USL News Release
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
TAMPA, FL – United Soccer Leagues announced that long-time Super-Y League member Schulz Academy has acquired Premier Development League franchise rights for the Fort Lauderdale, Florida market. The new team will begin play in 2010.
“We are thrilled to welcome such a successful youth program in Schulz Academy to the PDL,” said USL Executive Vice President and COO Tim Holt. “Their proven track record in developing players, including US National Team star Jozy Altidore, speaks for itself. The club is a model organization in the Super Y-League and we are confident they will be an asset to the Southeast Division of the PDL.”
Members of the Super-Y League since 2002, Schulz Academy quickly became a regular presence at the league’s North American Finals each year. The club captured a league national championship in its first appearance in 2004 with the U14 Boys title. That team went on to three-peat as U15 and U16 national champions the following two years. In 2008, three squads from Schulz Academy participated in the North American Finals with a combined regular season record of 37-3-2. The U13 Boys reached the semifinals and the U13 Girls suffered their lone defeat of the competition in the national championship game
Off the field, the club has garnered honors, including a place among the SYL First & Second 11 rankings for outstanding competitive and administrative performance. Schulz Academy has ranked among the Overall First 11 the past three seasons, and made its debut in the Girls Second 11 for the first time last year.
The club is headed by founder Dr. Josef Schulz, an "A" Licensed coach, and former professional player from the Austrian premier division who played 418 games at the highest level in the Austrian Bundesliga during their glory days of the late seventies and early eighties. He is recognized as one of the top youth coaches in the state of Florida and certainly one of the best in the country. Notable players that have been developed within the club include Matt Luzunaris of FC Magna ( Austrian 2nd Division); Hasani Sinclair and CJ Phelps of the U18 US Men’s National Team; Donovan Henry, Zach Herold, and Stefan Jerome of the US U17 Men’s National Team; and US National Team and Villarreal striker Jozy Altidore.
“We are very proud to be able to continue the great history of soccer in Ft. Lauderdale with USL,” said Schulz. “In addition, it will be a perfect platform to prepare the top young talent of Southeast Florida combined with the international players that aspire to compete at the highest levels of the game. The players will be selected by our experienced staff, and only the best young talents in the age of 16-21 with realistic chances to become professional players in the future will be part of this exciting project. It is our objective to also have an international club affiliate with our club to extend player opportunities to Europe.”
The team, yet to be named, intends to compete at the new Central Broward Park Stadium. The stadium has a capacity of 5,000. Opened in November of 2007, the $70 million facility also includes four FIFA-sized practice fields and other amenities.