In a quest to expand its outreach into the United States, Bayern Munich has established an extensive partnership with Global Premier Soccer, a United States soccer academy network located in 11 states. The initiative will bring Bayern coaching and curriculum to 55,000 children and 5000 coaches into over 75 soccer clubs in the United States.
According to the announcement both organizations released Wednesday, Bayern Munich Youth Academy coaches and instructors "will be in the U.S. on a regular basis to facilitate a real know-how transfer to GPS coaches." Other parts of the affiliation include GPS's ability to access Bayern's curriculum and "player identification programs" where prospects will be able to train in Germany.
"We are excited to partner with GPS, a leader in the youth soccer space, on this first of many initiatives we will be undertaking to foster a deeper connection with our millions of fans living in the States, and all soccer fans in the US," Rudolf Vidal, Managing Director of FC Bayern Munich US, commented in the announcement.
GPS, established in 2001, is largely an east-coast located academy program who has clubs throughout the Northeast. Their Maine affiliate has a semi-professional club in the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League – widely considered the fourth tier of American soccer – called GPS Portland Phoenix. They have produced five players that have participated in men's US Soccer academy teams and three in the women's.
The partnership comes seven months after Bayern opened their New York City office, and is in the wake of Manchester City's investment in NYC FC. Six players in the World Cup (five on champion Germany) and the two-time Austrian player of the year came through the academy system, which makes this a major move in Bayern's quest to engrain itself into the US Soccer landscape.
"The fact that 5 players in the starting 11 for Germany at the World Cup came through the Bayern Academy speaks for itself," Joseph Bradley, the CEO of GPS Massachusetts, said in the announcement. "It is important to note that FC Bayern also has a professional women’s team and we look forward to the impact of this partnership on both our male and female players."
While the agreement will not instantly manufacture Julian Greens, there is a potential for American players to become a significant part of Bayern's developmental future.