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Discussion in 'Yanks Abroad' started by prowazekii, Jul 15, 2010.
Eissele and Spivack will have an "extended trial" with SK Brann in February.
And if this doesn't work out the two Yanks have an offer to trial at Thai Premier League club Muangthong United, which is currently managed by Robbie Fowler.
Edit: Also a few more Americans joining the RIASA program.
I love these initiatives that give players a second chance to forge some kind of career in the game.
Without checking back the whole thread, do these kids pay to attend this programme or are they on scholarships?
They pay I don't think there are scholarships as its not quite like an American college soccer program. Tuition to attend the school is 22,000 british pounds. I think the kids are allowed to use loans and even federal aid to pay for it. The school they attend is an international American university and the degree is recognized by US colleges. I think this is how they can apply and use federal aid
The team went to Holland, played Ajax U19s, and won 2-0. American Christain Eissele scored both goals.
Racked up 7 goals in a rout. Six were scored by Americans (2 each for Eissele, Spivack and Roane) and the other by Sutherland, a Scot who spent time with the Houston Dynamo system.
The FA has decided to extend the range of leagues for RIASA players that do not qualify for a WP. They can now play for clubs up to the 5th tier of the English system.
5th from the bottom or 5th from the top? 5th from the top is the Conference, right, the level right below League 2? And most of those clubs, now, are fully professional, right?
That's pretty interesting.
It'd be 5th from top, i.e. the Conference. And yes, most of the teams at Conference level are professional, although a fair number would have part-timers on their books. Most of them are guys who play for the enjoyment/challenge and because the extra income finances a better car or foreign holidays, although they would would drop the day job if the club gets promoted or a League team comes in with a two-year offer.
RIASA website says it is a trial for a week for both Spivack and Eissele in Finland with PS Kemi Kings. The trial came about after the Kemi Kings VP visited the academy in England. The article also says there has been interest from Belgian teams for some of the academy players.
Spivack said on twitter that they have a game today
Eissele and Spivack were both offered contracts by Kemi Kings.
Spivack and Eissele say via tweet they have decided to sign with Kemi. Nothing official yet.
It is now official. The club announced that both Spivack and Eissele signed contracts today to be with the club for the next 2 seasons.
prow, you seem to have an "in" with this outfit.
I find this story fascinating, because, let's face it, professional development has a hard time competing with education in the US. If this group can pull off developing players while accommodating our cultural imperative to get an education, they can either start getting lots of Americans, or their model can be duplicated in other countries.
Any thoughts on that?
My ten cents worth is that if it could be done in another country with more flexible work permit regime and English language third level education it would be a winner. If I had the $ I'd be looking at Holland, Dutch-speaking Belgium (very flexible work permits for players) or Scandinavia.
The kids come into it knowing no matter how good they are they won't get a WP to play in England. They have the perfect base to get an education in an english speaking country and are easily able to travel to any mainland European club that wants to see them and vice versa.
They already play plenty of games in mainland Europe and if the players are good enough, clubs in Europe will notice them so England is the best place to be considering education is ultimately the #1 aim of the program.
The students are even allowed to play at Conference level without a WP if they are good enough. In my personal opinion, Conference level Football will be a higher standard than the Finnish Second Division.
Being able to play at Conference level is a new development which is still a good opportunity for the non-eu players. As a team they've also traveled to Holland and Spain and played against academy teams. Another article mentioned that Kemi Kings would return for another visit. The opportunities are there to get noticed.
No idea if that's true, but even if it were -- I assume they can be paid something in Finland. They are paying to play in England. Presumably the entire reason they are in Europe in the first place is so they can be paid someday.
On their student visa's they are allowed to work 20 hours per week in England and so they could be recompensed at Conference level.
That's kind of what I was getting at. The language barrier is there, of course, but if Belgium is one of those European nations where you can get by speaking English, it would be the ideal spot for an academy like this. The kids could get their education and get Euro citizenship in 2 years, if everything goes according to plan.
Sorry about the delay in responding.
I think programs such as these can be very helpful for young players who do not exhibit a high enough level of talent to attract attention. However, I do worry that some of these programs are designed to make money and don't really produce any results. I'm really no sure what the deal with RRFCM in Belgium was, but a large number of North Americans went there over a period of a few years, and I'm not sure any are currently playing professionally overseas.
It appears that RIASA are taking the correct approach. They are an accredited university so the education does count in the US for those students who don't succeed in the sport. They also offer coaching certification training so those who have short or no career as a professional player will have the opportunity to get into the managerial side of the business.
The real difficulty with having the program in Britain, as others have noted, are the WP requirements that make it hard for non-Europeans. However, the recent ruling by the FA that RIASA can have players in higher tiers of English football will greatly help. They are also developing associations with clubs throughout Scandinavia and are in talks with a club in Belgium, places where it is much easier for American players to play and get citizenship.
Ona related note: Mark Ellis talks about opportunites for RIASA players in Europe
Insight into the RIASA program through the eyes of two students
From one letter
There's a sentence you don't see every day.
I continue to be fascinated by what these guys are doing.
To be fair, this is nothing new in the UK. These type of academy's and set-ups are in their hundreds maybe even thousands. Kids leave school at 16 and go to college until they are 18/19. A lot of colleges have links with local semi-pro clubs and they create a football and education scheme to provide high quality soccer training replicating a pro environment whilst completing their studies. It creates a hope for those with ambitions to play at a higher level and offers they the same experience that they would receive at a pro club.
For UK students, the course fees are often completely free apart from $200 per year which covers kit. The difference is, this academy appeals directly to US citizens, and they are probably making a tidy profit whilst proving the kids with what they require.
If you search Kai Eckenrode and Diego Ves Lashlee, both of these were on a similar academy between 2007-2009 linked with pro club Stevenage FC.