Coaches & Staff
The Cleveland FC Soccer Academy Staff are State and Nationally licensed coaches with the United States Soccer Federation (USSF). Many of them are also former professional soccer players. Our Academy coaches utilize various drills and exercises to bring out the best in each child and motivate them to reach their potential. The Cleveland FC Academy is structured around the same coaching methods used in Europe, North America, South America, Africa, and Asia.

Player Development Pyramid

Ball Mastery
Ball Mastery phase uses drills and exercises where each Cleveland FC Academy player must work alone with a ball, high repetitions using both feet. The Ball Mastery phase also builds balance, coordination, and agility which is crucial for overall Academy player development.

Receiving & Passing
Receiving and Passing phase uses drills and exercises to improve each Cleveland FC Academy player’s first touch, which is so important at all levels, and to encourage and teach accurate creative passing.  1v1 Moves uses drills and exercises that teach each Academy player to be confident and build creativity with the ball to beat opponents as they use the moves to create space to shoot, pass, or dribble.

Speed Phase
Speed phase uses drills and exercises to improve each Cleveland FC Academy player’s acceleration, running with and without the ball, and changes of pace. The Speed phase also helps each Academy player with balance, coordination, and agility

Finishing Phase
Finishing phase introduces each Cleveland FC Academy player to shooting by using drills and exercise that focus on shooting techniques. Each Academy player will have a basic understanding of shooting mechanics which is essential for power and accuracy.

Group Attack Phase
Group Attack phase introduces each Cleveland FC Academy player to small sided games. Drills and exercises are used to introduce combination play, positioning, and ball movement.

The curriculum focuses on Player Development. Ball Mastery is the foundation of every player's development and becomes essential for progress through the pyramid. But don't think of this as a ladder, where one level must be mastered before continuing to the next level. Instead each step is integrated to the others and the player improvement is achieved, as the techniques at each level become stronger.

Games and Training Sessions
Coaches and managers will be given a schedule of the season’s training sessions and games to distribute to their respective teams. Please check email before leaving for games when the weather is bad. For the Academy players, U6-U10 divisions, each team will practice a maximum of twice a week.

During each outdoor season, fall and spring, the Cleveland FC Academy teams will play in a tournament. This will be one weekend with games played on Saturday and Sunday. Team managers will arrange the hotel rooms (if applicable) and parents are responsible for giving the Team Manager the appropriate information to book the rooms.

Academy Attire
All players during training sessions are required to wear their Cleveland FC training shirts. It is up to the coach to inform the team as to which colors are worn for that session. Soccer spikes and shin guards are worn at all times and each child is responsible to bring a size 4 ball to training sessions. Don’t forget to bring water. All players on each team will be given matching shirts for the game day. Players in the goalie position will be designated by wearing a different colored vest or shirt. Shoes and shin guards, covered by socks are mandatory at all training sessions and games. Soccer shoes are without the front toe cleat such as in baseball and football. Referees will inspect all players prior to kick off.