NEW YORK (July 28, 2015) – The New York Cosmos announced today the launch of the club’s Academy Affiliate Program, which sees 19 soccer clubs from the New York metropolitan area join as founding members.

The Academy Affiliate Program will help set the foundations for the club’s Academy. Through the affiliate members the Cosmos will be able to identify local talent and give young players the opportunity to play for the NASL team’s academy.

“This is a very exciting time for us as we lay the groundwork for our Academy,” commented New York Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese. “The Academy Affiliate Program represents a strong partnership between ourselves and local clubs that have devoted time to developing young players. This partnership aims to give young players, at all levels, the chance to grow in a sport they love.

“Not only will we be able to identify local talent and share our training philosophy with local coaches, but we will be able to offer these young players a real pathway to professional soccer,” he added.

The youth clubs who have committed to this program will receive direct access to the Cosmos, including first team coaching staff who will share best practice and coaching education. The Cosmos will also provide the clubs with presence on their digital channels and promotion at home games, reaching thousands of fans.

“Soccer continues to grow every day in the U.S.,” commented New York Cosmos forward,Raúl, who will take on an additional role as technical advisor for the club’s youth academy. “During my time in New York I have seen a lot of talented young players. Soccer academies are about finding these players in local communities and developing them to their full potential.”

The founding members of the AAP are:

  • Auburndale SC
  • Brentwood SC
  • Brooklyn Italians SC
  • Central Brooklyn SC
  • Dix Hills SC
  • East Islip SC
  • East Meadow SC
  • Eastern FC
  • FC Sesa
  • HBC Soccer
  • Hicksville American SC
  • Massapequa SC
  • Mineola Portuguese SC
  • NY Hota Bavarian SC
  • Port Washington SC
  • Silver Lake Soccer Academy
  • Smithtown Kickers SC
  • Southampton SC
  • Uniondale SC

“I grew up on Long Island and I developed as a young player thanks to the local soccer clubs such as Mineola Portuguese and Dix Hills,” said Cosmos captain, Carlos Mendes. “Our Academy will be great for kids in New York to develop as players and learn to play our style of soccer. As soccer grows here, it’s important that professional teams look to find and develop talent locally.”