SEATTLE UNITED ENTERS PARTNERSHIP WITH ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE CLUB WEST HAM UNITED
(Seattle, WA) – Seattle United, the Advanced Development Program of the Seattle Youth Soccer Association, is pleased to announce that they have signed an agreement to be an official partner club of the West Ham United International Academy (WHUIA). As a partner club, Seattle United will host a West Ham Academy Player Identification Camp in July, will be able to take advantage of the Academy’s player development philosophies and coaching curriculum and, perhaps most excitingly, will have the unique opportunity to send teams, players and coaches to London to train at the world famous West Ham Academy. Seattle United feels very strongly that this partnership will be an extension of their commitment to player development.
The first opportunity for Seattle United players to experience the West Ham training methods will be at the West Ham Academy Player Identification Camp, held July 8-10 at Roosevelt High School in Seattle. This ID Camp, for both boys and girls at all age groups, will serve not only as an elite level training opportunity, but players that excel at this camp will be invited to attend the West Ham Academy National Residential camp later in the summer. Players excelling at the National Camp will be invited to train alongside West Ham Academy players in London.
The West Ham Academy, or “The Academy of Football” as it is also known, is located in London and is one of the most highly regarded youth academies in the world. The Academy is an important part of the club's identity and a regular source of players for the first team. Past notable graduates of the Academy include: Bobby Moore, Sir Geoff Hurst, Frank Lampard Sr, Harry Redknapp, Sir Trevor Booking and Paul Ince. More recent graduates include: Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard Jr, Joe Cole, Michael Carrick, Jermaine Defoe and Glen Johnson, among others. An ITV Football article stated that "the biggest single contributor to the England national squad is not Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool or Chelsea, but the West Ham Youth Academy."
Tony Carr MBE, Academy Manager, West Ham United FC: "We look forward to working with the coaches and players of Seattle United as one of our USA partner clubs of the West Ham United Academy. We understand Seattle is currently a hotbed for youth football and we look forward to playing a part in the development of the game there via this partnership." (Tony Carr is one of the most influential figures in English football. It is not just that seven of the England squad that travelled to the 2010 FIFA World Cup have come under his guidance – Glen Johnson, John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Michael Carrick, Joe Cole and Jermaine Defoe – but because he is committed to the grassroots of the game. For four decades he has given back to the sport after seeing his own playing dreams dashed by injury and he has created an outstanding legacy.)
Seattle United Director of Coaching Jimmy McAlister: “I am thrilled to have a relationship with such a prestigious and world famous youth academy. The West Ham Academy has always had a reputation for producing world class players. Seattle United players and coaches have a tremendous opportunity to learn from the best. I truly hope this relationship will grow over the years.”
Technical Director Jason Farrell: “We have had the opportunity over the last couple years to explore partnerships with other international clubs. However, we wanted to make sure that we chose a partnership that had serious teeth to it…that it benefitted each of our players, no matter the age, gender or level, as well as benefitting our staff. Partnering with West Ham, and its rich tradition of player development, achieves that. At the same time, it was important for us to keep our Seattle United identity, our brand and our autonomy as a youth soccer club. Having a current EPL club as a partner is wonderful but having one of the top academies in the world as a partner is what makes this so exciting and valuable to all of our players and coaches.”
Along with the Player ID Camp, Seattle United players and families will benefit from this partnership in many ways: