Not long ago I got the chance to speak with Minneapolis City SC manager and Technical Director Adam Pribyl about the Futures program. We spoke at length about the creation of the program, how it will work, it’s goals, and the *ahem* Future of the Futures.
Minneapolis City SC founded the program to bridge the gap between Youth Soccer and their U23 (MPLS City 2) and First team. Creating a stable U19 program was the step needed to take to bridge that gap as “U18/19 teams tend to fall apart and we wanted to give a good long term option for that level.” said Adam Pribyl.
The announcement for Minneapolis City SC’c Futures Program came at kind of an odd time. On June 24th Minneapolis City SC officially announced their Futures program, a few days later on the 28th it came out that MNUFC Academy players were leaving the program. This came roughly a week after Minnesota United let all but one staff member from the Academy Program go. The timing actually worked perfectly for City, though it had not been planned but was rather ironic and coincidental.
Initially Minneapolis City had planned on announcing the program back in May to early June, however that was pushed back due to various factors, COVID-19 being one. One big change is MPLS City is looking to work with local Academies and Clubs to produce players, in a completely different fashion to how it’s being done currently.
“There are a ton of quality youth clubs doing a really good job developing talent” - Adam Pribyl
Currently once players get to a certain level players currently need to play regionally and nationally. Going forward City will be working with youth clubs for player development. Players will mainly be with their main club but train once per week with the Crows. They will also play 7v7 matches held between the four clubs City has created, which will showcase the best of the best of Youth talent in the area.
It’s being done to give the players the same experience in competition but cheaper and more cost effective for the players and parents involved. The club will also be constantly evaluating players to set up best players in local/regional 11v11 matches; and if the players are doing well they’ll be invited to City 2 and City SC training to possibly earn a spot on the roster with one of those clubs.
This gives not only City a direct hierarchy of development for players to reach not only their second and first teams, but also Youth Clubs a local partner as well. In many ways this also echoes a development system seen in hockey, where players work their way up to the top level for their school/city. Staying local and developing talent for the Future has always been City’s goal and this just further emphasizes it.
Minneapolis City has already started their Fall League. 40 players have been selected and then were split into 4 teams, playing 7v7 soccer each week. You can of course hear everything about the City 7v7 Fall Cup here on their podcast, The People’s Pitch.
This year has been tough for the Crows, both the NPSL first team and UPSL second team lost their seasons due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but the fall looks bright and the Future looks even brighter for the Crows.