German soccer champions Bayern Munich have announced an expansion of their partnership with Global Premier Soccer (GPS), a US-based grassroots organisation.
Under the new terms of the arrangement, the number of Bayern coaches working in the US will double, with the Bundesliga club seeking to develop and identify talent in the country.
GPS works to encourage the growth of soccer in the US at a grassroots level, developing both coaches and players. Since the initial team-up in 2014, over 85,000 young players and 6,000 coaches have been taught the Bayern curriculum at 101 soccer clubs across 22 states.
The programme will continue to see the exchange of best practices on coaching methodology and player identification. New additions under the expanded agreement include the creation of a coaching certification and the establishment of the GPS FC Bayern National Team, which will pull together the best talent from the GPS programme across the US to complete in national-level tournaments around the world.
“FC Bayern’s Youth Academy has produced a number of world class players," said Joseph Bradley, chief executive of GPS. "The coaching education and opportunities for our kids have been incredible and through our innovative player identification programming we have, so far, identified eight young players who have been to Germany to train with the FC Bayern youth teams.”
The US is seen as fertile ground for young players as soccer continues to grow in the country. American winger Christian Pulisic, who plays for Bayern's Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund, has been one of this season's breakthrough stars in Germany.
Bayern confirmed their fifth consecutive Bundesliga title in April and this weekend defeated their nearest challengers, second-placed RB Leipzig, 5-3.