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Development Academy Spring Showcase Kicks Off With Nearly 70 Games at the Sarasota Polo Grounds


SARASOTA, Fla. (May 22, 2009) – The U.S. Soccer Development Academy Spring Showcase kicked off a busy weekend with a full slate of games, capped off by the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team match against a Development Academy Select Team. All 146 Development Academy teams were in action for the first of five days of games as the event continues throughout the holiday weekend.

The Showcase Game of the day drew hundreds of spectators as many of the participating teams stayed to support their fellow Development Academy athletes, who were getting a chance to showcase their skills against the national team and have chance to impress the national coaching staff. The Select Team, chosen by the U-17 staff and the DA Technical Advisors, held their own against the U-17s, scoring the first goal of the match when the Los Angeles Galaxy’s Riley Wolfe finished a breakaway in the ninth minute.

It did not take long for the U.S. team to respond, however, as George Malki equalized just five minutes later. In the second half, the U-17 MNT took control of the match and Andrew Craven scored to give his team the lead. Stefan Jerome added a late goal to round out the scoring and complete a 3-1 victory.

On Saturday at 4 p.m., the U-17 MNT will play another match against different group of Development Academy Select players. The two games are part of a weekend filled with national team action, more than any other Showcase to date. The U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team arrives May 24 and will play an intra-squad scrimmage on the Showcase Field at 4 p.m. Sunday. The U-20s will close out the Spring Showcase with an international friendly against reining CONCACAF Champions Costa Rica on Monday afternoon at 4 p.m.

A brief period of lightning in the area suspended afternoon play for a little more than 30 minutes, but the weather held up for most of the day as nearly 70 games were played throughout of the day. All of the results from the day’s games can be found by clicking on the following pages: U-15/16 Results | U-17/18 Results.

Between games, participants have been spending time in the two-story athlete’s lounge that features a free Gatorade Drink Bar and the EA Sports lounge equipped with FIFA ‘09. Beginning on Saturday, teams will also be going through the patented SPARQ testing for the second time this season.

Along with youth national team coaches and scouts, more than 220 college coaches were on hand to watch some of the country’s best players square off on the 20 fields spread across the Sarasota Polo Grounds.

Between games, participants have been spending time in the two-story athlete’s lounge that features a free Gatorade Drink Bar and the EA Sports lounge equipped with FIFA ‘09. Beginning on Saturday, teams will also be going through the patented SPARQ testing for the second time this season.

Along with youth national team coaches and scouts, more than 220 college coaches were on hand to watch some of the country’s best players square off on the 20 fields spread across the Sarasota Polo Grounds.

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, visit the Development Academy homepage at ussoccer.com.

For the most up-to-date scores and standings throughout the weekend, check out the Development Academy section of ussoccer.com.

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