The New York Cosmos have received approval from US Soccer to begin a development academy for the U-12 age group. The club will be permitted to start developing young players during the 2016 season.
New York Cosmos Chief Operating Officer, Erik Stover said, “We are delighted that we have been given academy status. Youth development is an important part of this club and now we can work towards fine-tuning our infrastructure with young players at the heart.”
Part of this infrastructure would include the Cosmos’ Academy Affiliate Program, a program that involves 19 local clubs around the New York Metropolitan area, including organizations like the Brooklyn Italians, Mineola Portuguese SC, and Auburndale SC. The goal of this program has been to identify local talent while sharing the Cosmos’ training philosophies with local coaches.
Now, the Affiliate program will be pivotal in identifying potential academy candidates. Head coach Giovanni Savarese has already led talent identification centers and the club will certainly have targets in mind to round out their inaugural class.
The club still has applications pending for the U-13 and U-14 age groups, but announcements are expected early in 2016. Metro also reports that while the program will begin with boys’ teams, the club envisions a similar program for girls’.
“This is a huge step for us,” commented New York Cosmos Head Coach Giovanni Savarese. “In 2013 we spoke about our ambition to have our own academy, giving young players a pathway to first team and national soccer. Over the last year we have worked hard to lay the foundations for our academy and this is what we have been working towards.”
It’s not a stadium, but this developmental aspect of the club is just as important to the organization.
Personally, this is very exciting news. Getting to watch kids grow up with the crest and potentially fill some of the ranks of Cosmos B and main squad is an exciting prospect. Also, if the girls’ teams do happen, does this herald the possibility of a Lady ‘Mos side someday appearing?
This was part of the vision from day one of Cosmos 2.0 and this is a huge part of the process. The Cosmos now have a sanctioned academy and, before you know it, you will start to see the benefits of it hit Cosmos B and the first team.
The Cosmos always stated they wanted to be a proper club and this is on par with that vision. It will be a lot of fun watching a kid start young and work his way through the system to the top. While, of course, buying a star player from Spain is always exciting for a club, in any sport, a home grown kid often wins the the hearts of the fans a lot faster.
This is a solid day for the New York Cosmos and its fans.