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AC Milan to open soccer academy in Detroit area

AC Milan plans to open their first American soccer academy in the Detroit area next year.

Marco Luzzani

Italian soccer giant AC Milan plans to open a soccer academy in the Metro Detroit area next year, their fourth academy worldwide and their first in the United States, according to Fletcher Sharpe of MLive.com.

AC Milan, widely regarded as one of the most successful football clubs in the world, hopes the decision to locate an academy in Detroit will be paramount in advancing the quality of soccer in America. The camp's admittance will be highly competitive, but it will not be a financial burden to those accepted. Academy director Francessco Cilano says of the admittance process, if the child is talented enough, he "will not pay a dime."

"Some of the best players in the world came up poor, like Carlos Tevez, or Leo Messi, and didn't have the money to afford camps. We cannot afford to miss out on the best talent because they don't have the money to play. The best team should be the best talent, not just the ones who can afford it."

The academy's mantra is "soccer is for everyone".

AC Milan, in association with the minor league soccer team, Michigan Bucks, will also host an international youth indoor soccer tournament in Detroit in December, an event is expected to draw top teams from around the world. The tournament will be known as the Audi Cup.