It is with great excitement that I wish to announce that Everton FL has formed a partnership with VisionPro Sports Institute (VSI), a globally known provider of elite development coaching for youth players. Beginning with the 2012/13 season, our neighborhood club will play under the VSI Pinellas Flames brand, replacing the previous Everton name. As part of VSI Flames – which is already establishing a strong youth presence in Florida through it’s recent partnership with VSI West Florida Flames (formerly Brandon Youth Soccer & West Florida Premier with a combined membership of nearly 5,000) we will be able to offer more opportunities for players interested in advancing to a higher level of play. Yet we keep our traditions and personnel going forward.
VSI has also secured four USL soccer franchises being USL PDL, USL W-League and Super 20 plus USL PRO which is being launched in 2013. These franchise teams will play under the VSI Tampa name.
As part of the transition, our competitive players will continue to wear blue for the next two years but the uniforms will carry the VSI logo. After that, we will change to VSI’s teal and navy livery.
What is VSI?
VSI is a specialist soccer business that operates elite development academies and has its European headquarters based in Rio Maior, Portugal. The business has in-depth industry knowledge at every level, complimented by a number of both current and ex English Premiership players and managers who are investors in the business. Their close links to the English Premier League and its players give us a perfect opportunity to mentor our players and coaches. http://www.vsi-global.com
VSI has been planning to develop its operating model in the US for over two years and in late 2011secured its USL soccer franchises. Aside from the development of its youth program and USL franchises, which provide an integrated “youth to pro” structure, VSI is currently exploring options for developing a purpose built soccer stadium in the greater Tampa Bay area along with a separate 20+ field training complex. To find out more about VSI in the US visit http://www.vsi-flames.com/
United Soccer Leagues
The USL banner covers all levels of the game from Super Y, Super 20, W-League, PDL and MISL to the top of the tree with USL Pro in which VSI Tampa Flames will compete in 2013. See http://www.uslsoccer.com/
VSI works to develop promising young athletes and offers them the chance to work their way through the levels of play within VSI teams, possibly all the way to pro. This type of integrated training for youths is common in Europe and has been very successful, but it has been missing in the USA. Parents should note that VSI does not overlook female players, as it is associated with the ECNL Premier Girls League which is the top level of girls soccer in the USA, along with the W League, which is the Women’s Pro League. Read more at http://www.eliteclubsnationalleague.com/ and http://wleague.uslsoccer.com/.
Other Benefits of VSI
· It is financially sound and looking to invest in youth soccer.
· It offers soccer at the next level and progression for elite players.
· It opens new doors and opportunities for our club and players.
· It will further the creation of elite teams among member clubs.
· It sets our club apart from others in Pinellas County.
· It gives us support from other member clubs and VSI.
· We will receive visits from Premiership players and coaches.
· Our members can follow men and women’s VSI teams and its Pro side.
As our Everton contract is expiring and Everton is withdrawing from the USA, the timing for us to move into this new and exciting concept could not be better. We as clubs are being encouraged by the governing bodies to consolidate our forces and join with other clubs. The talent pool is spread far too thin among many fragmented entities. Consolidation will attract stronger prospects and help clubs retain players.
Our VSI affiliation will give us a unique foothold in the youth soccer scene and offer additional opportunities to our players who have the desire to play at the next level.
I will be sharing more information as we move forward in this exciting time and I trust that you are as excited as we are.