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Academy Affiliates

What is an Academy Affiliate?

The MLS Academy Affiliate program will improve athlete identification and development, as well as creating a path to professional soccer for youth players. Select players within the network will participate in elite player development and talent identification programming while coaches will have access to high-level coaching education opportunities. 

The Michigan Wolves Soccer Club is a 501c3 non-profit premier level soccer club based in Livonia, Michigan.  Originally part of the Wolves-Hawks Soccer Club, it was conceived in 1974 with the support of the Livonia Family YMCA.  Initiators of the soccer movement within the YMCA were Shirley Ritter, Executive Director of the YMCA, and Paul Scicluna, Head Soccer Coach. We are thankful for their courage, wisdom, and vision; it has allowed this soccer club to become one of the most successful soccer clubs in the country.


'Prepare players for the next steps in soccer and in life'

To provide for the boys and girls in the area of Western Michigan with a quality soccer program to promote the growth of and appreciation for the game of soccer. It is the mission of Midwest United FC to grow the game of soccer in west Michigan.

Midwest United FC is a registered 501 (c) (3) Non-Profit formed to foster the growth of youth individuals through team sports. Through our Player Assistance Program, we are able to fund many players who without assistance would not be able to participate.



  • Connection with Academy Technical Staff
  • Access to Crew Technical Staff
  • Curriculum development and support
  • Annual visits to Affiliate
  • Crew club methodology


  • Talent identification pipeline
  • Events attended by Crew Academy scouts
  • Access to Crew and/or MLS hosted events
  • On-field and classroom sessions for players, coaches, and parents
  • Crew training observation opportunities
  • Sports performance educational opportunities (e.g., workshops and modules)

Club Commercial Benefits

  • Official ties to an MLS franchise
  • Club marketing opportunities
  • Exclusive use of the official Crew brand
  • Crew discount offers
  • Crew player appearances
  • Matchday experiences
  • Parent education


What is the Youth Partnerships Program?

The Youth Partnerships Program is a partnership program of the Columbus Crew to help grow the game of soccer in the Columbus and Midwest.  The program is comprised of youth soccer organizations in Columbus and the Midwest.  The Crew will focus their work with these organizations in the areas of player development and coaching education in addition to providing commercial benefits to these organizations.  The program has two categories of youth soccer organizations: Academy Affiliate and Crew Network. 

What is the difference between Academy Affiliate and Crew Network?

Youth soccer organizations in both categories receive a combination of technical and commercial benefits.  The primary difference between an Academy Affiliate and Crew Network organizations is an Academy Affiliate is an official partner through Major League Soccer. Organizations in both categories receive benefits from the Columbus Crew; however, Academy Affiliate relationships have a stronger focus on the technical side creating a professional pathway for youth organizations in non-MLS markets.

What is the cost to partner with the Crew?

There is no cost/payment necessary to be a part of the programs.

What is the benefit to our youth club/organization?

The Crew will provide a mix of technical (soccer) and commercial benefits.  Examples of the benefits include, coaching education sessions, player development training, access to the Crew’s Technical/Coaching staff (e.g., 1st team, Academy), priority access to matchday activities and Crew events, and marketing opportunities at Field.

How do I become a member of the Youth Partnerships program?

Select youth clubs that share in our player development philosophy may be eligible to be an Academy Affiliate.

Youth soccer organizations that are interested in becoming an Academy Affiliate can fill out the information application here.