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.

The story of RIASA soccer academy

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.

The story of RIASA soccer academy

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 2021 we are proud to say we are in the 12th 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 Are The Leading UK Soccer Academy

We’ve been developing student-athletes and helping them reach their maximum potential since 2010. You’ll not only be a better footballer when you leave RIASA but you will have the world’s only dual accredited BA in International Sports Management. 

We hit 10 years in 2020

We interviewd 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. 

Find out more information about our soccer programmes and how we can help you reach your maximum potential on the pitch. 

Take a look at our facilities, how we play and who the talented RIASA coaches are. Learn more about Leeds and RIASA.

uk soccer academy

Thrive in a Professional Environment. 

By choosing RIASA, you are joining a UK soccer academy that rivals any professional football club set up. We have access to state of the art pitches, we use FIFA standard equipment and you'll be able to track your progress with our digital tools that help you grow. 

Train, Work hard, Repeat.

High Intensity Training.  

We train on average four times per week, for at least two hours. We also regularly have other sessions in place that help you develop further. We take each  session seriously with a clear objective so that you understand the theory behind the activity.

The tools to succeed 

Partnerships That Benefit You. 

We want you to succeed on your journey, and by committing to our academy we can offer you the tools to achieve greatness. We have a working partnership with The Coaching Manual, who are the world's premier digital football coaching platform. This partnership will take your theoretical understanding of the game to a new level.  

Been there, Done that. 

RIASA Success Stories. 

Find out how our programme has helped previous students achieve their ambitions. It’s more than just ‘playing football’ here at RIASA as we look to help you embark on a once in a lifetime opportunity that helps you grow, learn and succeed. 

75+ nationalities

We are International.

Join an international football programme. No matter where you’re from in the world, if you meet the academic requirements and you want to improve your soccer, you can apply to join our ever growing roster of diverse students. 

enjoy the journey

It’s Life Changing. 

By choosing our unique soccer programme you are investing in your future. You’ll mix with like minded individuals who share the same determination to achieve success. 

a place to grow

We Develop You. 

It’s intense at our football academy. Nothing worth having in life is easy and, with this in mind, each training session is fuelled with the intention of helping you to progress.

stay focused

It’s Down to You.

We put you in positions to thrive. Every game, every training session and being surrounded by other talented soccer athletes  helps you to grow. Commitment and passion are vital in helping you succeed on your RIASA journey. 


We Are Unique. 

There isn't another soccer academy that can offer the challenging football programme and high quality teaching that is available at RIASA. Earn a top class degree and enjoy moments that last a lifetime as you venture for success at our academy in Leeds.

Start Your Journey.

Embark on a rewarding and life changing soccer programme. 

  • Study Your Passion
  • Earn a Top Class Degree
  • Play a 9-Month Soccer Season
  • Reach Your Potential in the UK