Elite Juniors Program (u8-u12)

We know the U8-U12 ages are the most critical development years of a youth soccer player’s career. It is at these ages where the basic fundamental skills of soccer are mastered that allow players to compete and be successful as soccer players at the next level of play and where they develop a true love for the game. This year-round program is designed for players ages 8-12 years old who have a higher level of ability, commitment and interest level in soccer. This program helps prepare players who aspire to play in the MTA Elite Academy.

Our recipe for success is:

Committed Players + Professional Coaches + Proper Technique + Passion = Long Term Soccer Success and Enjoyment

1. Training Environment. Our training environment simply cannot be replicated because of the highly competitive environment the players train in with our professional trainers and coaches. 

2. Frequency. Our juniors team’s train together 2 to 3 times per week from mid-August through the end of the following July. 

3. Proper Coaching. Players work under the guidance of our top-level professional soccer coaches and trainers. We make it a priority that our players are given the right technical foundation that will allow them to compete at the next levels of play (MTA Elite Academy, US Development Academy, ECNL, NPL, MYSA Premier, high school varsity, collegiate, professional).

4. Attitude/Commitment. We bring together Like-minded families who have a higher level of commitment and interest in soccer. 

5. Passion. We instill and foster a deep passion for the game. This passion is what will help drive and motivate the players to work on their technical skills on their own and to compete at the highest levels of play.

What Separates Minnesota Thunder Academy from Other Clubs?

Year Round Professional Coaching 

Your professional coach is with you for the entire year; Not just some training sessions through the winter and once or twice in the summer. Our coaches stay with their teams through the entire year for both training and games.   

Elite Clubs National League
This is the highest level of play for girls in the U14-U18 age groups in the country.  Minnesota Thunder Academy is the only club in Minnesota participating in this league and offering the highest level of competition as well as exposure to college coaches.

US Soccer Development Academy
We are the only metro area club to be part of the most prestigious youth league in the United States.  Only 78 of the top clubs in the US take part in this league.



US Club Soccer National Premier Leagues
The National Premier Leagues consists of multiple conferences throughout the country, and will offer the best platform for long-term player development by providing consistent and meaningful games between the region’s top players. Additionally, the league will provide opportunities for players to be scouted by U.S. Soccer national staff. Finally, winners of each National Premier Leagues conference will qualify for US Club Soccer’s League Champions Cup in July 2012.


US Youth Soccer National Championships Qualifiers
2011 – Boys U16 (94/95)
2010 – Girls U16 (93/94)
2003 - Girls U18 (84/85)
2002 - Girls U17 (84/85)

US Youth Soccer Region II Champions

2011 – Boys U16 (94/95)
2007 - Girls U13 (93/94)
2003 - Girls U18 (84/85)
2002 - Girls U17 (84/85)

US Youth Soccer Region II Runner-Up
2010 – Girls U16 (93/94)
2005 – Girls U17 (87/88)
2005 – Boys U13 (91/92)
2001 – Girls U13 (84/85)

US Youth Soccer National Championships Runner-up
2003 – Girls U18 (84/85)
2002 – Girls U17 (84/85)

US Youth Soccer National Championships 3rd Place
2011 – Boys U16 (94/95)

US Youth Soccer Region II Semi-Finalist
2010 – Boys U15 (94/95)

US Youth Soccer Minnesota State Cup Champion
2013* - Boys U13, U15, Girls U14, U18
2012* - Boys U13, U14, U15
2011 -  Girls U14, U15, U16, U17 - Boys U13, U14, U16
2010 – Girls U13, U15, U16 and U19 - Boys U13, U14, U15, U17, U19
2009 – Girls U15, U18 and U19 - Boys U13, U14, U15, U18
2008 – Girls U13, U14, U15, U17 and U18 - Boys U13, U17, U19
2007 – Girls U13, U14, U16, U17 and U19 - Boys U14, U16, U18
2006 – Girls U13, U15, U16 and U18 - Boys U13, U15, U17, U18, U19
2005 – Girls U14 and U17 - Boys U13, U14, U17, U18
2004 – Girls U13, U16 and U19 - Boys U14, U15, U19

*Beginning in 2012, MTA’s top U14-U18 ECNL girls teams and top U16-U18 US Development Academy boys did not particiapte in State Cup.


Player Development

We have produced multiple National Team, Regional Team and professional players. Many of our players have gone on to play college soccer at the D1, D2 or D3 level. 

MTA players also have connections to national player identification programs ID2 and ODP.

Competitive Environment and Coaching
Our club attracts the highest talent level within Minnesota and therefore our players benefit from playing with other skilled players under the guidance of our professional coaches. Our club attracts the highest talent level within Minnesota and therefore our players benefit from playing with other skilled players under the guidance of our professional coaches.  

Why come to MTA now?

Many Community clubs say they offer year-round training. However it is difficult to replicate the training environment or level of coaching that players receive at MTA. Each year at the U13-U19 levels, players come from clubs across the Twin Cities in hopes of making our elite teams. Many of these players come without the proper technical foundation and therefore are not good enough to make our Elite teams. They may be the best players at their community club, but it is often too late technically for these players to compete at the Regional and National levels where our teams compete. We give our U9-U12 players their best chance by properly teaching the fundamentals at this critical stage of a player’s soccer development.

A Juniors Team Season Overview 

U9-U10 Juniors teams participate in the MYSA fall season. There are 6-8 games and are played on the weekends from the weekend following Labor Day to the middle of October.

U11-U12 Juniors teams participate in the MN Club Soccer Development League. This league is comprised of teams from the other MTA Regional Academies and local soccer clubs. The league will consist of 4 “Match Days” typically held on Sunday’s with 2 games being played per Match Day.

All Juniors teams train 2-3 days per week and play in the NSC Fall Cup or may travel out of state to 1 event. 

Juniors teams train 2-3 days per week from November through the second week of April. Juniors teams also participate in indoor leagues, futsal leagues/tournaments and other winter tournaments.

All Juniors teams compete in the MYSA summer league at their appropriate competitive level. Each Juniors coach, selects the appropriate level of tournaments for their team. Typically, Juniors teams play 1 event per month April, May, June and July. Some team’s will travel out of state.



Interested in Joining? Contact:

North Director - Dave Alberti

South Director - Rob Zahl

South Metro Director- Jason Obarski

East Director - Andy Kaasa

West Director - Mark Yueill