SEATTLE REIGN FC, SEATTLE UNITED FC AND EASTSIDE FC JOIN FORCES TO EXPAND REIGN ACADEMY
SEATTLE (Mar 24, 2017) Seattle Reign FC, Eastside FC, and Seattle United FC today announced that they have joined forces to significantly expand the Reign Academy as it prepares to play in the U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy (DA) in the fall of 2017.
Reign Academy is an elite female youth soccer program and founding member of the DA – a group of sixty-nine youth soccer clubs across the country that collectively represent the highest level of competition for female youth soccer players in the United States.
The Reign Academy provides female players in the Pacific Northwest with an unrivaled platform to develop both as players and as individuals, in a female-centered environment that is built around the unique needs of the elite female soccer player.
Reign Academy is led by Executive Director Laura Harvey, who also serves as the head coach and general manager of Seattle Reign FC. Harvey is a two-time NWSL Coach of the Year, FA Coach of the Year, has the best overall record in the NWSL over its first four seasons, has been twice nominated for the Ballon d’Or Coach of the Year award, and served as the U-23 USWNT head coach during their tournament in La Manga earlier this month.
“I am passionate about the development of female youth soccer players and believe we can offer a truly unique environment and standard for the elite players in our region,” said Laura Harvey, Executive Director of Reign Academy. By bringing Eastside FC and Seattle United FC together in the Academy we are able to leverage their fantastic work to offer a program with breadth and depth that will become an asset to the community and over the long-term will enable us to become a worldwide leader in the development of female soccer players.”
Tracey Kevins serves as Technical Director of Reign Academy, leading the development and implementation of Reign FC’s youth curriculum, identifying and managing all Academy coaches, and leading the day-to-day operations of the Academy. Prior to her work with the Reign Academy Tracey amassed extensive experience coaching international youth teams with the English FA, won championships in both the Women’s FA in England and the W-League in the United States, and has been a recipient of the FA Coach of the Year award.
“Laura has built an incredible program with the first team that has seen massive success over its first four seasons,” said Kevins. “With our partners at Eastside FC and Seattle United we will create a similar standard for our Academy teams, providing the only program in the region that can truly deliver a pathway from Reign Pre-Academy to the pros.”
The Reign Academy will feature teams in the 2004, 2003, 2002/2001 and 2000/1999 age groups that will play in the DA. These teams offer comprehensive, focused and intense training environments that are designed to develop elite-level players to their fullest potential, preparing them for D1 colleges, professional playing careers or national teams.
“We’ve seen a lot of change in the landscape for female youth soccer over the last twenty-four months,” said Kevins. “We’ve elected to focus our efforts on the DA moving forward, as it is clear that the DA represents the highest level of play in the United States. With the full backing of U.S. Soccer, it will provide the best opportunities for players as they progress to college, professional leagues and international football.”
The partnership with Seattle United and Eastside FC has enabled an expansion of the Reign Academy programming to more broadly impact players at both clubs.
Reign Academy2 teams, which are overseen by Reign Academy, provide a pathway for players with the potential to make the leap to the DA level of play. Players in the Reign Academy2 program will train under the Reign Academy curriculum, can be called up as Developmental Players to the full DA teams, and are permitted to play with their high school teams.
The Academy expansion will also provide programming to emerging-elite players through the Reign Pre-Academy. Reign Pre-Academy teams will play in the U-12 and U-13 age groups, train using the Reign Academy curriculum, and will have opportunities to move up to a DA or Reign Academy2 teams should a player be performing beyond her current age level.
The Reign Academy2 and Reign Pre-Academy programs will be augmented by coaching education programs run by Reign Academy that are designed to support female coaches in their personal and professional growth.
Collectively, these programs – DA, Reign Academy2, Reign Pre-Academy and Coaching Education – are intended to impact all female programs offered by Seattle United and Eastside FC, building on the significant investments they’ve made in their girls’ programs while working to enhance the great successes they’ve seen on the pitch.
According to Jimmy McAlister, Director of Soccer at Seattle United FC, “The Reign Academy programs fit in perfectly with our mission to provide youth soccer programs that inspire players to develop to their highest potential.”
Adds Tom Bialek, Soccer Director of Eastside FC, “The Reign Academy programs help complete the player pathway to support youth of varying ages and skill levels in line with our goal to be champions on the field and in life.”
“We are committed to building the best women’s soccer club in the world. Doing so means that we must develop some of the world’s best players right here in the Pacific Northwest,” said Harvey. “Reign Academy players represent our future, making them an essential part of our club. They will interact with our players and coaches, attend our matches, and have a chance to grow their game by being part of an environment that demands excellence, rewards talent and tenacity, and nurtures both the person and the player. We’ll be working hard to help players achieve their full potential and hope to see Academy alumni featured in the first team very soon.”
Reign Academy Player Identification Days will be held on Monday, May 1 and Tuesday, May 2 for the 03 and 04 birth years, and on Monday, May 8 and Tuesday, May 9 for 02/01 and 00/99 birth years. Times, venues and registration information will be posted on the Reign Academy website at www.reignacademy.com in the near future.
Reign Academy will also present two information nights for parents. The first will be held in Seattle (time and location TBD) on Thursday, March 30. The second will be held on Sunday, April 2 at 7pm at Pacific Cascade Middle School. Parents interested in attending either information night should RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Seattle Reign FC
Seattle Reign FC is one of ten teams in the National Women’s Soccer League. The two-time winner of the NWSL Shield, Reign FC features world-class talent from around the world, including USWNT superstar Megan Rapinoe. Reign FC plays its home matches at Memorial Stadium, located in the shadow of the Space Needle on the Seattle Center campus. For more information about Reign FC please visit www.reignfc.com.
About Eastside FC
Established in 1970, Eastside Football Club is a premier soccer club of more than 70 teams competing at the highest level in Washington, across the region and throughout the United States. Our success on the field speaks for itself as Eastside FC continues to win Washington State championships and produce collegiate level, national team and professional players. More importantly, Eastside FC is committed to developing young men and women of character. Success in life is our primary value. Eastside FC’s long-running success can be attributed to dedicated and professional coaches, a highly-structured curriculum for player development and best-in-class facilities. For more information visit www.eastsidefc.org
About Seattle United
Seattle United is a nonprofit player development club, chartered in 2009, by Seattle Youth Soccer Association (SYSA) as part of the Washington Youth Soccer (WYS) fabric to serve the youth soccer community of Seattle. Seattle United provides soccer training and competitive play options at the Premier and Select levels, with Premier teams competing in WYS’s Regional Club League (RCL) and Select teams playing in the WYS North Puget Sound League (NPSL). Seattle United also provides assistance to SYSA with community outreach, recreational coach development, and player training options. Seattle United teams participate in tournaments locally, and at the state, regional and national levels. Seattle United is one of the largest youth soccer clubs on the West Coast. For more information visit www.seattleunited.com