In an effort to improve, and expand, its talent pool, FC Dallas are partnering with German powerhouse FC Bayern Munich in a landmark player development deal.
The two clubs announced on Tuesday the first-of-its-kind, multi-year partnership, which will offer players within both professional academies a pathway to soccer in the United States and Germany. Dallas and Bayern will also come together to exchange talent, allowing young players to experience different coaching styles and settings to enhance their development.
"We are thrilled to join FC Bayern Munich in this groundbreaking collaboration," FC Dallas chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in a statement. "One of our primary goals is to develop an academy and a club that can compete at the highest level on a global scale. This unprecedented partnership with one of the most successful clubs in the world marks a significant step toward that goal, and we look forward to working closely with the outstanding leadership at FC Bayern."
“The United States is home to our very first international office, highlighting our commitment to engaging and growing FC Bayern’s fan base in the Americas," added FC Bayern Munich’s Executive Board Member for Internationalization and Strategy, Jörg Wacker. “Our intention from the beginning has been to help support the growth of soccer in the US, supporting the existing development of players. For us, FC Dallas is the ideal partner."
The two sides started discussing the possibility of a partnership in 2014, when Bayern Munich became the first European club to open offices in New York. Talks ramped up at last year’s Super Bowl in Houston and in December three FC Dallas Homegrown players – Bryan Reynolds, Paxton Pomykal and Reggie Cannon – traveled to Munich to participate in a 10-day training camp with Bayern academy players.
“The agreement wasn’t based on ‘just give us your partner list,’” FC Dallas President Dan Hunt said in a Sports Business Daily article published Monday. “Our focus here is on developing young players, and I think this is going to produce better soccer players, not only for FC Dallas but our youth national team as well.”
In addition to coaches exchanging ideas, opportunities will also be created for youngsters to play fixtures against one another in their respective countries.
FC Dallas players and coaches will be welcomed at the FC Bayern Campus, which opened in August of 2017. The state-of-the-art academy houses eight football pitches, a multi-purpose sports hall, the youth academy and a clubhouse with office space on a 74-acre plot.
FC Bayern Munich has also been working since 2014 to help grow the level of the game in North America. Through its grassroots partnership with Global Premier Soccer, the club is sharing its coaching philosophy and curriculum with over 90,000 children and 6,000 coaches in 101 soccer clubs in over 22 states.
“This is a unique alliance between two historic teams at the forefront of youth development,” said FC Bayern Munich’s President of the Americas, Rudolf Vidal. “We are proud to announce this partnership with FC Dallas, who have pioneered professional soccer in the U.S. Working with FC Dallas at this elite level will complement the extensive grassroots infrastructure we have helped create over the last few years in North America."