February 14 – German giant Bayern Munich has formed a player development alliance with MLS side FC Dallas to provide a pathway for players in their professional academies inot the game in Germany and the US.
“The United States is home to our very first international office, highlighting our commitment to engaging and growing FC Bayern’s fan base in the Americas”, said FC Bayern Munich’s Executive Board Member for Internationalization and Strategy, Jörg Wacker. “Our intention from the beginning has been to help support the growth of soccer in the U.S., supporting the existing development of players. For us FC Dallas is the ideal partner.”
Growing Bayern’s fanbase in the US is a key commercial objective for the Germans, who up to this point have chosen to expand through a grassroots coaching partnership with Global Premier Soccer which has reached over 90,000 children and 6,000 coaches in 101 clubs across the US.
The arrangement with FC Dallas is more focussed on the elite level and providing development opportunities that will also see youth fixtures against one another in their respective countries.
“We are thrilled to join FC Bayern Munich in this groundbreaking collaboration,” said FC Dallas chairman and CEO Clark Hunt. “One of our primary goals is to develop an academy and a club that can compete at the highest level on a global scale.”
FC Dallas has a strong academy record with 20 players having signed for the club’s first team, the highest number in Major League Soccer, with 10 academy players currently in the first team squad. At least 28 FC Dallas academy players have appeared with the youth national teams of the US, Canada, or Mexico.
In December Dallas sent three players to Bayern for a 10-day training camp:16-year-old forward, Bryan Reynolds, who represents the US at U17 level; 17-year-old Paxton Pomykal who became FC Dallas’ youngest-ever starter in March and plays for the US U18 team; and 19-year-old defender, Reggie Cannon who made his first team debut last year (February).
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