TULSA, Okla. –Tulsa Athletic are pleased to announce a new avenue of development for Tulsa area soccer players. In the fall of 2019, Tulsa Athletic will launch a full youth academy with the goal of providing the most effective pathway for Tulsa's top soccer players.
Former professional and Tulsa Athletic all-time leading scorer Levi Coleman will head up the academy as its director of coaching. Coleman, a Tulsa native, played professional soccer with the Charleston Battery for two seasons plus has six years of experience as a player and assistant coach with Tulsa Athletic. Coleman also brings years of experience as a youth club coach in the Tulsa area.
"We're thrilled to team up with Levi and bring a top coach in to head up this ambitious endeavor," Tulsa Athletic co-owner Sonny Dalesandro said.
In addition to the new academy, Tulsa Athletic is joining the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) with a U20 (under 20) club as a further mechanism of development. The UPSL was founded in 2011 and currently totals more than 300 teams nationally, including local teams in Oklahoma City and Bartlesville. The league plays in the fall and spring.
"The U20 team is a vital piece of this pathway,” Coleman said. “It will allow top players within our academy to play in a league against top level adults. Too often players ages 15 to 18 reach a point of complacency due to the fact they compete almost primarily within their own age group. That is a poor age in the players developmental cycle to halt progress. This U20 side will provide a new way to continually challenge our top young players without jeopardizing their college eligibility."
Both Tulsa Athletic Academy and Tulsa Athletic U20s start this fall and will call Union Soccer Complex its home base.
Tulsa Athletic kickoff their seventh season on May 5 at Veterans Park. The 2019 home schedule includes five home contests with the season running from early May to July.