Question: Is there any cost associated with participating in the San Jose Earthquakes Academy?
Answer: No. The San Jose Earthquakes fund the costs for players to participate. This covers travel, training, fields, gear, shoes and overall participation costs. Players may have to cover some food costs during trips, though these expenditures are minimal.
Question: Does participation in the Academy prevent NCAA eligibility for players?
Answer: No. Players who participate in the San Jose Earthquakes Academy are still eligible to play in college.
Question: Will the San Jose Earthquakes Academy Staff help with my college recruiting and selection?
Answer: Yes. The Academy Staff has a myriad of college coach contacts throughout the United States. Furthermore, the teams will participate in various college showcase events where 300+ colleges attend these events.
The staff has been involved in the US Soccer Development Academy for several years now and staff members have forged great relationships with these college coaches.
The San Jose Earthquakes Academy will also provide a year-by-year plan for all players to follow to ensure the highest level of success academically, giving each player the best opportunity to make it to the college level. Players are ultimately responsible for completing their schoolwork and for continuing to improve in the game.
The Academy Staff will provide the framework and structure to help with this success. For those players unable to manage both athletics and academics, we will always advise to players that they should focus on academics, as continuing education is the No. 1 priority for the players participating in our Academy.
The US Soccer Development Academy is now the largest recruiting pool for college coaches across the country. The following excerpt from an article in March 2009 bolsters this:
MORE THAN 300 U.S. SOCCER DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY ATHLETES HEADED TO COLLEGE
Teams After High School Graduation
March 4, 2009
CHICAGO (March 4, 2009) – While U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy continues to grow as a platform for player development, it has also experienced unprecedented growth as a platform for college recruitment. More than 300 members of the Academy Class of 2009 have been identified by top college programs at every level and have indicated their intentions to play for a college team.
Question: Can players in the Academy play with the San Jose Earthquakes First Team?
Answer: Yes. Players are able to participate with the First Team in training and games if selected to do so. Participation with the First Team does not prevent NCAA eligibility as long as Academy players are not paid to play. Please inquire about a letter from the NCAA that verifies this information. Players in the academy will also have opportunities to participate in the MLS Reserve League beginning in 2011.
Question: Does participating in the San Jose Earthquakes Academy give all rights of a player to the San Jose Earthquakes?
Answer: No. Players participating in the Quakes Academy do not lose their rights as a player. The only rights the San Jose Earthquakes retain are the rights to select a player out of college that was a previous Academy player without using a draft pick in the MLS SuperDraft. The only way a Major League Soccer team an own the rights of an Academy player is to sign that player to a professional contract, something that does not exist for players who simply participate in the Academy program.
Question: Can a San Jose Earthquakes Academy player sign a contract with the San Jose Earthquakes First Team?
Answer: Yes. If a player is of the level of play for the First Team, that player has the option to be signed as a “Homegrown Player.” Each MLS team has two “Homegrown Player” spot available on their roster. Examples of this in Major League Soccer include Tristan Bowen of the L.A. Galaxy, Ricardo Navas of the Houston Dynamo and Andy Najar of D.C. United. Academy players are not contracted to player for the San Jose Earthquakes First Team unless they sign an official MLS contract.
If you still have a question about the San Jose Earthquakes Academy, please email Fred Wilson at: firstname.lastname@example.org