The SLSG Illinois Pre‐Academy program, developed under the technical framework of the US Soccer Development Academy, was launched in the fall of 2009 in response to the fact that the traditional youth soccer model was not adequate in preparing players for transition into the US Soccer Development Academy program.
The Pre-Academy program started with a single team of 16 players coming from the U13 and U14 age groups. Due to its’ success in year one the program has since grown and now includes over 90 players ages 11-15 years old. In 2012, 85% of the players on the U16 Development Academy team were members of the SLSG Metro Pre-Academy program for 2+ years prior to being selected into the Development Academy.
Our U12 Pre-Academy program is the entry level and consists of a pool of 22 players who compete in both 9v9 and 11v11 formats given the variety in physical development that is present at this age. The competitive calendar includes league play, tournament play as well as friendlies with other Academy clubs. Players train 2-3 times per week.
The U13 and U14 Pre-Academy teams all compete in the US Club National Premier Leagues- Midwest Developmental League (MDL). The MDL consists of 11 other Academy clubs in the Midwest including several Major League Soccer Clubs (Chicago Fire, Sporting KC, Columbus Crew) along with a select group of elite non-Academy clubs. Players train 3-4 times per week.
SLSG Illinois Pre-Academy teams are staffed with coaches from the Development Academy program. In order to prepare players for competition in the Development Academy, players need to be under the guidance of a coach who knows, through experience, exactly what players need to be success at the next level. Furthermore, we are one of only a select few clubs in the entire nation whose Pre-Academy program is staffed by coaches who have all obtained the USSF National “A” License, which is the highest level of coaching licensing available in the United States.