We Are The Leading International Soccer Academy. 

RIASA was the original soccer academy to arrive in the UK, offering International students the chance of developing their game whilst earning a top class degree.

The story of RIASA soccer academy

The Director and co' founder of RIASA, Mark Ellis, played professional football in the UK for 10 years. During the summer months, when not playing professionally, Mark trained with the Tampa Bay Rowdies, both to keep fit and because he loved the US.

After his professional playing career came to a premature end due to injury, and with no formal education to fall back on, Mark did what many former professional players do and began coaching.

Mark spent several summers coaching in Florida, Minnesota and Detroit and saw lots of talented young players who would often ask him how they could play in England or Europe.  At that time there were lots of British companies taking young players from the UK to study and play in the US but no opportunities for Americans to study and play in England.

Obviously the concept needed considerable research. Once we discovered that it was possible to do an American degree in England through a US accredited UK University, we approached Richmond, The American International University in London, about adding a soccer program to their curriculum.

We ran a trial programme initially and the rest, as they say, is history. In that first year RIASA had 23 students, mainly from the US. As time has moved on the programme has become much more diverse with student athletes from several continents around the world with a steady increase in cohort sizes.

The programme is growing in leaps and bounds. In 2023 we are proud to say we are in the 13th year of operation. We have seen so many talented student-athletes develop their game and earn a top class dual accredited US/UK degree.

 Here at RIASA we are always pushing the boundaries of player development and constantly working hard to give you the best possible experience whilst on our programme.

We hit 10 years in 2020

We interviewed The Director and co' founder of RIASA, Mark Ellis, and asked him to share the journey of the idea of RIASA to where it is today. Mark talks about the desire of US soccer players wanting to learn the english game and try to break into European leagues.

Mark also talks about his playing career, where it all started and how he developed on the field. You’ll learn that he's passionate about coaching and delivering excellence across the board when it comes to RIASA. 

Men's Undergraduate 

View detailed information about our undergraduate soccer programme. 

Women's Undergraduate

Find out how you can join RIASA Women's International Female Academy.

Soccer facilities  

See the world-class soccer facilities that's on offer when you join RIASA.


10 Reasons Why RIASA Should Be On Your College Soccer List.

Choosing where you’re going to spend 4 years of your life can be daunting, we know it’s a scary thought trying to understand which college soccer programme is best for you, that’s why we wanted to share with you the main benefits of joining RIASA.

Start Your UK College Soccer Journey.

Earn a dual accredited US/UK degree which will help you break into today's modern sporting industry. Train and compete for  9-months of the year in world-class sporting facilities. Your time is now!

  • Earn a US & UK Degree
  • Play a 9-Month Soccer Season
  • Reach Your Potential in the UK