The Houston Dynamo FC Academy has partnered with three of Louisiana’s most respected clubs – Louisiana Dynamo (Lafayette), Baton Rouge Soccer Club (Baton Rouge), and the Louisiana Fire (New Orleans) to form a unique and innovative developmental partnership.
The affiliation, called the Total Development Program (TDP), will include club, coach and player development initiatives, each with the objective of supporting soccer development from the earliest ages to the elite levels, in Louisiana for boys and girls.
“It is exciting to see the TDP program taking shape and becoming a reality with the programming. It is a testament to the leadership involved in each of the clubs,” Dynamo Academy Director, Paul Holocher said. “It is important to keep perspective knowing that all good things take time to fully develop, but this is really a positive step forward. Through consistency of efforts, we hope to improve development from the earliest ages for all boys and girls, and support development all the way through the Louisiana TDP Elite, which will be the top platform for the motivated young soccer players in the State of Louisiana.”
“It is the next step in soccer evolution for Louisiana soccer to partner with Houston Dynamo. Through our relationship, the formation of the LA TDP Elite Program pushes Louisiana Soccer into another tier of development,” Louisiana TDP Elite Program Director, Bryan Thorp added. “Add the Coaching Education Series of the Houston Dynamo partnership, and Louisiana Soccer is on the right trajectory.”
The TDP program will include Grassroots programming, including Houston Dynamo FC and Dash - Soccer Starts at Home™, a revolutionary youth development philosophy and program based on the studies of world-renowned youth soccer expert Tom Byer and his book, Soccer Starts at Home™ The program is geared toward very young children (ages 2-8 years old) and encourages supportive \Parent/Child engagement at Home, \while emphasizing ball mastery, rather than simply kicking the ball. These simple concepts have proven to have many benefits well beyond coordination, such as improving learning, cognition, focus, and health and social-emotional benefits.
“The concept of Soccer Starts at Home is brand new here in Louisiana, and the Louisiana Fire Soccer Club is very excited to introduce this program to our parents and coaches,” Louisiana Fire executive director, Hubie Collins, said. “There will be Soccer Starts at Home™ Workshops which will help more parents and coaches understand the long-lasting benefits in a player's technical development, by introducing a ball, to dribble and control, as early as soon as a child can walk.”
The TDP affiliate program will include player development initiatives for the special Foundation Phase (ages 8-11 years old) which will include programming support, methodology, staff development, training invitationals, and developmental tournaments through the Catalyst program.
As a continuation of the Soccer Starts at Home™ programming, the Skill Builder programis designed to continue inspiring young player to build a strong technical relationship with the ball as the first step to becoming a quality soccer player. By taking advantage of the program,both at home and on the practice field, young players learn to fall in love with the ball and also taking control of their own development.
“Baton Rouge Soccer Club is very excited to be an affiliate of the Houston Dynamo FC. The collaborative opportunities for players of all ages and stages, from two years old to professional through Houston Dynamo have been exciting and amazing,” BRSC Executive Director, Louie Smothermon said. “Paul and the Dynamo have provided access to professional soccer insight, instruction, and teachings from around the world and feel fortunate to have access to the cutting-edge soccer information for player and coaching development.”
The TDP program will include various education opportunities for all coaching staff members, including the monthly Partners in Development program, which looks to bring together motivated youth coaches from each club, along with top developmental coaches from around the nation and world to share and learn together.
In the last year, top developmental coaches and educators such as Rene Muelensteen, Zeb Jacobs, Sanjeev Parmar, Michel Bruyninckx, Dadi Rafnsson, Doug Lemov, Keith Tozer, Romeo Jozak, Todd Beane, Hiro Suzuki, and other Houston Dynamo FC Academy staff have presented on various youth development topics.
“TDP helps our club develop in every phase of the game, from the early ages all the way to the ages 18 years, Louisiana Dynamo Executive Director, Kevin Mooney said. “We are now working hand in hand as staff, collaboratively, and we feel the sky is the limit with player development and advancement here in Louisiana.”
The Louisiana TDP Elite Club will be the elite level of the developmental partnership, providing motivated and talented players from each of the three clubs, U13 to U18, the opportunity to come together as an elite club competing on a national level. The collaboration includes bringing together staff and resources from each of the clubs.
"We are very excited about the Louisiana TDP Elite Program. It is the first of its kind down here in Louisiana and will provide high level players in the state the opportunity to train and play with and against the best players and teams in the country under the direction of highly qualified coaches,” Keir Hannity, with the Louisiana Fire and Louisiana TDP Elite technical staff said. “It is a fantastic concept that we are hoping will continue to develop the caliber of play and soccer culture in the state which will in turn provide more opportunities for the players involved.”
Through these efforts and the support of the Houston Dynamo FC, the boys have been accepted into MLS NEXT and the girls in the Development Player National League (DPL). The current staff for both the boys and girls includes an excellent and experienced staff led by Bryan Thorp, and including Rafa Amaya, Hubie Collins, Keir Hannity, Louie Smothermon, Kevin Mooney, Joan Oliva, Marvin Smith, Adrian Garcia, Kiran Booluck, and Alex Edwards.