Another professional soccer academy has been launched in Texas, and for the first time it’s a club for girls. Houston Dash announced on Wednesday that they will be launching a girl’s development academy in 2017.
There are only three organizations in US Soccer that run a club in MLS, NWSL and both a boys and girls academy. Those clubs are setting up for the future and setting up a strong soccer culture as Houston joins Orlando and Portland.
The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) announced that 2017 would be the first season of a real national girl’s development academy league. Houston Dash’s academy brings the total of clubs involved to 74, with Dash as one of the 22 additional clubs involved.
Dash is not the only club from Texas, or even Houston, who are added in as one of these 22 additional clubs. Houston United and Texas Rush, the latter from the Woodlands are also joining the development academy.
The process involved in getting accepted to the USSF DA required meeting many criteria set by the USSF. The criteria included quality of leadership, desire to embrace the core values of the USSF DA, USSF licenses of coaching staff, infrastructure, history of producing national team players and the market.
The first season in Houston will have three combined age groups with under 14/15, under 16/17 and under 18/19. This is the upper age groups, the opposite to San Antonio FC’s boys academy which launched with the youngest age group.
With combined age groups the two different ages are expected to be split 50/50 and each team is expected to train four times a week. Each team will be scouted by US Soccer for opportunities for national team callups.