FC Bayern and FC Dallas announce groundbreaking partnership in youth development
FC Bayern Munich and FC Dallas have today announced a comprehensive partnership, the first of its kind, that will offer players within their professional academies a pathway to soccer both in the United States and Germany.
The European powerhouse and founding Major League Soccer Member will come together to exchange talent, allowing young players to experience different coaching styles and settings to enhance their development.
"The United States is home to our very first international office, highlighting our commitment to engaging and growing FC Bayern's fan base in the Americas," commented FC Bayern Munich's Executive Board Member for Internationalization and Strategy, Jörg Wacker. "Our intention from the beginning has been to help support the growth of soccer in the U.S., supporting the existing development of players. For us FC Dallas is the ideal partner," he added.
The top-flight clubs will collaborate on coaching, exchanging expertise that helped develop national team players, including Thomas Müller, Mats Hummels, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Kellyn Acosta. Opportunities will also be created for the youngsters to play fixtures against one another in their respective countries.
"We are thrilled to join FC Bayern Munich in this groundbreaking collaboration," said FC Dallas chairman and CEO Clark Hunt. "One of our primary goals is to develop an academy and a club that can compete at the highest level on a global scale. This unprecedented partnership with one of the most successful clubs in the world marks a significant step toward that goal, and we look forward to working closely with the outstanding leadership at FC Bayern."
FC Dallas players and coaches will be welcomed at the FC Bayern Campus, which opened in August 2017. The state-of-the-art academy houses eight football pitches, a multi-purpose sports hall, the youth academy and a clubhouse with office space on a 74-acre plot.
"This is a unique alliance between two historic teams at the forefront of youth development," commented FC Bayern Munich's President of the Americas, Rudolf Vidal. "We are proud to announce this partnership with FC Dallas, who have pioneered professional soccer in the U.S. Working with FC Dallas at this elite level will complement the extensive grassroots infrastructure we have helped create over the last few years in North America," he added.
Like the city of Munich, North Texas is fast becoming a soccer hub with FC Dallas at the heart. Twenty academy players have signed for the club's first team, the highest number in Major League Soccer with 10 players currently holding roster spots. In addition, at least 28 FC Dallas academy players have appeared with the youth national teams of the U.S., Canada or Mexico.
In December, three U.S. homegrown players from FC Dallas visited Munich to experience the same training as FC Bayern stars.
The Texas-based team sent their youngest player signing, 16-year-old forward Bryan Reynolds, who also represents the U.S. at international level (U-17) along with 17-year-old Paxton Pomykal who became FC Dallas' youngest-ever starter in March. The midfielder also represents the U.S. U-18 National Team. In addition, 19-year-old defender Reggie Cannon who made his first team debut last year (February) attended the 10-day training experience.
FC Bayern Munich has been working since 2014 to help grow the level of the game in North America. Through its grassroots partnership with Global Premier Soccer the club is sharing its coaching philosophy and curriculum with over 90,000 children and 6,000 coaches in 101 soccer clubs in over 22 states.
About FC Dallas
A member of Major League Soccer since its inception in 1996, FC Dallas is owned and operated by Hunt Sports Group. The professional team plays its regular season from March to October at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. FC Dallas won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and MLS Supporters' Shield in 2016. Toyota Stadium is one of the first soccer-specific stadiums built in the United States. It hosts MLS and international soccer matches, high school and college football games, as well as concerts and other events. The 145-acre Toyota Soccer Center also includes 17 regulation-sized, tournament-grade soccer fields and is also home to the organization's nationally-renowned youth development system.