The Empire United Soccer Academy, which has its headquarters in Rochester with operations in Buffalo and Syracuse, has agreed to a training and development partnership with Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution, officials announced Monday.
“Our New England Revolution partnership will provide an exceptional resource that will help Empire improve the standard of youth soccer in central and western New York,” James Mort, executive director of Empire United, said in a statement.
“We want to be a primary asset to identify young players that have the potential of playing at a professional level and give them the training, facilities, resources and professional coaching in an extraordinary learning environment. We are dedicated to creating opportunities for our young players to excel.”
Empire United serves boys and girls from ages 9 to 19. It is a member of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
The academy will become Revolution Empire, a New England Revolution Soccer Club, beginning with the 2012-13 season, officials said.
Empire United players and coaches will have access to the Revolution’s development and competition system as the MLS team tries to produce home-grown players, officials said.
“This year, we’ve already expanded our development model by adding an under-14 team,” Revolution general manager Michael Burns said in the statement. “Now, with this partnership with Empire United, we’re expanding our geographic footprint.”
Empire United’s elite players will train with the Revolution this summer, and can be called up to its reserve team during its 10-game season, officials said.
The Revolution Academy Regional Development School will establish training programs in Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo, officials said. In addition, Empire United’s training center will be expanded with support from the Revolution Academy coaching staff.
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