As player development in the United States has continued to evolve, we’ve seen a significant uptick interest from professional domestic and international soccer clubs seeking talented American athletes who have the interest and ability to play beyond the collegiate level. As a result, we understood it was critical to put our players in a position of leverage by providing them a flexible pathway that would enhance, rather than limit their opportunities.
In order to help guide RISE players through this process we’ve entered into an affiliation with Feyenoord, a professional Dutch soccer club, based in Rotterdam. Via our affiliation, our Player Development Staff will not only be in a position to learn about the intricacies at the international level of play directly from coaches and educators who are actually involved in dealing with players at this level, but they will also be in a position to help identify talented younger prospects and put them in front of talent scouts at Feyenoord.
We are confident this initiative will be great for the RISE and position our Player Development Staff to advance their knowledge and continue to produce and create opportunities for the star players of tomorrow.
There are countless youth soccer clubs affiliated with “professional clubs”, but generally, In our opinion, these relationships appear to be no more than marketing initiatives. Our affiliation with Feyenoord is comprehensive and will impact every player and Player Development Staff member at RISE. Our social media accounts follow and interact with one another, our respective player development coaches interact, and in our arrangement, RISE players of all ages and play levels have the opportunity to participate in Feyenoord events both in Houston and Rotterdam.
The RISE Player Development Staff will have in-season monthly calls with the Feyenoord Coaching Staff, to discuss player development initiatives, recreational and advanced program improvement and physical/tactical performance topics. RISE will send Player Development Coaches yearly to Feyenoord so they can get a first hand look at how the professional game is evolving. Feyenoord will send a Senior Player Development Staff member to Houston yearly to review our soccer programming, evaluate our progress, and evaluate our player talent level.
RISE will send teams and individual players yearly to Feyenoord where they will have the opportunity to learn more about the professional environment and train and play under the watchful eyes of the Feyenoord staff for assessment and opportunity.
As Feyenoord Academy partners, U9 & U10 RISE teams are invited to participate in the Robin van Persie Tournament (Rotterdam) in June. Only the best of the best of Europe’s top Academies can enter or by special invitation from Feyenoord. Clubs that routinely play in this event include: Feyenoord, Manchester City, Tottemham Hotspur, Zenit St Petersburg, PSG, Sporting Lisbon, Chelsea FC, Anderlecht, Racing Genk, Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Monchengladbach, Brondby, Slavia Prague, Aberdeen FC.
What is a professional affiliation without our families having access to watch a professional football game while they are in The Netherlands? RISE families who are traveling to Rotterdam have access to exceptional experiences via RISE such as match tickets, stadium tours, and even “meet and greet” opportunities as part of a VIP Experience.