An interesting press release was delivered from FC Dallas announcing some details of its affiliate program as well as a link with Emerald Coast United of Florida. All of the interesting information is in the press release, but safe to say this is good news for the team, especially the stuff about teams identified in El Paso, Midland, Lubbock and San Antonio that will eventually be wearing FC Dallas colors.
Not only is this successful branding, but also allows for a possible top talent to be identified early to be brought to Frisco to join with the Academy.
Press release after the jump
FRISCO, Texas (June 9, 2011) – FC Dallas launched its affiliate program this week by formally welcoming Emerald Coast United of Niceville, Fla., into the FC Dallas family.
FC Dallas is sharing its trademark FCD Way age-specific curriculum with existing youth clubs that model the style of soccer and philosophies that have made the FCD Way so successful.
“Our player development model is widely recognized as the best in North America and Major League Soccer,” said FC Dallas President and CEO Doug Quinn. “Youth development is one of our top priorities and this affiliate program allows us to cast a much larger net in finding and developing the best young soccer talent.”
FC Dallas affiliate clubs will follow the FCD Way curriculum and wear FC Dallas uniforms and training gear. The clubs will also have access to almost all of the same benefits as members of the existing youth club based at Pizza Hut Park, including School of Excellence camps and college combines, the FCD college preparation program, affiliate coaches continuing education, discounted admission to FC Dallas MLS games and support to help strengthen the club’s competitive level. Players on FC Dallas affiliate teams will be able to train or play with the FC Dallas Academy, Pre-Academy, Elite Clubs National League and Women’s Premier Soccer League teams.
FC Dallas has already identified clubs in El Paso, Midland, Lubbock and San Antonio that will become future affiliates. The details of the relationship and level of support will vary from club to club based on each individual market and specific needs.
“We are trying to build something very special with this program and want to be very strategic about the clubs we choose as FC Dallas affiliates,” said Hunt Sports Group Vice President Dan Hunt. “Our affiliate clubs have to be like-minded in their player development philosophy. They have to play our style of soccer and teach their players the same tools and values we promote in Dallas. More important, we have to be closely involved with each club in implementing our curriculum and ensuring best practices.”
In addition to access to the FC Dallas curriculum and resources, affiliates will earn rankings each year to determine the top ranked teams at each age group who will then advance to a tournament hosted by FC Dallas, Colorado Rapids, Real Salt Lake or Houston Dynamo.
“We are always looking for ways to push our program forward,” said Quinn. “This is the next step. This is the future of our game in America.”