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D.C. United launches residency academy

D.C. United has made a substantial investment in its academy, launching a residency program.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

D.C. United announced today that it will partner with The Calverton School in Huntingtown, Maryland, to launch a residency program for the U-14 through U-18 teams academy teams. It will allow United to bring in players from the greater Mid-Atlantic region and from across the world, allow them to complete high school through The Calverton School, and allow them to participate in D.C. United's academy. This program will also be available to female players, "In partnership with D.C. United’s affiliate clubs."

The initial plan is similar to the Brandenton residency program, with morning and afternoon training sessions and then a modified high school program the rest of the day; there will be both-five day and seven-day programs available. D.C. United will have a full-time staff member on campus to impart United's style and philosophy as a part of this program, and will be able to help guide the players' professional, social, and academic development. These players will compete as a part of D.C. United's Academy teams, and could then be signed to homegrown contracts should they develop into potential professional players. The program will still cost money, but there are scholarships available from both D.C. United and The Calverton School.

There is a continuing arms race to recruit the best prospects, and this will give D.C. United a longer reach to try and find those players. Teams like Real Salt Lake, Vancouver Whitecaps, and the Philadelphia Union already have similar programs that try and expand their reach and search for the best available talent. While this may not produce any results for the first team for a few years, this is a substantial investment in the future of the team and sets United up for sustained success down the road.