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Rochester Rhinos and Empire United Soccer Academy Announce Formation of Strategic Alliance

By STAFF, 08/26/20, 12:00PM EDT

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Rhinos make opening step for return of the professional team by partnering with one of the leading youth academies in the United States

The Rochester Rhinos and Empire United Soccer Academy are announcing the development of a strategic alliance that will see the two organizations work in tandem for the betterment of soccer in Upstate New York.

Rochester, NY - The Rochester Rhinos and Empire United Soccer Academy are announcing the development of a strategic alliance that will see the two organizations work in tandem for the betterment of soccer in Upstate New York.

“Empire United is thrilled to have this opportunity to partner with the Rhinos, and to work together to build a strong foundation of support within the Rochester and Upstate New York soccer communities. From the beginning of our discussions, it was clear that we shared the same forward-thinking mindset, with the goal of providing the very best opportunities, pathways, and experiences for all involved in the youth soccer space. In creating this strategic alliance, we are confident in our shared vision and that we can achieve our goals, while fostering an environment of excellence, inclusion, and equity not seen before in our local youth soccer market”, said Jeff Oliver, Empire United Director of Coaching.

The strategic alliance will provide a path from Empire United’s Major League Soccer Elite Youth Development Platform to the Rhinos USL First Team beginning with the 2021-22 youth soccer season next July, allowing for a natural progression in the development of local soccer players.

“In preparation for the return of the professional team, we felt it was important to reinforce our development pyramid on the technical side with local players and coaches.” Rhinos President Pat Ercoli said. “Our strategic alliance is a natural one as Empire is one of 94 founding clubs to be recognized nationally as a member of the MLS academy league, and the Rhinos will fit perfectly at the top of their player development pyramid.”

Empire United Soccer Academy was established in 1966, and is one of 94 founding member clubs in the inaugural MLS Elite Youth Platform. Empire United has produced eight full time professional players, and has placed 19 youth players into MLS Youth Academies since 2016. Six of their players have been selected to United States Youth National Teams while over 50 players have made appearances at the US Soccer Youth National Team Training Centers. Collegiately, over 70% of Academy alumni go on to play in Division I programs. Empire United Soccer Academy has placed over 1,000 boys and girls into Collegiate programs over the past 20 years.

In addition to working in cooperation on professional player development, Empire United Soccer Academy will eventually be hosting the Rhinos First Team at their state of the art John Street facility in Henrietta, New York. The facility includes:

    • A 120-yard x 75-yard lighted turf field

    • An indoor field house including a 100-yard by 50-yard indoor field

    • A strength and conditioning gymnasium

    • Locker rooms with showers

    • Team meeting facilities

 

 

For more information on the current logistics of the Rochester Rhinos Strategic Alliance with Empire United Soccer Academy, please reference the FAQ document posted below.

 

After referencing the Frequently Asked Questions document, please contact Greg Stanton at gstanton@rhinossoccer.com or Pat Ercoli at percoli@rhinossoccer.com with any further inquiries that you might have.

For more information on Empire United Soccer Academy, please contact Director of Coaching Jeff Oliver at joliver@empireunited.soccer

 

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