Throughout the program’s 18 years, the U.S. Under-17 residency program has helped develop some of the top players in U.S. Men’s National Team history. However, with the rise of academies throughout the country, the program is set to close its doors.
The U-17 residency program is set to complete its final semester after 18 years in Brandenton, Fla. The program has helped kickstart the careers of 33 players with USMNT caps, including Landon Donovan, DaMarus Beasley, Michael Bradley and Christian Pulisic.
“One of our main hopes when establishing the U.S. Soccer Residency Program was that at some point advancements in youth player development would make its existence no longer necessary–we believe that point has been reached.” U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said. “Not only did the program develop a number of key players for our National Teams, it served as a model for academies across the country to follow. With the U.S. Development Academy having achieved high standards in preparing our young athletes, we are now able to impact future American professionals on a much larger scale.”
Founded in 1999, the program helped lead to the 2007 launch of U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy, which now features more than 150 clubs across the country. According to U.S. Soccer, 89 percent of all call-ups to U.S. youth national teams are coming from Academy clubs while 23 players that have featured in the Academy program have played for the senior team.
“It’s a bittersweet moment because the program has been invaluable for almost two decades as a critical piece of the development process for U.S. Soccer,” said U-17 head coach John Hackworth. “The end of the Residency Program signals the next step in the evolution of player development in this country.”