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U.S. Soccer Development Academy

U.S. Soccer Development Academy's 2012 Finals Week Taking Place in Houston


U-15/16 and U-17/18 Championship Matches to be Held July 22 and 23 at Houston Dynamo’s New BBVA Compass Stadium

CHICAGO (May 10, 2012) – The 2012 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Finals Week will be held from July 16-23 in Houston, with the Under-15/16 and U-17/18 championship matches taking place at BBVA Compass Stadium, the new home for Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo.

The Under-17/18 title match will be at 8 p.m. CT on Sunday, July 22, and the U-15/16 title game at 8 p.m. CT on Monday, July 23.

Finals Week consists of 16 teams – eight from each age group – and 32 games over an eight-day stretch from Monday, July 16, to Monday, July 23. Outside of the two championship matches, all games are held at the Houston Amateur Sports Park (HASP), the Dynamo’s permanent training home and multi-field soccer facility located approximately 10 miles south of the team’s new downtown stadium. Kickoff times for the first six days are either 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. CT.

“The Development Academy is looking forward to holding Finals Week at a beautiful facility in BBVA Compass Stadium and the Houston Amateur Sports Park,” U.S. Development Academy Director of Scouting Tony Lepore said. “This environment will only add to the quality caliber of play from the Academy teams and players competing in Houston.”

The 2012 Development Academy Finals Week features eight teams in each age group divided into two groups of four and will play a round-robin format during the first six days. In accordance with the Development Academy Best Practices, teams will alternate game days with a day of recovery. The tournament concludes with placement matches, culminating with the U-17/18 championship game on July 22 and the U-15/16 championship match on July 23.

In July 2011, Pateadores topped FC Dallas to take the U-17/18 title and the LA Galaxy earned the U-15/16 championship over PA Classics in Milwaukee, Wis.

U.S. Soccer Technical Advisors and national team coaches will be in attendance to evaluate each game during the eight days. All matches are filmed in high definition by HiPod, with DVDs available to teams for technical evaluation and long-term performance evaluation by ProZone.

The teams that qualify for Finals Week are the group winners that have advanced from the Development Academy Playoffs, which features 96 games (48 for each age group) from June 25-29 at FC Dallas Sports Park in Frisco, Texas. The playoff event includes the top 32 teams at each age level broken into eight groups, with the winner of each group advancing to Finals Week hosted by the Houston Dynamo.

“The Dynamo are extremely honored to be hosting the Academy Finals and will be able to provide an amazing experience for all the players and teams involved,” Houston Dynamo Academy Director James Clarkson said. “HASP is an outstanding facility, and to have the Finals in the new BBVA Compass Stadium is what soccer at the highest level is all about.”

The soft opening of BBVA Compass Stadium takes place Thursday, May 10, when the Houston Dynamo U-17/18 Academy team faces the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team at 7:30 p.m. CT (8:30 p.m. ET). The grand opening of BBVA Compass Stadium takes place on Saturday, May 12, when the Houston Dynamo hosts D.C. United.

BBVA Compass Stadium is MLS’s 11th soccer-specific venue, dating back to the 1999 debut of Columbus Crew Stadium in Ohio. The Dynamo’s state-of-the-art, open-air stadium seats 22,000 and will be the first soccer-specific stadium in MLS located in a city’s downtown district.

Since its launch in the fall of 2007, the Development Academy has improved the training environment and provided high-level matches on a consistent basis, increasing the level and efficiency of scouting for the national teams to provide players, coaches and referees with structured programming.

The Development Academy is moving to a 10-month season starting in 2012-13. The schedule, which runs from September through June (or July based on postseason play), creates a format that is similar to those followed by the elite soccer nations around the world as the Development Academy and U.S. Soccer continue their goal of closing the performance gap with the top nations.

2012 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Finals Week Schedule

Date

Age Group/Game

Time (CT)

Venue

July 16-21

U-15/16 and U-17/18 early-round games

8 p.m., 9 p.m.

Houston Amateur Sports Park (HASP)

July 22

U-17/18 seventh-place game

U-17/18 fifth-place game

U-17/18 third-place game

U-17/18 championship game

9 a.m.

10 a.m.

5 p.m.

8 p.m.

HASP

HASP

HASP

BBVA Compass Stadium

July 23

U-15/16 seventh-place game

U-15/16 fifth-place game

U-15/16 third-place game

U-15/16 championship game

9 a.m.

10 a.m.

5 p.m.

8 p.m.

HASP

HASP

HASP

BBVA Compass Stadium

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