Minnesota United’s Pre-Academy program recently wrapped up its Phase Two portion in dramatic fashion at the LA Galaxy Cup. The program for both boys and girls born between 2007 and 2009 ran from February to April and boasted 128 total participants.
“Phase Two of the program mixed futsal and soccer training to help maximize ball contact for the players,” said U12 Technical Leader Andy Seidel. “We were able to get a lot of touches and decision making incorporated into each session.”
The Pre-Academy program turns no one away who wants to play the game, dividing players into Advanced Placement and Metro groups. In this most recent phase, that meant 78 players in the AP group and 50 in the Metro group. The Metro group trained in Ramsey at the Adrenaline Sports Complex, in Bloomington at the Armory and in Shakopee at the high school. Five players from the Metro group had the opportunity to move up and train with the AP group.
“Players were recommended to move up from the Metro group to the AP group throughout the phase and test themselves with a higher level of competition,” said Seidel. “This is a great mechanism of the program, so players have the ability to move up between the groups. It is always tough to see players for one or two hours and get an exact picture of where they stand. Also at these young ages, players change so rapidly we wanted to be able to give them an opportunity to move up if they were playing well.”
The Pre-Academy brought two teams to the LA Galaxy Cup in April and the top team won the event, defeating Colorado Rush 5-0, Legends FC 2-0, San Diego Surf 4-2 and wrapping up with a 5-2 win over the hosts in the Final.
“The players were great down in LA and showcased themselves and the club well,” said Seidel. “They were able to handle the pressure and new environment very well. As a club, it has been great to be able to see them come together over the last few months, and always cool to cap it off with a win.”