Development Academy Will Return to Sarasota, Fla. and Greensboro, N.C. For Next Two Events
• Sarasota Polo Grounds Will Host the Spring Showcase for the Second Consecutive Year and Bryan Park in Greensboro Will Host Playoffs Once Again
• All 154 Development Academy Teams Will Play Three Games Over the Course of the Spring Showcase Weekend
• The Top 64 Teams in the Regular Season Will Face Off at Second Annual Playoffs
CHICAGO (Jan. 21, 2010) – The Sarasota Polo Club in Sarasota, Fla., will host the 2010 Development Academy Spring Showcase from May 28-June 1, and Bryan Park in Greensboro, N.C., will once again be the home of the Development Academy Playoffs from June 25-29.
The third-annual Spring Showcase will see all 154 Development Academy teams play three games over the course of four days. The Sarasota Polo Club includes 130 acres of well-manicured grass fields. In 2009, the grounds were converted into 20 full size soccer fields that hosted 218 games across Memorial Day weekend. This year, the complex will host more than 230 games during the weekend.
Games played at the 2010 Spring Showcase will count toward wild card standings for the Playoffs at Bryan Park, as clubs will get the opportunity to play teams outside of their conference from all regions of the country. Playoffs will entail the top 32 teams from each age group broken into eight groups, with the top finishers in each group qualifying for Development Academy Finals Week.
Teams can clinch automatic berths to Greensboro by finishing in the top two in their respective division. Wild card teams are determined by a team’s average number of points per game across the entire season, including non-conference games played in Showcases.
The Academy Playoffs were incorporated into the program’s schedule in 2009 to increase the number of meaningful games that a team plays over the course of the season, while still limiting the number of games overall.
Bryan Park, which hosted the 2008 Development Academy Summer Showcase and the 2009 Playoffs, is the second facility to hold three Academy events in the program’s first three years (The Home Depot Center is the other). The 17 Bermuda grass fields, including the 3,000-seat McPherson stadium, will host 64 teams who will play in a round-robin tournament during the weekend.
Eight teams in each age group will move on to Finals Week, which will take place July 9-17 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
More than 200 college coaches are expected to join national team scouts and Development Academy technical advisors at both events, keeping on par with the number of scouts who find the Academy Showcases to be one of the best places to identify players.
Every game in Sarasota, Greensboro and Carson will be taped in high definition, with DVDs of each game available to teams for technical analysis.
Since its launch in the fall of 2007, 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.