With the club already having ECNL for the Boys and Girls, providing a program to allow for players to stay in their home Region, while still getting the chance to push themselves in pursuit of the next level through the EDS was a key part of the project design. The EDS Pools (12-22 players for our 11U-12U Ages, 16-24 players for our 13U-19U ages) are then narrowed down to a ‘travel roster’, which participates in one event each season, allowing the team to compete against the Region’s best.
A few details on EDS programming:
- EDS player pools (12-22 players for our 11U-12U, 16-24 players for our 13U-19U) are narrowed down to a ‘travel roster’, which participates in each USYS E64 fixture (unlimited rosters), allowing the team to compete against strong clubs in the Mountain Region as well as National Showcases.
- Elite Development Squads train weekly from August through March, giving the players a regular training environment and supplementing what they get in their own ‘full-time’ team.
- Aug-Nov and Jan-June
- Train 1x Per Week
- Indoor Winter Training Space at Regis University
- Outdoor Winter Training (Weather Permitting)
- Game Fee is $25 / Game
The selection process for Elite Development Squads (EDS) is unique in that a pool of players for each age group is selected in August/September for 11U-14U boys (11U and 12U boys South EDS only) and 11U-19U girls, while the high school boys pools are created in November/December. In addition to this, there is a constant ‘open door’ policy that calls upon the Directors of Coaching Club-wide (via Select coaches) to invite players they feel have developed to the standard required at EDS into a tryout process at any point during the season.
In order to create these pools, we ask the Directors of Coaching across the Club to work in close collaboration with the coaches at Select level teams to identify and nominate those who they feel have a skill set that would allow them to push towards the ECNL program as they grow. In order to ensure the purpose of the program, ‘Time and Space to Grow’ is achieved, the flexibility to bring players into the squads is maintained throughout the year as we understand that the biology, psychology, and general passion for a sport can change and evolve at any point, and we want to ensure that those players have the opportunity to be part of an Elite pathway when that happens.
Rapids Youth Soccer =
Developing Talent Solution
The EDS Program provides a solution to the current problems found in the elite development pathway. By providing another level of elite programming we give players more time and space to grow while providing exposure to elite environments.
CRYSC Player Pathway
The inclusion Elite Development Squads in the player pathway will provide support for emerging talent and players not quite ready to sustain involvement in the ECNL program. Throughout a player’s involvement with EDS, they will have multiple opportunities to scrimmage and play competitively against high-level teams, including Rapids ECNL teams. The Director of the EDS program is in constant dialogue with the Directors of the Elite boys and girls ECNL teams with a view to understanding the opportunities to expose EDS players to the ECNL environment and give them a pathway to make a move to the next level. Additionally, if an ECNL player is not appropriately placed or doesn’t feel comfortable in the Elite program, then there is a level very close by that they can continue to grow and develop with high-quality players.
The EDS project is focused on providing players with an opportunity for extra development in a positive environment that we believe will stand them in good stead wherever their playing future lies.