2011 Development Academy Finals Week to be Held July 9-16 in Milwaukee
CHICAGO (May 9, 2011) â€“ The 2011 Development Academy Finals Week will be held from July 9-16 in Milwaukee, Wis., with the top eight teams in each age group competing for the national championship. The 32 games will be played at Uihlein Soccer Park, Marquette University and Marquette University High School inÂ the first Development Academy event to be held in multiple venues.
The eight participating teams will be divided into two groups of four and will play a round-robin format during the first six days of Finals Week. In accordance with the Development Academy Best Practices, teams will alternate game days with a day of recovery. The tournament will conclude with placement matches, culminating in championship games on July 15 for the U-15/16 age group and July 16 for the U-17/18 age group.
U.S. Soccer Technical Advisors and national team coaches will be in attendance to evaluate each game during the eight days. Every match will be filmed in high definition by HiPod, with DVDs available to teams for technical evaluation and long-term performance evaluation by ProZone.
There will also be an Athletes Lounge on the campus of Marquette University, close to the housing facilities. Teams will be able to use the universityâ€™s pool, gym and weight room as necessary for regeneration between games in addition to the athletic training room and medical facilities. Teams will also have access to meal rooms with menus that emulate a national team training camp.
The eight teams will qualify for Finals Week from the Development Academy Playoffs, which are set for June 24-28 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. The Development Academy playoff system was created to add to the number of meaningful games for Academy athletes, further enhancing the player development process.
The playoff event will feature the top 32 teams at each age level broken into eight groups, with the winner of each group advancing to Finals Week.
In July 2010, the Chicago Fire claimed the U-15/16 crown under the lights of The Home Depot Center, becoming the first Major League Soccer Academy team to win the championship. The following day in the U-17/18 age group, Vardar came from behind to win its first Development Academy title.
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.