SPRINGFIELD, Va., Feb. 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The St. James Center for Soccer Excellence announces today the opening of The St. James Soccer Academy marking the next step in its mission to become the preeminent performance center for youth soccer players in the country.
The Academy will be led by an outstanding trio of soccer educators -- Doug Homer, Director of Soccer at The St. James, Karen Kelser, Director of The St. James Soccer Academy, and Bruce Murray, Director of Soccer Player Development at The St. James, and will offer teams during the 2019 season serving boys and girls from ages 9 through 16. Prior to becoming the Director of Soccer at The St. James, Doug Homer served as the Executive Director of DC Stoddert Soccer the largest youth-dedicated organization in the District of Columbia and holds a United States Soccer Federation National A Coaching Diploma, a National Youth License, and an Advanced National Diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Academy director Karen Kelser boasts over 25 years of coaching experience and is a US Soccer Grassroots Coaching Education Instructor. Herman Award Winner Bruce Murray rounds out this all-star coaching trio with his 20+ years of coaching and professional experience as a starting forward on the US Men's National Team and US Men's Olympic Team. This elite coaching group, along with their dedicated team of coaches, will work with players on individual performance, small group and team training with a deliberate focus on holistic development and mentorship. Players will have the opportunity to travel across the country to compete in soccer tournaments and showcases throughout the year.
"The St. James Soccer Academy aligns with the Center for Soccer Excellence's mission, vision and overarching goal to inspire and empower athletes to pursue their passion for soccer while delivering innovative individual and team-based learning and training opportunities in both soccer and futsal," says Homer. "At the Academy, we are offering best-in-class training, instruction and competition all under one roof and creating a program where player development is our driving focus"
The St. James Soccer Academy teams will train in the Field House at The St. James, which serves as a preseason training location for DC United this year and is the only indoor FIFA sized soccer pitch in the region. The Academy conforms to the U.S. Soccer Federation's Player Development Initiatives to inspire and educate youth soccer players to engage in soccer activities that are fun, comprehensive and aligned with a long-term pathway to soccer excellence. Academy teams will participate in 20-30 age-appropriate matches, tournaments and leagues throughout the season beginning summer 2019.
"Each training session, competition and team activity will test and push the players technically, tactically, physically, and cognitively toward their goals," says Murray.
The Academy program is dedicated to:
- Fostering an environment that helps student-athletes develop optimal technical skill, strength, speed, agility, explosiveness and conditioning
- Developing focus in learning, application and reflection
- Empowering student-athletes to consistently make high quality game decisions
- Encourage student athletes to initiate, create and adapt in highly competitive settings
The St. James Soccer Academy will hold player identification events on Saturday, March 2 and Saturday, March 9 from 8:00 am to noon to evaluate players and offer roster slots on its 10U-16U teams. Registration for these events opens today at thestjames.co/
About The St. James
The St. James is the premier sports, wellness and entertainment destination brand in the country Our mission is to maximize human potential by designing, developing and operating sports, wellness, entertainment and hospitality programs, services and experiences that engage, inspire and empower people to pursue their passions and be their best at play, at work and in life. The St. James aims to serve as the center of the universe in every community where it is located by delivering the most comprehensive combination of best-in-class sports and wellness venues, developmental and elite coaching, training and competition, five-star lifestyle experiences and family centered active fun all in an environment that engages, inspires and delights everyone that comes through our doors. For more information, please visit thestjames.co.
SOURCE The St. James