Two things happened before the U-15/16 Development Academy national championship game tonight that we never saw coming.
1-Unveiled as teams got ready to warm up were next year's Academy soccer balls, the newest T90 Strike balls from Nike officially unveiled only hours earlier in Toronto, where Manchester United took on Celtic in a friendly. So yes, that makes tonight's championship match only the second in the world to use them.
2-Look, we like to think we already put on a pretty good Finals Week championship. Players get to play on a field lined with sideboards, watched by countless national team coaches and scouts, and filmed from multiple angles...it's pretty professional. But even we were surprised when, after the national anthem, two F-16s (at least, we think they were F-16s. Admittely our expertise on this topic begins and ends with Top Gun) flew over The Home Depot Center in a pair and buzzed the fields.
Fans, players and Academy staff alike were stunned that the U-15/16 championship match had a flyover, but even more curious is that nobody seems to know how it happened. Whoever set it up isn't talking, and until then, it's a mystery. But to whoever knows someone who knows someone who flies planes...thanks!