Southampton announced on their official site they will be partnering with US-based Virginia FC Youth (VAFC) academy as an international partner.
You can read the official announcement here on the official site. This is a move to expand Southampton’s international portfolio and this time it is a club in the United States just a few hours south of, Washington D.C.
As someone who is both from the U.S. and currently live in Washington D.C. this is very exciting news. VAFC was established in 2019 as a way to develop players from the age of 5 to 19 and now wants to base its program off that of Southampton’s famed youth academy.
The United States is slowly catching up to the European model of developing talent and this is a big step. The 3-year-deal between the two clubs means that VAFC will have direct access to the Southampton’s youth academy curriculum, training sessions and more.
For Southampton, this means they will be able to scout and develop a new crop of youth talent and tap into a new market.
Football is growing rapidly in the United States and the Virginia peninsula is a densely populated area that has produced a number of professional athletes in other sports.
Both teams have a partnership with Under Armour and that is how this connection was formed.
“The goal for VAFC is to emulate the SFC Academy model and enhance our club offerings to attract the peninsula’s top players and coaches. Our Under Armour partnership has provided this connection with Southampton FC and we are proud and excited to provide the best look and ultimately the most professional environment for our membership,” said Kevin Darcy, the sporting director for VAFC.
This is an exciting opportunity for all parties and should only benefit everyone involved.