Friday March 4th, 2016

In order to help determine the order of the MLS Ambition Rankings, we asked teams across MLS to provide information regarding various aspects of their club, providing the same questions to each franchise. With everything from investment in Homegrown Players and academies to training facilities, TV and sponsorship deals and well beyond, the insight helped provide a wider scope of just how each club operates. 

Of course, some organizations were more forthcoming than others, and not one was under any binding obligation to release any information at all. A lack of transparency could just reflect a matter of preference and procedure and doesn't necessarily mean a lack of belief in how they are operating or a lack of pride in what has been accomplished. Nor are the questions posed the only way to calculate a club's operation, yet they do provide extra perspective in addition to the readily accessible salary numbers released by the MLS Players Union.

All that said, take a trip behind the MLS Ambition Rankings and get the inside info on all 20 of the league's teams–and even some on 2017 expansion club Atlanta United FC.

How much money has your team spent in the past five years on youth development? How much in the past year?

Past five years: Over $12 million. Past year: $4 million.

The LA Galaxy invested heavily into youth development through the LA Galaxy Academy Blended Learning Program, which provides a full high-school education at StubHub Center for student-athletes immersed in the same professional environment as LA Galaxy and LA Galaxy II. It is the only program in the United States that allows Academy players to train and develop using the same facilities, schedule, and resources as LA Galaxy II and LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy was the only MLS club to earn a full 4.0 rating by U.S. Soccer in 2014 for youth development

Three players from LA Galaxy II signed LA Galaxy first team contracts this year: Clement Diop, Daniel Steres and David Romney. LA Galaxy II signed 15-year-old Eric Lopez in 2014, the youngest-ever player to sign a contract in USL

How many homegrown players have you signed? How many have played in MLS league games for your first team?

15 Homegrown Players signed across first team and LA Galaxy II. Six Homegrown Players have earned first-team minutes: Gyasi Zardes, Jose Villarreal, Jack McBean, Raul Mendiola, Oscar Sorto, Bradford Jamieson IV. Zardes set the MLS Homegrown Player record for goals in a single season with 16. McBean is the LA Galaxy's youngest player to ever start, score a goal and play a full 90 minutes in an MLS match.

Who pays to play on your youth teams? And how much do they pay?

No fees to play for youth teams.

How many season-ticket holders do you have? How many did you have in 2015?

Our season tickets are up 33% year-over-year.

Where does your first team train? Did you build the training facility yourself? If so, how much did it cost?

At StubHub Center in adjacent fields, using stadium facilities for workout room, weight room, spa room, equipment room, and player lounge area.

LA Galaxy invested over $15 million into dedicated facility upgrades to improve team training areas in the past two seasons.

Do you have a model for integrating your academy with the first team? How closely do your academy teams resemble the way the first team trains and plays?

The Galaxy are the only team in Major League Soccer to have all teams–LA Galaxy Academy, LA Galaxy II, LA Galaxy–train using the same facilities and schedule. The LA Galaxy have closely mirrored operations from the first team through the Academy to operate with the same philosophy, style of play, facilities and resources.

What’s your philosophy on the use of technology in your training and preparation for matches?

The LA Galaxy heavily use technology to monitor player fitness each week and determine specific routines to increase fitness for match-specific situations. Additionally, the LA Galaxy utilize technology to monitor player movement and involvement during matches to best form strategy for team personal and tactical decisions each game

Who is your jersey sponsor? What’s your total income on sponsorships this season?

Herbalife Nutrition. 2016: $22 million sponsorship, an LA Galaxy club record (includes stadium revenue). The LA Galaxy lead the league in club and stadium sponsorship revenue.

Local TV deal: How many of your games this season are shown on local television? How much is your local TV deal worth per season?

17 games are on local TV netting $5.5 million total revenue, the highest in MLS.

Local radio deal: How many of your games this season are broadcast on local radio? In English? In other languages?

All games are streamed in English on LAGalaxy.com, and ESPN Deportes Spanish-language broadcast is available for each match

How many front-office employees does your team have? How many have you added or subtracted in the past year?

Approximately 75 business operations employees, with five new positions added since 2015.

Front office tied MLS-high for front-office awards, winning: Marisa Colaiano Community Relations Department of the Year presented by MLS WORKS; LA Galaxy Foundation raised 650k last year, a third of the total revenue from all MLS clubs; Club Retailer of the Year; Marketing Team of the Year; Lead MLS in all digital and social metrics.

Have you hired any additional technical staff over the past year to reduce doubling-up roles? Are you planning on expanding your technical staff in the near future?

Former Galaxy captain Peter Vagenas was named LA Galaxy Vice President of Soccer Operations, promoted from Director of the LA Galaxy Academy, to work in an expanded role to oversee soccer operations of the LA Galaxy Academy, LA Galaxy II and LA Galaxy first team in conjunction with Head Coach and General Manager Bruce Arena

The Galaxy always look to expand and increase roles in technical staff to better equip team functions on and off the field.

• How much money has your team spent in the past five years on youth development? How much in the past year?  

Close to $6 million investment to youth development and TFC Academy, not including Kia Training Ground Facilities.

• How many homegrown players have you signed? How many have played in MLS league games for your first team?

TFC has signed 11 Academy players, TFC II has signed nine Academy players–combined 20 players have signed pro contracts from our academy. Homegrown Players have made a combined 263 appearances for Toronto FC in MLS.

• Who pays to play on your youth teams? And how much do they pay?

None of the players on our Academy teams pay anything to play for Toronto FC. Training, coaches, education, travel, uniforms, international competition, competition fees are all covered by the club.

• How many season-ticket holders do you have? How many did you have in 2015?

17,600 for 2016 and same for 2015. 

• Where does your first team train? Did you build the training facility yourself? If so, how much did it cost?

Kia Training Ground & Academy, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (ownership), cost $17.3 million. 

Do you have a model for integrating your academy with the first team? How closely do your academy teams resemble the way the first team trains and plays? 

Yes we have an integrated model. We employ a similar formation and we use the same principles of play designed specifically for TFC. Our development model is assisted by the fact that our head coach was our former Academy Director and our current Academy Director was an instructor in the EFCL French course for all MLS Academy Directors. We have a player progression process that moves players up and down between our TFC Academy Pod 1, TFC PDL, TFC II teams and the first team.

What’s your philosophy on the use of technology in your training and preparation for matches?

We use a variety of IT resources for training and game prep. From employing a video analyst to gps/catapult and opta, it's used on a daily basis.

• Who is your jersey sponsor? What’s your total income on sponsorships this season?

 BMO is the jersey sponsor; sponsorship revenue undisclosed. 

Local TV deal: How many of your games this season are shown on local television? How much is your local TV deal worth per season?

13 matches on national television, 21 matches on local television. 

Local radio deal: How many of your games this season are broadcast on local radio? In English? In other languages?

All matches are scheduled for English radio. 

• How many front-office employees does your team have? How many have you added or subtracted in the past year?  

50 for Toronto FC, 40-50 with parent company. 

Have you hired any additional technical staff over the past year to reduce doubling-up roles? Are you planning on expanding your technical staff in the near future?

We hired a video analyst and a strength and conditioning coach for the first team and an assistant coach and goalkeeping coach for TFC II

• How much money has your team spent in the past five years on youth development? How much in the past year?

Undisclosed.

How many homegrown players have you signed? How many have played in MLS league games for your first team?

Seven Homegrowns in club history, including Jordan Morris over this past offseason. While Morris hasn’t yet played in MLS, he started the club’s first two CCL matches. Jordan Schweitzer was just signed to S2, but everyone else has played in MLS (DeAndre Yedlin, Aaron Kovar, Darwin Jones, Vic Mansaray, Sean Okoli).

Who pays to play on your youth teams? And how much do they pay?

Sounders FC bears the cost.

• How many season-ticket holders do you have? How many did you have in 2015?

We won’t be disclosing an exact number at this time, but the amount of FSEs has grown since the last ambition rankings (2014). Sounders FC owns the top seven single-season attendance totals in MLS history, and last year saw a record 44,247 fans per match attend games at CenturyLink Field. The club’s active sellout streak stands at 127 matches across all competitions–also an MLS record.

• Where does your first team train? Did you build the training facility yourself? If so, how much did it cost?

Starfire Sports in Tukwila, Washington. The facility pre-dates Sounders FC’s MLS launch, and the club has trained there since joining the league.

• Do you have a model for integrating your academy with the first team? How closely do your academy teams resemble the way the first team trains and plays?

There is vertical integration across the club. The scope of this focus ranges from the Academy ranks to S2 and the First Team.

What’s your philosophy on the use of technology in your training and preparation for matches?

Sounders FC is a leader in this space, with one of the best minds in sports science heading that department for the club (Sounders FC Director of Performance and Sports Science Dave Tenney). Additionally, the club hosts an annual sports science seminar, led by Dave and featuring club representatives from around the globe.  

• Who is your jersey sponsor? What’s your total income on sponsorships this season?

XBOX has been the club’s primary shirt sponsor since Sounders FC’s MLS inception. We won’t be disclosing a specific value.

• Local TV deal: How many of your games this season are shown on local television? How much is your local TV deal worth per season?  

We won’t be disclosing a numerical amount here either, but the club’s broadcast package is robust. For any non-nationally televised games, Sounders FC is available throughout the region on free-to-air television via its partnership with Q13 FOX (and its affiliate JOEtv). Additionally, ROOT SPORTS is the out-of-market home of Sounders FC, delivering the club’s broadcasts to central and eastern Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. Additionally, a minimum of 10 matches air in Spanish on Univision-Seattle. All of the agreements with Q13 FOX, ROOT SPORTS and Univision-Seattle include various forms of shoulder programming.

Ratings note: Over the past two seasons, Sounders FC has set regional television ratings records in MLS, with a 32% increase in year-over-year viewership between 2013 and 2014, and an 11% uptick from 2014 to 2015.

Local radio deal: How many of your games this season are broadcast on local radio? In English? In other languages?

All of the club’s games are on local radio, both in English (KIRO Radio 97.3 FM) and in Spanish (El Rey 1360 AM)

• How many front-office employees does your team have? How many have you added or subtracted in the past year?

Between the club’s Pioneer Square front office and its Starfire Sports technical staff, Sounders FC has a little over 100 full-time employees. Since moving business operations across Lake Washington from the Seahawks in April of 2014, the club has roughly doubled its headcount.

Have you hired any additional technical staff over the past year to reduce doubling-up roles? Are you planning on expanding your technical staff in the near future?

Yes, per the above point. Areas of emphasis include sports science and adding a coaching staff for last year’s launch of S2 in USL.

How much money has your team spent in the past five years on youth development? How much in the past year?

With facilities, scouting, coaches and all of the logistics, we have spent around $1 million a year on youth development each of the past five years. With the addition of our new USL team, Swope Park Rangers, this year it will be around $2 million.

How many homegrown players have you signed? How many have played in MLS league games for your first team?

We have signed six homegrown players: Jon Kempin, Kevin Ellis, Erik Palmer-Brown, Christian Duke, Kyle Miller and Daniel Salloi. The first three all have played and contributed in first team games.

Who pays to play on your youth teams? And how much do they pay?

There is no cost for our academy players, except a small fee for club membership (which is to pay for SKC tickets). Parents of the U-12’s and U-13’s pay for travel to out of state tournaments.

How many season-ticket holders do you have? How many did you have in 2015?

We continue to cap our season ticket base at 14,000 (fourth consecutive year) with a growing waiting list. We also have a 94.5% season ticket renewal percentage over the past three years. We have sold out our last 70 matches and will be sold out for every MLS game in 2016 as well.

Where does your first team train? Did you build the training facility yourself? If so, how much did it cost?

The team trains at the state-of-the art Sporting Kansas City Training Center at Swope Soccer Village, which houses nine fields (four strictly for Sporting Club) and an expanded office/workout complex. We did build this and have done three separate additions, with a total cost at $22 million.

Do you have a model for integrating your academy with the first team? How closely do your academy teams resemble the way the first team trains and plays?

Of course, they play the same formations, have a crossover of coaches, share the same training complex, etc. Peter Vermes also frequently attends academy training sessions. The model is that everyone who comes into the club has their own, personal jersey number (no duplicates) so it feels like one cohesive unit. At various times academy players are called in to train with the first team and we have brought 2-3 players down to preseason three years in a row.

 • What’s your philosophy on the use of technology in your training and preparation for matches?

We are a tech company, so this is in our DNA and we absolutely use it. It is very important to monitor our players, from fatigue to over-training. We also want to make sure that training sessions meet the demand of our model of play. We have a full-time sports scientist and sports performance associate on staff who also travel with the team.

Who is your jersey sponsor? What’s your total income on sponsorships this season?

Ivy Funds, through 2022.

The sponsorship agreement between Ivy Funds and Sporting Kansas City is a multi-faceted and fully integrated partnership. In addition to serving as the jersey sponsor for Sporting Kansas City and its four youth Academy teams, as well as the Swope Park Rangers, Ivy Funds will continue as the naming rights partner for the Ivy Funds Executive Level at Sporting Park.

Local TV deal: How many of your games this season are shown on local television? How much is your local TV deal worth per season?

We will air 21 games on local television; KMCI (sister station of KSHB-TV, Kansas City’s NBC affiliate). We have 16 games on national television this season.

Local radio deal: How many of your games this season are broadcast on local radio? In English? In other languages?

All 34 regular season games plus any Open Cup games will be broadcast on local radio in English and Spanish. Sports Radio 810 WHB will also continue as the official radio partner of Sporting Kansas City through the 2016 season. The station–with a listening audience that includes the states of Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and Oklahoma–has carried Sporting Kansas City matches each of the last five seasons.

Since its formation in 1999, Sports Radio 810 WHB has grown to become one of the largest and most listened to sports radio stations in the country. The station first hosted the Kansas City Soccer Show in 2010 and now airs a weekly Sporting KC Show in addition to The Final Whistle postgame show.

All 2016 MLS matches will be broadcast on La Gran D 1340 AM. Owned by the Reyes Media Group, La Gran D 1340 AM has served as the exclusive Spanish radio home of Sporting Kansas City for the past eight seasons.

How many front-office employees does your team have? How many have you added or subtracted in the past year?

92 associates in our office (seven more than 2015)  

Have you hired any additional technical staff over the past year to reduce doubling-up roles? Are you planning on expanding your technical staff in the near future?

We have hired 11 people on the technical staff over the past year (five of whom are with the USL side, but also work with the other teams); this does not include academy staff. We do not plan on adding any more in the near future. We have contracted domestic scouts as well, which do not count to our technical side.

• How much money has your team spent in the past five years on youth development? How much in the past year? 

The club has made a significant and annually increasing investment in youth development since joining MLS in 2011. Youth development is a focal point for the club, and it will continue to increase this investment each year with the goal of consistently producing players that contribute to the first team each year from 2020 on. Additional investments include a number of academy staff additions, an extensive training facility buildout to accommodate the growing club, and an increased investment in the club’s youth partnerships across its territory.

How many homegrown players have you signed? How many have played in MLS league games for your first team? 

With a growing Academy now just over three years into its existence, the club has signed two Homegrown Players and has a goal of producing one new Homegrown Player each year who will contribute to the first team from 2020 on.

Who pays to play on your youth teams? And how much do they pay? 

No one.

How many season-ticket holders do you have? How many did you have in 2015? 

The club capped season tickets at 15,800 for the 2016 season and has a waiting list of more than 12,000 fans. The club has sold out every regular-season and playoff home game since joining MLS. Same season ticket totals in 2015. The club is actively working with the city to add seats to Providence Park. The Timbers have led the league in season ticket renewal rates every year of their MLS tenure and have set the league’s highest renewal rates in history four times.

• Where does your first team train? Did you build the training facility yourself? If so, how much did it cost?

Club-built Adidas Timbers Training Center, located approximately 10 minutes from Providence Park. The club’s total investment in building and developing the facility to date is more than $7 million.

• Do you have a model for integrating your academy with the first team? How closely do your academy teams resemble the way the first team trains and plays? 

There is a definite structure in place for vertical integration throughout the club. With this vertical integration, the club’s youth teams play in a similar style and formation to the first team.

What’s your philosophy on the use of technology in your training and preparation for matches? 

There is a philosophy in place that integrates technology and data into match preparation and overall player development.  This information is a key component for training and match preparation.

Who is your jersey sponsor? What’s your total income on sponsorships this season? 

Alaska Airlines. The club doesn’t disclose sponsor revenue but is No. 3 in MLS in total sponsor revenue. The Timbers also were the first team to sell rights to the club’s training gear, to Simple. 

Local TV deal: How many of your games this season are shown on local television? How much is your local TV deal worth per season? 

In addition to 15 nationally televised games in 2016, the club’s remaining 19 games will be televised, on ROOT Sports and KPTV FOX 12. These broadcasts feature a 30-minute postgame show, and the club’s broadcast package includes a weekly magazine show on KPTV FOX 12. 

• Local radio deal: How many of your games this season are broadcast on local radio? In English? In other languages? 

All games on local radio in English and Spanish; weekly two-hour show on flagship radio station. 

• How many front-office employees does your team have? How many have you added or subtracted in the past year? 

104 full-time employees (e.g. with benefits); up approximately 20 employees from last year.

Have you hired any additional technical staff over the past year to reduce doubling-up roles? Are you planning on expanding your technical staff in the near future? 

Within the last year, the club has added a domestic scouting department and a youth technical director, Larry Sunderland; full-time athletic trainer, equipment manager and strength and conditioning coach added to the growing Academy staff, with further additions to come to accommodate specialization and expansion.

 How much money has your team spent in the past five years on youth development? How much in the past year?

Orlando City has invested in its youth club well into the seven figures, most recently with the announcement of a new training center at Lake Nona here in Orlando. That facility will house the MLS team along with the Academy, creating a centralized home for both level of players.

• How many homegrown players have you signed? How many have played in MLS league games for your first team?

We have four homegrown players (Harrison Heath, Tommy Redding, Mason Stajduhar and Tyler Turner). Heath played three games and started two for the first team in 2015. Redding played two games, starting one in 2015. Turner played seven games, starting five in 2015. Mason was just signed during the offseason and has not played for the first team. Also of note, Orlando City had one of the youngest rosters in MLS for 2015.

• Who pays to play on your youth teams? And how much do they pay?

That information can be found here. USSDA teams are fully funded.

• How many season-ticket holders do you have? How many did you have in 2015?

18,000 season ticket holders for 2016, up from 14,000 in 2015.

• Where does your first team train? Did you build the training facility yourself? If so, how much did it cost?

First team currently trains at Sylvan Lake Park in Sanford, Fla. Orlando City announced in January that it will construct a new multi-million dollar training facility for the MLS team and Academy at Lake Nona in Orlando. The move was necessitated due to the organizations growth and launch of OCB and Orlando Pride in NWSL. The new facility at Lake Nona will open in 2017.

• Do you have a model for integrating your academy with the first team? How closely do your academy teams resemble the way the first team trains and plays?

Yes. The entire academy program is trained in the same playing philosophy of the first team. With the launch of OCB in the USL, we have completed the ladder system for players to advance all the way to the first team.

• What's your philosophy on the use of technology in your training and preparation for matches?

Technology is utilized each and every training session to gather player data, track movement, distance, speed, and that is incorporated into overall coaching to enhance performance.

• Who is your jersey sponsor? What's your total income on sponsorships this season?

Orlando Health is our jersey sponsor. Exact figures have not been disclosed but it's a seven-figure deal.

• Local TV deal: How many of your games this season are shown on local television? How much is your local TV deal worth per season?

19 games will be on local TV. Our partner is WFTV and WRDQ TV 27. We do not receive a rights fee for local TV.

Local radio deal: How many of your games this season are broadcast on local radio? In English? In other languages?

All our games will be broadcast on 104.1 FM (English) and 1030 AM La Grande (Spanish).

• How many front-office employees does your team have? How many have you added or subtracted in the past year?

Orlando City continues to grow as an organization, especially with the launch of Orlando Pride in NWSL and Orlando City B in USL. Our front office staff is close to 80 people.

• Have you hired any additional technical staff over the past year to reduce doubling-up roles? Are you planning on expanding your technical staff in the near future?

We have not made changes to the size of the coaching staff but have changed some personnel. We also hired a new Equipment Director to lighten the load on our equipment manager given the addition of B.

How much money has your team spent in the past five years on youth development? How much in the past year?

New York City FC is deeply invested in developing local youth talent. In our inaugural season, we developed the New York City FC Academy. Under the supervision of Sporting Director, Claudio Reyna, and Youth Technical Coordinator, Rodrigo Marion, the aim of the Academy is to become one of the leading youth talent development centers in the United States. With 11 Youth Affiliate Clubs, the Academy model will accelerate the development pathway of talented youth players in the NYC Metropolitan area by providing first class training to develop young players and help them reach their full potential. With close ties to the City Football Academy in Manchester, home to sister Club, Manchester City FC, the New York City FC Academy further benefits from the technology and resources across the City Football network.

How many homegrown players have you signed? How many have played in MLS league games for your first team?

Not relevant given the lifespan of the club.

Who pays to play on your youth teams? And how much do they pay?

No one in our Academy pays to pay.

How many season-ticket holders do you have? How many did you have in 2015?

At the end of our inaugural season, we had more than 20,000 Founding Members and averaged over 29,000 fans at our home games at Yankee Stadium. The attendance of our home opener was 43,507 and our highest attendance of the season was 48,047 versus the New York Red Bulls.

Where does your first team train? Did you build the training facility yourself? If so, how much did it cost?

Our first team trains on the campus of SUNY Purchase in Purchase, New York. We will be moving to a more permanent home in the future.

Do you have a model for integrating your academy with the first team? How closely do your academy teams resemble the way the first team trains and plays?

New York City FC Academy players are schooled by coaches implementing the same style of play used by the New York City FC First Team; the aim is to develop a culture and ethos to inspire New York City FC identity.

Starting with a single team at U-13/14 level, the Academy players are drawn both from New York City FC’s existing Youth Affiliate Clubs and New York City FC hosted Talent Centers, selected based on both talent and character. Training is designed to enhance the players’ existing qualities and offer support in improving technical ability, producing both quality soccer players and rounded individuals, educated in the New York City FC style.

The U-13/14 started competing in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy League in the 2015-16 season. Further age groups will be added to the Academy in the years ahead. New York City’s academy team have recently played in tournaments in Bolivia and Spain.

Throughout the season we have specific days when the academy watches the first team train and then the first team and the academy eat together.

What’s your philosophy on the use of technology in your training and preparation for matches?

New York City FC believes that technology has a crucial role to play in training and preparation. The club captures a range of data to optimize player performance, increase player efficiency and analyze team performance.

Through a strategic global partnership with SAP, New York City FC and City Football Group are co-innovating on new technological enhancements in the areas of talent management, football performance and human performance.

Who is your jersey sponsor? What’s your total income on sponsorships this season?

Etihad Airways. We do not disclose partnership investment figures.

Local TV deal: How many of your games this season are shown on local television? How much is your local TV deal worth per season?

YES is the exclusive regional TV home of New York City Football Club. YES will televise 14 New York City FC, all of which will also be streamed live via the FOX Sports GO app to authenticated YES viewers whose operators have streaming deals with YES (currently Cablevision Optimum, DirecTV and Time Warner Cable).

Local radio deal: How many of your games this season are broadcast on local radio? In English? In other languages?

All our matches will be broadcast in English on WFAN or WFAN.com. For Spanish listeners, all games will be broadcast on either WADO or WQBU.

How many front-office employees does your team have? How many have you added or subtracted in the past year?

Currently, we have around 80 front office employees.

Have you hired any additional technical staff over the past year to reduce doubling-up roles? Are you planning on expanding your technical staff in the near future?

As a recent expansion team New York City FC continuously works to improve the technical and front office staff. There have been a number of additions in the last year.

• How much money has your team spent in the past five years on youth development? How much in the past year?

The club has invested a substantial amount of money on youth development.

In 2007, Whitecaps FC Residency launched a full-time, fully funded, player development program unlike any other in North America. The Residency program is comprised of approximately 80 of the top players from across British Columbia and Canada. Aspiring players can enter the Whitecaps FC club system full-time as early as age 12, and be nurtured in an age appropriate learning environment, with gradational steps that will help them attain a successful professional club and national team career.

Last year, Whitecaps FC 2 played their first season in the United Soccer League. The addition of WFC2 has provided a developmental bridge from USSDA to MLS. The WFC2 2016 roster includes 10 Residency grads and one product of our the club's former USL U-23 team.

The club also operates a full-time Girls Elite Regional EXCEL Centre (REX) program in partnership BC Soccer and Canada Soccer.

All programs regularly produce players who play for Canada at the national team levels. For example, in 2015, near 40 Residency players were called up to Canada’s youth national teams.

In addition to the WFC2, Residency, and REX programs, the club has regional Academy Centres linked through key staff, curriculum, and standards that provide professional supplemental club training for serious, motivated players. The Academy Centre network currently includes locations in Kamloops, the Kootenays, London (Ontario), Manitoba, the Okanagan, Prince George, Saskatchewan, Squamish, Vancouver, and Vancouver Island.

• How many homegrown players have you signed? How many have played in MLS league games for your first team?

Whitecaps FC have signed 12 homegrown players since joining MLS for a total of 144 matches with the club. There are six homegrown players on the 2016 roster (below in bold).

Philippe Davies: 0 GP

Nizam Khalfan: 22 GP

Brian Sylvestre: 0 GP with Vancouver; 12 with Philadelphia

Russell Teibert: 92 GP

Bryce Alderson: 0 GP

Caleb Clarke: 2 GP

Sam Adekugbe: 14 GP

Marco Carducci: 0 GP

Ethan Sampson: 3 GP

Kianz Froese: 10 GP

Marco Bustos: 1 GP

Ben McKendry: 0 GP

In addition to MLS matches, a number of these players have seen first team minutes in the Amway Canadian Championship and CONCACAF Champions League.

• Who pays to play on your youth teams? And how much do they pay?

Residency and REX programs are fully funded

• How many season-ticket holders do you have? How many did you have in 2015?

Last year, WFC had 14,000+ season ticket members. For the second straight year, the number has increased, with 15,500 confirmed for 2016. 

• Where does your first team train? Did you build the training facility yourself? If so, how much did it cost?

Whitecaps FC train at the National Soccer Development Centre (NSDC) at the University of British Columbia (UBC). WFC have partnered with the BC government and UBC to construct, improve, and refurbish two artificial turf fields, three grass fields, as well as a state-of-the-art fieldhouse. In total, the multi-campus NSDC includes seven fields–two artificial turf fields at Simon Fraser University, and three grass and two artificial turf fields at UBC with a total estimated cost of $24.4 million.

Phase One was completed in February, 2013 and currently serves as the club's training home. The final phase of the NSDC is now underway. Once completed, the NSDC will feature a state-of-the-art, 35,000 square foot fieldhouse, which is set to be completed near the start of the 2017 MLS season. The fieldhouse is being designed by Acton Ostry Architects, an award-winning architectural firm based in Vancouver, in collaboration with BBB Architects, internationally recognized sports architects who recently completed the Kia Toronto FC Training Ground & Academy.

Once built, the NSDC will become the new training base for the Whitecaps FC men’s, and Residency teams, UBC’s soccer teams, as well as the West Coast base for Canada’s men’s, women’s, and youth national teams. Beyond these teams, the facility will also devote more than 50% of field time to community soccer use. This facility will be a key asset in the training and development of Whitecaps FC and BC Soccer players, as well as local coaches and referees.

• Do you have a model for integrating your academy with the first team? How closely do your academy teams resemble the way the first team trains and plays?

Integration is practiced throughout the club. For instance, this past MLS preseason the roster included 11 WFC2 players - including three who are still eligible for the USSDA U-18 side, as well as a 15–year–old. Throughout the year, there are a number of tangible examples of WFC2 and Residency players training with the first team, then going back to their teams and take the lessons that they’ve learned. The first team coaches and players also attend WFC2 and Residency sessions and matches.

• What’s your philosophy on the use of technology in your training and preparation for matches?

Technology is used as a tool to help coaches and players throughout the club. It helps coaches make better, more informed decisions, in an efficient manner. It is also used to educate, track, and inform players.

• Who is your jersey sponsor? What’s your total income on sponsorships this season?

The club is very proud to have one of the best partners in the league with Bell Canada as the Premier Founding Partner, which includes the kit sponsorship for the MLS, USL, and USSDA teams. Total sponsorship revenue for 2016 has increased significantly over 2015 and approximately 40% over the last three seasons.

• Local TV deal: How many of your games this season are shown on local television? How much is your local TV deal worth per season?

All 34 regular season and MLS Cup playoff matches are available nationally on TSN.

• Local radio deal: How many of your games this season are broadcast on local radio? In English? In other languages?

All first team matches are available on TSN Radio Vancouver in English.

• How many front-office employees does your team have? How many have you added or subtracted in the past year?

There are 85 full-time front office employees, which includes close to 10 new positions in the past year. In addition, there are approximately 50 others either part or full-time at the training centres or academy centres across the country.

• Have you hired any additional technical staff over the past year to reduce doubling-up roles? Are you planning on expanding your technical staff in the near future?

The club is always evaluating on how it can get better.

Last year, the club invested in a USL team that includes a technical staff comprised of promotions within the soccer operations staff, as well as new additions.

In addition, this past January the club hired Robert Earnshaw as the U-14 Pre-Residency head coach. Earnshaw brings first-hand knowledge of the club’s culture, systems, standards, players, and coaches, as well as an abundance of experience at the highest levels.

• How much money has your team spent in the past five years on youth development? How much in the past year?

Youth development is a multi-million dollar investment with the New York Red Bulls.

• How many homegrown players have you signed? How many have played in MLS league games for your first team?

16 all time-eight in the last two years (since December 2014)

Of the nine signed before this offseason, six have appeared in MLS action. Connor Lade has appeared in 55 MLS matches for the Red Bulls, the most of any Homegrown Player in club history. Homegrown Players have appeared in a total of 140 league matches for New York

• Who pays to play on your youth teams? And how much do they pay?

All of our academy teams are free for the players.

• Do you have a model for integrating your academy with the first team? How closely do your academy teams resemble the way the first team trains and plays?

Yes we have a model to integrate the way we play throughout the organization, from the first team through the academy.

We changed our style of play last year and our academy teams are working to resemble our style of play.

• What’s your philosophy on the use of technology in your training and preparation for matches?

We are huge believers in the use of technology in training and for the preparation for matches and during matches.

• How many season-ticket holders do you have? How many did you have in 2015?

Against team policy to share current numbers; set a franchise record in 2015 since Red Bull Arena opened and already up 17% in 2016.

• Where does your first team train? Did you build the training facility yourself? If so, how much did it cost?

Red Bull New York Training Facility in Whippany, NJ, which we built ourselves. Cost undisclosed.

• Who is your jersey sponsor? What’s your total income on sponsorships this season?

Red Bull, amount undisclosed.

• ​Local TV deal: How many of your games this season are shown on local television? How much is your local TV deal worth per season?

17 local telecasts scheduled for 2016, amount undisclosed.

• Local radio deal: How many of your games this season are broadcast on local radio? In English? In other languages?

All 34 regular season games with be available in both English and Spanish on New York Red Bulls Radio on TuneIn (Tune-In mobile APP and online at newyorkredbulls.com)

• How many front-office employees does your team have? How many have you added or subtracted in the past year?

Undisclosed.

• ​Have you hired any additional technical staff over the past year to reduce doubling-up roles? Are you planning on expanding your technical staff in the near future?

We expanded our technical staff since we added a new USL team. We will look to continue to add technical staff, especially in the field of sport science.

How much money has your team spent in the past five years on youth development? How much in the past year?

We have approximately 5,800 players in our youth system overall, including nine affiliate teams in other cities/states/countries (El Paso, Tyler, Midland, Laredo, San Antonio, Florida, Tennessee, Mexico, Costa Rica). Of that 5,800, there are 120 players under the “academy” umbrella, which is five teams here at our training facility. In the last five years we have spent approximately $5 million on the academy with well over $1 million of that coming in 2015.

How many homegrown players have you signed? How many have played in MLS league games for your first team?

We have signed 14 Homegrown players to professional contracts since 2009. Seven of those players are on the current roster (Victor Ulloa, Moises Hernandez, Kellyn Acosta, Jesse Gonzalez, Coy Craft, Alex Zendejas, Aaron Guillen), while two are playing for a lower division league in the U.S. (Bradlee Baladez, NASL's Carolina Railhawks and Danny Garcia, USL's San Antonio FC); one is playing professionally in Guatemala (Jonathan Top, Comunicaciones). Two are playing professionally in Mexico (Ruben Luna, Inter Playa in Mexico's second division) and Richard Sanchez (who the club sold to Tigres); and one is playing professionally for another MLS club (London Woodberry, New England). Bryan Leyva, who was the very first Homegrown signing in 2009, was most recently with NPSL's Dallas City FC.

Our Homegrown players logged a league-high 4,607 minutes (14% of the team’s total minutes) in 2014. In 2015, FC Dallas again led MLS with 6,733 minutes (20% of the team’s total) played by homegrowns. Ulloa also set a franchise record for minutes played by a field player in 2015. From 2014 to 2015, Ulloa ran his consecutive-appearance streak to 55 (including playoffs) before missing the NYCFC match on Sept. 12 due to injury.

On Sept. 6, 2015, FCD started a league-record five homegrowns on the road at Columbus, winning 3-0.

Who pays to play on your youth teams? And how much do they pay?

Our Academy teams are fully funded by the club (coaches, medical and support staff, travel, uniforms, facilities, etc…)

How many season-ticket holders do you have? How many did you have in 2015?

Undisclosed, however continue to have double-digit percentage growth.

Where does your first team train? Did you build the training facility yourself? If so, how much did it cost?

Toyota Soccer Center adjacent to Toyota Stadium–total complex cost $105 million and includes 17 full-size, tournament-grade fields (13 natural grass and 4 turf), with one field belonging solely to the pro team.    

Do you have a model for integrating your academy with the first team? How closely do your academy teams resemble the way the first team trains and plays?

It’s fully integrated, mirror image. Oscar is fully invested with the academy and is the former director of it. Current academy players and coaches participate in first-team trainings on a daily basis. We even brought 4-5 academy players to Arizona with the pro team for preseason. Several of them join the pro team for preseason friendlies and scrimmages. They do the same drills and exercises that the pro team does and on any given game day there is an academy coach on the bench with the pro team. Their locker room is also across the hall from the pro team’s, and they train on an adjacent field in the mornings.

What’s your philosophy on the use of technology in your training and preparation for matches?

We try to use technology as much as possible while taking into consideration costs. Currently, you will find a drone overhead filming at all training sessions.

• Who is your jersey sponsor? What’s your total income on sponsorships this season?

AdvoCare yielded the highest sponsorship revenue in club history in 2015 and was the precursor for the league’s AdvoCare deal.

Local TV deal: How many of your games this season are shown on local television? How much is your local TV deal worth per season?

28–30 (depending on national flex schedule for weeks 33 and 34), including pre-game shows for select games and new for 2016, an online post game show for home games, but essentially all non-nationally televised games are televised locally.

Local radio deal: How many of your games this season are broadcast on local radio? In English? In other languages?

Every game is on English and Spanish radio (Spanish includes 30-minute pre- and post-game shows, while English includes a 30-minute post-game show). We also sponsors two English and one Spanish weekly soccer talk shows. The English shows are ESPN’s Soccer Today on Sunday mornings with Steve Davis, Marc Stein and Tyler Kern; and The Kickaround on 1310 The Ticket (highest rated radio sports talk station in market) on Saturday afternoons with Peter Welpton and Andy Swift. The Spanish show is on ESPN Deportes every Thursday evening.

How many front-office employees does your team have? How many have you added or subtracted in the past year?

Undisclosed

Have you hired any additional technical staff over the past year to reduce doubling-up roles? Are you planning on expanding your technical staff in the near future?

Yes, additional hires: strength and conditioning coach, team administrator and trainer; Yes, future hire: scouting

• How much money has your team spent in the past five years on youth development? How much in the past year?

Over the last 5 years we have spent approximately $3 million. Our academy budget has doubled in the last year.

• How many homegrown players have you signed? How many have played in MLS league games for your first team?

Ten homegrown players were signed. Four have played in MLS league games.

• Who pays to play on your youth teams? And how much do they pay?

The academy is fully funded.

• How many season-ticket holders do you have? How many did you have in 2015?

From 2014 to 2015 our season ticket base grew by over 1,000 FSEs (full-season equivalents). In addition to growth from ’14, we anticipate that our season ticket base will increase another 1,500 FSEs from 2015 to 2016.

• Where does your first team train? Did you build the training facility yourself? If so, how much did it cost?

We train at The EAS Training Center at Obetz. The interior was completely renovated in 2014 and cosmetic enhancements were made to the exterior and field areas.

• Do you have a model for integrating your academy with the first team? How closely do your academy teams resemble the way the first team trains and plays?

The academy playing model is based entirely on the playing model from the first team. The training exercises are identical varying only when not age appropriate. Academy coaches are present at first-team training sessions and first-team coaches are often present at academy training sessions.

• What’s your philosophy on the use of technology in your training and preparation for matches?

We use technology extensively. Some examples are: advanced video software, GPS, data integration software, video analysis software, live coding capabilities, filming of both training sessions and games.

• Who is your jersey sponsor? What’s your total income on sponsorships this season?

2016 MLS season represents the final contract year of Barbasol’s existing multiyear deal. We are in the process of either extending Barbasol for ’17 (and beyond) or identifying a new kit partner for ’17 (and beyond).  

• Local TV deal: How many of your games this season are shown on local television? How much is your local TV deal worth per season?

With the club's recent announcement on Feb 25, all regionally televised games (which for Crew SC is 31 in 2016) will be televised locally as part of a simulcast featuring Sinclair and Time Warner Cable; 25 of 31 games will be on local CW Network affiliate (WWHO); 2 of 31 will be on local FOX affiliate (WTTE); 1 of 31 will be on local ABC affiliate (WSYX), and three midweek games will be on MyTVColumbus (WSYX.2). 

All 31 will be simulcast on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel to Time Warner Cable subscribers throughout Ohio (including Columbus). In addition, the club has removed all blackout restrictions and MLS Live and MLS Direct Kick has no territory restrictions in (or out of) Columbus.

• Local radio deal: How many of your games this season are broadcast on local radio? In English? In other languages?

All regular season and playoff games are broadcast locally in English on CD102.5 FM (WWCD). In addition. the CD102.5 broadcast is livestreamed on ColumbusCrewSC.com. Furthermore, all regular season and playoff games are broadcast in Spanish-language on La Mega 103.1FM (WVKO).

• How many front-office employees does your team have? How many have you added or subtracted in the past year?

Including technical staff, the front office has 95 full-time employees. This number has grown by approximately five employees across last year via additions on the academy and first-team staff.

• Have you hired any additional technical staff over the past year to reduce doubling-up roles? Are you planning on expanding your technical staff in the near future?

Yes: Data analyst, video analyst, high performance director, director of methodology, full-time academy head coaches, full-time academy assistant coach.

• Other miscellaneous notes:

- Sold stadium naming rights prior to start of 2015 MLS season to MAPFRE Insurance (first time in club history).

- Sold training facility naming rights prior to start of 2015 MLS season to EAS (first time in club history).

- Transitioned to new food and beverage provider (Levy Restaurants) prior to start of 2015 MLS Season and grew food and beverage per caps by 20% without taking a price increase.

- Increased year-over-year paid attendance by 8% in 2015.

- Set stadium records for turnstile attendance (actual bodies in the building) for both regular season and playoffs during 2015 season.

- Established new club (and stadium) single-season and combined regular + postseason sellout records (7).

- MAPFRE Stadium won Sports Turf Managers Association Field of the Year in 2015.

- Sponsorship Revenues grew by 35% year-over-year from ’14 to ‘15.

How much money has your team spent in the past five years on youth development? How much in the past year?

Our owner is investing $1.5 million a year in youth development in the Academy system and another $12 million for a dedicated training facility to house all youth teams and the first team. 

How many homegrown players have you signed? How many have played in MLS league games for your first team?

- Karl W. Ouimette (now with New York Red Bulls) – 20 games, 15 starts
- Wandrille Lefèvre – 32 games, 28 starts
- Maxim Tissot – 37 games, 17 starts
- Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé – 7 games, 3 starts
- Anthony Jackson-Hamel – 12 games, 1 start
- Louis Béland-Goyette – 1 game, 0 start
- Maxime Crépeau – 0 games
- Zakaria Messoudi – 0 games

Who pays to play on your youth teams? And how much do they pay?

At the U-23 level (FC Montreal), players are professional, have contracts and are paid for their services. Any player selected by the Academy (U-13 – U-23) does not pay, the club takes charge of all expenses. There is a minor registration fee for the U-13 and U-14 players to cover administrative expenses. At the Pre-Academy level (U-8 –U-12), players have a one-time registration fee for the entire year (indoor and outdoor) including tournaments and special events (BBQ’s, activities, etc).

How many season-ticket holders do you have? How many did you have in 2015?

We now have more than 8,500 tickets holders. We got our best renewal rate with 91% of season tickets holders who renewed for 2016. We have more than 2,500 new season tickets so far this year.

Where does your first team train? Did you build the training facility yourself? If so, how much did it cost?

The Montreal Impact is now occupying since the 2015 season its new training center near Stade Saputo, on Notre-Dame Street, at the historic Caserne Letourneux.
Through a unique partnership with the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough, the Academy and the first team are now installed permanently in this location, sharing two natural grass fields and two artificial grass fields. The club is fully covering the entire $12 million investment.

Do you have a model for integrating your academy with the first team? How closely do your academy teams resemble the way the first team trains and plays?

They work very closely together.

What’s your philosophy on the use of technology in your training and preparation for matches?

It’s important. The staff uses match analysis and MyCoach.

Who is your jersey sponsor? What’s your total income on sponsorships this season?

BMO. We’re not disclosing the income publicly.

Local TV deal: How many of your games this season are shown on local television? How much is your local TV deal worth per season?

21 games are broadcast on TVA Sports. It’s the last year of a deal with Videotron, our telecoms partner.

Local radio deal: How many of your games this season are broadcast on local radio? In English? In other languages?

All 34 games are broadcast on English Radio (TSN 690). We’ll also have a minimum of 21 games broadcast on French radio (98.5 FM).

How many front-office employees does your team have? How many have you added or subtracted in the past year?

Approximately 120 full-time employees, including the technical staff, the Academy and the soccer schools.

• Have you hired any additional technical staff over the past year to reduce doubling-up roles? Are you planning on expanding your technical staff in the near future?

Not short term.

How much money has your team spent in the past five years on youth development? How much in the past year? 

$3 million; $850,000 in the last year

How many homegrown players have you signed? How many have played in MLS league games for your first team? 

Six currently, four to MLS deals, two to USL deals; 10 total all-time.

Two have played with the first team (Tyler Deric and Alex Dixon).

Who pays to play on your youth teams? And how much do they pay? 

Fully funded U-15 and up.

How many season-ticket holders do you have? How many did you have in 2015? 

12,000 and 12,000.

Where does your first team train? Did you build the training facility yourself? If so, how much did it cost?​

At our training complex, Houston Sports Park. It was built with public funds.

Do you have a model for integrating your academy with the first team? How closely do your academy teams resemble the way the first team trains and plays? 

Yes. We strongly believe in vertical integration and practice it. They closely resemble the first-team training sessions and style-of-play. First team coaches regularly conduct academy training session and academy coaches regularly attend and assist in first-team sessions.

 • What’s your philosophy on the use of technology in your training and preparation for matches? 

We believe in it very much and use everything at our disposal, including a full-time sports science director and performance analysis. For technology, we use OPTA, Match Analysis, ProZone, In-Stat, Healthy Athlete, Fit for 90, Catapult, etc.

Who is your jersey sponsor? What’s your total income on sponsorships this season? 

BHP Billiton. Income ranks in the top third of MLS.

• Local TV deal: How many of your games this season are shown on local television? How much is your local TV deal worth per season?

All games are on TV. 20 on a regional sports network and six on local over-the-air partners. We do not receive a rights fee.

Local radio deal: How many of your games this season are broadcast on local radio? In English? In other languages? 

All games are on the radio in English and Spanish.

How many front-office employees does your team have? How many have you added or subtracted in the past year? 

115 total, added 10.

Have you hired any additional technical staff over the past year to reduce doubling-up roles? Are you planning on expanding your technical staff in the near future?​

Nothing full-time but many part-time pieces to assist. Yes. We will step it up more and more over time.

Other miscellaneous notes:  

The Dynamo have launched a new USL hybrid affiliate in Edinburg, Texas, the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros. It’s the first hybrid affiliation in MLS history, as the Dynamo control all technical aspects of the club and RGV FC controls all business aspects. The Dynamo have hired (and pay) the current technical staff, including head coach Wilmer Cabrera, assistant coach Michael Dellorusso and fitness coach Steve Fell. Our partners at RGV FC are building what will be the best stadium in USL, a 9,400-seat mini BBVA Compass Stadium, along with world-class facilities.  

How much money has your team spent in the past five years on youth development? How much in the past year?  

Spending on youth development this year alone increased by 80%. The Quakes are also in the development stages of a $37 million proposal that would see a seven field, 44-acre Academy HQ built in the heart of downtown San Jose.

How many homegrown players have you signed? How many have played in MLS league games for your first team?

Tommy Thompson, our first homegrown player, made a career-high 17 appearances last year while the Quakes currently have six players representing the US at Under 16, 18 and 20 levels.

Who pays to play on your youth teams? And how much do they pay?

Nobody pays to play for our Academy side. We now have pay-to-play youth club teams with more than 1,500 competitive players.

Where does your first team train? Did you build the training facility yourself? If so, how much did it cost?  

At a $1 million facility adjacent to Avaya Stadium which opened in 2010.

Do you have a model for integrating your academy with the first team? How closely do your academy teams resemble the way the first team trains and plays?

Yes. Our academy kids train with the first team when viable (in summer). Our first team played our Under-18s at a season-ticket holder only event this pre-season. We promote a shared, evolving philosophy. Our technical director, Chris Leitch, oversees the academy while academy coaches Paul Holocher and Andre Luiz Moreira are both former Quakes players.

What’s your philosophy on the use of technology in your training and preparation for matches?

We use a wide range of tools for analysis, scouting and injury treatment/prevention purposes including Catapult, SpartaTRAC and Opta. Our players also use technology to track their health and wellness including sleep, diet and nutrition.

How many season-ticket holders do you have? How many did you have in 2015?  

13,000. We upped this from 12,000 last season. Both numbers were/are capped and there is a waiting list of 2,000. In 2014, before the move to Avaya Stadium, we had 5,000 season ticket holders.

Who is your jersey sponsor? What’s your total income on sponsorships this season?

Our sponsorship income has risen by 430% since 2014. Sutter Health, a fellow Northern California company, signed a multi-year jersey sponsorship deal with us which was announced in January. This will see their logo on our jerseys from 2016 onwards.

Local TV deal: How many of your games this season are shown on local television? How much is your local TV deal worth per season?

All non-national broadcast matches will be aired by our local Comcast affiliate in a multi-year agreement with $1 million a season.

Local radio deal: How many of your games this season are broadcast on local radio? In English? In other languages?

Every match is broadcast in English and Spanish.

How many front-office employees does your team have? How many have you added or subtracted in the past year?

66. This year we have upped the workforce by 10%.

• Have you hired any additional technical staff over the past year to reduce doubling-up roles? Are you planning on expanding your technical staff in the near future?

We recently hired a data analyst and have further plans to extend our backroom staff.

How much money has your team spent in the past five years on youth development? How much in the past year? 

The Fire spend more than $1.25 million annually for a fully-funded academy housing seven teams beginning at U-10.

How many homegrown players have you signed? How many have played in MLS league games for your first team?

Eight, including four on the current roster. Five of the six signed prior to this off-season have appeared in an MLS match for the Fire.

Who pays to play on your youth teams? And how much do they pay?

On average, the best 20 players by age group in the Chicagoland area. The Fire academy is fully-funded.

How many season-ticket holders do you have? How many did you have in 2015?

6,500: same as 2015 and three times the 2011 total. The club is also one of three MLS clubs to sell more than 100,000 group tickets in 2015.

Where does your first team train? Did you build the training facility yourself? If so, how much did it cost?

The Fire first team trains at the stadium training grounds built and maintained by the Village of Bridgeview as a part of the $100 million project in 2006. The first team also makes use of the club’s $20 million facility, The PrivateBank Fire Pitch, for select training sessions.

Do you have a model for integrating your academy with the first team? How closely do your academy teams resemble the way the first team trains and plays?

GM Nelson Rodríguez: "Play is to me irrelevant. I don't believe in playing the same way top to bottom. I actually believe it's faulty and flawed. I always say: 'Train them so they can play for any club in the world. Treat them so they only want to stay with us.'" When it comes to training, Rodríguez wants to have a similar methodology for training at younger ages, but not a carbon copy.

What’s your philosophy on the use of technology in your training and preparation for matches?

Rodríguez: "Our new coach [Veljko Paunovic] believes in it in a big way. So do I, from something as simple as using practice video as a teaching tool ... We envision in the near future a time where we're supplying our guys with tablets and customized video with the expectation they have to study on their own. I think player responsibility has to start creeping back into things. That has to apply to the academy players as well ... Personality profiles of players. Our coaching staff wants to know how each player best learns. We want to use technology and other resources to create an individual development program for every player in our system."

Who is your jersey sponsor? What’s your total income on sponsorships this season?

Valspar Corporation. The Fire have more than 60 corporate partners.

Local TV deal: How many of your games this season are shown on local television? How much is your local TV deal worth per season?

The Fire will air 28 matches on CSN Chicago this season in year two of a three-year deal valued more than $1.25 million annually. The schedule also includes a five-game schedule of Spanish-language simulcasts and four special edition all-access shows.

• Local radio deal: How many of your games this season are broadcast on local radio? In English? In other languages?

All 34 Fire MLS matches will be broadcast live in year one of a two-year deal with 97.5 FM Poder, the club’s Spanish-language radio partner.

How many front-office employees does your team have? How many have you added or subtracted in the past year?

76. The number is slightly higher than in 2015.

Have you hired any additional technical staff over the past year to reduce doubling-up roles? Are you planning on expanding your technical staff in the near future?

Rodríguez: "I can't speak to what we did before ... Our academy director left and we have not replaced him yet. That's in large part on me, because I've been concentrated heavily on the first team. When I dive into the academy, I don't want to immediately hire an academy director. I want to first look at seeing if there's a better structure and process we could develop."

How much money has your team spent in the past five years on youth development? How much in the past year?

We have spent in excess of $7 million over the past five years (through 2015) on youth development with the majority of the spending in the past three years when we changed to a full time academy system from a part time ‘club and country’ format.  We are currently averaging a spend of approximately $2.2 million per year on the youth academy and expect that number to increase going forward since in the fall of 2015 we added U-15, U-13 and U-12 teams to the previously existing U-18, U-16 and U-14 teams. 

Further, the addition of a 100% owned-and-operated USL club to our youth development structure will add over $1 million per year to our youth development investment going forward.

How many homegrown players have you signed? How many have played in MLS league games for your first team?

Three and all three have played in MLS league games.

Where does your first team train? Did you build the training facility yourself? If so, how much did it cost?

During 2016 our first team will train in our new state-of-the-art training center next to Talen Energy Stadium. Prior to the 2015 season, we completed the construction of two full-sized grass fields next to Talen Energy Stadium and coming in March of 2016 will be the opening of a new team-specific training facility, which will include locker room, weight room, training area, hydro spas, coaches offices, team film room, player lounge, cafeteria, etc. Total cost for the entire training center is approximately $14 million.

What’s your philosophy on the use of technology in your training and preparation for matches?  

Our club's primary use of technology is on the continued development of all of our athletes at all levels–including academy and USL. Through the use of video sharing and tagging, as well as physical tracking, players and coaches receive feedback on both the mental and physical sides of the game. The data points retrieved from this technology can aid in making decisions on training loads, educating athletes on past decisions in games, and guiding technical staff on how the team should evolve.

Who pays to play on your youth teams? And how much do they pay?

None of the participants pay to play on our youth teams.

Do you have a model for integrating your academy with the first team? How closely do your academy teams resemble the way the first team trains and plays?

We have a fully integrated model from our youth academy up through our new USL team, Bethlehem Steel, to our first team. 

How many season-ticket holders do you have? How many did you have in 2015?

Approximately 10,000 Full Season Equivalents

Who is your jersey sponsor? What’s your total income on sponsorships this season?

Bimbo.  Sponsorship revenue is in excess of $9 million and has grown every year since inception.

Local TV deal: How many of your games this season are shown on local television? How much is your local TV deal worth per season?

All games not broadcast nationally are broadcast locally.

Local radio deal: How many of your games this season are broadcast on local radio? In English? In other languages?

We do not broadcast our games on radio; however we host a 90-minute weekly radio show produced in Philadelphia’s most popular sports bar.

How many front-office employees does your team have? How many have you added or subtracted in the past year?

We have approximately 50 full-time front office employees (not including technical staff or USL dedicated employees). We have added a net of one position this year and have three open positions we are actively recruiting for (not including technical staff or USL)

Have you hired any additional technical staff over the past year to reduce doubling-up roles? Are you planning on expanding your technical staff in the near future?

In the Fall of 2015 we hired a Sporting Director, Earnie Stewart, who is in charge of all technical aspects of the organization including the First team, USL team and Academy. We have also added a technical staff for the USL team who at times will support the first team and added several individuals in our new sports performance division who will support First team, USL and Academy.

How much money has your team spent in the past five years on youth development? How much in the past year?

RSL has spent nearly $2 million in the last five years on the club's academy and youth development initiatives, with approximately $500,000 in last 12 months. These estimates do not include the $1 million spent last year to launch the club's USL side, Real Monarchs, which debuted in 2015.

The Salt Lake Tribune recently reported on a $40 million training facility in development to house RSL, the USL Monarchs and Utah-based U-18 and U-16 teams, likely to open in Fall 2017 . RSL owner Dell Loy Hansen has also publicly discussed creating five "regional training centers" at the cost of $2 million each across Utah, offering instruction to youth players in various communities to assist in their development and serve as a potential player identification mechanism for youth all-star teams and ultimately academy teams, as the pyramid grows in the next five years.

How many homegrown players have you signed? How many have played in MLS league games for your first team?

RSL has signed 10 Homegrown Players players over the years (in order: Donnie Toia, Nico Muniz, Benji Lopez, Lalo Fernandez, Carlos Salcedo, Justen Glad, Jordan Allen, Phanuel Kavita, Sebastian Saucedo & Danilo Acosta). The five most recent signings (prior to Acosta in 2016) have played MLS games for our team, while Toia never played for us but has at Chivas USA and Montreal. Acosta should see action this season.

Who pays to play on your youth teams? And how much do they pay?

The RSL Academy in Arizona does have U-16 and U-18 "B" teams which are essentially made up of kids who pay the Grande Sports Arizona for training and education. 

How many season-ticket holders do you have? How many did you have in 2015?

RSL will cut off season ticket sales on May 1, at which time we expect to be slightly over 15,000+ season ticket holders, roughly even with same juncture one year prior. 

Where does your first team train? Did you build the training facility yourself? If so, how much did it cost?

RSL's training field is located 0.6 miles away from Rio Tinto Stadium, and has been our practice home since 2011. The club spent approximately $750,000 to install and service the field on land leased from a corporate partner for $1/year. 

• Do you have a model for integrating your academy with the first team? How closely do your academy teams resemble the way the first team trains and plays?

This is an ongoing opportunity as we expand from MLS to USL to the Academy teams. RSL GM Craig Waibel, head coach Jeff Cassar and Monarchs head coach Freddy Juarez work closely with Academy Executive Director Martin Vasquez and the Academy coaches, with weekly communication via phone calls, and quarterly visits of SLC-based coaches to Casa Grande and twice-yearly visits of the academy teams to Salt Lake for scrimmages and sessions with RSL/Monarchs personnel.

One of the constant themes from our players coming from Academy to Monarchs to RSL is that the transition is made easier because the sessions and philosophies top to bottom are exactly the same, enabling the guys to focus on the off-the-field stuff and adjusting to speed of play as they rise up the pyramid ... 

• What’s your philosophy on the use of technology in your training and preparation for matches?

2016 will mark our 3rd season with extensive health, heart, sleep & nutrition monitoring for our players, along with recovery databases for each player. RSL has used ProZone and MatchAnalysis going on seven/eight seasons regarding the video review of games and breakdown to prepare for future opponents. 

• Who is your jersey sponsor? What’s your total income on sponsorships this season?

RSL enters its 3rd year with LifeVantage as the jersey-front sponsor, reportedly a $2.5-3.0 million/year deal (initial contract five-year term). Total sponsor revenue (cash only, team does no trade deals) expected in the $12-13 million range for 2016.

• Local TV deal: How many of your games this season are shown on local television? How much is your local TV deal worth per season?

RSL will have its games on free, over-the-air TV for the 12th consecutive season, and the 2nd with its most recent partner, KMYU, an independent channel operated by the #1 news station and CBS affiliate KUTV . 32 of our 34 MLS games will be shown on KMYU in a 3-hour window (30-min pre and post-game shows around a 2-hour game window), with 2 games selected for FS1 (RSL will have 3 games on Univision Deportes/Unimas, but has been granted an exemption to show those national games locally on KMYU due to limited availability of UDN/Unimas in Utah). 

KMYU's parent company pays 50% of production costs–approximately $20,000/game–and also airs a 30-minute Thursday night show with Brian Dunseth breaking down the upcoming weekend, entirely at their cost while providing another $500,000 in promotional support for RSL and Monarchs ticket sales and tune-in messaging

KMYU also shows USL Real Monarchs home games on either a live or tape-delayed basis, with those games earning respectable ratings. RSL games average a 3.5 local rating in the state of Utah, and are syndicated in Boise, Reno and Las Vegas, with pending agreements for Phoenix, Tucson and Albuquerque stations. 

Local radio deal: How many of your games this season are broadcast on local radio? In English? In other languages?

For the 12th consecutive season, all 34 RSL MLS games, as well as all additional CCL and Open Cup matches and any potential exhibitions, will air live via ESPN700 (English) and 102.3 FM/1600 AM (Spanish). Both flagships are tremendous promotional partners for RSL, with both stations also airing all home USL Monarchs games (barring RSL conflicts). 

How many front-office employees does your team have? How many have you added or subtracted in the past year?

RSL has approximately 75 full-time employees, level from 2015. 

Have you hired any additional technical staff over the past year to reduce doubling-up roles? Are you planning on expanding your technical staff in the near future?

With the addition of the USL Real Monarchs, RSL has added several new technical staff roles: Head Scout, USL Head Coach, USL Assistant Coach, USL Goalkeeper Coach, USL Head Athletic Trainer, USL Equipment Manager, as well as various administrative Soccer Operations/infrastructure roles designed to support both teams, as well as connect clubs with academy. We have ambitious plans to expand tech staff as RSL moves into training center, expands Utah academy and regional training centers are certainly afoot, with approximately eight new positions on the competitive side in next 12 months and close to 20 in the next 24 months. 

• How much money has your team spent in the past five years on youth development? How much in the past year?

Specific numbers are undisclosed. 

• How many homegrown players have you signed? How many have played in MLS league games for your first team?

We have signed three homegrown players and we are proud to say that all three have played for the first team.

• Who pays to play on your youth teams? And how much do they pay?

They are players not considered full-time development academy players. All expenses related to competition and training

• How many season-ticket holders do you have? How many did you have in 2015?

We finished at nearly 6,000 and we expect to surpass this in 2016.

• Where does your first team train?

On site at Dick’s Sporting Good Park. It was built as a training field for the first team only.

• Do you have a model for integrating your academy with the first team? How closely do your academy teams resemble the way the first team trains and plays?

Game principles are consistent across levels but the game model is age-group dependent.

• What’s your philosophy on the use of technology in your training and preparation for matches?

We feel it is vital to achieving our short and long term goals.

• Who is your jersey sponsor? What’s your total income on sponsorships this season?

Transamerica, we don’t comment on specific revenues or sponsorship values. 

• Local TV deal: How many of your games this season are shown on local television? How much is your local TV deal worth per season?

32 are currently scheduled on Altitude. The value is undisclosed.

• Local radio deal: How many of your games this season are broadcast on local radio? In English? In other languages?

All games will be broadcast locally in English and Spanish.

• How many front-office employees does your team have? How many have you added or subtracted in the past year?

Around 60. We are continuing to expand in a controlled way,

• Have you hired any additional technical staff over the past year to reduce doubling-up roles? Are you planning on expanding your technical staff in the near future? 

Yes, we continue to add staff in order to maximize efficiency.

• How many homegrown players have you signed? 

Seven.

• How many have played in MLS league games for your first team? 

Six.

• Who pays to play on your youth teams? And how much do they pay? 

Undisclosed.

• How many season-ticket holders do you have? How many did you have in 2015?

Undisclosed.

• Where does your first team train? 

RFK practice field. 

• Did you build the training facility yourself? If so, how much did it cost? 

N/A, Undisclosed.

• Do you have a model for integrating your academy with the first team? How closely do your academy teams resemble the way the first team trains and plays? 

Academy players participate in first-team training on a daily basis, throughout the season. In addition, four academy players were incorporated into the first team's pre-season training in January/February. The U-18 academy is trained in the first team's style and system of play and uses this system of playing in academy matches.

• What’s your philosophy on the use of technology in your training and preparation for matches?

Technology has become part of our daily routine, whether it is tracking our players’ heart rates and fitness levels during training in real time, using technology and analytics in game scouting and preparation or analyzing our opponents through extensive in-game live analysis. 

What’s your total income on sponsorships this season?

Undisclosed.

• Local TV deal: How many of your games this season are shown on local television? 

24.

• How much is your local TV deal worth per season?

Undisclosed.

• Local radio deal: How many of your games this season are broadcast on local radio? In English? In other languages?  

Contractually, all games are in English and Spanish.

• How many front-office employees does your team have? 

70 full-time positions.

 How many have you added or subtracted in the past year?

In preparation for our new stadium in 2018, we are strategically scaling our operations to accommodate all of our needs.

• Have you hired any additional technical staff over the past year to reduce doubling-up roles? Are you planning on expanding your technical staff in the near future? 

We are always looking to make sure we have the right people to give us the biggest competitive advantage possible. We hired Stewart Mairs in the off-season to specialize in video-preparation/analysis, and we'll use analytics to support scouting and game preparation.

• How much money has your team spent in the past five years on youth development? How much in the past year?

Spent $4 million overall for five years. Spent approximately $1 million in 2015. 

• How many homegrown players have you signed? How many have played in MLS league games for your first team?

Three homegrown players signed – Diego Fagundez, Scott Caldwell, and Zachary Herivaux. Fagundez and Caldwell have seen significant minutes with the first team: Fagundez–7,338 minutes played in regular season league games; Caldwell–6,609 minutes played in regular season league games.

• Who pays to play on your youth teams? And how much do they pay?

No one pays to play on the Revolution youth teams.

• How many season-ticket holders do you have? How many did you have in 2015?

Do not disclose the total number, but have been growing at 25% a year for the past three seasons

• Where does your first team train? Did you build the training facility yourself? If so, how much did it cost?

Team trains on a dedicated grass field that is for Revolution only, here at Gillette Stadium. Team also has access to team-owned indoor turf field on-site and Revolution dedicated team training facilities. Difficult to give an exact cost as facilities are integrated into the stadium.

• Do you have a model for integrating your academy with the first team? How closely do your academy teams resemble the way the first team trains and plays?

Absolutely have a dedicated plan for integrating the academy with the first team, and, yes, it resembles the way the first team plays. Integration includes, but not limited to, academy players being invited to pre-season, academy players participating in first team training sessions, and extensive coordination between coaching staffs.

 • What’s your philosophy on the use of technology in your training and preparation for matches?

Extensive use of technology: GPS tracking system and heart rate monitors used at all training sessions for the first team, as well as select academy sessions. A strength and conditioning coach and a sports science staff member are dedicated to this.

Team also uses advanced Opta data and has a full-time team analyst who works on that. 

Match analysis and panoramic cameras system software used extensively.

• Who is your jersey sponsor? What’s your total income on sponsorships this season?

United Healthcare. Do not disclose total sponsorship income.  

• Local TV deal: How many of your games this season are shown on local television? How much is your local TV deal worth per season?

All games, other than those broadcast nationally, will be shown on local television. Team also has a post-game show and bi-weekly magazine show.

• Local radio deal: How many of your games this season are broadcast on local radio? In English? In other languages?

All games are broadcast on local radio in English and Portuguese.

• How many front-office employees does your team have? How many have you added or subtracted in the past year?

65 full-time staff and added eight new positions in the last year.

Approximately 12 additional people who have major responsibilities with the team, but who technically fall under the Kraft Group umbrella.  

• Have you hired any additional technical staff over the past year to reduce doubling-up roles? Are you planning on expanding your technical staff in the near future?

Yes, and will be adding staff in 2016. 

• How much money has your team spent in the past five years on youth development? How much in the past year?

The Atlanta United Academy will begin in full in summer 2016; the selection process will begin in late spring. We will have U-12, U-13, U-14, U-16 and U-18 academy teams.

The Academy will be an integral part of our club and overall philosophy which is why we chose to begin its operation before we have a first team on the pitch. Our Academy will be based with our first team at our new training ground and will have access to all the same facilities.

We are budgeting to spend a seven-figure sum per season on our academy operations.

• How many homegrown players have you signed? How many have played in MLS league games for your first team?

N/A

• Who pays to play on your youth teams? And how much do they pay?

The Atlanta United Academy will be free to all academy players. 

• How many season-ticket holders do you have?

Atlanta United has over 10,000 Founding Members representing deposits for over 29,000 tickets.

On Feb. 4, we announced season ticket pricing, which offered a range of price points and was well-received by the community.

On Feb. 8, we began the process of working with our founding members on their seat selection and converting their deposit into a season ticket purchase.

• Where does your first team train? Did you build the training facility yourself? If so, how much did it cost?

The Atlanta United first team and academy will train at the club’s new world-class training ground in Marietta, Georgia, which is currently under construction.

The facility is being built by Atlanta United and represents more than $50 million in new investment to build an MLS best-in-class training facility.

Facility will house: Executive staff, training staff, sport science staff (including medical), scouting and performance analysis staff, digital media and communications staff, administrative staff (including player welfare staff), players both first team and academy. Grounds will include: 33 acre site, six fields total plus a specific goalkeeper training area.

• Do you have a model for integrating your academy with the first team? How closely do your academy teams resemble the way the first team trains and plays?

The academy and first team will both train at Atlanta United’s new training ground (once built).

Atlanta United is creating a model platform for youth development with the ultimate goal of developing young professionals who will be successful at the next level, on and off the field.

The training ground will foster an open, collaborative environment. Academy players will observe and interact with Atlanta United’s first team, and sharing the training complex will allow an aspirational environment for academy players.

Academy players will have access to first-team performance/gym space, athletic trainers, dedicated sports performance coaches, video analysis coaches and training.

Three key areas the club is focusing on to develop the "whole" athlete: education, social awareness, wellness

 • What’s your philosophy on the use of technology in your training and preparation for matches?

Technology will play an integral part in training and match prep. We intend to use GPS/heart-rate monitors in all training sessions. We also intend to use video analysis for all our training sessions in addition to opposition analysis for match preparation.

• Who is your jersey sponsor? What’s your total income on sponsorships this season?

Atlanta United is in the process of evaluating and securing partnerships for its inaugural season. 

Right now, we are working with the AMB group sales team, which creates integrated partnerships across the Falcons, United and Mercedes-Benz Stadium, to establish partners for the club. We are leveraging opportunities across our portfolio to maximize enterprise revenue and deliver great value to our partners. 

There is a great deal of interest in our brands in the corporate community, and we’ll have news regarding club partners throughout the year.

• Local TV deal: How many of your games this season are shown on local television? How much is your local TV deal worth per season?

N/A

• Local radio deal: How many of your games this season are broadcast on local radio? In English? In other languages?

N/A

• How many front-office employees does your team have? How many have you added or subtracted in the past year?

We have certain shared services across all our properties, so we consult with staff in those roles frequently.

Where it makes sense, we are adding dedicated soccer roles in order to focus on and directly connect with our community (i.e. marketing, social, communications, tickets, etc).  

By Q2 of this year, we’ll have between 20 and 25 dedicated Atlanta United staff on the business side.

• Have you hired any additional technical staff over the past year to reduce doubling-up roles? Are you planning on expanding your technical staff in the near future?

Atlanta United began building its technical staff in 2015. Currently the club has seven full-time technical staff members and will continue to build out staffing in ’16.  

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