WHAT IS THE MPLS CITY FUTURES PROGRAM?
The MPLS City Futures Program is a one-of-a-kind player development initiative, designed for Minnesota-based players age 20 and under, that is part of the club’s mission to bridge the gap between youth soccer and adult soccer. It is a new level of Minneapolis City SC that is completely within the framework of the club and exists to nurture Minnesota’s promising young players for the future demands of college, pro, and professionally amateur soccer. The program also serves as a pathway into MPLS City championship-winning minor league teams that play in the NPSL and UPSL. Mpls City SC rosters have included youth national team players, college all-Americans, and players playing first division soccer in MLS and beyond.
The MPLS City Futures Program is not a youth team or a competitor to youth clubs. Similar to the Olympic Development Program (ODP), Mpls City Futures is a supplementary program in which players can continue to play with their club teams, high school squads, and college programs. From November-June, Futures players train with Mpls City 1x per week, participate in an ultra-competitive 7v7 intra-club league, and have the chance to feature in full matches against high-level external competition.
As part of the mission, Mpls City Futures requires no travel, is 100% local, and scholarship-driven. Through club memberships and community donations, at least 20% of players in the MPLS City Futures program receive financial support.
Learn more about our mission to improve Minnesota soccer below…
HOW TO JOIN FUTURES
Mpls City conducts multiple tryout events each year. Players who are at least 16 years old can receive more information about upcoming player identification sessions by completing the Player Interest Form Access the Player Interest Form here. Scholarships are available to those who qualify.
WHAT IS OUR MISSION?
We want to win a national championship with only Minnesota-based players. To accomplish this goal, we need to continually help improve Minnesota soccer. We understand that this means all players, regardless of club or school affiliation. A rising tide lifts all boats.
Since the club was founded, Minneapolis City SC has been dedicated to providing opportunities for Minnesota soccer players. The purpose of the Futures program is to help bridge the gap between youth soccer and college, pro, and professionally-amateur soccer for Minnesota’s most promising players. To build this bridge, the Futures Program attempts to help solve the following 4 problems.
1- Structure: Opportunities for players nearing age 18-19-20 often fall apart or do not exist outside of college soccer and many players lose interest at this age 18-19-20 because there is not another level of competitive soccer beyond U18/U19 to which to aspire.
2- Expense: The cost of elite-level youth soccer can exceed $4,000/year. This cost can exclude talented Minnesota players who do not have the financial means to participate, essentially shutting them out of “the system”.
3- Time & Travel: Elite teams typically involve extensive travel. Minnesota’s young players often spend more time traveling than playing on the field. The 20 and under age group also have jobs and social commitments that start to make such travel prohibitive or undesirable.
4- Roadmap: An immediate jump to USSF Division 1 (MLS) or professional soccer abroad is often unattainable. A large number of Minnesota youth players still lack awareness of Mpls City SC and the competitive play opportunities (USL, NPSL, UPSL) that may exist for them beyond high school, club, and college.
WHO DOES THE FUTURES PROGRAM SUPPORT?
The Futures Program is designed to support 40-50 of the most promising Twin Cities-based soccer players, age 20 and under, with aspirations to continue playing beyond their teenage years at the highest levels. These players may have one or more of the following characteristics.
- They require an accelerated environment that will prepare them for collegiate soccer
- They desire a higher level of competition to augment their current club environment
- They have aged out of the Olympic Development Program
- They can no longer afford or justify the cost to play high-level competitive youth soccer
- They can’t justify the time commitment to travel nationally for high-level competitive soccer
- They do not feel the traditional youth system offers them anything else to advance their development
- They are a late-bloomer and have been overlooked in the youth player identification process
- They are lost within the US Soccer system and need to regain traction
- They are talented young players who deserve to be in the Mpls City NPSL/UPSL system but need time to develop
FUTURES PROGRAM FORMAT
The Mpls City Futures Program is a competitive intra-club soccer program designed to nurture younger players for the demands of college, pro, and professionally-amateur soccer without the cost and travel demands required by some other programs.
The program consists of three primary components:
- Futures Training – a training environment that includes the entire player pool
- Futures League – a 7v7 intra-club competition. Each team represents a Minneapolis neighborhood.
- Futures Friendlies – a chance for players to feature in 11v11 exhibition matches against external competition
The 2020-2021 Mpls City Futures schedule breaks down as follows:
- Futures Trialist Camp: 4 dates in November
- Futures Training (1x per week*): November 30 – December 14
- HOLIDAY BREAK: December 15 – January 18
- Futures Training & Futures League (1x per week*): January 19 – June 28
- Futures Friendlies (11v11 matches vs external competition): Dates TBD
*Futures Training sessions and Futures League games are primarily scheduled for late Monday evening. In some instances where a Monday coincides with school/national holidays, sessions will be moved to Tuesday.
PROGRAM FEATURES & PLAYER BENEFITS
- A one-of-a-kind program on earth, probably.
- Players can continue to play with their club teams, high school squads, and college programs.
- 8 months in a high-level training environment
- Fast-paced, ultra-competitive, 7v7 league
- Opportunity to feature in exhibition games
- Mpls City Training Kit & Futures League Jersey
- Goalkeeper jersey & glove allowance
- Monitored by Certified Athletic Trainers
- Guidance from the City coaching staff
- Access to player mentors from Mpls City player pool
- Club membership with voting rights
- Exposure to college and semi-pro scouts
- A path into senior NPSL/UPSL squads
- Stats & rosters on the Mpls City Website
- No travel. All local.
- A chance to make some magical memories
THE COST OF TWIN CITIES SOCCER
Unfortunately, pay-to-play is a reality in United States soccer. Until things change at the federation, this is the soccer world we live in.
The annual cost to play traditional youth soccer in the Twin Cities can range from $1,800 on the lower end and $3,900 on the higher end. To play within a national travel elite league or youth academy, the costs can be in upwards of $6,000-$10,000 per player per year.
With a primarily all-volunteer staff, a super awesome group of club members, and the unique format of the Futures Program, Mpls City SC aims to offer Futures programming at a cost below $900 for 2020-2021. In addition, we strive to offer scholarships for at least 20% of the player pool.
Are you awesome? Want to help lower the cost of the Futures Program for our player pool and increase the availability of scholarship funds? Consider becoming a member, buying some merchandise, and making a tax-deductible donation to the MPLS City Futures Program.
2020-2021 FUTURES PROGRAM FEES
Trialist Camp: $135
Program Cost: $869
Scholarships are available to those who qualify. Players in need of financial assistance can access to our Scholarship Application here. Applications are reviewed on a bi-weekly basis.
PROGRAM FEATURES & PLAYER BENEFITS
The Mpls City Futures Program is staffed by existing members of the Minneapolis City SC coaching staff. On occasion, the staff will be augmented by guest coaches from the Minnesota soccer community.
MPLS City Futures Program Lead / Head Coach
MPLS City Futures Assistant Coach
MPLS City Futures Assistant Coach
MPLS City Goalkeeper Coach
MPLS City Technical Director
On Wednesday, August 5th we hosted an informational webinar for influencers in the Minnesota soccer community. During this session, we provided an overview of the Mpls City Futures, a new program for players 20 and under that is launching late in 2020. If you missed it, the recording is accessible here.
- Can I still play club and/or high school soccer? Yes, Futures is designed to be supplementary and we will work with clubs and high schools to identify talent and collaborate to improve player outcomes.
- Is City planning to start a youth club? No. Our ambition is to be the bridge between youth and (college & pro) adult soccer.
- What age do players need to be? Players must be at least 16 and no older than 20 (at the time of the tryout).
- When are tryouts? Futures tryouts will be in November.
- Is there a chance to make an NPSL or UPSL roster? Yes. Players have a chance to be called into senior team training and games
- What is Minneapolis City SC? We’re a 501c3 amateur club focused on local players and competing in the top national amateur league in the country, the National Premier Soccer League, and in the U.S. Open Cup. Perennially one of the top teams in the NPSL, City has sent two players to MLS since 2016: Brandon Bye (New England Revolution) and Luke Haakenson (Nashville SC), as well as others to various professional clubs in the U.S. and abroad.
- How do I get in touch? Contact us via email at [email protected]
- Is this NCAA compliant? Yes
- MPLS CITY SC does not work with players when they are in an active college season. Because the calendar for every college program/level is different, individual players are required to be aware of their program’s calendar and to over-communicate their status in-advance to both MPLS CITY SC and their university to avoid eligibility issues.
- MPLS CITY players do not get paid, so they all hold amateur status.
- MPLS CITY SC does not provide any compensation for housing as all MPLS CITY players are based within driving distance to MPLS CITY training facilities.
- MPLS CITY SC provides NCAA compliant food, beverage, and lodging accommodations during road trips.
- Because MPLS CITY players pay club dues, the dues cover the cost of all training gear that they are allowed to keep.
- College players that compete with MPLS CITY typically go through trials during the winter/holiday break (after their fall season has completed) or during spring break (after their spring season has ended).
- For MPLS CITY I and MPLS CITY II (our first and second team), the NPSL & UPSL competitive seasons typically start in May and end in July, before college programs start pre-season. If the NPSL or UPSL season gets extended (example: post-season), MPLS CITY works directly with a player and their university to determine if the college coach is willing to allow that player to arrive late to their camp. However, MPLS CITY has never had a player continue to compete while their college program is in session — all MPLS CITY players in college have arrived at their college pre-season early or on time.
- For MPLS CITY FUTURES (our “academy”), the program runs from November-June. MPLS CITY FUTURES players typically reside within driving distance to the Twin Cities during this time frame. College players do not participate in FUTURES programming during the active periods of a college soccer season. FUTURES programming does not start until the end of the Minnesota high school season and is completed before the high school pre-season begins.
- FUTURES Trials occur in November, but the club reserves the right to add qualified players at any point during the academy season (e.g. from other open trials or preferred trials).
- FUTURES programming typically occurs 1x per week, alternating weekly between pool training and 7v7 league formats. Sessions generally are late on Monday evenings.
- FUTURES observes a winter break from mid-December to late-January.
- The top 18 FUTURES players at a given point during the season may receive an invitation to participate in a full 11v11 match against external competition (called Featured FUTURES). Featured FUTURES matches may occur 4-5 times per season from March to July.
- FUTURES players may receive an invite into training sessions for MPLS CITY II or a “call-up” into the roster for a MPLS CITY II gameday.
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SUPPORT MPLS CITY FUTURES
Our goal is to eventually make Futures a cost-free program for players. Individuals can help support the Futures program with a donation. Corporate sponsorships are also available.