FC Copa Academy is an elite soccer club in NJ where we develop players with outstanding personal character and successfully place them into collegiate programs. NPSL, UWS, National Premir League, United Womens Soccer, US Club Soccer, NJ Soccer, NJ, Youth
The FC Copa Urban Soccer Academy is an initiative which was piloted in 2008 as a program within Futbol Club Copa, a premier soccer organization.
The “Urban Soccer Academy” was established by FC Copa with the mission to support and promote youth soccer programs in urban and underserved communities through a cooperative platform designed to provide opportunities, resources and standards of excellence. These educational-based programs are designed for the players to experience a positive impact through soccer and will targets children and youth players in urban areas in NJ.
Additionally, a goal is to provide students with the technical and tactical skills necessary to compete in soccer at the middle and high school level. The benefits to students would be numerous, including: teamwork, improved self-esteem, motor-skill development, socialization and involvement in school related activities. These benefits will also translate into a greater level of success for the middle and high school teams for those wanting to compete at that level, whether at the Varsity or Junior Varsity levels – to provide student-athletes with every advantage to be successful in their academics, and to help them develop into well rounded, healthy adults
Without these development opportunities, players in this community are competing with a disadvantage, and will potentially be set-up for failure. Many students don’t try out for teams that constantly lose, and others don’t try out simply because they haven’t developed the confidence or skills necessary to compete. This program can give them the skills they need, keep them involved in a school activity and often keep them out of more negative, idle, and destructive pursuits.
It is the goal of this program to help keep kids involved in soccer while making the difficult transition from being a child into being a young adult. It is common knowledge that involvement in sports/activities can help keep at-risk youths from getting lost in the shuffle. It strengthens their self worth, and can help to make them feel more a part of the greater school community. As with all things, participation in any extra curricular school activity should include an expectation of reasonable school performance. This would also help give teachers and administrators additional leverage when trying to reach students that are participating in this program. Parental consent, and teacher approval would be requirements for students wishing to be involved in this program. This program would encourage positive school behaviors, and also promote a healthy active lifestyle, something that is important to nurture at a younger age.
After a successful pilot which was run out of the Perth Amboy HS in 2008 which served 75 youth players, we are expanding the scope into new urban communities. This year we plan to launch the program in two additional cities. We are proposing that with allocation of indoor gyms and town fields we could start the program in November and end the winter portion in Mid March and then continue the outdoor sessions from Mid March to the end of July and include grammar schools (grades 2nd thru 6th), middle school (grades 7th and 8th) and high school (grades 9th thru 12th)
Additionally we plan to have some of our FC Copa Academy teams train and play out of the same fields to expose the Urban Academy players to this premier level of soccer. No more then 50% of the time on these facilities will be used for these events. We have found that exposing Urban Academy participants to this level of soccer creates a driving factor for them to try to achieve the same. We expect to continue to offer Urban Academy participants partial and full scholarships to the FC Copa Academy. Last year we were proud to give 14 players a full scholarship to participate year round with the FC Copa Academy, which translates to over $40,000 in scholarships.
The Copa urbanAcademy programs will be clearly defined by age groups and would run in 4, 6 or 10 week sessions. The curriculum for the program will be set up by skill sets specific for each age group
FC Copa Urban Academy
6 - 8
9 - 11
12 - 14
Practice Length (min)
75 to 90
U6 to U8 - The FUN STAGE
The emphasis at the U-10 level should be on teaching them to enjoy the game. Practices should consist almost entirely of fun activities that will help the players learn technique while playing games. Time should be spent on demonstrating and practicing technique, then games should be played that stress the particular technique. Ideally the kids should be playing and having fun with various games making use of the soccer ball, and maybe not even realizing they're learning how to play the game. Practice at this level should not be work, or the kids will soon find something they would rather do than play soccer! Kids at this age want to have fun.
U6 to U8 Curriculum
Juggling (at this age may allow one bounce between juggles)
Ball tapping (with pulls and turns)
Pulling the ball
Dribbling, inside and outside the foot
Passing, inside the foot (accuracy) and instep (power and distance)
Receiving with feet
3v3 (3v3 games should be stressed)
U9 to U11 - The FOUNDATION STAGE
Kids at this age still want to have fun more than anything else, but some will begin to show a desire to learn about the game. Emphasis is still on technique and fun, but more complex tactics can be introduced. Use primarily 3v3 to teach movement and support, but also up to 7v7 to help players learn to see more around them, and begin to understand more complex situations. 11v11 should only be taught sufficient to allow team to be competitive. Begin to incorporate increasing pressure so that players will start to learn to perform technique and tactics under limits of space and time.
U9 to U11 Curriculum Summary
Juggling (introduce more advanced moves)
Ball tapping (increase moves)
Coerver moves and other fakes (increase repertoire)
Dribbling, with speed
Receiving with feet, thighs, chest, head
Goalkeeper (understanding of fundamentals, some specialized training with keeper trainer)
up to 7v7
Minimal 11v11 (3v3 to 7v7
should be stressed while teaching movement and support)
2 and 3 touch games
Team defense introduced (pressure, cover, balance; goal side/ball side)
U12 to U14 – The FORMAL STAGE
By this age kids become very competitive, begin to better understand the need for team cooperation in order to succeed (rather than just "what's in it for me?"), and are more interested in learning the game. Girls may tend to become team oriented earlier than boys. Many players will have decided by this age that soccer will be their number one sport, or even their only sport. In general, the players who have made this decision will develop a higher level of skill than those who still split their time between more than one sport.
If players at this age level have had the proper emphasis on technique in their earlier years, by now they will be quite skilled technically; comfortable with a ball at their feet and under pressure, receive with good control, proficient in 1v1 situations, good at juggling, and they'll know several good moves that help them create time and space, and beat opponents. If not, you'll need to spend more time on technique than recommended below. Tactically, they should be quite good at 3v3 to 6v6 and keep away games. Now, players should be able to perform all training under pressure of the opponent.
U12 to U14 Curriculum Summary
As in above age groups
More Coerver moves and other fakes
Heading (attack and defense)
Goalkeeper (more advanced technique, tactics, should attend camps)
Same as above through 7v7
11v11 stressing simple systems of play (4-4-2 and 4-3-3)
1,2, and 3 touch games
Combination play (wall pass, overlap, takeover)
More defense (pressure, cover, balance; goal side/ball side)
U15 to U17 - The FULL ADULT TRAINING STAGE
Players in this age group are highly competitive, serious soccer players. They often develop strong personalities and will attempt to assert themselves. More structure and discipline is required of the coach. Understanding each player's psychology and good communication skills are also important.
Technique should be solid at this age, but it must still be practiced regularly. Now, coaches can stress tactics, including 11v11. Fitness requires more attention as players have developed physically. Strengthening programs may include plyometrics. All training under pressure from the opponent.
U15 to U17 Curriculum Summary
As in above age groups
More Coerver moves and other fakes
Goalkeeper (advanced technique, advanced tactics, should attend camps)
Continue 3v3 to 7v7
8v8 to teach tactical concepts
more 11v11 stressing multiple
systems of play
Familiarize with 3-5-2
Playing numbers even, numbers up, and numbers down (attack and defense)
Patterns of play, making space, multiple player combination play
Zonal games/tactics in all thirds of the field
Functional training (position specific technique and tactics)
The Proposed Requirements
To achieve the goals set above we require a tight partnership between the city and or board of education and FC Copa.
FC Copa will participate in the following manner:
We will supply all the coaching and will also recruit and educate local qualified adults to serve as assistants
We will supply all oversight for the program via the Director of Player Development
We will manage the program from an administrative perspective via our technically advanced web site www.fccopa.com
We will supply a partial number of the equipment required for the program: soccer balls, cones, training bibs, ladders, hurdles, and other equipment required
We will supply every player accepted in the Copa Urban academy with a shirt
We will register every player with US Club soccer
We will supply the insurance certificate for the facilities via US Club Soccer
Urban Community Board of Education will participate in the following manner:
Allocate field space for the program from Monday to Friday from 6 to 9 pm starting in November and part of December and again in Early March to late July. Lights supplied based on daylight requirements.
Allocate gyms on certain weeknights of the week.
The program will not interfere with the scheduled School Sports in their facilities.
Assist in the exposure of the program via the distribution of flyers into the school system.
Urban Community Recreation Department will participate in the following manner:
Schedule town managed soccer fields to the program in the spring and summer.
Fields with light preferred
Grass fields would be supplied from Monday to Friday from 6 to 9 pm from March through July.
Advertise the program in the municipality’s website
All three organization in cooperation:
Will organize materials/content/images into a cohesive package
Develop and implement general web communication that is consistent with the details above and which have been approved by all three parties
Produce a clear and comprehensive publication on the above topics accessible to the wider soccer community via all three websites and via fliers.
The end product should be a comprehensive soccer program which will provide a solid foundation for the youth of the community to develop soccer skills but more importantly to develop self esteem and mature via the sport.
If you are interested in becoming a Copa Urban Academy Partner, please contact the following members of FC Copa Academy: