The Nevada Wonders Soccer Academy is expanding faster than expected.
"We've added two teams and are assisting in training a third team this year alone," Wonders coach Paul Aigbogun said.
The Wonders Academy now coaches and trains more than 60 youth players in Northern Nevada.
The expansion of the academy will continue in the next year. "Tryouts for three new teams, an under 13 girls, an under 13 boys and an under 12 boys are planned for this summer," Aigbogun said.
That will bring the total number of teams in the academy to six with almost 100 players under the guidance of Aigbogun and Wonders soccer players.
"The whole concept of the Wonders Academy is to provide proper training to youth players, give them exposure to a premier level of play through tournaments across the country, provide exposure to college and professional scouts and coaches and give the opportunity for international play," Aigbogun said. "The kids coming into our system will have a better chance than most in Northern Nevada to advance their soccer careers."
The Wonders Academy will also serve as a feeder program into the Premiere Development League's Wonders team. This will assist in expanding the players' ability and knowledge of the game and give them the skills to carry their game to the professional level as well as expose the players to professional scouts.
"We make soccer clubs around the world award of the talent available here with contacts we have throughout the soccer community," Aigbogun said.
The Wonders are beginning to place players around the world. Aigbogun points out several Wonders players who are having the opportunity to play internationally.
Sweeper Renato Rodriguez is currently negotiating a contract to play for Sweeden's Karlstad United. His contract will pay him a monthly salary as well as all living expenses, including a car, apartment, utilities and groceries.
"This is a big jump for Renato," Aigbogun said. 'Karlstad United is currently in second place in Sweden's second division. It is a high level of professional soccer that truly puts a feather in the cap of the Nevada Wonders."
In addition, midfielder Chris Blackburn is on his way back to England to play for Northern England's Morcambe, having just signed a two-year contract. And the Wonders have been training Alex Romaganoio who is currently in Germany preparing for tryouts with two German professional teams.
These professional contacts are what makes the Wonders Academy special. "Our academy teams are preparing now for their futures," Aigbogun said. "The teams are getting exposure right now for college and professional careers. These young me and women are getting ready for college and professional soccer. We'll be able to get them in contact with soccer programs here and in Europe."
Aigbogun said that all of the groundwork is done to build a premiere soccer academy in Northern Nevada.
"We've got everything in place," he said. "We have the coaching to produce quality teams in every age group. We have the training facilities. We will even be offering coaching training to produce quality, nationally licensed coaches for every team in the academy.
"We've already got top level teams that are competing regionally against ranked teams with national ranked clubs and academies. As we grow and place more academy players in college and professional soccer, we'll have kids coming to Carson City from all over the West Coast to attend the Wonders Academy."
The Wonder Academy will host three separate five-day skills camps later this summer. The camps will train players in all aspects of the game from technical ball skills to tactical strategy for team play.
The camps will run from July 12-16 and July 19-23 and a premier camp for advanced and high school players will run from July 26-30. The camps will be run exclusively by Wonders players and coaches. The camps will run for five hours a day and each participant will receive a Wonders t-shirt and ball.
For more information on the academy and its camps, call Wonders general manager Randy Roser, 884-9999, or go on line at nevadawonders.com.