FRISCO, Texas (May 29, 2020) — US Youth Soccer is excited to announce the formation of the USYS Sunshine Conference Academy Division. The conference is partnering with several top clubs — including former Development Academy members and clubs aligned with the new MLS elite platform — who will comprise the new Academy Division. 

Many of the previously established academy standards will be applied within the Academy Division, while also seeking opportunities for enhancement and potential areas for improvement. 

“There have been a lot of positive developments in youth soccer during the past several weeks. Seeing the vision, programing, and elite clubs involved in the Sunshine Conference Academy Division only adds to the excitement,” said Luis Torres, League Manager of the Sunshine Conference. “We are prepared to facilitate an environment for elite level players in conjunction with MLS and USYS. The Sunshine Conference Academy Division will truly provide the most competitive environment for players looking to get to the next level.”

This new competition structure within the Sunshine Conference has secured commitments from 11 clubs who will participate, including: Chargers SC, Clay County SC, Florida Rush SC, IMG Academy, IdeaSport Soccer Academy, Jacksonville FC, Miami Rush Kendall SC, South Florida Football Academy, FC Tampa Rangers, West Florida Flames SC and Weston FC

The Sunshine Conference is one of 13 conferences within the USYS National League and serves teams primarily from Florida. Teams that compete within the Sunshine Conference Academy Division will have the opportunity to compete in the new National League Showcase Series, which provides teams with a chance to play cross-conference matches in a national setting with increased exposure to college, professional and national team scouts. The Academy Division schedule will also allow for its players to have the option to take part in outside competitions, such as high school soccer or other US Youth Soccer programs. 

More details on the Sunshine Conference Academy Division will be available in the coming weeks. 

“I’m excited for the opportunity for our boys teams to compete in the Sunshine Conference Academy Division, wherein we will be working alongside some of the best clubs in the state of Florida in order to deliver a superior product to all those involved, both on and off the field. I look forward to watching our players grow and develop in this new environment.” – Jimmy Merritt – Boys Director of Coaching, Clay County SC – United Soccer Alliance