The Advanced Academy is the home of Eagleclaw Football Club's senior competitive teams and is for players between the age of 13-18. This is where the hard work of the Primary Academy years pays off. Players in the Advanced Academy are selected through Eagleclaw's Tryout Combine process (see below) that each year is held in Jan-Feb for boys and April-May for girls. The Tryout Combine is open to everyone, Eagleclaw players and non-Eagleclaw players alike.
Each Advanced Academy team has a dedicated coaching staff and trains according to Eagleclaw's Spanish-inspired game model and system of play with training support provided by coaches from the Valencia CF youth academy. These teams compete in the most competitive leagues available. The goal of the Advanced Academy is to continue individual player development, but within the team context. These are the ages where team development makes much more sense if the goal is to develop players who will have opportunities to play at higher levels.
Eagleclaw's format for Advanced Academy tryouts is the Tryout Combine. This is a rolling tryout occurring over multiple weeks. We call it a "combine" because the training involves combining players of different ages and providing a suite of training exercises designed to test the players' technical skill, tactical awareness, field vision and creativity. The Tryout Combine gives players the fairest and most comprehensive way of trying out for the Advanced Academy teams. Over the course of the Tryout Combine, we will be selecting players for our 2019/20 Advanced Academy teams. Registration is required and there is a modest fee for participating in the Tryout Combine.
Here's how it works! The first step is to register for the 2019/20 Tryout Combine. (Registration opens soon!). Then plan to attend as many training sessions as possible. In these sessions, players will train alongside current Advanced Academy players, experience Eagleclaw training and our unique environment for player development, and get to know the coaches and evaluators. It is in the context of these training sessions that our coaches and evaluators will be selecting players and offering them roster spots for Advanced Academy teams. See the player selection schedule below. The more sessions players attend, the more looks they'll get from our coaches and evaluators. In this way, players get more opportunities to show their abilities and passion than they would in just a one or two day pressure-cooker tryout like all the other clubs do. An off-day will not kill their chances of impressing and making an impact.
Coaches will select players and offer roster spots during the Tryout Combine. Selections will continue until all roster spots are filled.
2019/20 Advanced Academy Player Fees
*Does not include uniforms or tournament fees
Payment Plans Available
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW IS EAGLECLAW STRUCTURED?
Eagleclaw has a two-tiered structure, the Primary Academy and the Advanced Academy. The Primary Academy is for players between the age of 5 and 13. Players who are 13 and not yet ready for the Advanced Academy may enroll in the Primary Academy. There are no tryouts or cuts for the Primary Academy. In the Primary Academy, the focus is squarely on learning how to play intelligently and developing technical skills in a lower pressure environment. Primary Academy players play on Development Teams that compete in the Puget Sound Premier League (PSPL), but the emphasis remains on learning and preparing players for their Advanced Academy tryouts if that is their goal.
The Advanced Academy is generally for players age 13-18 who possess the high level of interest, enthusiasm, commitment and ability to continue developing into top players with Eagleclaw FC. The emphasis is still on learning, but at an accelerated and more advanced rate. The Advanced Academy is offered on a Training Year basis. The Training Year is May - April of each year. Advanced Academy training is by teams. Teams are formed through competitive tryouts.
Some Advanced Academy and Primary Academy teams become part of the Valencia Discovery Program and are referred to as VDP Teams. In May 2019, coaches from Valencia CF will be in Seattle to assess Advanced Academy players and determine whether there are enough sufficiently talented players to form one or more VDP Teams. In forming VDP Teams, rosters for established Advanced Academy teams may be adjusted.
WHAT IS EAGLECLAW'S PLAYER DEVELOPMENT PHILOSOPHY?
A youth soccer players’ growth is a journey; it’s a marathon, not a sprint. No player arrives with all the tools necessary to play at the very highest level and no player has ‘made it’ at age 14 or 15. Our objective is to help each player reach his or her maximum potential. There is no magic potion that turns a young player into Cristiano Ronaldo or Alex Morgan. Nevertheless, we have the lofty goal of preparing each Advanced Academy player to reach the next level by age 18, whether that is a university, or a professional club academy, perhaps even the Valencia CF youth academy. Many factors must combine to maximize a player’s potential. These include club support, parent support, hard work and injury prevention, among others. Coaches, players and parents must have a long view of this journey. While we strive to win every game, our focus is not squarely on game or league results but on ‘individual player development’. Instead, we work to create the best and most productive environment for growth and learning. This means keeping the stresses of the game to age-appropriate levels, giving players sound coaching and the free rein to be creative and make mistakes, while encouraging them to try new things. Victories will eventually come as a byproduct of the team’s collective efforts, but patience is required.
HOW MANY ADVANCED ACADEMY TEAMS WILL THERE BE IN 2019/20
For the 2019/20 season, Eagleclaw FC’s Advanced Academy will have six (6) teams
WHO SHOULD TRYOUT FOR ADVANCED ACADEMY TEAMS
If you are ambitious, competitive, coachable, technically sharp, tactically savvy, willing to learn more and highly motivated to become the best player you can be, then you should tryout. Eagleclaw is focused on developing the best players in Washington, so the same level of commitment is expected from Advanced Academy players.
WILL THERE BE A CHANCE TO MEET THE COACHES AND LEARN MORE ABOUT EAGLECLAW PRIOR TO TRYOUTS?
Yes. During the Tryout Combine, you'll be training alongside other trialists and current Advanced Academy players. During these sessions, you will have the opportunity to meet the Eagleclaw coaches and learn more about our training methods, environment and philosophy.
WHEN IS THE TRYOUT COMBINE?
Boys 2003 & 2004 - January 8 - Feb 21, 2019.
Boys 2005 & Girls 2003/4/5 - April 2 - 12, May 7 - 17, 2019
HOW DO I SIGN UP FOR THE TRYOUT COMBINE?
Online registration is available through the Eagleclaw Football Club website. Registration is online only. No walkup registration is permitted.
WHAT DO THE COACHES LOOK FOR DURING TRYOUTS?
All players will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
Technique - The quality, sharpness and fluidity of a player’s control of the ball.
Insight - This is game intelligence, and requires the ability to observe, think ahead and execute.
Personality - Players must be able to communicate with others, provide leadership, be creative, show flair and daring, be receptive to fellow players and be able to work in a disciplined manner. Is the player coachable, willing to try and fail, show grit and exhibit the Eagleclaw principles of being a quality individual.
Speed - Speed off the mark, speed of thought, technical speed (fast footwork), pure speed (how fast a player covers ground), speed of play with quick decisions.
Of all the criteria above, Technique and Insight are the most important. Technique and Insight can be developed and are the result of the player’s training to date. Personality and physical speed are largely innate characteristics. Physical size (e.g. height, weight, muscularity) are not primary criteria for us when selecting players, but will obviously be noticed and considered.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING TO THE TRYOUT?
All players should bring their soccer cleats, shin guards, a water bottle and weather-appropriate training clothes.
WHAT WILL BE THE ADVANCED ACADEMY TRAINING/PLAYING SCHEDULE?
We expect teams will train at least 2-3 times per week. Weekend league games will occur during the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 league seasons. Training will start in May and will continue through June and will culminate in weekend of ‘Friendlies’ and/or a Tournament. Training will resume in late July and go through the last games of the season in early December. After a few weeks of rest, training will resume in January and continue through the end of April. In April, some teams may travel to Spain to train at the Valencia CF youth academy and participate in the Valencia CF Soccer Cup tournament.
IN WHICH LEAGUES WILL THE ADVANCED ACADEMY PLAY?
The Advanced Academy teams will try play in the highest possible division in the Puget Sound Premier League (PSPL). However, we will strive to ensure the league and division we play in will at all times be consistent with the best developmental interests of our players.
WHAT IS THE COST FOR JOINING AN ADVANCED ACADEMY TEAM?
Advanced Academy fees are published in February of each year for the upcoming Training Year. For the 2019/20 season, the Player Fee is $2,400. Advanced Academy Fees are an an annual amount. Players can pay the entire amount up front or select a payment plan option where they make a down payment and monthly installment payments. Uniforms and tournament fees are not included in the Player Fee.
WHAT UNIFORMS MUST I BUY?
Uniform requirements for 2019/20 are TBD.
WHEN WILL ROSTER INVITATIONS BE MADE?
Roster invitations will be made during the Tryout Combine and will continue until the roster is full. Generally, selected players will be given 24 hours to accept their roster spot by registering online for the Advanced Academy.
I’VE BEEN SELECTED! NOW WHAT DO I DO?
We ask that every player trying out for Advanced Academy be ready to commit to the team immediately upon receiving an offer. This will speed up the process for our Advanced Academy coaches. Decisions must be made within 24 hours. Roster spots not accepted in time may be offered to the next ranked players.
To accept an Advanced Academy spot, players and their family will be asked to sign an agreement confirming their commitment to the Advanced Academy team, including:
A commitment to attend all training sessions and games except in case of illness of unavoidable family conflicts or other circumstances that have been approved in advance by the coach AND Eagleclaw’s Director of Coaching and Executive Director.
A promise not to engage in any outside training or athletic activities without the approval of the player’s coach AND the Executive Director.
A promise not to train or play for any other youth soccer club or team or participate in other organized athletic activities without the approval of the player’s coach AND the Executive Director. (See below regarding outside training/competition and exceptions.)
Accepting an offer to join the Advanced Academy includes the player’s commitment to attend all training sessions and games except in case of illness of unavoidable family conflicts or other circumstances that have been approved in advance by the coach AND Eagleclaw’s Director of Player Development/Competition and Executive Director.
For parents, accepting an offer to the Advanced Academy includes their commitment to support their child, be a positive role model and show respect toward all parents, the coaching staff, the club, the opponent, the referee and all connected to the sport of soccer.
CAN I PARTICIPATE IN OTHER TRAINING PROGRAMS? WHAT ARE THE EXCEPTIONS
Players are highly encouraged to participate in Eagleclaw Futsal as it is one of the most effective ways to improve technique and ball mastery.
Players may train and play with their middle school or high school teams with the approval of their coach AND Eagleclaw’s Director of Player Development/Competition and Executive Director, provided that in the event of a schedule conflict, the player agrees to give priority to Advanced Academy training sessions and games.
Participation in PSPL Surf Academy is also encouraged.
Guest play with another club, whether in league or tournament play, is not permitted without the permission of the Executive Director.
HOW IS EAGLECLAW STRUCTURED?
Eagleclaw is structured with a streamlined management team designed to be extremely lean, efficient and responsive. We are not top-heavy. We follow an executive model of management that features seasoned professionals at every level, but removes any bureaucracy that can come between the youth player and the training and development they need and deserve.
Except for parents who volunteer to serve as Game Day Managers, there are no parents involved in management.
Our structure is designed to ensure that Eagleclaw’s management is open, transparent and at all times working solely toward maximizing the potential of each player. Coaches, players and parents each have important roles to play in the development of each player, but we all need to understand our respective roles. In other words, coaches coach, players play and parents parent.
WHAT IF I DO NOT MAKE A TEAM? WHAT ARE MY OTHER OPTIONS?
This season, we are only selecting 18 players per team. This means that, unfortunately, not all players will make the Advanced Academy teams. For players age 13 and younger who are not selected, we strongly recommend registering for Eagleclaw’s Primary Academy program where you can continue training, developing as a player, play on one of our Development Teams and you will have additional opportunities to tryout for our Advanced Academy when you are 14.
If you are 14 or older and were not selected, we encourage you to continue training, consider technical training and other training programs through Eagleclaw and come back next year to tryout. Each year we expect to add more Advanced Academy teams, so opportunities should increase every year.
HOW CAN I TRYOUT FOR A VALENCIA DISCOVERY PROGRAM TEAM?
The first step is to register for the Tryout Combine and tryout for an Advanced Academy team. During the rolling tryout, players may be offered a roster spot to an Advanced Academy team. If it is offered to them, players are strongly encouraged to accept the invitation to join an Advanced Academy Team. This will ensure a player has a roster spot while still being considered for a VDP Team roster spot in April/May 2019 when the scouts from Valencia CF will be in Seattle..
At the Advanced Academy level, VDP Teams are open to any player from any club, but the first step is to attend the Advanced Academy rolling tryouts. Tryouts for Boys 2003 and 2004 will be held in Jan 8 - Feb 21, 2019 and are overseen by Eagleclaw coaches. During the tryout process Eagleclaw coaches will evaluate the players, provide initial assessments to the VDP Technical Manager and offer players roster spots on the Advanced Academy Team. In April/May 2019, the VDP Technical Manager will travel from Spain to Seattle to observe the players and work with Eagleclaw staff to select players for the VDP Team and make final selections for the Advanced Academy Team.
Tryouts are not the only opportunity to earn a roster spot on a VDP Team. During the 2019/20 season, players on the Advanced Academy Team will have the opportunity to earn promotion to an Advanced Academy VDP Team based on recommendations from Eagleclaw coaches and approval of the Technical Manager for Valencia Discovery Program. Importantly, players initially selected to a VDP Team are not guaranteed to retain that roster spot. VDP is a performance-driven pathway, which means that players must constantly work hard to maintain their position on the roster. There is some roster fluidity between the Advanced Academy Team and the VDP Team at each birth year.