The U.S. youth development system is poised to add a new member, FC Barcelona. The world soccer giants have announced that they will open a youth training center in Long Island, New York. The news comes on the heels of Barca opening an academy in Casa Grande, Arizona and its nationwide programs in cities throughout the country. Youth academy players will be trained by coaches from La Masia, Barcelona’s famed development system in Spain.
Barca has joined with Prospect Sports Partner, LLC in order to pursue the project. PSP will essentially construct the 10 field complex and the two organizations will share the revenue. The initial contract for the Long Island academy will be for 10 years with an option to renew the contract for another 10 when it expires.
The team has yet to fully release details, but its facility in Arizona includes dormitories as well as a high school. According to the team, every player that graduates from its program in Casa Grande either earns a college scholarship or professional contract. In addition to being a potential pathway to playing for Barcelona in Spain, the academy is a member of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy system.
Barca has repeatedly shown their interest in developing soccer in the U.S. In addition to the academy in Arizona and announced on in New York, the team has approved plans to have a team in the NWSL. The expansion of the Barcelona footprint in the states illustrates the potential for the continued growth in the country and the commitment that the club has to being a part of it.