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By ESPN Staff

Chelsea announces U.S. youth soccer initiative

Chelsea Football Club announced the start of an initiative to partner with America's top youth football clubs.

Chelsea is beginning to build a network of top youth clubs across America to develop Chelsea Soccer Schools, a new tournament called the Chelsea Sevens, coaching clinics and exchange programmes.

The first relationship is with one of the largest youth football clubs in the U.S, the Capital Area Soccer League (CASL) of North Carolina.

Chelsea FC chief executive Peter Kenyon said: "Our new Chelsea youth super club network is the latest of many strategic projects Chelsea have in the U.S.

"They are all designed to assist the growth and development of US soccer at the grass roots as well as the top level. The youth movement in the United States is a massive part of that."

Individual Chelsea first team players are likely to serve as special ambassadors to each youth club in the programme along with Chelsea Ladies midfielder and former U.S. women's national teamer Lorrie Fair also representing the programme.

CASL will host three Chelsea Soccer Schools featuring courses from Fair and Chelsea Academy coaches from June 16-30 in North Carolina.

CASL also will plan an inaugural Chelsea Sevens tournament at the WRAL Soccer Center in North Carolina. The seven versus seven tournament will be for boys and girls from the U-10 to U-18 age groups.

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