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Field of 64 Teams Set for First Development Academy Playoffs in Greensboro, N.C., from June 26-29

CHICAGO (June 18, 2009) – The field for the 2008-09 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs has been set, as the top 32 teams in both the U-15/16 and U-17/18 age groups have earned their place in Greensboro, N.C., from June 26-29.

The top three teams in each of the nine Academy divisions, based on divisional games only, received an automatic berth to the Academy Playoffs. Additionally, the top five fourth-place finishers in each division, based on overall record, earned wild card spots to compete at Bryan Park in Greensboro.

When the final regular season games wrap up on Wednesday, June 17, the 32 playoff teams will be seeded Nos. 1 to 32 based on points per game from their overall record, including division, conference and Showcase games. The teams will then be split into eight groups of four teams based on seeding.

Every team will play three games in Greensboro in round-robin group play, and the group winner will qualify for Finals Week. Seeds and schedules for Playoffs Week will be available at on Friday, June 19.

The 2008-09 Development Academy season is the first season to incorporate the playoff system, which increases the number of meaningful games at the end of the Academy season.

A total of 46 different clubs will be represented at the Academy Playoffs, with 18 clubs qualifying in both age groups: Albertson, Andromeda, Arsenal FC, Carmel United, CASL Chelsea FC Academy, Columbus Crew Juniors, Crossfire Premier, Derby County Wolves, FC Dallas Juniors, FC DELCO, FC Westchester, IMG Soccer Academy, LAFC Chelsea, Miami FC Kendall, PDA, Real So Cal, Sockers FC and Vardar.

Rounding out the U-17/18 group are: Chivas USA, Clearwater Chargers, Colorado Rush AS Monaco, D.C. United Academy, Dallas Texans, De Anza Force, FC Greater Boston, Met Oval, Potomac, Real Colorado, Richmond Kickers, Richmond Strikers, Santa Cruz County Breakers and Virginia Rush AS Monaco.

Completing the field of U-15/16 teams are: Birmingham United, BW Gottschee, Cal Odyssey, Chicago Fire, Chicago Magic AS Monaco, Greensboro Youth Soccer, Los Angleles Galaxy, Match Fit Chelsea, New York Red Bulls, North Meck SC, South Charlotte SA, Texas Rush AHFC AS Monaco, Texas SC and Washington Premier FC

Members of the U.S. Soccer National Team Scouting Network will be on-site to scout every game in the Playoffs. National Team scouts will identify players for inclusion in upcoming Youth National Teams as well as provide Academy coaches with post-game feedback on their performances. All games will be video-taped by Hi-Pod and analyzed by ProZone, so coaches, players and scouts can review previous performances.

U.S. Soccer’s Referee Department will also be on-site to provide instruction for over 80 of the up-and-coming referees in the country. The pool of referees will work directly with U.S. Soccer’s full-time Referees and National Assessors to review their performances and be identified for future progression up the professional referee development track.

U.S. Soccer will once again provide unique experiences off the field to supplement the Academy Playoff action, including an Athletes’ Lounge, Gatorade Bar and Kwik Goal warm up areas. Studio 90 will be on hand to highlight’s coverage of the Academy Playoffs along with photos and the most up-to-date results and Finals Week scenarios.

For more information on Development Academy Playoffs and Finals, click here