Riverhounds Development Academy
About the RDA
The Riverhounds Development Academy (RDA) seeks to identify, improve, and advance the area’s most elite youth soccer players through the creation of a multi-faceted platform under the Riverhounds Professional Team. The RDA will consistently evaluate its players, staff, and programs, to ensure all meet the highest standards upheld by the professional team and its governing body, the United States Soccer Federation (USSF).
Comprised of players identified by the Riverhounds Staff through their participation in The Riverhounds Academy training system, RDA will carry, on average, 18-25 players. RDA Staff reserves the right to increase or decrease the number of players in the RDA at any time, based upon performance reviews. Players in the RDA are not guaranteed placement within the program. A player can be removed at any time, based upon factors related but not limited to performance, attitude, attendance, and level against the overall standard. In the event the Staff decides to a move a player to the RDA Reserve Pool (where applicable), the Staff will communicate directly with the player’s family to ensure a proper transition.
RDA will exist at the 10/11, 12/13, 14/15, and 16/17 age groups. In the event a player is invited to participate in the RDA, but outside of his or her true age group, RDA Staff will communicate directly with the player’s family to discuss reasoning.
RDA Reserve Pool
At certain age groups, RDA Staff may deem it appropriate to carry a Reserve Pool, which will consist of players identified for prospective future implementation into the RDA. Players in the Reserve Pool may be asked to train with the RDA periodically. Occasionally, Staff may organize exhibition matches between Reserve Pool and RDA groups, serving as opportunities to assess the overall player standard and determine possible player identification and/or movement. There is no guarantee that a player from the Reserve Pool will be selected for the RDA, but Staff reserves the right to move players at any time. In the event the Staff desires to move a player, into either RDA or Reserve Pool, Staff will communicate directly with the player’s family in order to ensure a proper transition. The RDA Reserve Pool will only train during the fall and spring sessions.
At the conclusion of any particular RDA Reserve Pool session, players within the Reserve Pool will be notified regarding their future placement within the Riverhounds system. Placement will fall within one of the following two programs:
- The Riverhounds Academy
RDA Reserve Pool players are not guaranteed placement within the program. A player can be removed at any time, based upon factors related but not limited to performance, attitude, attendance, and level against the overall standard.
RDA Reserve Players
In the event the RDA Staff does not deem it necessary to create the RDA Reserve Pool at a particular age, but identifies certain players as potential candidates for RDA consideration, they will name those players as RDA Reserves. RDA Reserves will only train with RDA players in the fall and/or spring sessions. Participation as an RDA Reserve does not guarantee placement in the RDA. RDA Reserve players can be released from the program at any time. In the event an RDA Reserve player is released by the Staff, the family will receive a prorated refund for remaining unused training sessions.
Similar to RDA Reserve Pool players, RDA Reserves will be notified of their future placement in the Riverhounds system following their participation in the RDA Fall or spring program.
It is expected that all RDA Players will attend 100% of training sessions. In the event a player must miss a session, RDA Staff must be contacted, in advance, to discuss the absence. This includes soccer sessions, speed and strength sessions, community service events, and appearances. RDA Staff will periodically review attendance records. Attendance will be a factor in determining placement in the program.
The Riverhounds Academy
The Riverhounds Academy is an aggressive, skill-oriented developmental system designed to improve soccer players through a tiered structure based upon age and technical level. The Academy, started in 2007, aims to provide committed soccer players with a thorough understanding of the game and the skills necessary to perform on the field of play. With a Staff of 16 current professional soccer players and coaches, with experience at USL, MLS, and US National Team, The Riverhounds Academy utilizes detailed demonstrations to help players perform soccer movements correctly. The Academy curriculum was designed in association with The Everton Way, the same training system developed by Everton Football Club of the English Premier League. The Academy develops players between the ages of 3 and 17, and provides identification opportunities for players to participate in the Riverhounds Development Academy (RDA).
The Riverhounds Academy works with players from the many local clubs of Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and East Ohio, and currently services over 650 players annually. With a priority based upon individual player development over team competition, the Riverhounds organization continually explores opportunities to better their young participants, their elite staff, and their training facilities.
For players who are new to the Riverhounds system of development, The Riverhounds Academy is the path to the RDA. A player within The Riverhounds Academy can be moved to a higher or lower tier within the program at any time, based upon Staff discretion. These decisions are based upon many factors, namely skill-level against the overall standard of their current tier, commitment, and attitude.