Today Forward Madison of USL League 1 announced a developmental partnership with Eintracht Frankfurt of the German Bundesliga. The goal of the partnership is to expand Forward Madison and Eintracht Frankfurt’s global presence as well as to grow the game in Wisconsin. To kick off the partnership, the two clubs will be hosting coaching classes for local coaches and youth camps for Wisconsin’s young players. The two clubs have also expressed the desire to develop more projects in the future.
“From a sporting perspective, the partnership with Forward Madison creates a key foundation to closely follow the development of the fast-growing USL and to scout new talent from the U.S.”Armin Kraaz, Head of Sports Projects Americas for Eintracht Frankfurt
This is the second partnership Forward Madison has announced. In March of last year, the Flamingos announced a partnership with MLS club Chicago Fire. In the year since this partnership has already proven beneficial. Chicago Fire has sent teen goalkeeper Chris Brady on loan to Madison where he has excelled. In addition, Forward Madison has sent young midfielder Micheal Vang on pre-season with the Fire.
Development of Young US Players
Partnerships like Forward Madison and Eintracht Frankfurt’s have been beneficial for many clubs in the US. These partnerships have enabled young players to travel and train with teams around the world. For example, MLS club FC Dallas regularly sends a group of top young players to train with FC Bayern’s youth teams during the MLS off-season. Current USMNT defender Chris Richards signed with Bayern after impressing them during one of these trials.
There are also the ownership groups investing in the US. Red Bull and City Football Group have brought their philosophy and techniques into MLS. This has enabled players like Tyler Adams to develop following the Red Bull philosophy, then seamless transition into a club at a higher level. On the managerial side, City Football Group has used NYCFC to help develop young managers.
The ability to bring the training techniques used by top clubs to the US as well as bring top US talent to the best clubs provides opportunities for young players to continue to develop. These partnerships raise the training level here in the US providing better opportunities for youth players to excel. These partnerships also enable highly talented players an opportunity to be scouted by some of the best clubs in the world increasing professional opportunities.
As soccer grows in the US, the need for these programs will continue. With USL and MLS expanding, there will be talented young players discovered all across the country. Having partnerships will ensure these players get the chance to play at the highest levels and be exposed to the best training techniques in the world. Doing so will help to grow the USMNT and all Concacaf federations. It is an exciting time for soccer in the US, and partnerships like Forward Madison and Eintracht Frankfurt’s will help the game continue to grow in popularity.