skip navigation

Academy - (U7-U10)


The Academy Program is an alternative to recreational soccer. It is the second step in player development for the Sporting Arkansas Soccer Club. Players continue with the training found in the NSCAA, USSF, US Youth Soccer, and and ASSA player development models. Technique and skills with the ball is a main focus for soccer development between the ages of 7 and 10 years old. 1v1 and 2v1 attacking and defensive situations make up the majority of tactical concepts. Moving from individual player techniques to partner training such as passing occurs in this age range.

Scholarship/Financial Assistance

Sporting Arkansas has made a commitment to raise the standard of soccer in NW Arkansas. In keeping with that goal, we feel that all players with the appropriate skill and dedication to play should have the opportunity to play, regardless of financial means.  As a club, we do everything we can to assist and are thankful to the many donors who make that a possibility.

Financial assistance, in the form of player scholarships, are available to assist those players who are not able to afford the total costs associated with playing soccer and funds available to help families who need financial assistance. 

Please go to the Financial Assistance page of our website for more information.

Program Participation

The Academy Program conducts annual evaluations of existing members and new players. All players are invited to come out to these evaluations to become members of the Sporting Arkansas Soccer Club. 

If a player misses the traditional evaluation window in May, there is still a chance to participate based on membership numbers and other factors.

Academy Program membership is an annual commitment. Registration fees cover the cost of training, facility maintenance and repair, facility utilities, and administrative duties associated with program membership. 

Registration Fees: You can view information about registration fees HERE

Parents should note that additional fees will exist for uniform and training gear, tournament fees, and any required travel. Please contact the Sporting Arkansas office for additional information about becoming a part of the Academy Program.


Training sessions are Tuesday/Thursdays 5:30-6:45. Sessions will include individual body awareness activities and motor development as well as a main focus still on the individual player's skills. Partner activities are increased as well as the increased frequency and improvement of 1v1, 2v1, and 2v2 games. Sessions conclude with small-sided games.

Under 9 and 10 age group players will be introduced into small sided games with greater numbers sooner. Directional play will be more often and advanced attacking and defensive principles will be introduced to include defending numbers down, combination play, roles of the first and second attacker, and team shape.

The focus is on building and maintaining an increased love for the game. Emphasis is on soccer specific technical skills (dribbling with all surfaces of the foot, how to receive and control the ball) individual development, increased comfort on the ball, exposure to all positions and how to function in a team. Winning and team results are a low priority compared to individual development as a soccer player.


Academy players can expect one game per week and one tournament per season (hosted fall and spring tournaments).


Academy & Pre-Academy Director

Years coaching: 25+

Levels coached: college, club soccer, high school, ODP, recreation league coordinator,  YMCA league coordinator

Schools coached: Lyon College, Batesville High School, Springdale High School

Playing experience: Lyon College, Arkansas A's, Mobile Revelers (USL), Tulsa Roughnecks (USL)

Credentials: USSF National C License, Certified Parks and Recreation Professional (CPRP),  YMCA National Leadership Certification

Favorite team: USMNT

Coaching philosophy: Try stuff


You can read the coaching profile for each of the coaches on our staff website.



Academy Program Inquiry

Academy Program Inquiry

Sporting Arkansas Soccer Club


Chase Gipson (Academy Director, 2014G Barcelona and Valencia)

Quentin Berner (2014G Barcelona and Valencia)

Sean Michael Callahan (2014B Juventus)

Shane Hovorka (2014B Juventus)

Nestor Ortega (2014B Aston Villa)

Jason Charlesworth (2014B Dortmund)

Aongus Fadden (2014B Dortmund)

Richie Houlihan (2015G Sydney FC)

John Sullivan (2015G Sydney FC)

Chris Michael (2014/2015G AS Roma)

Miles Boyer (2015B AFC Richmond)

Mitchell Ross (2015B AFC Richmond)

Craig Findlay (2015B AFC Richmond)

Travis Myernick (2015B Newcastle)

Nick Cowan (2015B Tottenham)

Zachary Pearce (2015B Tottenham)

Xavier Serrano (2015B Leeds)

Natasha Brand (2015B Leeds)

Girish Ramchandran (2016B Crystal Palace)

Wesley Harris (2016B Fulham)

Fredy Diaz (2016B Huddersfield Town)

Matt McShane (2016B Luton Town)

Casey Rivard (2016G Lazio)

Jeff Powers (2016G Torino)