Dear Parent,

We want the Soccer Learning Academy to be a favorite time of the week for young players. We want our players to grow in their love for soccer as they grow in their soccer skills and understanding, become more fit, and learn about character traits that can help them grow as persons.

The Soccer Learning Academy teaches through methodology that has been proven effective in our country and around the world. We teach through competitive games and activities led by coaches who are chosen for their competence, caring, and desire to teach young players in a fun and competitive environment.

There is much more information about the Academy included below. We invite players who were born in the years 2013-2015 and their parents to join us for an Open House and play time on Monday evening May 23.


Click here to register for the Open House, Monday May 23rd


If you have interest in the Soccer Learning Academy, but cannot attend the Open House, please contact me at


Jeff Dybdahl

Soccer Learning Academy Director

Soccer Learning Academy Fast Facts

  • Fall season: August-October (13 weeks)
  • Spring season: mid March-May (11 weeks)
  • Teaching sessions (practices):
    • Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30-7:00 PM
    • Saturday mornings in August and March
    • Practices are held at the Soccer Learning Center, located behind Perry/Phoenix Middle School
  • Teams participate in 8 league games and 2 tournaments per season. Most or all on weekends, played in Worthington or other suburban locations.
  • Optional winter activities.
  • Coaches are supported and mentored by Rob Smith (Director of Player Development, click here for bio), Kevin Donovan (Director of Worthington United 94, click here for bio), and Jeff Dybdahl (Director of Soccer Learning Academy, click here for bio)
  • Players are assigned to specific teams after the first two weeks of teaching sessions in August, so coaches can place players on the team that seems to be the best fit for them to grow. Players can be moved part time or full time to other teams if coaches believe it would be better for a player’s growth.
  • Coaches, players, and parents are expected to follow the guidelines of Live United 94! which support the development of the environment in which we want our players to thrive.


Repetitions on the ball (through small-sided game play and through a 'play practice' approach) is at the HEART of this program. We also want players to begin to develop a team concept and to understand the importance of being part of an age group moving toward a common goal.


John Wooden's 'character words' from his Pyramid of Success will be discussed (and modeled) regularly at sessions with our Academy players. The 'Wooden Words' found at the 'base of the pyramid' will be at the core of our 'character talks' - industriousness, friendship, loyalty, cooperation, and enthusiasm.


We will engage players in FUN, dynamic FIT2PLAY activities to enhance coordination (lightness on feet), to strengthen the core (through kid-friendly exercises), and to begin to build speed and endurance (best way is through PLAYING the game with limited stops).


We will engage players in FUN, challenging repetitions on the ball. FUN skill challenges will be given for players (to practice at our sessions and at home) to achieve progressive 'levels of performance' through skill days (and through parent checks). We will use parts of the Coerver method as well as our own activities that will engage the players in time on the ball. We also are under the belief that skill is USING technique in game situations. We will encourage players to develop skills by being BRAVE during practices AND games.


Through the use of small sided games and the 'Play Practice' approach, we will engage players in thinking how to use their 'soccer brains'. Basic strategy (tactics) will be introduced. At the heart of our program will be developing 1v1 and 2v1 skills (and WHEN to use) as well as introducing, teaching, and fostering 'playing through the lines'.