FC Barcelona has announced the newest expansion of their United States-based academy program will be in Arizona. The partnership with Grande Sports World will create a residence academy in Casa Grande, Arizona on the grounds of the famed and historic Francisco Grande Hotel and Golf Resort.
Players between the ages of 12 and 19 will live, train, eat and study in a 58,000 square-foot complex, which touts eight professional-grade fields, professional-style locker rooms, and therapy space. Players will compete in the highest division of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy programs. Athletes will be trained by coaches who have been part of the FC Barcelona staff in recent seasons.
In a press release, FC Barcelona states that “[players] will have the opportunity to continue growing, both athletically as well as academically, and will give them a good chance … to choose between professional football or to attend college …”
Grande Sports World previously housed the academy for MLS team Real Salt Lake, which recently moved from Arizona to Herriman, Utah.
The Casa Grande Academy will join similar projects in Florida, Charlotte, Austin, Chicago, Virginia, San Diego, and New York.