Fire Add Another Academy Affiliate

While the club hasn't exactly been successful on the pitch over the last two seasons the Fire are taking steps to building for the future through their academy programs.  The club has announced a partnership with Indiana United Soccer Club Development Academy, one of the top ranked youth academies in the country.

The organization has deservedly taken a beating for the on-field product and some off-field decisions in the last two seasons but their continued emphasis on the youth academy and the importance of developing talent from within is encouraging.  As the release points out, the Fire Academy program was the highest ranked MLS youth program in 2010 by Soccer America.  The youth academy tentacles that produced home-grown signing Kellen Gulley out of Mississippi now theoretically has access to one of the top youth soccer development regions in the country.  It will take time and patience to see some benefit with the parent club but the Fire's commitment to youth development in what essentially amounts to something of a "minor league" program reminiscent of baseball's system is a step in the right direction.

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    Kinda like the great clubs like Barca and Arsenal, this is good. But at the same time, in the professional league, the academy doesn't produce as much as you think it should.

  • In reply to waam:

    It's going to take some time for the investment to show dividends. It's nice to add "homegrown" players to the roster but it makes more sense to let the youngters play and progress through the ranks before getting thrown in with the big boys full time.

  • It's great that the Fire is expanding its youth development contacts but given that the youth academies haven't produced squat, is the Fire doing anything to improve the actual coaching and development process with these relationships?

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    Short!.....been a while, welcome back.

    Like I said in the post, it's going to take some patience before the academies start to produce tangible results....meaning players on the big team. That being said I think some of the guys they have in place currently working on the academy side Larry Sunderland, John Dorn, Mike Matkovich, and Paul Cadwell are pretty capable coaches. The Indiana United staff will also contribute and share ideas. It's going in the right direction, it just not may be as fast as some of us would like to see. The youth programs have produced Pineda and Gulley so far and there are other players who have a chance to develop.

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