The Program

RIASA allows students the best of both worlds: a top quality American undergraduate degree program while living and playing in a true football culture on a year round basis. The purpose and mission of the academy is to help students be integrated into a professional training and learning environment as they reach their optimal playing potential.


Why This Program?

  • The RIASA program allows you to fully develop your game on a year round basis while studying for your American Undergraduate degree.
  • US college soccer provides a very limited experience and developmental opportunity for students to reach their potential. NCAA and NAIA rules restrict the playing season and times players can play or be coached in order to develop their game.
  • There are many students who would love to fully develop their playing potential and still receive the opportunity of a top quality professional education. Now they can at Richmond International Academic and Soccer Academy in the UK.
  • Live and learn the game as a top professional academy player does, without sacrificing your education. You will live, breathe and be focused like a top premiership club academy operation with the safety net of an academic degree to boot.


             RIASA vs Ajax in Amsterdam                 RIASA Home Field                             RIASA at Leeds Unite

Why RIASA Works for the American Player.

Sam Borden on Jurgen Klinsmann, New York Times, June 2014.

“He believes the N.C.A.A. is killing the talent pool in the United States because teenage stars go to college and miss out on formative years of training with professional teams”. …. If Klinsmann had his way, the United States roster would be made up of Americans playing their club soccer in Europe, facing the best competition in the world on a daily basis instead of only a few games every few years”.  Sam Borden, New York Times Magazine, June 2014

Who Should Consider this Program?

  • The program is open to all students who wish to pursue an American Degree while playing in a top quality soccer academy with professional coaching and playing opportunities against professional youth academy and reserve teams.


                                                             Beckett Park Campus: home to RIASA

Admission & Contact Information.

Students must meet the admission requirements of Richmond, The American International University in London.

Please contact Dr Brian Haley at: for details on how to proceed. Applicants may begin the application process at:

Cell: US Based number: (419) 618 5455


                                                                              RIASA Training Facility


Who Should Apply?

  • Students should be of a good playing standard either coming from a top premier select program, all regional or state player.
  • Each player will be considered on an individual basis; the program is open to those who are willing to learn and improve their game and those looking for a student experience that is different from one that they can gain while studying and playing elsewhere.
  • In addition, students need to meet Richmond, The American International University in London academic standards.

Coaching Certification

Players at RIASA will also be eligible to undertake the UEFA coaching courses under the direction of Mark Ellis. Students will qualify as a licensed UEFA coach, recognized as one of the best in the world. Students seeking a professional career in coaching will also be able to pursue further coaching awards through TheFA and UEFA via the local County FA (West Riding County FA). Check for details.

RIASA Students Earning their FA Coaching License.


Students are eligible to work 20 hours per week and if eligible, be paid to play at semi professional clubs.




RIASA is located in the city of Leeds in a vibrant thriving city in the heart of football country with Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield within a 30 – 50 mile radius. It lies on an easy rail route halfway between London and Edinborough, Scotland.


Training & Playing Equipment

RIASA will provide all training equipment and travel tracksuits, polos, sweat shirts and playing uniforms. Players need to provide their own playing shoes.

Player Representation

RIASA will help with players' contracts with interested professional clubs, through the correct channels and licensed football agents, should the opportunity arise. This will be under the direction of Mr. John Hendrie who has represented many top premiership players.


                RIASA Students Joey Spivack (New Jersey) and Christian Eissele (Florida) signing professional contracts under the eye of the RIASA academy coaches. (March, 2012)

Ryan Jones, PA, signs a professional Contract for Kemi Kings in Finland. (May, 2014)

Nahki Wells, came from RIASA and was signed by Huddersfield Town in January 2015 for a club record fee from Bradford City



RIASA directs five teams at varying levels providing opportunities for all academy students to play on a year round basis.

RIASA/Bradford City FC Reserves: Final Third Development Pro League (Elite)

RIASA Bradford Academy Team:  South Lancashire League

RIASA South Academy Team:  South Lancashire League

RIASA East Academy Team: East Lancashire League

RIASA Showcase Academy Team:  (Pro Academies Teams)

First Phase Development Team: Local Friendlies and 7 v 7 League.


  • Students will have a balanced timetable between academics, football training and games. Students will train Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, with showcase games organised during the week around BCFC/Pro Team fixtures and all RIASA Academy league games. Players will also have Individual Specific training on a Wednesday evening and an opportunity to play in additional games where needed on a Saturday.
  • Sundays will be a recovery and rest day. Showcase games will take place on a weekday afternoon at professional youth academy sites and league games will be played during the week either at our training ground or at away stadiums.


                         RIASA Students at Villarreal in Spain, at Bradford City FC and on a Coaching course on campus.

Total Athlete Development

  • RIASA will be using the world's first interactive technology system for coaching education and player development. This system is cutting edge and presently being used by several MLS academy and professional teams as well as top premier select teams in North America. RIASA is committed to integrate the next level of coaching beyond the athletic field to using on-line coaching education for players and staff to reach optimal performance both on the field and in the classroom.



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