U.S. Soccer Development Academy (DA)

Your success is ours. RISE develops youth soccer players that embody our commitment to provide an unparalleled player environment led by the most talented and qualified coaches who embrace and inspire the talents of all players.

Within our Development Academy program, RISE provides players an enhanced level of training, resources, technological and wellness resources to best prepare them to succeed at the highest level of play their capability allows. Within our Development Academy program, RISE provides players an enhanced level of training, resources, technological and wellness resources to best prepare them to succeed at the highest level of play their capability allows.

DA - U.S. Soccer Development Academy Member

The DA Program at RISE

As a youth soccer club in a major soccer market, RISE shares responsibility in the issues our country is facing in both talent identification and performance. As a DA member, we want to fulfill our obligation to the community, our players, and the DA in a tangible manner. To improve our efforts in identifying talent and developing world class players, RISE invests assets in a manner that directly impacts the daily environment for our players.

• Financial Aid (both need and merit based)
• Monthly payment plans
• Multiple child discount
• Free uniform kit from Nike
• Cost-free travel to away league games
• VIP Medical Access
• Reduced electricity rates
• Diverse coaching staff
• An unprecedented track record in Houston for player development
• Soccer starting for players at age 3

• Magnificent facilities
• Cohesive club structure
• Organized programming
• Elite coaches
• Multiple professional pathways
• SportsRecruits - College planning tool
• Globall Coach
• PlayerMaker
• Hi-Pod filming cameras
• HUDL video service
• TRX fitness machines and fitness equipment
• Individual player development plans
• 1 on 1 meetings with coaches
• Access to facilities 7 days a week

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY

Boys DA Program:

RISE with us - Upcoming Talent Identification Sessions

RISE DA teams are formed through a variety of evaluation methods. We scout players at games, tryouts, and invitational training sessions. Player evaluations for DA teams can occur at any time of the year as long as the player is not currently rostered to another DA team. All individual DA evaluation sessions are free of charge. Players interested in joining the RISE SC DA teams should email the respective DA Director with interest and provide the following information:

RISE Development Academy Identification Sessions

The RISE DA identification sessions(s) are designed to identify elite youth players who have the ability and desire to compete against the best youth players in the country.

Boys Information

  • Dates: March 8 and May 3, 2020
  • Time: 3:00pm - 7:15pm
  • Ages: 2008 and 2007: 3:00pm - 4:15pm
    2006 and 2005: 4:30pm - 5:45pm
    2004, 2003, 2002: 6:00pm - 7:15pm
  • Location: South Campus (10001 Stella Link Rd. Houston, TX 77025) - Field 1

Open to players on Elite teams within the designated age groups.

Players from Outside the Club

Will need to signup online by filling out the following form.
Click Here


Jon Burklo, DA Director

*Preguntas en español deben ser dirijidas a Juan Zapata

What is the Development Academy Program?

After a comprehensive review of elite player development in the United States and around the world, U.S. Soccer created the Development Academy in 2007. The Academy Program’s philosophy is based on increased training, less total games and more meaningful games using international rules of competition.

The U.S. Soccer Development Academy strives to develop world-class players by providing elite, driven youth talents with development environments, which meet the highest standards, that empower them to reach their full potential.

The DA program impacts everyday club environments by setting standards that ensure every DA player trains in a world-class environment and compete in more meaningful games. Clubs competing in the DA commit to uphold Academy standards and maintain the best possible environments to optimize player development.

For elite, motivated players, the Development Academy provides a pathway to develop and reach the highest level of competition.

The Academy consists of 150 total clubs located within 17 geographically based divisions. Each team plays home and away games against the other teams in their division, plus games against non-division opponents from across the country during the 10-month season.

The Academy values individual development of elite players over winning trophies and titles. The Academy sets the standard for elite environments for youth soccer clubs nationwide and is a part of U.S. Soccer’s global leadership position in youth soccer that will impact thousands of players.

How are clubs selected to the U.S. Developmental Academy?

U.S. Soccer's technical advisors and staff will evaluate the applications using the following criteria:

  • Leadership of the club and quality of the coaching staff
  • Desire to embrace and promote the core values of the program
  • U.S. Soccer license levels of coaching staff
  • Infrastructure of the club and the resources currently being invested in development (facilities, scholarships, staff-to-player ratio, etc.)
  • History of player production for Youth National Teams, the National Team (Men's or Women's program where applicable) and professional leagues
  • Market player depth, geographic location, proximity to other elite clubs and travel implications

Program Benefits:

View the Full List of Program Benefits

About the U.S. Development Academy:


Development Academy Standards

Consistent Training Environments

Development Academy clubs are required to train a minimum of four (4) days per week and rest one (1) day per week during the Academy season.

Fewer, More Meaningful Games

Each Academy team plays approximately 25-30 league games, including 6-9 games played at Showcases. Teams that advance from the Academy Playoffs could expect to play up to three (3) additional games.

The DA game-to-training ratio ensures our players are getting adequate rest. Teams may have one (1) or two (2) games per weekend based on travel, with no more than one game per day.

No Outside Activity/Competitions

To maintain a focus on club training environments, Academy players and teams do not play in any outside competitions without written permission from the U.S. Soccer Development Academy staff. This includes any other leagues, tournaments, State Cup competitions, ODP or All-Star events. Development Academy players for all teams must choose to participate in the Academy full-time and forgo playing for their high school teams.

Full-time Academy players can only participate on their designated Academy team, with only two exceptions: U.S. Soccer Training Centers and Youth National Team duty. The Development Academy upholds this rule because we believe elite players require world class environments.

The Development Academy’s 10-month Program allows for a greater opportunity to institute style of play and implement a system according to U.S. Soccer’s Development Philosophy. It also gives teams increased opportunities for younger kids in their club to “play up” against older players in both training and matches, thereby accelerating their development.

International Standards

The DA follows international rules of competition developed by FIFA. These include no re-entry on substitutions, the January 1st birthday cutoff, and players playing-up with older teams when appropriate.

Professionalized Coaching

Players receive integrated oversight from Academy club coaches and U.S. Soccer Technical Advisors in their local environment. Developing a world-class coaching system is fundamental to developing world-class players. Education is a continuous process. As the game of soccer is constantly evolving, it is important that coaches are knowledgeable on current domestic and international trends. U.S. Soccer Coaching Education supports the Development Academy in its initiative to require minimum certification for all technical staff. These requirements can be seen below:

  • Academy club directors: USSF ‘A’ License and must complete the Academy Director’s course
  • Academy club technical staff: USSF ‘B’ license (minimum)

Talent Identification Opportunities

The Development Academy offers various talent identification opportunities for Academy players through both league play and at events. Since the 2007-08 Development Academy season, 19 Academy alumni have earned Men’s National Team Call-Ups and 1,250 Academy players earned Youth National Team call-ups. Over 160 Development Academy alumni have played in Major League Soccer, with approximately another 50+ alumni at professional environments overseas.

League Play

  • The Academy connects National Team coaches directly with the Academy clubs to develop and identify players and coaches for future Youth National Teams. Each Academy club is evaluated by a member of the U.S. Soccer Scouting Network at least ten (10)  times each year
  • U.S. Soccer scouts attended over 50% (2,100+) of DA games in the 2014-2015 season


  • Development Academy events are premier scouting venues for players to be identified for U.S. Soccer Training Centers and Youth National Teams
  • National Team staff members observe every game
  • Domestic and international professional scouts in attendance
  • Online player profile for all Academy players


The Scholarship Program is designed to provide opportunities for full-time Academy players who require financial assistance to participate in the Development Academy Program. For more information on deadlines, the application process, eligibility and program requirement, click here.

Sports Medicine

The Academy provides various resources related to sports medicine, including mandatory concussion testing, requiring a medical personnel at each Academy competition, providing U.S. Soccer Heat Guidelines, and offering secondary insurance coverage. For more information, click here to visit our Resource Center.