On May 19, we were able to organize as every year, our showcase on the lawns of the CNF of Clairefontaine.

Contrary to previous years when we welcomed more than a hundred players, health restrictions have pushed us to limit the number of participating youngsters.

There were 25 players currently under contract in academies who were able to play a match under the eyes of our university placement specialists.

They were also able to benefit from the advices of Jean-Claude Lafargue, former Director of the INF Clairefontaine and trainer of Kylian Mbappé, Blaise Matuide or Thomas Lemar, among many others…

We would like to thank the teams of the French Football Federation, as well as all the players who made the trip!

We hope the conditions will be optimal to welcome you all next year.

On April 23, 2021, Adrien Hunou left Stade Rennais to sign with the Major League Soccer franchise: Minnesota United FC.

Top scorer of the League Cup in 2018 and winner of the French Cup with Rennes in 2019, at 27 years old, he will have left an indelible mark in the history of his club of heart and its supporters. “The whole club thanks Adrien for his total involvement during all these years and wishes him the best in his new adventure”.

After several years of reflexion, Adrien finally joined Minnesota.
The Stade Rennais native joins two former Ligue 1 players: Romain Métanire and Bakaye Dibassy.

Congratulations and good luck for this season!

On April 8, 2021, Kevin Cabral signed with the LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer.
The young winger of 21 years joined another Frenchman already there, Samuel Grandsir, recent transfer of the team too. Author of 10 goals and 5 assists this season in Ligue 2, Kevin leaves Valenciennes to join the prestigious franchise in Los Angeles.

Trained at Paris-Saint-Germain alongside his twin brother Remi since the age of 12, Kevin and his brother wear the colors of the capital club for 5 seasons and won the U17 championship in 2016 before being released by the club. He then joined Valenciennes in the summer of 2017 and quickly rubbed shoulders with the first team before settling in as a starter after a few seasons at the club.
Remi also joins the adventure, the two brothers start their chapter in MLS together.

Good luck guys !

On March 15, the agency’s track and field department organized the first 100% college athletics show in the US presented by Maryse Éwanjé-Épée and Martin Casse!

This show focused on the American university system and highlighted extraordinary careers and successes in sports as well as academics and careers.

The show was presented by Maryse-Éwanjé-Épée, RMC consultant on the Moscato Show, former student-athlete in Arizona and top athlete with a 4th place in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

During the show, several guests were able to contribute to the project: Yanis David, long and triple jump athlete, or Mickael Hanany (height) who spoke about their experience and their prestigious title in NCAA D1 for example..

This project was made possible thanks to the collaboration of ISPRA, an audiovisual school in Ramonville.

“College sports in the U.S. is a subject that is very close to my heart. For me, this experience has changed my life. This show is a tribute to all those athletes who try to make it across the Atlantic and to all those extraordinary journeys” shares Martin.

Watch the show on our Elite Track and Field page: https://fb.watch/4J6cwukHTx/

It’s official! Since a few weeks Elite Athletes and La French Touch Academy are officialy partners!
Nestled in the heart of an exceptional pine forest, the International Tennis Center is one of the most beautiful tennis facilities in France. The academy can take advantage of more than 30 courts to train young people in the best conditions all year round, and also on its campus where they grow up alongside a teaching team led by Charles Auffray.
From 2022, the complex will have 80 beds within the structure, new classrooms and a refurbished sports medical center. In the meantime, it will be at the same time the reconstruction of 7 fields and a fitness area which will begin.
This alliance is the possibility to lean on common know-how and different skills at the same time. For Elite Athletes, it is the possibility to count on a quality training nursery and for the French Touch to be able to rely on professionals of placement and coaching in US universities.

Daniel is passionate about soccer. He is goalkeeper, he was first trained at INF Clairefontaine before joining the Paris Saint-Germain academy with the hope to become professional.

He obtained his baccalaureate in 2013, and then went on to study a degree in Management at the University of Paris Dauphine, in parallel with his final year at the PSG academy. At the end of this pivotal season, he will not be extended.

“The level was very high, I wanted to continue my studies, and I got injured at the wrong time. In this context, I missed the right wagon, PSG did not offer me to go further. ”

He continued his studies at Dauphine the following year while joining the US Palaiseau club with the simple aim of playing for fun. At the start of the 2015 academic year, he began his apprenticeship at Air Liquide and started thinking about his international exchange program for his Master’s degree, which was just around the corner. That’s when he discovered the FFFUSA project.

“There are a lot of scams in the soccer world, so I was naturally cautious when I discovered this project. I asked the FFF (French Football Federation) and the feedback was positive. So I called Edouard who suggested that I come to the Clairefontaine tryout, after which I received offers from universities.

However, how to continue studies at Dauphine and at the same time combine this experience that was taking shape? This was the problem that the agency, Daniel and the directors of his Master’s degree at Dauphine had to answer.

In the end, everything worked out perfectly. The Dauphine management agreed with Daniel’s project and offered to adapt his curriculum: the two years of the Master’s degree at Dauphine were transformed into two years of MBA in the United States followed by a year of M2 once he returned to France.

He was recruited by California State University in Los Angeles. The plane takes off and so does Daniel.

“Compared to most of the players who left with the hope of a second chance in soccer, I was aiming for a big school. The soccer side was secondary.

I wanted to find a compromise between a university with a reputation for academics and sports. However, this means that we are dealing with universities in the TOP30, so it wasn’t easy…”.

In the end, the Los Angeles experience turned out badly for Dan. The trainers were not very competent, and Daniel did not understand the motivations that had led him to try this adventure.

But every problem has its solution: the FFFUSA team and Daniel worked together to consider transferring to another university.

“It was either I would return to finish my M2 in Paris or I would transfer. So in January 2017 we exchanged with 2 young coaches from the University of Hawaii team (ed. Maël and Olivier, also from FFFUSA program).”

The different sides manage to find an agreement, and here is Daniel ready to start his second year of MBA in Honolulu.

“The life in Honolulu is fantastic, a crazy experience…it was a change from the previous year. To be honest, it went even better than I expected. I had a leadership role in the group, the team spirit was great, the style of play was fun and very dynamic, and overall I had a great time. Plus, just the fact that I got to live in Hawaii says enough about this amazing opportunity. ”

The season ended and Daniel returned to France to finish his apprentissage at Air Liquide. He graduates from Dauphine with a Master’s degree in 2019.

And as life is sometimes well done, he lands a 24-month VIE with Air Liquide in management audit in Johannesburg, the economic capital of South Africa – an assignment he should finish in 2021 if conditions allow.

“The health situation doesn’t help, it’s not easy but I’m learning a lot and I’m getting enriched every day. I work with all the divisions of the company, touch a lot of subjects and discover new things. It’s an extraordinary experience. ”

For the next steps in his life, Daniel is still thinking. If staying at Air Liquide is particularly important to him, the diversity of experiences he has had throughout this very international career will surely help him get noticed at the best time, here or elsewhere

From his beginnings at FC Issy les Moulineaux, four years at the Valenciennes FC academy, William James Hervé created his early career between the Paris region and the North. The former attacking midfielder looks back on his crazy year 2018. From the FFFUSA final in March 2018 to his return from injury, the road has been marked by ups and downs. And, most importantly, by a D1 NCAA title, the elite of American college soccer, in early December.

What was the feeling after that win in 2018? Life in Maryland ?

We went through a lot of rough patches, coming off a tough season. At the beginning of the season, we couldn’t score, people doubted. We showed a strong collective force, between those who played and those who were in the stands. Today, we are all linked to this same thing, it is a beautiful pride.

That’s what Didier Deschamps said after the World Cup.

That’s it, it’s more or less the same feeling. Some people have tattooed the same thing to symbolize victory, but not me. Some players have gone pro, we are in contact with them. We will be brothers until the end. Even if we don’t see each other for a long time, we’ll have won it together.

On this final tournament, you were not favorites…

Not at all… When I joined the team in the summer of 2017, we weren’t ranked among the top universities. It’s just the name, because it’s a good university, which is known for its big soccer team. But there was no success, it was a rebuild after a failure. We had to rebuild a team, a way to play. We didn’t have the idea to win, just to have a good team, we could do great things, we had to get to know each other, then the work would make us go far. Things progressed day by day. When we lost, when we didn’t score, when we were criticized on Twitter, we managed to ignore it, because we knew our time would come. We went through emotions, disappointments, moments when we told ourselves we weren’t going to do it. Then we got closer. We took the games week by week, with the desire to fight together. We put a compact block on the field, it was hard to score against us, everyone was defending, even the forwards, and, because we had a great defense, we had a very formidable team.

If you had to keep a strong game ?

There are several symbolic moments. There was a loss that hurt us, against Wisconsin, on pride night, in the middle of the season. There were a lot of fans there. We lost in overtime. It was a big shock. Then, from that time until the Denver game, we were building. We said we had the best forward in the country on that team, but after we won, it was a wake-up call. We became machines, we all defended together. In the NCAA playoffs, we got a win against Duke, who was considered the best team in the country, we beat Kentucky, who was undefeated at home. Each game was a very strong moment in the conquest of the trophy.

Only you believed in it…

It was complicated to win, we were not favorites. People didn’t think we were going to make it. Only the Maryland fans thought we would. To have won these games, knowing that people considered us weak, is a pride on top of that.

Is the victory in the final, against Akron (1 – 0), the best of your career?

Yes, it’s the best moment, especially after the final whistle, of this very difficult game. There was a lot of fatigue, because the semi-final had been played two days before. It was not the best soccer game, we did not enjoy playing. But, when we scored and at the final whistle, we realized that we were champions. From that moment on, emotions are very strong. It will be very hard to relive it, I had already won championships, in U15, I had lived great emotions with the club of my city, my best friends, but it is not the same story. I started from nothing and I became American champion. It’s a huge trophy for an athlete. It will be my best memory because it was the most emotional and proud moment in my life.

You also got to play in front of your mother…

It was a pure coincidence, during a game against North western. My mother had a trip for work, she doesn’t do it often in the United States. She got to see me play. When you don’t see your family and she comes to see you play, it adds motivation. Plus, it’s a huge pride to have scored two goals. It’s a great feeling to know that she’s proud of you, when she sees you succeed, score. I didn’t want to disappoint her. If I left France, it’s because there was something, I wasn’t sure about. I assumed and made the right choice. I was happy to see the smile on her face and that she was proud that I was her son.

During this season, you were also once voted offensive player of the week in the Big Ten Conference.

That’s flattering and gratifying. It’s a lot of effort I put in. The personal awards are nice, they add visibility, it’s a bonus. I didn’t win a second one. I was also a member of the Freshman NCAA All-Tournament Team. It motivates you to give even more.

Why did you make the choice to join the FFFUSA program ?

I was at the end of my 4th year at Valenciennes, in a phase where I was disappointed. My future was not necessarily there. There is a lot of frustration, and I wasn’t reaching my goals. I was quite ambitious, I didn’t want to let myself be directed by people who told me that maybe it would work out. I followed my destiny, I told myself you have to find something else. I wasn’t happy, I told my friends and family, I said be patient, work. I heard about FFFUSA, I was a fan of the United States, the culture. I found it appealing. I got in touch with Edouard Lacroix and Clément Simonin. I was invited to the final in Clairefontaine. I said to myself, I’m going there to clear my head. I was in a routine. I realized that I didn’t belong in Valenciennes anymore. In the end, I never felt so good, I was free. It allowed me to express myself a lot more, and apparently I liked it. The same evening, I had received offers. My parents told me not to get carried away, that they didn’t know if they were good universities. I was happy, because I had a way out if I wasn’t happy at Valenciennes. I received some interesting offers, including the one from Maryland, which was one of the best I’d ever received. Edouard and all the FFFUSA people said that no Frenchman had gone there and that it was one of the best teams in the USA. You can’t turn it down. I was interested, my parents realized how lucky it was for me. After the process of terminating my apprenticeship contract in Valenciennes, I made the decision to leave.

What has life been like in the United States ?

It’s unique. College life is something that not everyone experiences. I’m very happy to have experienced it. Even college soccer looks professional, with a huge fan base. We are recognized in the universities, in the airports. There are great sports facilities, great school facilities. It’s unique and totally different from what I’ve experienced in my life. I’m very proud and very happy that I made the choice to leave, it was the best fit for me. It’s one of the best choices I’ve made in my life. The first two months, you think it’s different, strange, then, when you know the people, you make friends, you realize how great and beautiful it is. These are emotions as a young sportsman, as an athlete, as a student, that we are looking for.

Former goalkeeper of the soccer team and alumni of the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he studied from 2012 to 2016, he continued his studies and graduated from the Master in Business Administration of IESE in 2019, Raphael Ville is part of the first student athletes sent to American universities by the Elite Athletes agency.

Between soccer, studies and his personal development in the United States, discover his journey!

Raphaël was born with soccer. At a very young age, he developed a passion for the game and started out as a goalkeeper. He played in Clairefontaine from 2002 to 2005, then in Lyon for 3 years, before playing 2 seasons with the PFC (Paris Football Club). We are in 2010 when he decides to change his future.

With the objective of resuming his studies and developing his professional experience, Raphaël decided to go to the US: “I planned to land and manage on the spot. My goal was to go back to school, relearn English and develop professionally. I planned to adapt myself once I was there.

3 days before his departure, Jérôme and Raphael met through mutual acquaintances. Jérôme had also lived the US experience.

“I met Jerome and he introduced me to the university scholarship system that young athletes could obtain and earn a degree while playing soccer in the US. “.

In one month Raphael obtained his SAT. Despite the interest of some universities, it is more appropriate to wait a few more months and hope to get better.

In May 2012, 2 American coaches came to see him and Raphael got his scholarship for the Fall 2012 season.

On August 02, 2012, he joined the University of Alabama and his new soccer team.

“Everything was ready. Someone picked me up at the airport, I just had to put my bags down and go to practice. Everything was done to make sure we were in the best condition. We had medical teams available for us, physiotherapists… The infrastructure is full option, the weather was top… A real life change. “

After a good month and a half of adaptation, it’s time to get back to the heart of the matter, to show the example. Raphaël discovered new forms of training, new forms of work, new coaches… a whole new mentality.

“It’s like the training center except that the people you interact with are more intelligent. The mentality is completely different: they tell you that to win you have to do this, this, this. If you lose and you’ve done it, they cheer you on even more and you’ll win the next time. That’s the culture of winning for me.

At the sport level, training is increasing in intensity. Young athletes are asked to do more and more. But in the end, “you do more things but you feel less that you are doing more things. It becomes a habit and it pays off.

Also, you have to find the right balance between classes and soccer. This was easy enough for Raphael, who has a natural affinity for learning.

“The teachers in class really help you: they come and talk to you, find solutions.

The energy is so different from the French educational system…”

Raphael played two seasons on the university’s soccer team before winning an honorary scholarship to continue his studies at the same place.

He completed his Bachelor’s degree in market finance for two years during which he lived the American dream differently, without the imposed rhythm of the athlete.

On the other hand, it is thanks to this discipline that Raphael tells us that he succeeds in reaching his goals: “I woke up early, I worked a lot and I went to bed quite late. I used to go to classes and I even gave tutoring to the younger kids. I still had that athletic balance even though I wasn’t playing the games anymore, I was training with the team and bringing that form of aggression that was needed for the goalkeepers that were playing. “

In 2016, Raphael graduated from the University of Alabama and interviewed for several Masters in France and the UK. Rejected from the London Business School because of too much experience and not admitted to HEC in finance major, he took the GMAT which he obtained with a score of 690.

Following this, the IESE Business School contacted him and he was admitted to the school’s MBA, one of the best in the world. He will graduate in 2019.

“Athletes don’t realize how great schools they can go to. With a 4-year college career, a GPA of 3.9, you can easily reach MBAs at Harvard. It’s the French mentality that makes you think otherwise. In the United States they teach you that no one will believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself. In France, you are pushed to look at the limits. The US is about possibility!

Losing is not a big deal, as long as you keep the psychology of success inside you. And for me, this psychology developed naturally during my experience there”.

After completing his MBA, he had the opportunity to work at Credit Suisse in London for two years. He started his professional career as an asset manager (projects development in sports, and in soccer in particular).

After having experimented with several projects, imagining and developing ideas, today Raphael joined a 360 degree support structure with one of his former teammates:

1212 Capital, a family office dedicated to high-level athletes and media professionals whose goal is to allow their clients to emancipate themselves financially and intellectually, and to enjoy their post-career life.

“For years I have observed sportsmen and women ending up in the media or trying to make a go of it on the other side of the field after a successful career, not for the love of the profession but more because they see no other alternative. They have been poorly advised on their assets (financial and intellectual) and now find themselves in a complicated financial and psychological situation.” With 1212 Capital, he intends to solve this deep problem that is eating away at high-level sport by drawing inspiration from the American management model followed by the greatest Transatlantic athletes.

Durant la Super Draft MLS 2021, Elite Athletes à finalisé trois signings importants :
Louis Perez de UCF à Pittsburgh en USL !
Mike De Shield drafted #5 a signé officiellement a DC United !
Jukka Raitala signe à Minnesota United from Montreal Impact in MLS !

On January 21st was held our last Alumni Game!
Alumni game of high level since they were at the rendez-vous:
Frederic Piquionne, Clément Simonin, Maxime Chanot, Mickael Ciani, Thomas de Villardi, Rémi Walters…. Among others.
The young FFFUSA players hopefuls were able to meet with the most experienced people who are familiar with university life in the US and MLS for many.
This is an opportunity for the youngsters to ask questions, to get interested in each other’s backgrounds and to get quality videos that will allow the coaches on site to have a more precise idea of the level of the youngsters.