Frequently Asked Questions

U.S. Soccer started the Development Academy Program to improve long-term player and coach development. After studying player development models domestically and internationally, U.S. Soccer collaborated with elite soccer clubs across the nation to create a program to provide the proper environment by emphasizing quality training and meaningful competition. The Academy philosophy prioritizes the development needs of the players over wins and losses. 

Michigan Jaguars strongly believes in empowering our girls to pursue soccer as far as it takes them. By joining the Academy, we open yet another avenue for our players to pursue college soccer. This opportunity also provides a pathway for girls who dream of playing professional soccer or for U.S. Youth National Teams. We believe it is important to support our player's soccer dreams, from high school to college to the pros, and joining the Academy allows us to further that mission.

No! U.S. Soccer wants to improve the quality of soccer players at all levels. Growth of the National Team pools will happen as a byproduct of these improvements. U.S. Soccer recognizes that only a small portion of its players will eventually play at the national team level. Academy players will receive the same high level of technical training regardless of whether they are college-bound, national team bound, or have no plans to play soccer after high school. 

Better Coaching - U.S. Soccer mandates that Academy coaches have at least a USSF B License by the 2020 season, and U.S. Soccer reugularily monitors the quality of Academy training sessions.

College Exposure - Over 400 college scouts and coaches attend each of the three U.S. Soccer Development Academy Showcases.

National Team Exposure - Over 50% of all Girls’ Academy games and 100% of Academy Showcase games are scouted by U.S. Soccer. Academy clubs have a direct link to the National Team coaching staffs through regional Technical Advisors. 

Technical Development - Greater training volumes and decreased number of games allows coaches to devote more time to technical training rather than focusing on tactical training for game days.

Financial Aid - U.S. Soccer offers need-based scholarships to assist with travel costs.

Michigan Jaguars Girls' Academy players will train four days per week. This training will be a balance of technically intensive training, tactical sessions, and recovery sessions. 

No, Academy players cannot play high school soccer. U.S. Soccer firmly believes that maintaining a singular, consistent training environment is a key factor impacting a player's development. When Girls' Academy players train year-round with their Academy team, they remain in a consistent environment that meets U.S. Soccer standards. This ensures players develop to their full potential, better-preparing athletes for college, professional, or National Team level soccer.

Yes! U.S. Soccer does not have a policy prohibiting players from playing other high school sports or partcipating in other outside activities provided the player can still meet Academy commitments.

At the U13/14, U15, and U16/17 age groups, teams can make 7 substitutions with no re-entry. In the U18/19 age group, teams can make 5 substitutions with no re-entry. (At Academy Showcases, the U18/19 age group can make 7 substitutions to allow all rostered players opportunities to play in front of college and U.S. soccer scouts.)

U.S. Soccer guidelines allow for a minimum of 32 players and a maximum of 46 players combined between the youngest two age groups (U13/14 and U15). A minimum of 32 players and a maximum of 46 players should also be combined between the oldest two age groups (U16/17 and U18/19). Please see an example player pool below:

Age Group
Players
2006/05 (U13/14)
18
2004 (U15)
17
U13/14 - U15 Pool Total
35 
2003/02 (U16/17)
16
2001/00 (U18/19)
17
U16/17 - U18/19 Pool Total
33

Michigan Jaguars Academy teams will average 16-18 players per age group to provide maximum opportunity for our players.