LDC United (U09-U18) Premier Soccer

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LDC United Player Development
Player Development  
The Foundation

“Why not here in Central Pennsylvania” is the mindset / foundation that we base our approach to developing our players for the next level of soccer and education. There are so many mediocre approaches to attempt to excel at something and the easy excuse is to say that other parts of the country have some built in advantage. We believe and have proven that if you put the time in and focus on the right things then we can be as competitive as anyone in the country and we instill that life lesson in our young players. The success of our players at the college level is proving that the foundation and development model are sound.


The coaching staff believes you become very good at something with significant repetitions and a well rounded training model. We provide our talented young players with high level training and competition that focuses on developing technical, tactical and versatile players. This is achieved by consistently focusing on:

• Technique, Technique, Technique.

• Developing players to be comfortable in a variety of positions and comfortable with the ball at their feet and proficient with BOTH feet.

• Ongoing tactical development.

• Consistently seeking to play the top teams in league and premier level tournament play.

• Radically improving each player’s fitness level and athletic ability.

• Education on importance of nutrition.

• Injury prevention through ongoing team strength and flexibility program.

• Learning to compete and push yourself to reach your goals...life lessons!


A player that completes the LDC United development program will have the following characteristics: Love to play + Technically proficient + Athletic + Brave + Mentally Strong + Tactically Sound + Position versatile. This is achieved with the following age specific skill requirements and developmental themes:


Major emphasis on:
• Technical work with focus on Coerver method
• Soft first touch
• Small Space Play
• Training methods that naturally introduce shape / player spacing
• Lots of fun

U12 / U13

Players that have progressed through the U12 / U13 LDC United program will possess the following skills:
• Love of the game!!
• We play as ONE…meaning your teammate may not be your best friend but she is your teammate and we care for each other and respect each other. The basis of team chemistry.
• Very exposed to play in small spaces and have a foundation of understanding / ability to build on
• Effective / Creative dribbling moves….with a focus on Coerver method
• One on One attacking and defending
• Deceptiveness with and without the ball
• Movement off the ball / support movement
• Shooting technique
• Heading technique
• Passing technique
• Trapping technique
• Mastery of juggling….minimum of 100 times
• Communication basics
• Focus in practice and display a hunger for continued improvement (show up early, maximum effort, respect your teammates, work hard on the field and in the classroom)
• Athletic foundation…sound running mechanics

Developmental Themes:
• Small space play – constantly denied time and space to play with the ball to speed the development of playing in pressure
• First touch focus
• Ball striking technique / power, shape, placement
• Improving running mechanics / athletic movements
• Play older opposition / play boys teams occasionally at this age level.
• Encouraging creative free play  
• Futsal play in winter months to further develop 1 v 1 attacking ability
• Playing capable players up in age


A finished product/player at the end of the U14 / U15 program will possess the following skills:
• Love of the game!!
• Has fully bought into what it means to be a teammate
• Technical emphasis continues…actually never stops!
• Comfortable solving pressure in small spaces on the dribble or passing / moving
• Spatial awareness  
• Confidence and competence in attacking 1v1
• Passing to the proper foot
• Properly weighted passes
• Disguising passing / reverse balls
• Two footed players
• 2nd and 3rd Defender
• Athletic foundation….further developed speed, agility, balance, core strength, flexibility
• Braveness in play / physical confrontation
• Communication growth

Developmental Themes:
• Switching the point of attack
• Possession games
• Functional training introduced
• Pattern Play with limited pressure
• Striking balls over distance / driven & shaped
• Creative free play is encouraged
• Futsal
• Athletic foundation….continued from younger phase with additional emphasis on explosive movements, change of direction, vertical jumps / landing technique, ACL prevention program
• Core strengthening / Flexibility program
• Playing capable players up in age


A finished product/player at the end of the U16 / U17 program will possess the following skills:
• Love of the game!!
• Zonal Defending
• High level fitness…introduction to typical college fitness standards…120’s, Shuttles, Man U, SEBCOE, Fartlek etc
• Tactical knowledge of the game
• Touch restrictions more prevalent
• Runs/movement off the ball
• Mastery of possession games
• Striking balls accurately over distance / driven & shaped
• Tactical communication
• Soccer IQ – demonstrates a clear ability to make sound decisions with and without the ball in the attack and defending
• Individual responsibility, learning to take ownership of soccer career and minimizing parent involvement (responsible for e‐mails, college profile, etc…)
• WATCH GAMES!!!!...College, National Team, Professional Level

Developmental themes:
• Position specific functional training
• Conditioned games
• Pattern Play with game pressure
• Set Piece Creativity
• Playing capable players up in age


A finished product/player at the end of the U18G program will possess the following skills:
• Love of the game!!
• Professional approach to training
• Importance of weight training/Strength & Conditioning
• Importance of Physical Fitness…ability to successfully pass typical college fitness standard tests…120’s, Shuttles, Man U, SEBCOE, Fartlek etc
• Knowledge of multiple formations
• Roles of Different positions in various formations
• Understanding of the collegiate level
• Time Management Skills/Multi‐Tasking
• Film session intelligence
• Mastery of one touch passing drills
• Ready to contribute at the collegiate level
• WATCH GAMES!!!....College, National Team, Professional Level

Developmental themes:
• Heavy focus on getting the players ready for the fitness demands of the next level. Always easier to start off your first college camp excelling in the fitness standards.
• Executing many of the developmental themes that have been built over the years but with even more focus, concentration and quality.


• Returning college players participate in our U20 Super Y team through our alliance with City Islanders Academy
• Summer Training “Boot Camps” keep our college players fit and technically sharp

Message from Elite Player Development Director

“Our Elite Player Development Model provides an environment for the advanced player to play with and against players of similar ability and has a foundation of enjoyment which is vital in progressing players. Our well rounded player development formula addresses the technical, tactical aspects of play as well as the physical and mental demands of play. Players that come through our program are not only better soccer players but their athleticism is improved and their mental approach is sound due in large part to being exposed to many experiences that prepare them for the college level, youth national teams, professional soccer. We believe in striving for excellence and the important life lessons that it teaches our young players.”

Michael McHugh – Elite Player Development Director  

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