TAMPA, Fla. – In December, the Super Y League unveiled the USL Experience, a new elite player program that will create a direct connection with the professional ranks for the league’s top young players.
The multi-day residential experience from will offer players a unique opportunity to train in a professional USL environment. FC Cincinnati, which joins the USL in 2016 and is coached by former U.S. Men’s National Team player John Harkes, will be the first host for the event.
“The time for youth players to dream about playing professional soccer for an American based club is now,” said Gordon Bengtson, the USL Academy’s Executive Director. “Unlike any other elite player programming in our country, the USL Experience is the first of its kind and will ignite a new level of interest in American professional soccer.”
Seventy top-rated Super Y League players will get the chance to compete against some of the highest-level youth competition in the country during their time in the USL Experience. They will also have the opportunity to benefit from professional training and mentoring from current professional coaches and players as they get the chance to learn what it takes to not only make it to the professional ranks, but succeed once they arrive. ETA technical director and former USL pro player and coach, Kevin Darcy, has been selected as one of 6 Super Y League staff coaches to train and lead these select teams. “It is an honor to be selected and given the opportunity to work with USL and train some of the top youth players in North America.” says Coach Darcy “USL is dedicated to player development and growing the game from grass roots through the professional ranks and the USL Experience is a terrific opportunity to do just that while showcasing Cincinnati’s great new pro franchise. The environment with a top club in FC Cincinnati led by one of the top US players of all time, John Harkes, makes this a win-win for the players, staff and all involved.”
FC Cincinnati is set for its inaugural season in the USL in 2016, when it will compete at the recently renovated Nippert Stadium on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. The club is owned by former Cincinnati Reds owner Carl Lindner III, and is led by General Manager & President Jeff Berding, previously of the Cincinnati Bengals, and Harkes, who made 90 appearances for the United States in addition to competing in both the Premier League and Major League Soccer.
“On behalf of all of us here in Cincinnati, we are excited to host the best 70 players in the Super Y League at our facilities in April for the USL Experience,” Harkes said.