SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes announced today the creation of a landmark partnership with Diablo Futbol Club of Concord, establishing the Earthquakes’ first Youth Development Alliance and allowing for collaboration at both the competitive and recreation levels of play.
Through the partnership, Diablo FC – the club where current Earthquakes star and reigning Volkswagen MLS Most Valuable Player Chris Wondolowski played his final years of youth soccer – will work closely with the Earthquakes’ Youth Development Academy while implementing recreation leagues and development schools for girls and boys in the U5-U10 age groups. The Earthquakes will provide financial and curricular support as well as additional resources to assist Diablo FC in its overall development of competitive youth players while also offering recreation-level players an opportunity to participate in their own setting.
“The San Jose Earthquakes are excited to align with such a well respected club in Diablo FC,” said Earthquakes Youth Development Academy technical director Chris Leitch. “DFC has a great track record of developing elite players and we are looking forward to working with an impressive coaching staff with the shared goal of developing players for the next level while also providing more kids the opportunity to play soccer.”
On the competitive side, Diablo FC will field U12, U14, U16 and U18 teams donning an official San Jose Earthquakes Youth Development Alliance patch. Coaches in the program will report to Earthquakes Youth Academy technical director Chris Leitch and head coach Marquis White, who has coached for over a dozen years with Diablo FC and is the club’s technical director. Each roster will serve as a player pool for the club’s Academy, giving each athlete an added level of exposure. The club will also have the benefit of the services of Henry Foulk, a goalkeeper coach for the U.S. Men’s National Team and 12-year veteran at DFC.
Kids in the recreation league will have the opportunity to play in a fun environment while wearing Earthquakes team gear. Structurally, the Earthquakes will also provide a registration platform that Diablo FC can utilize to improve their digital experience.
"This Alliance is a great opportunity for Diablo FC to work with such a respected organization as the San Jose Earthquakes,” said Diablo FC director of coaching Brian Voltattorni. “This gives our coaches a unique opportunity to work with the Earthquakes’ technical staff and share curricular ideas and training habits to help strengthen our player development program. We are honored to be recognized with this partnership since our club has a history of over 20 years developing elite soccer athletes."
Six Diablo FC alumni have reached the ranks of Major League Soccer. The club has also placed two technical directors and one alumni on the San Jose Earthquakes Youth Development Academy staff.
In addition to competitive teams and recreation leagues, the partnership will also allow for a series of Regional Development Schools. These eight-week programs are offered at four different levels: Elite, Junior U12-U14, Recreational U5-U10 and Developmental U5-U10. The focus for RDS programs is on developing fundamental skills in a fun, engaging environment.
Finally, the partnership will include camps and clinics offered exclusively to Diablo FC members in conjunction with the Earthquakes.
The Earthquakes Youth Development Academy currently fields teams at the U14, U16 and U18 levels. All players in the program wear official club gear and participate for free. For more information, visit www.diablofc.org and www.sjearthquakes.com/academy.