NEW YORK and VENICE, Italy -- April 20, 2017 – Metropolitan Oval, the elite youth academy and U.S. Soccer Development Academy member based in Queens, New York, and Venezia FC, the historic professional club of Venice, Italy, today announced an affiliation that will create unique training and development opportunities in both New York and Venice, beginning with Met Oval/Venezia FC joint camps to be held in New York this summer.
In July-August 2017, Venezia FC coaches will join Met Oval coaches in New York to hold two one-week camps, with the top players born in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003 to earn opportunities to train with Venezia FC in Venice. The first camp will be held July 24-28 at Cedar Creek Park on Long Island and the second camp will be held July 31-August 4 at Met Oval in Queens.
Beyond joint camps, Venezia FC also plans to provide regular training and tryout opportunities for top Met Oval players, and coaches of both Venezia FC and Met Oval will aim to share best training practices.
In January 2017, Met Oval director of coaching Filippo Giovagnoli visited Centro Sportivo Taliercio, the training ground for Venezia FC's first team and all youth academy teams.
"It was clear that Venezia FC is focused on the technical and tactical development of young players and have built a pathway to becoming a professional that will benefit Met Oval players," said Giovagnoli. "The synergies between Met Oval's Youth Center of Excellence and Venezia FC's system will facilitate high level player development."
Venezia FC’s role in the affiliation with Met Oval will be managed by Paolo Poggi, director of international projects, and Ted Philipakos, CEO. In February 2017, Poggi and Philipakos visited Met Oval’s facility. Poggi is a former star player for Venezia FC and several other top Italian clubs, including Udinese, Torino, and Roma. Philipakos is a former player representative and a former sports marketing professor at New York University.
“When Filippo Giovagnoli visited us, we discovered that there was a good foundation for a collaboration between Met Oval and Venezia FC, because our fundamental approaches to training and development had important similarities,” said Poggi. “I’m excited to begin and to see growth in the players and the coaches.”
“As a native New Yorker, I’m very familiar with Met Oval’s tradition of player development, and I’m very pleased that this collaboration can further advance that tradition and create exciting opportunities for young players in the area,” said Philipakos.
The Metropolitan Oval is a U.S. Soccer Development Academy dedicated to developing New York's elite level soccer talent at its Youth Center of Excellence while offering youth of all backgrounds the opportunity to play soccer in a committed environment. The Met Oval’s 'Professional Pathway' places players in youth national team programs, MLS and international academies, and collegiate programs. The Met Oval's soccer facility was originally built in 1925 by immigrants from Germany and Hungary, and remains the most historic soccer facility in the United States. The Met Oval is a non-profit organization and the only New York City soccer club that owns its own field and related facilities.
Venezia FC is celebrating the 110th anniversary of the club's original founding in 1907. Venezia FC will compete in Italy's Serie B in the 2017/18 season, after achieving its second consecutive promotion since coming under American ownership led by Joe Tacopina.