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IMG Academy soccer program to optimize residency program

IMG Academy soccer program studentStarting in the 2011-2012 school year, the IMG Academy soccer program's boys' residency program will simulate the professional and collegiate environment by training in the morning and attending the on-campus IMG Academy in the afternoon.

The new schedule optimizes the training environment by not only mirroring what players will experience at the next level, but also allowing for optimal coach use, maximum field space, more position-specific training, and, perhaps most importantly, maximum energy start levels from the student-athletes.

Additionally, the new schedule will afford Academy students, including the U15 Indian National Team, the opportunity to play more games and scrimmages against U.S. Soccer's U17 national team, who also call IMG Academy home. The U15 Indian National Team is currently enrolled in the full-time program at IMG Academy through the IMG Reliance Scholarship Program. 

"We are looking forward to moving to this new model," said IMG Academy soccer program Director Tom Durkin. "While we are not changing what we offer, we can now optimize our delivery and ensure better results in every aspect, from physical and mental conditioning to skill acquisition and tactical insight."

A weekly video session will be added to the program to further complement the tactical and mental training. Remarked Durkin, "We are making use of every resource now available to us to enhance player development and accelerate the team-building aspect."

The program optimization comes several months after the IMG Academy soccer program unveiled nine new soccer fields, bringing its total to 13, as well as hosted its first successful elite international competition - the IMG Cup Boys' Invitational. The inaugural IMG Cup Girls' Invitational will be held April 22-24, 2011. The Cup events are the first of many international tournaments the IMG Academy soccer program will host at its new facility.

The newly introduced facilities and program elements will all serve to further strengthen a development program delivered by world class coaches that has produced 45 professional players in the last 12 years. In the past several years alone, the IMG Academy soccer program has helped develop the careers of numerous U.S. Men's National and Youth National Team members including Tim Howard, DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Parkhurst, Gale Agbossoumonde (U-20) and Zarek Valentin (U-20), as well as MLS stars Blair Gavin and Zak Boggs and reigning NCAA champions Anthony Ampaipitakwong, Enrique Paez, Reinaldo Brenes, Kofi Sarkodie and Martin Ontiveros (also Valentin) of the University of Akron.

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