West Ham United is delighted to announce a major development partnership with United Soccer Leagues (USL).
United Soccer Leagues provides the second and third division of
professional soccer in the United States, as well as Under-23,
Under-20, youth and women's leagues with clubs across the
United States, Canada and Caribbean
The partnership entails a number of player identification, player exchange, coaching and club development initiatives. Future initiatives include a West Ham United USA youth academy and professional franchise competing within the USL system to provide North, Central and South American players a corridor to Europe.
West Ham United Deputy CEO Scott Duxbury says: "The West
Ham United USA initiatives are designed to maintain the great
traditions of the academy 'state-side'. The partnership
with the USL provides an excellent platform for the development of
the program and the West Ham United presence in the United
Long a proponent of establishing strong international relationships to help develop North American players, USL Founder and President Francisco Marcos says: "This represents a watershed moment in the development of international relationships between USL and international organizations of renowned credibility.
"West Ham United has a reputation among the best clubs for
developing world class players and we believe that this partnership
will aid the development of USL and afford aspiring North American
players the opportunity to reach Europe earlier in their careers,
which I believe is absolutely critical to develop world-class North
A sample of the development partnership details include West Ham United identifying up to 20 youth players from the USL Super Y-League and Super-20 League to attend the West Ham United Academy in London for training and evaluation.
West Ham United will also work with USL to place players on loan or in permanent contracts with USL First Division teams. Selected USL coaches will gain a unique opportunity to participate in an unprecedented, behind the scenes technical symposium at West Ham United.
West Ham United will actively work with select USL clubs on
academy and coaching best practices and select USL youth club teams
will be provided access to the West Ham youth academy on official
player and coaching development tours.
West Ham United quotes
Scott Duxbury, West Ham United CEO
"The West Ham USA initiatives are designed to maintain the great traditions of the academy 'state-side'. The partnership with the USL provides an excellent platform for the development of the program and the West Ham United presence in the US."
Alan Curbishley, West Ham United Manager
"As someone who progressed through the youth ranks at West Ham United, I am delighted that the Club is taking steps to expand the development of young players and the opportunities available to them. I look forward to the benefits that the West Ham United USA Academy will hopefully provide, and will take a keen interest in the growth and progress of this exciting project."
Tony Carr, West Ham United Academy Director
"We are excited to bring the West Ham United Academy model to the United States and to share some of our ideas and information with USL players, coaches, and clubs. We recognise the potential pool of talented players available through the USL network and look forward to working with them in our academy in London."
Jonathan Spector, USA international, current member of the West Ham United first-team squad and a former player in the USL Super Y-League
"This is a great move to share the West Ham United Academy system with clubs throughout the USA through the USL. I look forward to welcoming American teams, coaches and players to Upton Park and the training ground."
About United Soccer Leagues and quotes
As United Soccer Leagues starts its third decade of operation, soccer at all levels continues to grow in the U.S., Canada, and Caribbean. The largest organization of elite-level soccer leagues in North America, containing over 200 clubs, United Soccer Leagues is dedicated to growing the sport at the grassroots level in every community.
The USL First Division and Second Division (North American men's professional soccer), the USL Premier Development League (U23 North American men's amateur), the USL W-League (North American women's amateur), the USL Super-20 League (U20 North American men's and women's amateur) and the USL Super Y-League (North American boy's and girl's elite youth amateur) have provided a platform for thousands of players to reach their dreams since 1986.
This vision and commitment to develop a soccer nation by fans,
investors, administrators, coaches, and players has created the
foundation for the growth of the sport, while presenting
affordable, exciting family entertainment in over 100 cities and
towns on the continent.
USL President and Founder, Francisco Marcos
"This represents a watershed moment in the development of international relationships between USL and international organizations of renowned credibility. West Ham United has a reputation among the best clubs for developing world class players and we believe that this partnership will aid the development of USL and afford aspiring North American players the opportunity to reach Europe earlier in their careers, which I believe is absolutely critical to develop world-class North American players."
Martin Prothero, Senior Vice President of Football for UMBRO and Chairman of USL
"I am delighted to see this partnership between two of UMBRO's strongest brands. West Ham United's unique record in developing young players, combined with the USL network of clubs in the United States, Canada and Caribbean can provide very exciting programs and outcomes for both organizations.
"UMBRO has a considerable investment in the USL property and we believe that this partnership will be the first of many successful international ventures between USL and prominent foreign clubs. UMBRO is very pleased to be partners with both organizations and looks forward to being an active partner in the West Ham United's initiatives in the United States."
*Pictured at the top of the page, from left to right, are: James Abrahart (Director, West Ham United USA), Martin Prothero (Senior VP of Football, UMBRO), Scott Duxbury (Deputy CEO, West Ham United) Francisco Marcos (President & Founder, USL), Ben Illingworth (Operations Director, West Ham United)