The Chattanooga FC Academy youth soccer program is now looking to identify talent as young as five-years-old.

CFCA is announcing the Chattanooga Identification and Development Program (CIDP) for the fall. Previously, CFCA only trained players as young as 8-years-old. They were considered u9 players through Tennessee State Soccer Association registrations.

Former Lee University head women's soccer coach Matt Yelton, who won multiple national championships at the college level, is the CFCA director and will oversee the new CIDP.

"Our goal is to identify players at a young age and start to focus on a strong level of technical development that will model many of the top programs across the world," Yelton said.

"The players in this program will follow many of the same philosophies that have proven successful for countries such as Germany and Holland and clubs such as Barcelona and Southampton." 

Players born between August 1, 2009 and July 31, 2010 will train as a u6 player; players born August 1, 2008-July 31, 2009 will train as a u7; players born August 1, 2007-July 31, 2008 are at the u8 level.  

READ MORE | Chattanooga Identification & Development Program

The training program is designed to be more organized and structured than existing recreational programs in Chattanooga. The players will train at two locations (North & South) under the guidance of professional coaching. Coaches follow detailed lesson plans designed to systematically develop each player.  

Travis Markum and Johnny Lowery will oversee training. Both are licensed coaches with histories of developing players across many ages.  

Because of the higher level of training than a rec program, the CIDP can only accepted a limited number of players per age group. Players will be assessed for inclusion in the inaugural year at the following times: 

  • U8 Level: Tuesday, June 9 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at Redoubt Soccer Complex and Thursday, June 11 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at North River Soccer Complex.
  • U6 and U7 Level: Last week of July with a makeup date in the first week of August if necessary.
Training begins in August. You can click here to register

Chattanooga FC began in 2009 with a men's soccer team. The organization added a youth academy in 2012 for u9-u18 teams that compete across the eastern U.S. In 2014, CFC added a women's team.  

CFC is the current U.S. national amateur champion and was a finalist for the NPSL national championship last year.