Empire United Soccer Academy’s mission is to provide all players in our organization the benefits of a team sport that develops character and sportsmanship, fosters enjoyment and encourages each individual to achieve his/her potential on and off the soccer field.
We strive to provide all players, challenging programs that will offer opportunities to participate in developmentally appropriate competitions. Achieving this goal will allow players to gain exposure and enhance their opportunities to further their development as student athletes.
On a continual basis, U.S. Soccer provides constructive feedback on how Empire United (EUSA) can improve as a soccer club, as well as, at the U.S. Development Academy team level. The key message to EUSA over and over is “recognize, identify, and train potential academy players at younger ages to maximize their potential and development.”
Market Training Centers
Recently Empire United has been organizing Market Training Centers (MTCs) for players in all of the EUSA organizations (Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse) in age groups U11 through U15 for both boys and girls. The MTCs are taking place once a month between January and April 2012. There is no extra fee to participate other than the cost of traveling to the facility (carpooling is suggested). The MTCs will take place in all three cities and it’s encouraged that players attend the MTCs whenever invited.
The goal for the MTCs is two-fold: 1) To bring together top players from across the state to participate in high level academy-style training sessions at an earlier age; 2) Start identifying players for our Boys U.S. Development Academy Program and our Girls EUSA Academy Program. In the past, we have waited until ages 15/16 to start engaging players and educating families on these programs and realize we need to improve this process.
The goal of the Empire United “Academy” programs is to provide our most proficient players the opportunity to play with exceptional teammates in the advanced training environment against competition from the top clubs across the country. This is about player development and giving an opportunity for your son or daughter to reach his/her potential. During Developmental Academy matches, there are US Soccer Federation Staff (National Team Staff) in attendance, along with all the top colleges and universities, which gives them the best possible exposure as a soccer player. Players performing well in the Academy and pre-academy ages have opportunities for invitations to US Soccer Training Centers (pre- National Team identification) and National Team Training Centers.
When the Boys turn age 15 (some 14), they have an opportunity to earn a place on the USSF Developmental Academy Team (click the link for more information), to train and play with and against the best players at the highest level of youth soccer in the country. The decision to play with the Academy does not need to be made until that time. The MTCs are simply an additional training opportunity enabling the coaching staff to track players’ development. During the 2010-11 season, both our U15/16 and U17/18 teams won their divisions and competed in the playoffs against the top academies and MLS clubs.
EUSA’s Girls Academy is part of the USYSA National League, which is the top league in the country. As with the boys, the girls compete with and against the nation’s top clubs. This enables the girls to develop as players and get exposure to top colleges and USSF scouts and coaches. Similar to the boys, the girls academy teams compete in college showcase tournaments across the country attracting the top universities. During the 2011 season, our U16 EUSA Academy team placed 4th in the Region 1 League earning acceptance in the National League at u17 to compete against the best in the country. Beginning in July 2012, EUSA will field girls academy teams in the U15, U16, U17, and U18 age groups.
The Coaching Staff
A critical component of player development is to have a coaching staff with the experience and expertise to help each player achieve his or her full potential. EUSA academy coaches relate well to players, run dynamic and challenging training sessions and place each player’s growth as the number one priority. They have excellent coaching experience and the highest licenses available in the country.
Michael Paolini – USSF National B License
Syracuse and Girls Academy DOC, ‘MTC’ Trainer
Asst Coach Lemoyne College Men
Tommy Tanner – USSF National B License
Academy Assistant Coach
Head Coach Syracuse Silver Knights
Michael Kirmse – USSF National A License
Academy Assistant Coach
Jukka Masalin – UEFA ‘A’ (Europe) License
Academy Assistant and GK Coach
Asst Coach Syracuse University Men
Tom Garigen – USSF National B License,
USSF National Youth
Academy Assistant Coach
Mark Spacone – USSF National A License
Boys ‘MTC’ Trainer
Head Coach Daemen College Men
Chris Apple – USSF National A License
Rochester and Boys Academy DOC
Head Coach University of Rochester Men
Paul Valenti – USSF National A License
U15/16 Boys Academy Coach
Ben Cross – USSF National B License
U17/18 Boys Academy Coach
Boys Academy Goalkeeper Coach
Liz Masterson – NSCAA Advanced National
Girls Academy U 17 Coach
Head Coach RIT Women
Girls Academy U16 Coach
Sike Dardaganis – NSCAA Advanced National
Head Coach University of Rochester Women