Apparently, and I'll be honest, I didn't know this, US Soccer has been evaluating academy teams since the inception of the Development Academy league in 2007. Now under Claudio Reyna, U.S. Soccer’s Youth Technical Director, the evaluations are being made public. Clubs are 1 to 5 star-rated in seven categories: Player Development, Style of Play, Training Environment, Administration, Facilities, Fundraising, Respect.
US Soccer has set the bench mark with clubs like Barcelona and Ajax, those are "5" star programs. According to Soccer America, Eleven US clubs got 5 stars on Funding for last season; nine of which are MLS clubs.
But in the key categories of Player Development and Style of Player, the two that most matter in terms of of getting kids into the pro team one would think, only four "4" grades were given out. Two of the four went to FC Dallas making FCD the top rated club in the country in these two categories.
The majority of the credit for the amazing FCD Academy, aside from the Hunts willingness to fund the thing, goes to Oscar Pareja. particularly in these two key categories Pareja deserve full credit for the wonderful academy program he has established.
Academies are how legendary clubs are built and FC Dallas is doing all the right things so far to follow that plan.