FC Barcelona opening training center for children in Casa Grande

Developer proposed a rezoning application to build an extreme family attraction park at one site in Casa Grande.

Does your child love soccer?

FC Barcelona is opening a residential academy for academic and soccer (football) training in Casa Grande, the team announced.

Barça Academy will be for children ages 12 to 19. Upon graduation, students will have a good chance of going pro or attending college.

READCould a 'Disney World'-style resort be coming to Casa Grande?

The student athletes will be trained by coaches who have recently been part of the FC Barcelona staff.

Barça Academy is part of FC Barcelona's efforts to expand in the United States, which includes the recent opening of an office in New York, with other projects in Florida, Charlotte, Austin, Chicago, Northern Virginia, San Diego and Long Island, New York.

Grande Sports Academy will manage the residential academy. Student athletes will compete in US Soccer Development Academy youth football categories.

BONUSDomes in Casa Grande must be torn down, Pinal County says

This announcement is another in a line of developments making Arizona a big market for soccer. DJ Diplo and Pete Wentz, Fall Out Boy bassist, hold minority shares in the Phoenix Rising Football Club.

Phoenix Rising is in the United Soccer League, and is applying to move up to Major League Soccer. MLS is set to name two expansion cities later this year.

MOREDrogba set to take the field for Phoenix Rising

Another big development -- in April the rumors were confirmed and legendary Chelsea and Ivory Coast footballer Didier Drogba joined Phoenix Rising. Drogba's first game is Saturday, June 10.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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