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Busiest Day in Young History of Development Academy Wraps Up 2008 Spring Showcase in Rockford, Ill.

ROCKFORD, Ill. (May 26, 2008) - Memorial Day 2008 will be a memorable one for the 126 U.S. Soccer Development Academy teams that attended the 2008 Spring Showcase in Rockford, Ill.

All but two Academy teams saw action on Monday, and eight teams will wrap up the Showcase on Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. with the last round of games. Just one month from the final day of the Spring Showcase, all 126 teams will be reunited in Greensboro, N.C., for the 2008 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Summer Showcase from June 27-30 at Bryan Park.

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With just four games remaining, already there have been more than 600 goals scored, and just five of the 184 games in the books ended in scoreless ties.

The U.S. Under-17 Residency teams that participate in the Academy faired well, with the Under-17s posting a 3-0-0 record in the U-18 bracket that included thrilling 3-2 and 4-3 victories over New York Red Bulls and Nomads, respectively. The U.S. U-17s posted a 2-0-1 record in the U-16 age group.

This weekend the Development Academy players took the field under the watch of approximate 100 of the top U.S. Soccer referees, who were participating in a Referee Seminar running in conjunction with the Showcase. A group of 20 U.S. Soccer scouts observed all the games, searching to expand the national team player pool and also to evaluate teams and players to provide feedback to each club. Each game was filmed and ProZone will provide statistical analysis of the games to each club.

Off the field, Nike and SPARQ teamed up to provide testing for athletes to learn their fitness level, while Gatorade educated athletes on proper hydration and provided more than 5,000 gallons of product. A massive lounge for the athletes was set up with free fruit and televisions to play EA Sports’ newest soccer titles underneath a 680 square foot projection screen that was showing highlights of previous Academy games and live games from around the world.

Launched in the fall of 2007 after a detailed review of player development systems in the U.S. and across the world, the Development Academy provides players, coaches and referees a nationally-coordinated program designed to enhance their development environment. The Academy has improved the training environment, provided relevant, high-level matches on a consistent basis, increased the level and efficiency of scouting for the national teams and provided players, coaches and referees with structured programming. For more information on the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, log on to