FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution has formed a strategic partnership with New York-based Empire United, a youth development program that also plays in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. Beginning with the 2012-13 season, Empire United will become “Revolution Empire, A New England Revolution Soccer Club.”
Revolution Empire will be the Revolution’s first affiliate youth club, allowing its Academy players, coaches and development-level players access and involvement in the Revolution Academy development and competition system, with the ultimate goal to produce Revolution Home Grown players.
“We’re very excited and eager to announce Empire United as our first youth development affiliate club,” New England Revolution General Manager Michael Burns said. “This year, we’ve already expanded our development model by adding an Under-14 team. Now with this partnership with Empire United, we’re expanding our geographic footprint. On top of the successful system we already have in place, we expect this new integrated organization will allow us to identify and develop more players who will one day represent the New England Revolution in Major League Soccer.”
On the competitive side, the Revolution Academy and Revolution Empire youth teams will continue to compete as separate teams in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. However, both teams will train and develop under a similar system and Empire’s youth teams will be afforded the same training opportunities with the New England Revolution senior team as the Revs’ youth teams.
Empire’s elite youth team players will have the opportunity to train with the Revolution first team during the summer months. They can also earn call-ups to the Revolution Reserve team during its 10-game season and Empire’s players will get first-hand coaching from the Revolution Academy coaches at home in Western New York throughout the year.
“This promises to be an exciting and fruitful relationship for both Empire United and the New England Revolution,” Revolution Director of Youth Development Bryan Scales said. “When we started having conversations about affiliates, it was very important that we found the right people and the right development model to partner with. We feel we’ve found a perfect fit with Jim Mort, Chris Apple and the entire Empire United family.”
Empire’s coaches will have opportunities for ongoing coaching and personal development through the Revolution Academy, including training and education sessions with the Revolution first team and youth technical staffs. Additionally, the Revolution and Empire youth technical staffs will collaborate to introduce a consistent training system for both clubs’ development systems.
“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,” Jim Mort, Executive Director of Empire United, said. “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.”
On the development side, the Revolution Academy Regional Development School will establish training programs – both week-long and residential, similar to its New England-based programs – in the Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo markets in partnership with Empire. These training and identification courses for all age groups provide young players the opportunity to get professional coaching and evaluation.
Additionally, the Empire Training Center (previously the Market Training Center) will expand with support from the Revolution Academy’s coaching staff. The ETC is an early identification program that allows elite players to be evaluated by Empire’s technical staff for consideration for the club’s Development Academy teams, similar to the Revolution Training Centers with the same mission.
“Partnering with the New England Revolution is an incredible opportunity for Empire United and I could not be more excited,” Chris Apple, Director of Coaching for Empire United, said. “Similar to a European club, our players and coaches will now have access to the knowledge, training program and innovation of a professional soccer team. This is a huge step forward for Empire and one that will keep us on the cutting edge of the game and enhance our ability to provide our players with the best developmental experience possible.”
For more information about the Revolution Academy - both the competitive youth teams (Under-18, Under-16 and Under-14) and Player Development Programs (including the Regional Development School and residential academy among other programs) – please visit revolutionsoccer.net/academy. For up-to-the-minute information on the Revolution, visit the team’s official web site at revolutionsoccer.net, or follow the team on Twitter at @NERevolution, or on Facebook at facebook.com/NERevolution. For more information about Revolution tickets, special packages and 2012 season tickets, call 1-877-GET-REVS or visit revolutionsoccer.net.
For more information about Empire United, please visit empireunitedsa.org.