LEXINGTON, Ky. – Lexington Sporting Club is excited to announce it will be joining the prestigious Girls Academy (GA) for its upcoming 2022/23 season.
Founded by former members of the U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy, the GA is the “leading youth development platform for the best female soccer players” in the United States, including 80 clubs with teams in the U13 through U19 age groups.
The GA is a highly selective program, and acceptance allows Lexington Sporting Club youth players to have access to top level training, development and competition not found elsewhere in the region. Through the GA, players will receive exposure to the top level of soccer in America – including NCAA Division I and USA National Team scouts.
Lexington Sporting Club will field teams in the U13 to U19 age groups and will compete in the Mid-America conference, one of eight across the nation in the GA.
“We are excited and honored to have been accepted into the Girls Academy League, said Sam Stockley, Lexington’s Sporting Director. “This is a historic moment for the female players in Lexington. From the very first conversation with Lesle Gallimore, we knew that the GA would be an excellent fit for our female player development model. The values and philosophy of the GA align with our vision to empower our female players. This platform gives our females national exposure at the highest level, as we know only a small percentage will go on and play professionally.”
“I’ve seen firsthand how soccer can create countless opportunities for young players, having been fortunate enough to play at the highest level in the world for a female at the World Cup, and in various leagues and countries as a professional,” added Michelle Rayner, Senior Director of Sporting Operations. “To be able to have an amazing platform in the GA League to create opportunities for girls in our region that have similar aspirations to reach the highest level is such an incredible opportunity for all females.”
Recently, Lexington Sporting Club absorbed the youth soccer programs associated with Lexington F.C. and Commonwealth Soccer Club with the goal of forming a competitive program open to youth players of all levels.
Gallimore, Commissioner of the Girls Academy, said, “This new professional organization in Kentucky has shown their very real commitment to including female youth players in their player pathway and doing it in a way that meshes well with the philosophy and vision of the Girls Academy. We're excited to bring Sam Stockley and his group into the GA family.”
Stockley continued: “It was critical for us to create a holistic pathway for our female players, whether that be professionally, collegiately or playing because they love the game. The GA allows our players to continue to play for their high school team if they choose, as this is an important part of their social development. Until now, many of the top players in our region were forced to spend countless hours per week traveling to other cities just for training to have an opportunity to compete at the highest level. They can now stay home, develop as a player and play against the best in the nation.”
League play for the GA begins in August 2022 and culminates with playoffs and national final events the following summer.
More information about the Girls Academy can be found here.