If Ryan Combe wanted to stay in Framingham, Mass., he would have encountered little trouble linking up with a Development Academy club. Three clubs — Boston Bolts, New England Revolution and Seacoast United — are an hour-long drive away, give or take.
But when his family moved to York, Maine, on the southern tip of the region’s northernmost state, the accessibility changed. The Revs had some interest, Combe recalled, but driving down to Gillette Stadium for practices and games was almost impossible to conceive. It also arrived a few years before the Revs had their residential program.
“It was such a big commute,” Combe said. “It was tough, but there really was no way to make it work.”