NE Revolution, Empire United join forces

The New England Revolution has formed a strategic partnership with New York-based Empire United, a youth development program that also plays in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. Beginning with the 2012-13 season, Empire United will become “Revolution Empire, A New England Revolution Soccer Club.”

Revolution Empire will be the Revolution’s first affiliate youth club, allowing its Academy players, coaches and development-level players access and involvement in the Revolution Academy development and competition system, with the ultimate goal to produce Revolution Home Grown players.

On the competitive side, the Revolution Academy and Revolution Empire youth teams will continue to compete as separate teams in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. However, both teams will train and develop under a similar system and Empire’s youth teams will be afforded the same training opportunities with the New England Revolution senior team as the Revs’ youth teams.

Empire’s elite youth team players will have the opportunity to train with the Revolution first team during the summer months. They can also earn call-ups to the Revolution Reserve team during its 10-game season and Empire’s players will get first-hand coaching from the Revolution Academy coaches at home in Western New York throughout the year.

This is the second significant Development Academy move in the past few days as San Juan SC (Calif.) and Orlando City (Fla.) were recently added to the fold for next season.