April 28, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Central New Jersey - Real Central NJ Soccer (RCNJ) and Match Fit Academy have expanded their multiyear partnership to include the formation of Real Central NJ Soccer branded boys USL Academy team which will be run by Match Fit Academy out of Mercer County, NJ. Match Fit Academy and Next Level Soccer Academy already have player identification and marketing partnerships with Real Central NJ.
“The addition of a USL Academy team completes the pathway for players at local youth clubs to develop against some of the best talent available and link up to our pre-professional first teams,” said Real Central NJ Soccer’s men’s general manager, Ira Jersey. “This partnership gives the men’s first team technical staff the chance to identify talented youth players who deserve an opportunity with our USL League Two squad.”
The new USL Academy League offers a single boy’s U19 platform. High level players on the RCNJ team will face off against other USL-affiliated teams in the region, vying for the chance to make the national playoffs. The RCNJ Academy team will also travel to Tampa, Florida for the USL Academy Cup showcase event which will give players the chance to test themselves against high-quality USL-affiliated teams from across the country.
"The Match Fit Academy boys staff is extremely excited and honored to partner with Real Central NJ’s USL League Two team and help in the club’s effort to continue growing the game in Mercer County and beyond,” said Match Fit executive director Christopher Leahey. “The boys USL Academy platform will create an all-encompassing player pathway from grassroots to professional, providing young and ambitious male players a clear vision in their efforts to achieve the next level. The partnership will also provide an outlet for our alumni to continue their development outside of the collegiate season through RCNJ’s USL League Two program."
At the May 2021 USL Academy Cup event, the 2004 RCNJ Academy Cup select team faced off against youth sides of the Real Monarchs (Real Salt Lake’s second team), South Carolina United Bantams, Peachtree City (Georgia), and Ironbound SC (New Jersey). One Next Level Soccer and three Match Fit players featured for the team at the Florida tournament. One player from the select team, Kyle Allen, signed with the club’s USL League Two team for the 2022 season. The Match Fit 2008 boys and the Next Level Soccer 2004 girls also represented Real Central NJ at the tournament.
Match Fit Academy is a member of the prestigious Elite Clubs National League (ECNL). The ECNL is widely recognized as a top platform for club competition and player development in the country. Match Fit teams play in the ECNL and other local leagues appropriate to the development and skill level of the players and has partnerships with other local youth clubs and Surf Soccer for the development of players through the pathway. The USL Academy League team will be a separate team within the Match Fit Academy structure.
The Real Central NJ Soccer’s men’s pre-professional team has signed former Match Fit Academy players to the first team, including RCNJ’s USL League Two the inaugural season leading scorer, Wesley Leggett (St. John’s Univ.), and assist leader, Justin Brunow (LaSalle Univ.). RCNJ will continue to scout, recruit, and host open tryouts to find the players that best fit the pre-professional team’s needs in a club-agnostic fashion.