On September 15th, 2004, Luca Koleosho was born in the United States to parents of Nigerian, Italian and Canadian heritage. Flash-forward eighteen years later, and Koleosho clocked a 61-minute shift on the field for Burnley in the Premier League season-opener against Manchester City. Luca’s journey from his American roots to the fields of Europe has not only shaped his soccer career but also highlighted the sacrifices and rewards of leaving home at a young age to pursue your dreams.

A Brave Departure

At the age of 13, most children in the United States are still navigating the challenges of middle school and exploring their hobbies. However, Luca Koleosho made a choice that set him apart from his peers. With dreams of playing soccer at the highest level, he left behind his friends, family, and familiar surroundings in the United States to embark on an adventure across the Atlantic.

The Spanish Odyssey

Luca’s journey led him to the shores of Spain, a nation deeply passionate about soccer and arguably one of the best soccer cultures in the world. He joined CF Reus, a club that participates in renowned tournaments such as the Surf Cup International in Salou, Spain. The exposure to top-level competition and the opportunity to train and play alongside young talents from around the world provided Luca with an invaluable experience that significantly shaped his development as a player.

Challenges of Leaving Home

Leaving home at such a young age is undoubtedly a daunting task. The comforts of familiarity, family, and the sense of belonging are difficult to leave behind. Luca’s journey highlights the emotional and psychological challenges that come with this sacrifice. Adapting to a new culture, language, and environment can be overwhelming, but Luca’s determination and passion to pursue a professional soccer career helped him persevere through the tough times.

The Importance of European Exposure

Luca’s story underlines the significance of exposure to top-level soccer in Europe for young talents. The European soccer scene is known for its rigorous training methods, intense competition, and high standards of development. Players who make the leap to European academies like International Development Academy often find themselves surrounded by experienced coaches, world-class facilities, and opportunities to learn from the best. This exposure not only hones their skills but also provides a unique platform to showcase their abilities to scouts and clubs from across the globe.

Paving the Path for Future Talents

Luca Koleosho’s journey serves as an inspiration for aspiring young soccer players worldwide. His story demonstrates that while the path may be challenging, the rewards of dedication, hard work, and a willingness to step out of one’s comfort zone can be truly extraordinary. As young talents witness the success stories of players like Luca, they are encouraged to dream big and pursue their aspirations relentlessly, regardless of the obstacles they may encounter.


Luca Koleosho’s journey from the United States to Europe’s soccer stage is a testament to the power of dreams and determination. Leaving home at a young age and navigating the challenges of adapting to a new environment showcases Luca’s resilience and commitment to his passion. As he steps onto the field, wearing the Burnley jersey against Manchester City, his journey reminds us all that the pursuit of excellence often demands sacrifices, leaps of faith and a quality Development Academy. Luca’s story encourages young talents to embrace the unknown, work tirelessly, and grasp every opportunity to elevate their game to new heights.

If you would like to pursue your dream of playing at the highest level, International Development Academy is currently enrolling for the 2023/24 and 2024/25 academic seasons. Please fill out the form below and one of our Academic Advisors will reach out to you as soon as possible.

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Image Credit: Burnley FC

As the birthplace of modern football, England stands tall as a nation revered for its deep-rooted passion and exceptional talent in the beautiful game. For aspiring soccer players aiming to hone their skills and pursue a career in the sport, football academies in England present an unparalleled opportunity for growth and development. Among the crème de la crème of such institutions, the International Development Academy (IDA) in Reading, United Kingdom, takes the lead. International Development Academy offers a comprehensive training program that prepares players for the collegiate level and beyond.

  1. International Development Academy (IDA)

Leading the pack, the International Development Academy has carved a niche for itself as one of the premier football academies in England. Situated in the heart of Reading, IDA provides an intensive one-year training program designed to fine-tune the skills of young soccer talents. Boasting a state-of-the-art facility and a team of highly qualified coaches, IDA offers personalized training sessions, tactical workshops, and competitive match experiences that ensure players are well-equipped to thrive at the collegiate level.

  1. Manchester United Academy

A name that resonates across the globe, the Manchester United Academy has been instrumental in nurturing some of the greatest football talents in history. Situated at the legendary Carrington Training Centre, this prestigious academy offers top-tier coaching and an environment that fosters the development of technical proficiency and a winning mentality. With a rich history of producing world-class players, Manchester United Academy continues to be a sought-after destination for aspiring soccer stars.

  1. Chelsea FC Academy

Located in Cobham, Surrey, the Chelsea FC Academy is renowned for its focus on developing well-rounded players with exceptional technical skills and tactical acumen. With access to cutting-edge training facilities and a curriculum designed to produce players who embody the ethos of “The Chelsea Way,” this academy has consistently churned out talents that have graced the highest echelons of football.

  1. Arsenal Academy

Situated at Hale End, London, the Arsenal Academy has earned its place among the top football academies in England. Known for its emphasis on nurturing creativity and flair on the field, this football academy focuses on developing players who can contribute significantly to the game’s attacking aspect. Boasting a strong track record of promoting youth players to the first team, Arsenal Academy remains a beacon of hope for young talents dreaming of professional success.

  1. Liverpool FC Academy

With a tradition of producing world-class players, the Liverpool FC Academy stands tall as a breeding ground for future soccer stars. Situated in Kirkby, Merseyside, the academy’s coaching philosophy revolves around the “Liverpool Way,” emphasizing teamwork, high-intensity play, and relentless work ethic. With an illustrious history and a passionate fan base, Liverpool FC Academy continues to inspire the next generation of footballers.

In the dynamic and highly competitive world of football, having the right training and support during the formative years can make all the difference for aspiring players. Football academies in England play a pivotal role in nurturing young talent, and among them, the International Development Academy leads the way with its comprehensive program designed to prepare players for the collegiate level and beyond. As the legacy of these prestigious academies continues to shape the future of football, young talents can dream of a brighter tomorrow and bigger fields by attending one of the football academies in England.

Interested in learning more about IDA in the UK? Check it out here!

IDA Florida at DME Academy in Daytona Beach, Florida continues to expand its campus with a brand new regulation-sized turf field. IDA Florida in partnership with DME is making significant strides in its commitment to providing top-notch facilities for athletes. The latest addition to the IDA Florida campus is an impressive 75,000+ sq. ft. turf soccer field. The new field will serve as the venue for our Middle School and High School soccer games next season and will also host the highly anticipated Soccer Summer Prep camp from June 25th – July 22nd. 

“The installation of a turf soccer field on campus at IDA Florida’s location is a testament to IDA and DME’s dedication to the development of young soccer players,” says Tommasso Trevisan, Director of International Development Academy. “The field is right next door to our state-of-the-art indoor training facility where athletes can utilize gym equipment to help take them to the next level.” 

This new facility will enhance training sessions, allowing players to sharpen their skills and elevate their game to new heights. The field’s synthetic nature ensures reliable performance, regardless of weather conditions, making it a perfect venue for competitive matches. The addition of lights will also make it possible to host games at night, even when the days get shorter in the winter. 

The investment that DME and IDA have made into growing the soccer program has shown how serious we are in developing our student-athletes.” says Todd Eason, Director of Soccer at IDA Florida/DME Academy. “The entire facility is a game-changer for the program. Our ability to now host high-level competitions, offer showcase events, and provide regular training on a regulation-sized field, will only bring more recognition to IDA Florida and DME Academy’s soccer program.”  

The significance of the new turf soccer field goes beyond mere convenience. By hosting the Soccer Summer Prep camp on this exceptional playing surface, DME Academy is providing a platform for aspiring young athletes to refine their abilities under the guidance of experienced coaches. The camp will attract talented soccer players from across the globe, creating a vibrant and competitive environment for skill development. Participants will have the opportunity to learn from quality coaches and engage in rigorous training sessions, preparing them for the challenges of competitive soccer and getting them ready for the collegiate level.

Interested in playing soccer at IDA Florida? Find out more about our program by filling out the form on this page!

Soccer demands dedication, hard work, and commitment. For aspiring young players seeking to enhance their skills, enrolling in a soccer academy can be an excellent way to elevate their game. However, for those who are genuinely committed to developing their skills on the pitch, in the classroom, and beyond, a soccer boarding school could be the ideal choice.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of embracing the soccer academy approach, and specifically, why soccer boarding schools, like International Development Academy (IDA), are becoming an increasingly popular choice for young players.

What is a Soccer Boarding School?

A soccer boarding school is a specialized institution that combines high-level soccer training with academic studies. Students live on campus and receive intensive soccer coaching from experienced coaches, while also attending classes and pursuing their academic goals.

The Benefits of Soccer Boarding Schools

1. Intensive Soccer Training

The extensive soccer training that players receive is one of the key advantages of joining a soccer boarding school. Students may improve on their talents and develop their game in an organized and focused setting with regular training sessions.

2. High-Level Coaching

Soccer academies like IDA build their coaching staff with experienced and qualified coaches who have a deep understanding of the game. Our coaches are licensed and have various experiences playing and coaching at the academy, college, and professional levels. This means that student-athletes receive expert guidance and coaching, which can help them reach their full potential as players.

3. Competitive Environment

Soccer boarding schools attract players from all over the world, which creates a highly competitive environment. This can be a great way for young players to push themselves and improve their game, as they are constantly challenged by their peers.

4. Academic Support

While soccer is the main focus of a soccer boarding school, academic studies are also a very important part of the curriculum. Students receive academic support and guidance, which can help them achieve their academic goals while pursuing their soccer dreams. IDA boasts a specialized staff at each of our locations to ensure all students are on a path to success both on and off of the field.

5. Personal Development

Attending a school that follows the academy approach can also help young players develop important life skills such as independence, responsibility, and time management. Living away from home and balancing academic and soccer commitments can be challenging, but will also be a valuable learning experience.

Embracing the Soccer Academy Approach

For young players who are serious about their soccer development, embracing the soccer academy approach can be a great way to take their game to the next level. International Development Academy’s boarding school provides a unique and valuable experience, and gives students all the tools they need to continue their academic and professional careers at the next level.

By embracing the academy approach, IDA’s student-athletes have found their transition into collegiate sports and studies to be much smoother than what high school students often experience. This means that they can continue moving forward in their development at the next level, not take steps back.

Whether you’re a player, a parent, or a coach, it’s important to consider the benefits of the soccer academy approach and explore the options available. By embracing this approach, young players can develop their skills, pursue their academic goals, and achieve their soccer dreams.

Soccer, also known as football in many countries, is considered the world’s most popular sport. It is played and watched by millions of people across the globe and is growing more and more in places that traditionally aren’t considered “Soccer Countries.” For young soccer players who dream of playing at the professional or collegiate level, choosing an international soccer school can provide numerous benefits. In this article, we will explore the benefits of choosing an international soccer school specifically located in Valencia, Spain, London, UK, and Rome, Italy.

Exposure to International Coaching Styles

One of the biggest benefits of choosing an international soccer academy is the exposure to different coaching styles. Coaches from different countries have different approaches to the game, and players who attend an international soccer school will have the opportunity to learn from coaches who have different backgrounds and training methods. This exposure can help players develop a more well-rounded understanding of the game and improve their overall skills.

IDA takes pride in their coach-selection process. Our coaches mainly have UEFA B or higher coaching licenses and carry some level of experience playing professionally or at the collegiate level. You can find out more about our coaching staff by heading to our academies page and looking at each individual academy.

Cultural Immersion

Another benefit of attending an international soccer school is the opportunity to experience different cultures. Valencia, Spain, London, UK, and Rome, Italy are all culturally rich cities with a lot to offer. By attending an international soccer academy in one of these cities, players will be able to immerse themselves in the local culture and gain a deeper understanding of the world around them. This experience can be invaluable for personal growth and development.

Language Learning

In addition to cultural immersion, attending an international soccer school can also provide an opportunity for language learning. Learning a new language can be challenging, but it is a valuable skill that can open up many opportunities in life. By attending an international soccer school, players will have the opportunity to learn a new language and practice it in a real-world setting. This can help players become more confident and comfortable communicating with people from different backgrounds.

High-Quality Training Facilities

International soccer schools often have state-of-the-art training facilities that are designed to help players reach their full potential. From high-quality pitches to advanced training equipment, these facilities provide players with the tools they need to improve their skills and become better players. By attending an international soccer school, players will have access to these facilities and be able to train in an environment that is conducive to their development.

Exposure to Professional Scouts, Teams and Methodology

Finally, attending an international soccer academy can provide players with exposure to professional scouts, teams and methodology. International scouts are always on the lookout for talented young players who have the potential to play at a professional level. By attending an international soccer school, players will have the opportunity to showcase their skills and potentially catch the eye of a professional scout. This exposure can be invaluable for players who dream of playing soccer at the highest level.

At IDA, you’ll have the opportunity to train with and play against local professional clubs as well. This combined with the elite IDA methodology and training is what equips our players so well for years to come and puts them on a pathway to success from the moment they step foot on our campus.

In conclusion, choosing an international soccer school can provide numerous benefits for young soccer players. From exposure to international coaching styles to cultural immersion and language learning, attending an international soccer school can help players develop a more well-rounded understanding of the game and the world around them. With high-quality training facilities and the potential for exposure to professional scouts, attending an international soccer school can be a life-changing experience for young players who dream of playing at a professional level.

If you are a young soccer player looking to take your skills to the next level, attending a soccer academy before you head off to college can be an excellent way to do so. There are many soccer academies located throughout the United States, but if you live in Florida or are willing to travel there, you should consider attending a Florida soccer academy. Here are some of the benefits of choosing a Florida soccer academy.

Access to High-Quality Coaching

One of the most significant benefits of attending a soccer academy in Florida is the access you will have to high-quality coaching. Florida is home to some of the best soccer coaches in the country, many of whom have played professionally or coached at the highest levels of the sport. By attending a Florida soccer academy, you will have the opportunity to work with these coaches and benefit from their expertise. In particular, IDA Florida in partnership with DME Academy has some of the best coaching staff at IDA. Their focus is mainly on developing players and preparing them to take the next step of playing collegiate soccer.

Exposure to College Coaches

Another benefit of attending a soccer academy down south is the exposure you will have to college coaches. Many college coaches attend soccer tournaments and events in Florida, looking for talented players to recruit to their programs. By attending a soccer academy in Florida, you may have the opportunity to play in front of these coaches and make connections that could help you in your college search.

Top-Notch Facilities

Florida soccer academies also offer top-notch facilities for training and playing. Many of these academies have state-of-the-art soccer fields, weight rooms, and training rooms, all designed to help you reach your full potential as a player. IDA Florida, in partnership with DME Academy has over 47,000 square feet of facilities and latest training equipment. They also recently built a brand new turf field that is state-of-the-art. Having access to these facilities can make a big difference in your training, and can give you an edge over other players who do not have access to such resources.


Florida is home to some of the best youth soccer leagues in the country, and attending a Florida soccer academy will give you the opportunity to compete against some of the best players in your age group. This competition can help you improve your game and prepare you for the challenges of playing at the college level.


Finally, the weather in Florida is ideal for playing soccer. With warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine, you will be able to train and play year-round, without worrying about the weather interfering with your training.

To sum it all up, attending a soccer academy in Florida can be an excellent way to take your soccer skills to the next level. With access to high-quality coaching, exposure to college coaches, top-notch facilities, competition, and ideal weather conditions, attending a Florida soccer academy can help you reach your full potential as a player. If you are a young soccer player looking to improve your game, consider attending a Florida soccer academy and see how it can benefit you.

Picture this – you are browsing the internet searching for quality soccer tournaments your team can participate in for the upcoming season. Knowing the commitment levels of the parents and players on your team, you understand that they want to have their athletes exposed to quality competition, but don’t want to spend thousands of dollars in travel expenses just to play 3 games and head home. This can really limit your options – at least you think so, so you never go outside the boundaries of the United States in search of a top-tier, well organized international soccer tournament. 

While you can undoubtedly save some money for your team by staying local and playing in a tournament just a few miles away, you are missing out on exposure that developing players and teams need in order to bring their game to the next level. Not only that, if you end up traveling via airline, it’s likely that you are going to end up spending more or equal to the amount that you would spend attending an international soccer tournament. All while likely having a much worse experience.

Let’s break this down:


Costs of flights are never cheap, but to attend a domestic event via airline can add up quickly depending on where you are going. On average, it’s likely that a parent attending an event with their child will spend roughly $600 per ticket, totalling $1,200 before you even get to the actual soccer tournament. Compare that to an international soccer tournament, when if booked early enough, you pay around $800 per ticket or $1,600 before the event.

To go with this, most of the time when traveling via airline to an event, you’ll need a rental car. Rental cars can cost quite a bit per day – roughly around $150 per day (not including gas costs). If you’re attending a 3-day domestic event (2 Nights), that puts the cost around $500 for the weekend.

With the international soccer tournaments, these are all-inclusive events that provide transportation to you and your team, both to the event and any excursions you may want to go on.

So right now we have:

Domestic Soccer Tournament Cost: $1,700

International Soccer Tournament Cost: $1,600


Sometimes, if you book early enough and with the rest of your team, hotels can come at a discounted rate. That being said, that “discounted” rate can still add up to $200 per night. Going back to the 3-day domestic tournament example, that has the cost at $400 for two nights if you are staying in one room. Add that to the food cost for meals each day (we valued it at around $200) then you are now at $600 for hotels/accommodations.

On the international side of things, meals and hotels are all included in the cost to attend the event up-front. Everything you’ll need to keep you happy and your athlete(s) fueled will be provided to you at no additional cost.

The Totals

Now that we’ve run through the costs for each type of event, let’s look at the final total:

Domestic Soccer Tournament Cost: $2,300

International Soccer Tournament Cost: $1,600

As you can see, there’s no reason to create excuses as to why your team can’t travel to events outside of the United States. Financially, it makes sense just based on the quick cost breakdown, but there are a variety of experiences and other factors that make attending an international soccer tournament an unmissable experience for parents, players and coaches.

What else do you get by going international?

International events, as we mentioned, are all-inclusive. That means meals, transportation and other accommodations are taken care of which can take a large burden off of parents for planning upon their arrival. Not only that, but all-inclusive in this sense means you’re also getting access to additional trainings and scrimmages while you are at the event to make your time worthwhile. Domestic tournaments in the US often have a 3-game guarantee, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the teams will be highly competitive and worth playing in. Majority of the time, teams in events are matched based on GotSoccer Points which don’t necessarily tell the full story of a team’s level and ability to compete. At an international event, you’ll be facing competition from professional youth academies and clubs all throughout the world which can be both a differentiator and resume builder as players look to further their playing careers.

Speaking of furthering player’s careers and development, international soccer tournaments film all games free-of-charge – there’s no application or additional fee on top of registration fees to access game footage. This is something that can be used for personal development or to turn into a highlight clip down the road. 

To wrap things up, International Soccer Tournaments give players and families the opportunity to immerse themselves in both cultural and athletic experiences at a cost that is almost identical to a domestic event. If you’re interested in checking out some of the great events we have on our radar, you can explore the links below, or head to our tournaments page here.

Daytona Beach, FL – IDA is excited to announce the hiring of Thales Peterson as Head Soccer Coach. Peterson is set to take over the reins of IDA’s fast-growing soccer program in partnership with DME academy on May 15th. Peterson brings a wealth of soccer experience to the program and possesses strong leadership qualities that had him pegged for the position. 

Peterson comes to IDA @DME with an impressive coaching background. He has been coaching at various youth and professional levels for decades and holds a USSF A License. 

Peterson began his career as an Assistant Coach at the Empire Strykers (then named the Ontario Fury) in Ontario, California, and spent 13 years with FC Golden State, helping to build the youth program from scratch. Today, the club features thousands of players, many of which are MLS Next status. After his tenure with the Empire Strykers, Peterson was named head coach for the professional soccer club, Los Angeles Force, which plays in the National Independent Soccer Association out of Los Angeles, California. Most recently, he was the Girls Director and Head Coach at an ECNL-R club in the Sarasota, Florida area. Peterson is well-respected in the soccer community and has a proven track record of developing players and producing winning teams.

“We are thrilled to have Thales Peterson join the team as our Head Soccer Coach,” said Rick Angelicola, Academic Advisor at IDA @DME. “His extensive coaching experience, passion for the game, and commitment to player development make him the perfect fit for our program. His Brazilian roots and international ties will aid us in continuing to bring the best players from around the world to the fields at the IDA Florida Campus in Daytona.”

Peterson is equally excited about the opportunity to lead the IDA @DME Academy soccer program. 

I’m excited to work with a professional staff, at a state-of-the-art facility, and with high-level aspiring athletes. With dedication, the right mindset, and execution, you can achieve all your goals. I’m honored to help ignite the dream and make a positive impact on the lives of so many student-athletes.” 

The IDA soccer program in partnership with DME Academy is known for its commitment to excellence, both academically and athletically. With Peterson at the helm, the soccer program is positioned to continue its upward trajectory and achieve even greater success.

In 2021, Michael Echavarria, a high school soccer player from Boston, Massachusetts, entered his name into a contest for a free soccer season with International Development Academy. After learning about the academy, and its mission to impact passionate and motivated soccer players like himself, Michael figured it was a no brainer to throw his name in the hat. He had aspirations of getting recruited into a D1 college soccer program, or joining the professional ranks, and knew that IDA could support him on that journey.

When Michael received notice that he had won IDA’s contest, he was ecstatic. “The feeling when I found out that I won the contest is truly indescribable,” Michael said. “It is a moment that I will never forget, and one that I will forever be grateful for.” As the season approached, IDA’s staff kept in constant communication with Michael and his family, coordinating travel and prepping them on what to expect. He packed his bags and was ready to take on this experience of a lifetime.

Michael’s first trip outside of the states went seamlessly. An IDA staff member greeted him at the airport and brought him to Mas Camarena Resort & Boarding School in Valencia, Spain, where he and his fellow classmates would spend the season. Upon arrival, he received a tour of campus, including his living arrangement, training facilities, academic buildings, and cafeteria. At that moment, his nerves had faded and he was overcome with excitement for this opportunity. Michael described the feeling, stating, “In the back of my mind, I knew that this was going to be something to significantly impact my life, not just with my aspirations as a footballer, but as a person as well.”

Michael made the most of his free soccer season at IDA Valencia. He took advantage of every opportunity to develop on the pitch, in the weight room, and in the classroom, made lasting friendships, and fully immersed himself in the Spanish culture. And while there were challenges along the way, like being far from home and training in a highly competitive environment, he knew that overcoming them with the support of his coaches, teachers, and classmates, made him better in the long run.

After an incredible season at IDA Valencia, Michael decided to enroll full time at the academy. Why? His list of reasons seemed endless. From the highly supportive and knowledgeable coaching staff, to the rigorous training schedule, Michael loved the feeling of “training like a professional footballer”. He said, “The sessions at IDA are highly intensive, competitive, demanding, and technical, and will help you to identify areas of your game that you need to work on, in addition to helping you learn to be smarter on the field.” 

When asked how he would describe IDA to a fellow youth footballer, without hesitation, Michael stated, “IDA will give you the tools you need to take your game and aspirations as a footballer to the next level. If you have the passion, the drive, you are disciplined and focused, the possibilities of making your dreams a reality are endless!” 

If this sounds like you, fill out the form below to get on our radar.