AUSTIN (KXAN) — More than 500 soccer hopefuls are expected to try out at the end of the month for the inaugural Futbol Club Barcelona soccer school in Austin.
FB Barcelona announced the launch of Austin’s FCBEscola’ Soccer Academy in early March. The school, which will be housed at Circuit of the Americas, will serve as the headquarters of the club in the Southwest region of the United States. A rendering shows the soccer field will be constructed right next to the amphitheater.
On Wednesday, Bobby Epstein, chairman of COTA, as well as other representatives from ISL Futbol and the Austin Sports Commission held a news conference to explain how the program will work.
“We want to turn this community into a soccer hot bed and we’re going to do so with the help of everyone who works with the community,” said Marc Segarra, spokesperson for FCBEscola. Segarra says Austin was chosen because it met FC Barcelona’s expectations and the soccer community is quickly growing. “We want to be a part of it, we want to grow with the city and play an important role with the youth communities.”
The program is open to boys and girls ages 6 to 16 years old. The program runs for 10 months and will start in August. Before the players can be chosen to join the school, they will have to attend a training session the last weekend in April. Once the prospective players go through the two-day training session, the technical director and coaches will make the final selection on which kids get into the school. They expect to pick 200 to 300 students. The program will train at COTA and at the Round Rock Multipurpose Complex.
“One of our main goals is to give players around the world the opportunity to learn our methodology, our values, our techniques, but also to identify talented players that one day that can become professional players — that’s our main goal,” said Alex Isern, CEO of ISL Futbol.
For the Austin Sports Commission, having a renowned soccer school in Austin is a step in the right direction when it comes to growing the sport in Central Texas.
“They [FB Barcelona] see the passion, they see the opportunity with the youth in Austin and they see the demo in Austin aligns with soccer and we’re trying to build upon it,” explained Austin Sports Commission director Lance Aldridge.
Aldridge said Austin recently lost a great international soccer opportunity when scheduling conflicts forced a game between Manchester City and Manchester United to be canceled. The game was scheduled to be played at the Darrell K Royal stadium in August.
The Austin location will be one of 26 schools around the world. There are currently two FCBEscola locations in the U.S., one in Charlotte, North Carolina and one in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Barcelona is known for producing superstars, including Lionel Messi, who in 2002 enrolled in the organization’s world famous La Masia Academy.
FCBEscola is offering three training programs. The least costly option is $129 per month. That option gives the student one training session per week. The second option is $199 per month for two trainings per week and includes an individual evaluation. The most expensive option—and the one you have to try out for—is $229. The full program includes two training sessions per week and internal league games.
Full program try outs:
Who: Players born between 2001 – 2011
When: April 30, 2017
Time: 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Where: Round Rock Multipurpose Complex, 3300 E Palm Valley Blvd, Round Rock, TX 78665