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NUSA's academy structure is unlike 'academy' models at most other clubs in the US which are specific age-based.  Most clubs, even at U12 and below, separate their players into A, B, and C teams based on their current age during training where they experience limited player movement and often train at different locations under the guidance of different coaches. Our Academy structure more closely resembles that of professional academies from Europe and South America which are ability based, not strictly age-based. 

"Our Academy training structure will ensure that every player in the club experiences training with our Academy lead coaches.  We also limit the size of all our competitive academies. This keeps the emphasis on quality and consistency throughout the entire organization. Our training environment in the Lower Academies constantly challenges players of all technical abilities by using smaller “pools” of players, regardless of player size or age. We are always encouraging our technically proficient smaller or younger players to play with bigger, stronger players. This will push them to be more creative, increase their speed of play, decision making, and improve their awareness both on and off the ball. The flexible environment allows coaches to place players in environments reflective of the amount of success vs challenge needed for the player. The same reasoning holds true for our Upper Academies. While there are 4 defined teams in each Upper Academy, there is still ability for player movement between teams.  The players and teams will greatly benefit from training at the same location, with and against each other, and under the guidance of the Academy lead coaches," says NUSA DOC Robbie Stewart

Both NUSA's Lower and Upper Competitive Academies focus on true individual player development and our training environment, methodology, and philosophy is consistent throughout our club.  Our model allows players to grow and progress in the game at their own pace in a pressure-free, fun, player-centered, game-based environment.


“True player development focuses on the development of the player, not the development of the team! Up to age 12, this should be the only criteria used in designing and running youth soccer programs.” says Ron Quinn, US Youth Soccer


Claudio Reyna, National Soccer Hall of Fame player — and Jason Kreis' boss at NYCFC — put it best:

“For me, it’s irrelevant if coaches win state cups, regional cups, and national cups. How many trophies they have in their cabinet isn’t important. It’s about the kids, it’s not about you. We care about how many players you develop rather than how many tournaments you win.”


“NUSA’s emphasis on individual player development is key to our structure. Assuring Lead Coaches are working with younger academies and older academies allows us to focus on individual and avoids players getting “lost”. The quality of our coaching staff is something we are very proud of and is only outweighed by our commitment and investment” says DOC Alan O'Connor.



NUSA is proud of our consistent training curriculum focused on long term player development. Our coaching staff implement our curriculum and assure that the players are exposed to a training environment which covers the principles and phases of play from every aspect of the game. NUSA believes that consistency in lessons helps avoid coaches consistently “fixing” team issues and provides a full, dynamic curriculum needed for true individual development. 




Currently, most clubs have their teams play several games per weekend and multiple tournaments per season. Their training to game ratio is low.

At NUSA we believe that training is the major driver of true development. We strive to maintain high training: game ratios that allow our coaches to best prepare players develop long-term. The combination of our high training ratios and consistent training curriculum allow our qualified coaching staff to consistently place players in environments for the appropriate balance of success and failure.



Our goal is to make competitive soccer more affordable and accessible for all players and give more players the opportunity to play competitive club soccer and achieve their goals. Financial aid is available for players who make the competitive academies from any of NUSA's recreational or outreach soccer programs.


Having fewer salaried positions in our club allows us to keep overheads low and focus on our member’s bottom line costs.  We believe that our members’ monthly dues should be paying primarily for our experienced, licensed, and professional coaches.

In the Lower Academies, players will learn the game and be appropriately challenged by staying and playing locally. Too many out of state tournaments can become very costly for families, not to mention that playing 4 sometimes 5 games in a weekend is not conducive to player development. 


We firmly believe and have proven that there is plenty of competition and many ways to challenge our young players here in Middle TN. Teams that are having a lot of success locally in their own age group can always play up an age or two, or the coach can put various challenges on the players in any game to challenge them.


NUSA's Upper Academies we will compete statewide in Tennessee State League, Regionally and Nationally when teams advance, however, we will also limit unnecessary travel and tournaments for our Upper Academies. Players benefit the most from good, consistent training and can be challenged locally by playing older teams if necessary. 



We believe competitiveness is an important core value and character trait, but we also realize that through soccer we can teach our players many other positive core values that far transcend the game. We believe that developing “champions of character” is just as important as developing champions on the field. 

Two teams of players with equal athleticism, technical and tactical ability play one another. The only thing separating the teams is that one team has confident and disciplined players with strong core values. Which team do think will win?

We also understand the important role that parents play as part of our club. We want to encourage parent involvement at Nashville United Soccer Academy.  There will be many volunteer opportunities on our various committees and with our Leadership and Outreach Programs.



NUSA coaches will be responsible for helping our players set realistic expectations and guide them through the college recruiting process. Who could be better than a coach who knows players abilities and personality to help them find a program or school that will be a good fit?

NUSA's staff is experienced in the recruiting process and has connections with many schools ranging from NAIA to D1.

Multiple NUSA players have received offers from, or currently train with, MLS Development Academies. There are former NUSA players now playing overseas and in a range of collegiate programs ranging from NAIA to Division 1. 

**NUSA’s current structure is aligned with our family centered core values and is an excellent fit for those that trust in the long-term process of development and growth. We may not be a good fit for those whom are not.**

For more info on our Academies, please click the links below or contact the appropriate Academy Lead Coach.


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