Roma announce US soccer academy deal
AS Roma on Wednesday announced a partnership with seven American soccer teams with the aim of helping produce a steady stream of elite players with strong links to the Serie A club.
"We are very proud to launch our U.S. Academy program and to formalize our partnership with select top-flight U.S. clubs," said Roma's American president James Pallotta.
"Player development in the United States continues to be a top priority for us. We are confident this initiative will be great for the country and club and produce many star players of tomorrow."
A statement on the club's website, www.asroma.it, said the deal would help "develop elite players" through "ongoing coaching development and exchanges, tailored physical performance programs and team training and competition in both the United States and Italy".
All seven clubs -- Chargers (Florida), Pateadores (California), FC Greater Boston Bolts (Boston), Real Colorado (Denver), Vardar (Detroit), a New York/New Jersey club (TBA), Pacific Northwest club (TBA) -- are part of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
AS Roma CEO Italo Zanzi said: "Since day one we have been committed not only to identifying the best partner clubs but ensuring we have constant input from them to ensure the program is successful.
"We have a truly unique opportunity to bring together the best of youth football from Italy and U.S. and produce fantastic results."
Roma, who won their last scudetto title in 2001, sit second in Serie A seven points behind leaders and three-time consecutive champions Juventus.