The San Antonio Scorpions youth academy teams will shut down, according to a press release
by the team.
The teams were a part of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy
system, a nationwide network of hundreds of top youth soccer squads. Most teams from Major League Soccer and the North American Soccer League, in which the Scorpions play, are affiliated with youth academy teams.
The press release stated that “we deeply regret the disappointment this will cause the players, their families, and the coaches.” About 60 boys between the ages of 13 and 18 play for the three Scorpions youth squads.
Scorpions management apparently knew that this was a possibility for several months, according to the press release. Soccer for a Cause
, the philanthropic group of Scorpions owner Gordon Hartman, looked into taking over the youth teams, but could not make it work.
“We studied creating various different partnerships that would have not only kept the academy teams intact, but expanded our involvement with youth player development in San Antonio. Unfortunately, we were unable to come to an agreement with the prospective partners,” the release said.
Scorpions representatives did not immediately respond to requests to comment.
Reaction on social media
bashed the Scorpions’ front office in the wake of the move.
“This is so incredibly short sited [sic], and I just want to think that it was all [President and General Manager Howard] Cornfield and Hartman didn't really understand the ramifications of the decision, but either way, I'm so bummed this morning,” said Reddit user cathar_here.
Others on Reddit suggested that the move could hurt SA’s chances of landing an MLS team.
“All MLS teams have an academy program. SA will get crucified for this,” said user HOU-1836.