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New Partnership: SDA x WNY Flash

Syracuse Development Academy and The Western New York Flash Academy are excited to announce a long-term strategic partnership. The two organizations will forge together to bring a player development pathway not seen throughout Upstate New York until now.

WNY Flash and SDA partnership brings together two player development programs as well as strategic and long-term plans. The partnership sets the stage of opportunity for players across the State.

“We are excited to bring the WNY Flash and SDA together in an unprecedented partnership that will provide club infrastructure and player pathway opportunities in the Central NY area. We have invested strongly in the infrastructure in Western NY and it has always been our goal to provide opportunities to players and staff across upstate NY.”

Aaran Lines, WNY Flash Vice President

“Our partnership with SDA fulfills the bigger picture vision to unite our community and provide opportunities at all levels within the relationship. The sky is truly the limit with this partnership,” he adds.

The WNY Flash Academy is a fully-fledged Youth Soccer Academy for players 5-18 years of age, at every competition level to meet the needs of all skill levels. The Club opened its doors in 2012, on the heels of the WNY Flash Women’s Professional team’s Championship season in the WPS, coached by Lines. Ten years of experience and growth brings the Flash to 70 teams for the 2021 - 2022 Season. The club’s home is just southeast of Buffalo NY at Sahlen Sports Park (SSP), now sporting their newly built Flash Fields, two (2) state-of-the-art full-size outdoor turf fields and facilities.

Programming at Local, Regional and National levels makes the Flash the Club for every level of soccer player development. The Elite Clubs National League (ECNL), unmistakably the best youth soccer league in the country, accepted the WNY Flash Academy to their top youth soccer league in 2016. With three (3) ECNL Conference Championships and three (3) Elite 8 Quarter Final appearances in these early years, growth into the Syracuse market will only enhance our Club’s ability to achieve and maintain success on the National stage. Player development success can be measured by the number of players placed into collegiate programs. One hundred sixty-five (165) players have been placed by the Flash into colleges across our country, where they complete their higher education playing the game they love.

“Our goal has and always will be to bring this vast community of Upstate New York together to benefit players by creating more opportunities at every level of soccer. Partnering with an established and accomplished club like SDA further cements this goal and continues to pave the way for players.”

Eric Dade, WNY Flash Executive Director

SDA's Mission is to provide the highest quality soccer program for youth players in Central New York, creating an environment that cultivates success in all aspects of the world's greatest game. We aim to grow that environment by giving our players the time to grow mentally and physically in a competitive but appropriate environment. SDA prides themselves on focusing on Player Development and College Placement. For more than 15 years SDA has helped develop hundreds of girls and boys and enhanced their playing experience.

"It is our leadership's job to continuously evolve to meet the demands of the modern game; to provide our players and the coaches a platform where all can grow, be successful, and continue playing at the highest levels. Working towards attaining an ECNL Regional League status will be beneficial for all of our players, no matter what level they are at in their development within SDA. Having a working relationship with the WNY Flash allows us to finally offer our boys and girls programs a platform consistent with the top clubs in the country. The WNY Flash has the same vision as we have for our players and we are excited to be working with them,”

Mike Paolini, SDA Director of Coaching

ECNL opens the door for all different levels of competition. SDA is committed to providing a platform for all levels of play. The ECNL-RL opens the door for other player pools to participate in leagues that may have not previously been offered.

"At SDA we are always striving to give our players, coaches and families increased opportunities and platforms to compete and be recognized at the highest levels. This partnership will allow players from Upstate NY to compete in the ECNL and create additional opportunities for all of our teams. I am excited to be partnering with a top class organization in the Western NY Flash and look forward to the opportunities and pathways that we can create together for the players of Upstate NY. "

Tommy Tanner, SDA President

The partnership between the two clubs will begin immediately upon announcement.

Learn more about the ECNL here

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