Manchester City Football Club’s U13s Academy team returns to the UK today following their participation in the MCFC Americas Cup, the only youth tournament in the US that currently has an English Premier League team association.
The unique event forms part of a wider collaboration with Surf Soccer Club, a San Diego based football organisation that fields youth teams who compete at the highest levels locally, regionally and nationally across the US and has been established for over 30 years.
In 2015, Manchester City and Surf Soccer announced a multi-year partnership deal that saw the English Club headline Surf’s annual Americas Cup for the first time.
Open to all USYSA, US Club Soccer, Super Y League and FIFA affiliated teams, the Manchester City FC Americas Cup brings together boys and girls teams from the ages of 9-18, from the US and beyond. Over 230 teams and 4,500 players took part in 2015 and this year more than 320 teams and 7,000 players hit the pitch to participate in the increasingly popular football extravaganza.
The three-day event saw the U13s Academy team taking part in the inaugural ‘Super Group’, in which they competed against top youth teams from across the US and Mexico, including Surf Soccer, the Crossfire Premier, the Tijuana Xolos and MLS clubs Houston Dynamos and the San Jose Earthquakes.
This year, Manchester City’s side successfully qualified for the ‘Super Group’ final after two spectacular wins against the San Jose Earthquakes and Surf Soccer Club. However, it was the Tijuana Xolos who lifted the 2016 ‘Super Group’ trophy following a tight game, which saw the Xolos edge out City with a 2-1 win.
New for 2016 was a Coaching Symposium led by Manchester City Academy Director, Mark Allen, on the eve of the tournament. The exclusive event attracted over 150 coaches and encompassed a theory workshop on the MCFC Academy strategy and coaching philosophy, as well as a practical session that demonstrated these concepts in practice. The symposium represents the next step in MCFC and Surf Soccer’s wider collaboration, which will see the two organisations share best practice and deliver bespoke coach education sessions as their partnership develops.
Manchester City’s involvement in this unique football programme reflects the Club’s wider commitment to the development of coaches and young players in the UK and beyond, which lies at the heart of MCFC’s operation.
The City Football Academy is the Club’s state of the art youth development and first team training centre. The 80–acre site, adjacent to the Etihad Stadium is part of the wider 200 acres known as the Etihad Campus. It offers the chance to educate talented young footballers on and off the pitch in a facility supported by the best coaches and coaching programmes.
As a result of partnerships, such as the one with Surf Soccer, the Club is now also able to offer these opportunities to young players from all over the world.
Gavin Rhodes, Head of City Football Schools, who work closely with Surf Soccer on this partnership, commented: “Manchester City and Surf Soccer share a vision for providing aspiring young players and coaches with opportunities to develop and advance their skills on and off the pitch making this partnership a natural fit for both of our organisations.
“City Football Schools aims to deliver engaging training programmes to both coaches and aspiring young footballers, teaching them the same methodology and principles used by Manchester City’s first team and Academy. We are pleased that through our partnership with Surf Soccer, we are able to bring those opportunities to the US market, where there is a rapidly growing interest in the sport.”
Mark Allen, Manchester City Academy Director, who delivered the Coaching Symposium in San Diego this weekend said: “I am delighted that we have been able to bring an Academy squad out to San Diego to take part in this year’s MCFC Americas Cup. Going head to head against a range of top teams from across the US and Mexico has provided the boys with an opportunity to gain invaluable international experience and to foster friendships with their peers from across the globe.
“The Coaching Symposium was also an exciting opportunity for us this year. We are proud of the Academy structure we have built and will continue to develop; being able to provide an overview of our Academy with coaches in the US who share our passion for youth development and delivering high standard coaching programmes was a pleasure.”
Jeremy McDonald, President of the San Diego Surf Soccer Club, added: “As a result of Surf Soccer’s partnership with Manchester City FC, the MCFC Americas Cup has become a marquee event on the US youth soccer calendar and this year, to meet the increased demand of more than 100 additional teams registering for the tournament, we have had to expand it to include a second location. We can’t wait to see what next year brings.”
Facts and Figures
- 3 million: The number of children and young adults registered to play soccer with US Youth Soccer as of 2014*, showing the nation’s growing interest in the sport.
- 18: the total number of U13s who travelled to San Diego to compete in the MCFC Americas Cup.
- 11: the number of U13s from Greater Manchester who travelled to San Diego.
- 2: the number of Official MCFC Supporters’ Clubs in California – Hollywood and San Francisco.
- 450+: players train at Manchester City’s City Football Academy every week.
- 8 1/3: the number of hours of coaching delivered to MCFC’s U9s, 10s and 11s each week.
- 12: the number of hours of coaching delivered to MCFC’s U12s, 13s, 14s, 15s and 16s each week.
- 14: the number of hours of coaching delivered to MCFC’s U18s each week.
- 9: the number of players from Greater Manchester who formed part of the starting eleven in the 15/16 FA Youth Cup Final.
- 9: the number of Academy players to make their First Team debut in the 15/16 season.