to the Boca United Academy teams at any time during the year based on their effort, development, and performance in the Pre-Academy team/program.
Players who are interested in joining mid-season would need to contact our directors. We will assess the player and depending on their character, abilities, commitment, and rosters we can look to potentially add players mid-season. We will announce tryouts for our 2021/2022 season soon.
The MLS offers the highest level of youth soccer training and competition in the country. The stated goal of the MLS league is to develop world class players. While the SFFA Program is open to all boys from ANY club in the south Florida and Treasure Coast area, the program is geared for players with the highest level of dedication, commitment, work ethic, ability, and willingness to learn and grow each and every day both as players on the field and as young men and women off the field.
Our new jointly run SFFA Academy is the only MLS Program in Palm Beach and Martin County to offer a full Academy (ie: teams in all Academy age groups) for both BOYS and GIRLS. As a full Academy Program, it is our responsibility to identify the top youth players in the area for the USSF and attempt to get them into our Academy Program as soon as feasible in order to provide those players with a high performance training environment and consistent competitive game schedule that the MLS league offers.
We believe that strong character traits help athletes succeed in sports and in life. One of our primary objectives within our Academy curriculum is to use the sport of football (ie: soccer) to develop quality character traits in the young men and women who are members of our program. We feel that quality character traits such as honesty, respect, dedication, commitment, discipline, and unselfishness are extremely important for long term player development and success. We believe that players with these character traits will help create and maintain a high performance training environment and vibrant club culture that will maximize the development and potential of each player in our program.
The training program will focus on fully developing players technically, tactically, physically, and mentally in order to prepare them for success at the highest levels of play (ie: college or professional). Our age-appropriate training curriculum will help the players learn the necessary skills required at each age and will be offered in a sequence that will be built upon each year as they go through the program.
It is extremely important that players are always striving to win every time they play. However, we must make sure that we teach players to play the game correctly and develop the skills that will be required for them to be successful playing at a high level (ie: college or professional level) while they strive to win games, etc. Therefore, we will strive to play soccer that demonstrates skill, creativity, and intelligence while simultaneously challenging our players to constantly increase their speed of play, attack more effectively, create chances to score goals, and hopefully win. However, we will not sacrifice player development simply for the sake of winning games.
Our playing philosophy includes a strong belief and conviction in building attacks out of the back (ie defensive third of the field), maintaining possession of the ball, and always looking for opportunities to play the ball forward and penetrate the opponent’s defense in order to create goal scoring opportunities (ie: possession with a purpose to attack and score goals).
It is difficult to build the ball out of the back. It requires players to work harder off the ball in order to give teammates more passing options. It also requires players to be technically sound in terms of being able to receive and pass the ball under pressure and problem solve. Being able to perform all of these skills at a high rate of speed will ultimately lead to controlling games and ultimately result in winning more games over the long term.
Most importantly, this playing style and philosophy will help prepare players for handling the demands of high level football. A winning attitude and desire to succeed are very important and we will expect that from all our players at all times. However, as teachers of the game, we will simultaneously make sure that we keep the big picture of player development in mind at all times.
We expect our parents are to be positive and supportive of the program as well as respectful at all times.
The MLS league offers the highest level of competition in the country. It is very challenging and demanding for the players that participate in the program. We will cultivate a club culture that nurtures development and learning for our players and we expect our parents to assist us in creating and maintaining that culture on and off the field.
With the proper parent support, the players will be in an environment in which they can flourish and meet all the challenges that the Development Academy program has to offer them as they grow as players and mature as young men and women.
We feel that it is a privilege for players to be a member of the SFFA’s Program and there are a large number of players eager to join the program. While we understand and appreciate the personal and emotional connection that parents can have with regards to their children sports activities, there will be a no tolerance policy for parents who allow those personal emotions to become negative or disruptive to the programs overall goals and objectives. If necessary, we will remove members from the Academy Program if we feel their behavior is counterproductive to the type of positive player development and learning culture that we want to maintain at our club.
We feel that quality character traits such as honesty, respect, dedication, commitment, discipline, and unselfishness are vitally important for long term player development and success. Players with these character traits will help us create and maintain a high performance training environment and a club culture that will allow us to maximize the development and potential of each player in our program. We expect our players to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with these quality character traits at all times while they strive to become the best players they can be and the best people they can be.
We expect our players to work hard, attend all training sessions and games, and focus their energy on the things that they have direct control over such as their attitude, concentration, and effort. As the players develop their character and their playing abilities, they will help contribute to the type of professional environment that will accelerate the development of all of the players in the Academy Program.
The Academy Program is for elite players with a grow mindset and desire to learn and grow progressively as a person and player through the sport of football. If your child is interested in developing to their full potential in a competitive environment, they are a candidate for the Academy program. If your child is ultimately selected for the Academy Program, we strongly recommend that you take advantage of this special opportunity to train and play with the best players in the state and country.
The SFFA teams will train 4-5 times a week.
The annual fee to join the SFFA Program last year was $2,300 and we anticipate the annual fee to join the program for the 2021-2022 season will be approximately the same amount. There are additional fees if and when the teams travel and those travel fees will vary by team and event.
As per MLS guidelines, every Academy age group will use a minimum of ONE-THIRD of a field in training with some teams having access to one-half of field for training whenever possible.
In addition to jointly supporting and running the MLS Program teams, both clubs will continue to offer their own respective competitive (non-Academy) travel teams as they have in the past. The non-Academy teams at each club will be considered Pre-Academy teams and those players will continue to be developed using the same training curriculum topics.
Players selected for the Pre-Academy teams will continue to be evaluated on a regular basis throughout the season and will have the ability to be moved from Pre-Academy teams to the SFFA Academy teams at any time during the year based on their effort, development, and performance in the Pre-Academy team/program.
The SFFA Program plays in the MLS league (Southeast division). The program consists of a 10-month season with approximately 28-32 league games.
In addition to the SFFA league games, SFFA programs will participate in MLS national showcase events where our players will compete against the top clubs and players in the country have an opportunity to be scouted.
The BOYS SFFA will have two national showcases for U16/17 & U18/19 age groups, one regional and one national showcase for U14 & U15 age groups, and a FUTSAL showcase for U12 & U13 age groups. All BOYS national showcase events will offer exposure to MLS Youth National team, professional, and college scouts.
Players must compete constantly in training and games and are evaluated daily by the SFFA’s coaching staff. The coaching staff will issue player assignments on a weekly basis throughout the season. Player must compete in order to be named to the game rosters each week. Players must also compete to be named to the rosters for each MLS showcase event.
We believe playing time is extremely important for a player’s development, especially in the younger age groups. Therefore we will always strive to find games for all our players. However, players are expected to compete daily for playing time and playing time is NOT guaranteed.
Each player will receive performance evaluations to provide them with feedback on how they are doing during the program year and identify areas for improvement. The club has also implemented a Video Analysis Program where all MLS games will be filmed. The staff will conduct videos sessions with each team on a regular basis in order to accelerate the learning process and to analyze individual and team performance.
op instruction. Players receive integrated oversight from SFFA club coaches and MLS Technical Advisors in their local environment.
• Consistent Training Environment: Four (4) mandatory training sessions per week.
• More Competitive Games
• Compete against top youth clubs in the country.
• FIFA rules (i.e. no reentry on substitutions, January 1 birthday cutoff, players participate on older teams when appropriate)
• Approximate 30-game season, No outside participation for full-time Academy players. • 25 percent minimum start requirement.
• Connection to U.S. Soccer Resources.
• Select teams compete against U.S. Youth National Teams.
• Regular game and training evaluations by U.S. Soccer Men’s and Women’s Scouting Network staff.
• Referees assigned by MLS Soccer.
Direct connection to Men’s Scouting Network for identification of potential National Team pool players.
• Showcases are premier scouting venues:
• 400-500 college coaches. 25+ professional scouts.
• National Team staff members observe every game.
• Online player profile for all Academy players.
There have been more than 2,000 instances of players being called into BOYS Youth or Senior Team events since the fall of 2007 from 72 different BOYS Academy clubs. Over 100 Development Academy alumni current playing in Major League Soccer, with approximately another 50 alumni at professional environments overseas.
You can read more about the BOYS MLS Programs by visiting the MLS website at: CLICK HERE