Barcelona appoint U.S. international Allie Long as academy technical advisor

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Seattle Reign midfielder and United States international Allie Long has been appointed as a technical advisor at Barcelona's academy in New York.

Long, 31, has been working as an ambassador for the Barca Academy Pro NY, based in Long Island, since earlier this year but will now take on a more active role.

"Allie Long will work with the academy as long as her club and U.S. national team commitments allow," Barcelona said in a statement. "She is already confirmed for the girls' welcome practice in the coming weeks, the opening ceremony of the academy's season and will be at a specific clinic for girls this fall.

"Her presence is a major boost for the Long Island school. The students look up to Allie and work even harder to earn their spot on the team.

"They also see more clearly the possibility of pursuing the sport in college and perhaps professionally, if they have the skill and determination to make it."

Long, born in Huntington, New York, played for Paris Saint-Germain and Portland Thorns, among others, before joining Seattle in 2018.

She has won 39 caps for her country, scoring six goals, but was not part of Jill Ellis' squad for the recent friendlies against Chile.

Barca say the objective of the Long Island academy is to "participate in the biggest competitions locally, such as the New York Club Soccer League."

Along with the Barca Residency Academy USA, which is based in Arizona, it's the only one of the club's 45 academies spread across the world where the players wear the official kits from the current season.

The academy has been operational since 2017 and Barcelona hope that there will eventually be around 2,000 boys and girls involved in the project.