U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs Kick off With 32 Games at Bryan Park in Greensboro, N.C.
GREENSBORO, N.C. (June 26, 2009) – The first day of the 2009 Development Academy Playoffs kicked off with 32 matches at Bryan Park in Greensboro, N.C. A total of 64 teams, 32 representing each age group, qualified for the Playoffs and are competing in a round-robin format through Monday, June 29.
The 32 teams in age group qualified for the Playoffs based on the final standings in their conference as well as their record. The teams were then broken up into eight groups of four, with the top eight overall seeds being placed as the highest seed in each of the eight groups. The eight group winners securing a berth to Finals Week, which takes place from July 10-17 in Carson, Calif.
During the first day in Greensboro, Academy scouts watched all 64 matches and provided each team with instant feedback. The advice and guidance is normally provided after the event, but this time the scouts sat down with the Academy coaches for short meetings directly after the match. In the playoff format where each team plays three crucial games in four days, the meetings will allow the coaches to utilize the information provided by the scouts immediately in the teams’ upcoming matches.
Overall, every match at the Playoffs will be scouted by members of the U.S. Soccer Scouting Network, which identifies potential talent for inclusion in U.S. Youth National Team player pools and training camps. The U.S. Soccer Development Academy Technical Advisors in attendance will also provide coaches feedback on their performance after each match.
More than 100 college coaches made the trip to North Carolina to take in all the action for scouting and recruiting purposes, as they have done throughout the season at various Academy Showcases and regular season matches.
Also highlighted at the Playoffs are the 85 young, up-and-coming referees from 20 different states who will be evaluated by members of the U.S. Soccer. Referees officiating matches at the Under-17/18 level will be assessed by a National Assessor and their assessment will count towards upgrading their level.
Throughout the weekend, ussoccer.com will be on hand providing scores, as well as all_access video features and general updates. More information is available at the 2009 Development Academy Playoffs homepage and the YNT Blog on ussoccer.com.
The Development Academy playoff system was created to the number of meaningful games for Academy athletes, further enhancing the player development process. Teams participating at the Playoffs will play three games over the course of four days, adhering to the U.S. Soccer Best Practices. 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.
Under-15/16 Results and Upcoming Schedule:
Under-17/18 Results and Upcoming Schedule: