IMG Academy to host USL PRO Combine featuring 100 of nation's top soccer players looking to turn professional.
Event marks first of a series of first-quarter youth and professional events for the IMG Academy soccer program
Bradenton, Fla. (January 24, 2012) - IMG Academy will host the United Soccer Leagues (USL) PRO Combine, January 26-29, 2012. Among the players who will have the opportunity to be evaluated by USL PRO clubs and other professional clubs such as Sweden's MalmÃ¶ FF, are nearly sixty former USL Player Development League players looking to transition to the pro ranks.
âWe are very happy with the level of talent that will be on display in Bradenton this week,â USL National Technical Director Peter Mellor said. âWe believe there are a number of players who are ready to make the jump to the professional ranks from the PDL, and some current professional players attending who would fill a need for a team immediately.â
Being staged for the first time at the internationally-recognized IMG Academy, the USL PRO Combine will see the players divided into six squads, with each team playing three matches over the duration of the event. There will also be testing, team training sessions, and for the second consecutive year, two sessions devoted solely to goalkeeper development.
The Combine marks the first of a number events occurring over the next few months at the IMG Academy soccer program Complex within the walls of the 400-acre IMG Academy. Also next weekend, IMG will play host to the U.S. Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP) Boys Winter Interregional, in which the four U.S. Youth Soccer 1996 Regional Teams (NE, SE, Midwest, Far West) will train and compete. Coaches will be on site to evaluate players for possible selection to a National Team Training camp.
Beginning in early February, a number of professional teams will begin descending on the campus of IMG for pre-season training. Teams include MLS's Seattle Sounders, Columbus Crew and D.C. United, as well as MalmÃ¶ FF, Sweden's most successful club with sixteen national championship titles and fourteen national cup titles to their name. During their stretch of training, the teams will compete with another.
Later in February, IMG will host both the boys' and girls' 2012 USL ODP Super-Y League National Camps. The boys' camp (1995/96 and 1997/98 teams) will run February 23-26, while the girls' (1995/96 and 1997/98 teams) will take place March 1-4, 2012. There will be six teams formed within each calendar year group that will train and compete in games for national select spots and other opportunities. The event will draw nearly five hundred players and countless coaches.
Rounding out the events is the IMG Academy soccer program's IMG Cup-College Showcase event, to be held March 9-11, 2012. The event, expected to attract several thousand players, coaches and spectators, will feature sixty of the nation's top boys and girls teams. More than 200 men's and women's coaches from the nation's top collegiate programs like Akron University and the University of North Carolina, will be on hand to scout the talent. Amidst the exciting team competition, a number of pro teams will travel to IMG to train and compete among one another during the Showcase.
Remarked Scott Dean, Director of the IMG Academy soccer program, âThis year is off to an exciting start, as we help our senior student-athletes select the best collegiate programs, all while bringing incredible talent to our fields for great competition at the youth level through the professional ranks.â
For more information about these events, and to register, please visit: http://www.imgacademies.com/soccer-academy/
About IMG Academy soccer program
The IMG Academy soccer program is the epicenter for developing youth soccer players from around the world. Under the direction of a world-class dedicated full-time staff, the Academy has captured two Dallas Cup Championships (2005-2006 & 2007-2008) and four state championships (2001-2002, 2003-2004 U19 Girls, 2001-2002 U18 Girls & 2010-2011 U15 Boys) with numerous state cup final fours. The Academy's Premier Development League (PDL) team has earned more than 100 wins and reached the PDL National semi-finals in 2008-2009.
To-date, the Academy has produced more than 40 professional players, including Zarek Valentin (U.S. U20 Team; Chivas USA), Anthony Ampaipitakwong (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Parkhurst (U.S. Men's National Team; Denmark's FC Nordsjaelland), Gale Agbousoumonde (U.S. U20 Team; Sweden's DjurgÃ¥rdens), Blair Gavin (Chivas USA), Kofi Sarkodie (U.S. U-20 Team; Houston Dynamo), Zak Boggs (New England Revolution), and Heath Pearce (U.S. Men's National Team; FC Dallas).
Today, in addition to its academic and training offerings, the IMG Academy soccer program Complex provides a world-class environment for team training and competition. Each year, thousands of players from the youth level through the professional ranks descend on the campus to compete at the highest level.
About IMG Academy
IMG Academy, located in Bradenton, Fla., is the world's largest and most advanced multi-sport training and education complex dedicated to developing the TOTAL ATHLETEâ¢. For more than 30 years, IMG Academy has helped countless youth, adult, collegiate and professional athletes reach their full potential in sport and life, by providing expert coaching, tailored programs and world-class facilities within an energetic environment across a 400-acre campus.
Today the campus attracts more than 20,000 athletes from 100 countries annually. The Academies consists of the IMG Academy Bollettieri tennis program, IMG Academy golf program, IMG Academy football program, IMG Academy baseball program, Basketball, Lacrosse and Soccer academies - all supported by the IMG Academy and Athletic & Personal Development program's multi-faceted training disciplines. IMG Academy also conducts camps, clinics and events year-round, while providing support to teams and federations around the world. Find more info at www.imgacademies.com.
Contact: Kim Berard, IMG Academy, firstname.lastname@example.org, 941-752-2621