A Bergen County Soccer Academy based in Franklin Lakes made a big impact in its third season, and was recently honored for it.
The Bergen Bulldogs Soccer Academy is a select “seven-team strong” academy that competes in elite leagues and at statewide tournaments, according to its founder Matt Higgins.
After the wrap of its third season, Franklin Lakes Mayor Frank Bivona honored two Bulldog teams for winning performances at a council meeting last month. The mayor honored the U9 boys, who won their MAPS division league championship, and the U10 girls, who compete at the state level and won the preseason Essex Fall Tune Up Tournament.
“The teams really accomplished a lot of great things this season,” Higgins, an ex-pro soccer player from the UK and former NCAA women’s college coach, said.
The recognition from the borough also highlights the Academy’s relationship with Franklin Lakes, he said.
“We accept players from all over the county, but we are based here in Franklin Lakes,” Higgins said.
“When we compete, we represent Franklin Lakes. This is where we practice, and the town has been really fantastic to us. We are really happy with our relationship with the town.”
Higgins started English Pro Soccer, a company that employs former pro soccer players to train local kids at clinics and camps, in 2007.
Three years ago, he started the Bulldogs, which is made up of both non-EPS players who try-out to make a team, and EPS players who are invited to play based on their performance at clinics.
“Between both programs, we train 5 to 6,000 kids a year,” Higgins said.
“And now, we’re up to 140 players in the Bulldogs. We hope to keep growing, and to compete nationally one day. We are really proud of what the kids have been able to do so far.”
Tryouts for the upcoming Bergen Bulldogs soccer season are as follows:
- April 5 - 8:00 am - 10:00 am - Boys only
- April 19 - 8:00 am - 10:00 am - Girls only
- April 26 - 8:00 am - 10:00 am - Boys and Girls
- Location - Ramapo College North Field *subject to change
Get more information and register at the Academy’s website.