Soccer Academy Alliance Canada or “SAAC” was established in 2005, with a vision to develop world-class soccer players in Canada on a continual and systematic basis by providing their member private academies with the best-in-class training, facilities and competition.
Membership has grown from 25 teams and just under 400 players to over 100 teams and 1,500 players in 2019. In the past twelve years, Academy graduates have gone on to professional careers, trials overseas, NCAA scholarships and Canadian Universities. SAAC has had some of the most experienced and educated coaches in the country, with at one time, over 65 professionally licensed coaches employed by its membership.
SAAC was founded by four Academies (ANB, Bryst, Power and Sigma) that shared an ideology based on principles of Long Term Player Development (LTPD) wrapped within a concept of organizational and competition standards. It is these very developmental concepts and innovation that led to and influenced Ontario Soccer’s Technical Advisory Committee and paved the way for the formation of Ontario Soccer’s two standards-based high performance programs; the Ontario Player Development League and League1 Ontario.
However, SAAC had become more than just innovators in the development of the player, they also became advocates for providing the soccer system a different delivery option at a time when Academy delivery of programming was not clearly understood by mainstream soccer.
It is through that advocacy that in 2018 SAAC and its full membership joined the Ontario Registered Academy pilot project to work with Ontario Soccer in realizing a shared vision of traditional Clubs and private Academies integrating within one system supporting Ontario Soccer’s Talented Player Pathway.
Today, SAAC is no longer an entity onto itself; the academies are now registrants within Districts and working with Ontario Soccer and the District Presidents’ Forum on the player development and competition integrated pathway.
SAAC has very much become a part of the rich history since Ontario Soccer was founded in 1901.
This evening, through Ontario Soccer’s President Award, we recognize and celebrate this organization and its leaders for their special contributions to our game in Ontario and in Canada.