The Brooklyn Academy Method
The Road to Brooklyn United Academy
When Brooklyn United Academy hired Director of Coaching Edu Perez Moran in the summer of 2021, a commitment was made to bring a world-class youth soccer development methodology to NYC. This is the first step of Brooklyn United Academy’s larger goal of establishing a model of both player and team development that will set a new standard of American youth soccer.
A native of Madrid, Coach Edu formulated his unique methodology on the training grounds of La Liga and on the sidelines of the UEFA Champions League. It is a comprehensive system, designed to guide the training and growth of youth soccer players beginning at the age of 2 and carrying on through highschool. Not only that, but a heavy emphasis is also placed on the training of coaches.The BKU Academy coaching staff are in essence the “teachers” of our methodology and must possess a thorough understanding of the training principles, exercise design and development, and tactics, in order to bring it to life.
Coach Edu has spent his time since his arrival assembling and developing THE BEST, most motivated and intelligent coaching staff in NYC. Each of our staff are fully capable of translating and instituting his methodology on the pitch. As one of the VERY few coaches in the United States that hold a UEFA Pro coaching license (the highest level of licensure a soccer coach can attain in the world), he is a thought-leader in this field (pun intended, thank you very much) whose omniscient approach to the beautiful game is already making waves in NYC.
So, what does this methodology look like, exactly? If you’re part of the Brooklyn United Academy and/or Park Slope United you may have seen the Methodology pyramid (graphic on the right hand side).
This is the structural representation of the methodology, which demonstrates the player development pathway (sometimes referred to as ‘the ladder’) within our club.
At the base of the pyramid are our Tot Footy and Developmental Programs. Effectively, the beginner’s programs. At this stage of player development, the primary focus is soccer-specific balance, coordination, and foundational skills. Within each program, there is an increasing complexity and compounding of individual components that become more advanced with each age group. Example - we teach foundational dribbling to 4 year olds in the Tot Footy program, and advanced dribbling (incorporating skill moves and changing direction) to 5-6 year olds in the Developmental program.
Our Select League is our intra-club league. Players 5 years and older who demonstrate sound comprehension of our foundational skill set curriculum are typically invited to join a Select League team. The Select League setting, which is designed to be a precursor to our travel program, is where we begin to apply some of the primary principles that make up the spine of our methodology. The nature of practices 2x/week with a game at the weekend allows us to train specific components, and better assess the players who pick up on the principles, and excel.
Those who do excel at the Select level will be invited to join the travel program. PSU Elite is the level at which we begin to train all 13 principles that are the pillars of the methodology. It is in a certain sense, the senior class of the Park Slope section of the development ladder. After graduation (when the age is reached of full 11 v 11 teams - U13 and above), those who impress at the annual BKU Academy tryout and demonstrate above average proficiency of the methodology, give top-level effort, and embrace commitment, will be invited to join Brooklyn United Academy.
Brooklyn United Academy is the pinnacle of the PSU/BKU player development ladder where we train the full methodology and its 13 principles in their entirety, as well as add a physical conditioning / injury prevention plan. At this level, success of the individual player boils down to one’s own commitment, desire, and work ethic. With full support from the coaching and administrative staff, each player is given full access to all the tools they need to reach the highest level of the game.
Each step of the player development ladder is intentionally designed to build upon the step before. Every single training session - from the eldest generation of the Academy all the way down to the Tots - is born from the principles that constitute the cornerstones of the Brooklyn Academy Methodology. While the name may say Brooklyn, these are the same training principles that have molded some of the game’s top talents playing in the world’s best leagues across Europe. The only question is -
Who wants to join them?