The Miami FC announces partnership to form new Miami FC Youth Academy Program

Nicco Roque speaks, as his father and co-founder of Soccer Academy of the Americas Dr. Ismael Roque-Velasco and The Miami FC CEO Sean Flynn look on. The two programs announced the formation of The Miami FC Youth Academy Program at Tamiami Park on Thursday night. Photo by Matthew Bunch.

The Miami FC returned to Tamiami Park on Thursday night to announce a new collaboration, partnering with the Soccer Academy of the Americas to create The Miami FC Youth Academy Program.

In the shadow of Riccardo Silva Stadium, team chief executive officer Sean Flynn and manager Paul Dalglish took the stage with SAOTA president Dr. Ismael Roque-Velasco to announce the rebranding, which will take place officially during Spring 2019.

“We feel it’s the best club in the county,” Flynn told an assembled crowd of current academy participants and alumni. “We want to provide opportunities for every kid to have a chance to play soccer.”

Roque-Velasco opened the proceedings, honoring past contributors to the program and hailing new possibilities.

“As a club, I wanted to take this club to the next level,” Roque-Velasco said. “The next level is being able to provide the kids with the best coaching possible, the best facilities, and the best technical support.

“Miami FC was that partner that we saw that was going to make the difference for us.”

Personal experience

Dalglish, a product of the Celtic and Liverpool youth academies, spoke of his time as a player and manager. He highlighted how important it was for youth programs to instill not only technical ability, but life lessons.

“The most important thing is that we can teach values,” Dalglish said. “We can teach working as a team, we can teach togetherness and great friendships that will start on this field and continue through the rest of your life.”

Dalglish confirmed that he would oversee the academy as a technical director, but he also doesn’t want to fix what isn’t broken.

“I’m going to look at the technical program. We’re not going to come in here and turn the steering wheel in a different direction straight away,” Dalglish said. “We want to make sure all the great work that has been done continues.

“Eventually, we would like to be in charge of the technical piece.”

Players from the club, including Dario Suarez and recent acquisition Brian James, made an appearance to show support for the news.

According to Flynn, The Miami FC has been looking for a youth academy partner since its creation three years ago. He believed it was the right time to make the move.

“This is a truly thriving club,” Flynn said. ‘It’s a family-like atmosphere that’s working toward the same goal.

“The future is bright. This is a step for Miami FC to show that Miami FC is here for the long haul.”

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