Almost serendipitously, the United States Soccer Foundation announced today that beginning in the Fall of 2016, the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Program will be expanding to include the Under-12 age group.
Coincidentally, or perhaps not, this announcement comes on the heels of Atlanta United announcing that the club would be launching their Youth Academy in that exact same time frame.
AUFC will be fielding clubs at the U-12, U-13, U-14, U-16, and U-18 age groups. At the time of the announcement, only the U-14, U-16, and U-18 levels competed in the Development Academy. With today's announcement we can now presume that their future U-12 team will indeed be joining their U-14, U-16, and U-18 teams in the Development Academy as well.
The other big news that came from AUFC's announcement is that Georgia United Soccer Alliance will be pulling out of the Development Academy at the U-16 and U-18 age groups. DSS has confirmed that they will be competing at the U-12 and U-14 levels and will also have a team at the U-13 level that will compete in regional events, but not nationally.
Huge changes are afoot in youth soccer in America and especially in Georgia. Atlanta United has received much praise for their Academy initiative. The club is already delivering on its promise of doing everything top rate. The year 2016 can't get here soon enough.