Professional Training Environment
The Santa Cruz Breakers Soccer Club provides professional training to motivated and qualified players, to help them reach the next level in their development. Players have the opportunity to advance from the youngest to the oldest age groups within a single organization.
Qualified Coaching Staff and Curriculum
The vast majority of Breakers coaches have a USSF National coaching license or an NSCAA National coaching license. They also have years of coaching experience at the youth level, as well as professional and collegiate playing experience. All of our coaches follow the new U.S. Soccer National curriculum created by Claudio Reyna, U.S. Soccer Federation Technical Director, one of the best U.S. Soccer players ever, with extensive experience overseas.
CYSA Cal Soccer League (CCSL)
The CYSA Cal Soccer League (CCSL) is a competitive youth soccer league that is open to all teams from CYSA affiliated soccer clubs. Teams compete in divisions that provide local, regional, and state-wide competition (depending on the age and level of the team). The CCSL league has a policy that allows teams / clubs to use guest players from within the club as long as they meet team age limitations. The youngest Breakers boys and girls teams (U9-U11) play in CCSL Coast Bronze and Silver Divisions, the highest divisions offered at this level. U12 and U13 Breakers teams play in CCSL State Premier or CCSL Bay region divisions.
NorCal Regional Academy League (RAL)
The NorCal Regional Academy League (RAL) is a premier competitive soccer league for elite teams throughout Northern California. The goals of the Regional Academy League are to: assist selected clubs by providing competition for well-structured clubs, providing a schedule that allows the proper ratio of games to training, and providing a top-level Northern California-based league competition necessary for high-level player development. The selection of soccer clubs was based on: clubs committed to developing motivated soccer players to their full potential for professional and collegiate or top-level amateur soccer, clubs who have committed time and energy and resources towards a coaching staff and technical program necessary for developing their motivated soccer players, and clubs who have developed the administrative infrastructure to properly support their commitment The Santa Cruz Breakers is the only club in Santa Cruz County that meets the stringent requirements for acceptance into the Regional Academy League. All Breakers high school aged teams (U14 and up) have been accepted into the Regional Academy League and compete against the top teams in Northern California.
US Soccer Development Academy **
Following a comprehensive review of elite player development in the United States and around the world, U.S. Soccer created the Development Academy in 2007 to improve the everyday environment for the elite youth player. In 2007, the Breakers were selected to participate in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, a program established by U.S. Soccer to improve the day-to-day soccer environment of elite players in the United States. The U.S. Soccer Federation has selected only 77 clubs in the nation to participate in this program. The Breakers are among the only 5 clubs in Northern California. More than 10 MLS Youth Academies are also participating in this program. Every year the Breakers play against MLS youth academies such as the L.A. Galaxy, the Seattle Sounders, Chivas U.S.A, Vancouver Whitecaps and the San Jose Earthquakes. The Development Academy is a partnership between U.S. Soccer and the top youth clubs around the country to provide the best youth players in the U.S. with an everyday environment designed to produce the next generation of National Team players. The Academy’s programming philosophy of increased training, less total games and more competitive games is based on U.S. Soccer’s Best Practices utilized by the U-17 U.S. National Team Residency program.
The Academy also connects National Team coaches directly with the Academy clubs to develop and identify players and coaches for future Youth National Teams. Each Academy team is evaluated by a National Team coach at least ten times each year and each Academy club receives two formal evaluations in over 100 categories each year from National Team staff.
The Development Academy is also focused on identifying and developing the next generation of elite referees. U.S. Soccer assigns up-and-coming officials to participate in Academy games at the local level and at national events.
Player Identification Advantages
- Direct connection to U.S. Soccer National Team Scouting Network (NTSN)
- National Team coaches evaluated over 70% of all Academy games in the 2008-09 season
- Showcases are premier scouting venues:
- 200-300 college coaches
- 25 Professional Scouts
- National Team Staff observe every game
- Online player profile for all Academy players
- Showcase games footage can be purchased
- Over 250 players from Academy clubs were called into an YNT camp or trip since fall 2007 from 59 different Academy clubs
- Over 85% of graduates from the Academy’s first year participated in college soccer in 2008-09
** At present time, the USSF Academy consist of boys teams only.
U14 Boys Pre-Academy
The mission of the Northern California U14 Pre Academy is to provide the highest level of competition in Northern California while providing the best and most thorough overall soccer development of the young elite soccer player. The program focuses on the technical, tactical, mental and physical traits necessary to be successful in the game at the highest level of competition.
U.S. Soccer Training Centers
U.S. Soccer is conducting training sessions in conjunction with local clubs and state associations to identify players with youth national team potential. Training Centers will be conducted by a member of the U.S. Soccer National Staff. Training Centers (TCs) are a new platform designed to improve player identification, player development and coach development. Each TC will be administered by the Academy Conference’s Technical Advisor, assisted by Academy coaches and National Team Coaches. Most TCs will be aligned with the Youth National Team calendar to evaluate players before trips and camps. Top players from each Academy club at both age groups will be invited to attend the training sessions. Non-host coaches are encouraged to attend. After piloting the program during the 2008-09 season in large markets such as Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, positive feedback was given by both Academy players and coaches in hopes of continuing to improve the everyday environment.
There are no fees for players to participate in the U.S. Soccer Training Centers but players are responsible for their own travel and must be invited by a U.S. Soccer National Team coach. This year, more than 25 Breakers boys and girls players were invited to a U.S. Soccer Training Center identification training session. All of the boys and girls were born between 1999 and 1993. As stated above, this new process is a direct link between the Breakers and U.S. Soccer Federation scouts. While the Breakers Soccer club continues to support other identification programs such as ODP, ID2 program and PDP, we feel fortunate to be able to work closely with the U.S. Soccer Training Center program.
High School Soccer
Most of the high school aged Breakers players playing in the above-mentioned CYSA and NorCal soccer leagues (CCSL And RAL) also participate in local high school soccer leagues during the winter months (November –March). Local high school soccer programs have benefitted significantly from the training and development provided by the Breakers Soccer Club, which has resulted in Santa Cruz County having some of the most successful boys and girl’s high school soccer teams in the Central Coast Section and in all of Northern California.
Preparation for College
Every year, the Breakers Club organizes a College Night for players U15 and up to guide them through the college application process. Professional college counselors and university coaches conduct this presentation provide our players with valuable information about playing soccer in college and finding the right fit for them.
Tournaments and College Showcases
For the younger age groups, we recommend that teams go to a maximum of 3 tournaments throughout the year. Occasionally, one tournament may require an overnight stay during the weekend. At the older age groups (boys and girls U14 and up) teams may attend out of area tournaments. Participation in tournaments is determined by the level and the objectives of individual teams. The Breakers club has been represented at most of the prestigious tournaments and college showcases in the country. Breakers teams have also traveled internationally on a number of occasions. A list of the tournaments Breakers teams have played in is provided below:
- San Diego Surf Cup
- San Diego Pegasus Cup
- NHB Cup
- Santa Barbara Cup
- Breakers Cup
- Texas Shootout
- Raleigh Shootout
- Manchester United Premier Cup
- Nike Crossfire Challenge
- Placer United Cup
- Pleasanton Rage College Showcase
- Santa Rosa United Cup
- Ballistic Cup
- Mustang Cup
- Juventus Spring College Showcase
- US Club Soccer Regionals and Nationals (3rd in the Nation – U18 Girls, Breakers 94G)
- Regional Academy League Showcase
- Bellinzona International tournament (Switzerland)
- Osimo tournament (Italy)
- Rimini Cup (Italy)
- Paris Cup (France)
University and Post-University
In addition, many of our players graduate (Breakers alumni) from our program and move on to play competitive collegiate soccer at NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA and community college levels. Throughout the years, several players have also been selected to the U.S. Youth National Teams and some of them have also had the opportunity to tryout and play for professional teams nationally and internationally. Recently, a Breakers graduate on the girl’s side made the reserve team for a professional women’s soccer league. We have also have teams on both the boys and the girls side travel to Europe, to compete against international and professional youth Academies such as FC Barcelona (Spain), Palmeiras (Brazil), AS Roma (Italy) and many more.