Santiago Bedoya, Weston’s Director of Operations, explains the club’s vision to incorporate new players in a high level tryout.
The year has just begun and Weston FC is starting on its right foot: on January 18th they will be having the first tryout to identify players that can access the “Academy” Program on the 2017-2018 season.
What is the objective of Weston’s tryouts this year?
To find the best players in South Florida and attract them to our Academy Program.
How many players does Weston’s Academy Program have?
Currently, the program has 8 teams, and we are working with an average of 200 players. We are one of the few clubs in south Florida to have an Academy Program for boys and girls. We will soon officially share information about the Academy Program for girls.
How many players do you expect to attract?
It is our first year making this specific tryout in January to link players to the Academy Program, so we don’t have a history yet. But we are sure that at least 50 new players will have the big chance of joining our teams.
What are you looking for specifically when you select a player?
Due to the cultural profile of a big part of our community, more Latin American, initially we focus more on technique. At first, we don’t see the kids’ physical condition. We like to work on ball possession, precise touch, a more technical kind of soccer.
What can a kid expect at the end of the day of the tryout?
They can receive good training and good advice. In case they are selected, there are interviews with the parents and informative sessions, because the level is demanding: training 4 times a week, playing a game at the end of the week, national and international trips. For example, we participated at the Beppe Viola Tournament in Italy in 2016, and this year in April 11 to 16 we will be in the MIC (Mediterranean International Cup) in Barcelona. This year we are travelling with all the Academy teams. It is a huge showcase, a great opportunity. Teams like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and others have competed there. Weston will be there!
Is there any future project of Weston that excites you?
We are working with the PDL (Premier Development League), of the USL (United Soccer League), which is a league that is linked to the MLS and can be a good showcase for the players to open a way to the big leagues of soccer in the United States. This would allow players to have much exposition and opportunities. And in February, we will have our biggest tournament of the year, and maybe the biggest in the United States, the Weston Cup & Showcase 2017. We have registered 500 teams already and we will be reaching more than 700 total.
WHO IS HE?
Origin: New Jersey, USA
Favorite Team: Arsenal
Player he admires: “Kun” Agüero
Favorite Food: Colombian
Favorite Place: Budapest
Favorite Books: “I’m Zlatan Ibrahimovic”, and “Leading” of Sir Alex Fergusson
What is the Development Academy Program?
Following a comprehensive review of elite player development in the United States and around the world, U.S. Soccer created the Development Academy in 2007. The Academy Program’s philosophy is based on increased training, less total games, and more meaningful games using international rules of competition.
The Academy has 150 total clubs, comprised of teams across five age groups: U-12, U-13, U-14, U-15/16, and U-17/18.
The Academy Program focuses on positively impacting everyday club environments to assist in maximizing youth player development across the country. The Academy values individual development of elite players over winning trophies and titles. The Academy sets the standard for elite environments for youth soccer clubs nationwide and is a part of U.S. Soccer’s global leadership position in youth soccer that will impact thousands of players.
The Academy is currently in the process of expanding its programming to include a Girls’ Development Academy that will begin in Fall 2017.
Weston FC Academy
Weston FC is one of the Clubs nationwide that has been named by US Soccer as a US Soccer Development Academy Program. Weston FC was accepted into this esteemed program by US Soccer in 2007, and has been consistently recognized by US Academy Soccer as one of the top soccer clubs in the country. (Source: www.westonfc.com)