As the United States National Team showed in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the state of soccer in this country is on the rise. U.S. Soccer is committed to developing soccer in America from the ground up, and that begins with youth development, such as that occuring at the Crew Soccer Academy (CSA).
As Shira Springer of the Boston Globe notes, Germany's 2014 FIFA World Cup triumph was largely fueled by an overhaul of its youth system, and now the USA is attempting to undergo a similar transformation. MLS teams are investing more time and money into their academy programs, helping to develop young talent and sign them to Homegrown contracts, which are increasingly becoming a vital mechanism for talent acquisition in the League.
The Crew has seven Homegrown signees on its roster, such as Wil Trapp and Matt Lampson, who were both recently named to represent the Black & Gold at the 2014 MLS Chipotle Homegrown Game in Portland. The Crew's seven Homegrown signees are tied for tops in MLS, and the club has many more talented youngsters developing at CSA.
U.S. Soccer recently took note of one such standout, midfielder Ben Swanson, who was named to the Best XI for the Central Conference in the U-15/U-16 class. Swanson was joined on that All-Star team by Coach of the Year Lars Richters, who is based at the Crew's satellite academy in Michigan, CSA Wolves.