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U-17/18 Finals Week Notes


THE OLDER TEAMS ARRIVE: A day after the younger teams started Finals Week, the U-17/18 teams are set to kick off on Sunday, July 11, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The top eight teams from the 2009-10 season will play three group games in a round robin format, with the winner of each group competing for the championship on Saturday, July 17 at 7 p.m. PT. On Sunday, the U-17/18 games were scheduled around the FIFA World Cup Final.

QUICK HITS
• There are 13 players on the Derby County Wolves U-17/18 roster who were a part of the 2009 U-15/16 Championship team.
• Crossfire Premier has come on strong of late after finishing fourth in the Northwest Division, taking a wild card berth all the way through Playoffs.
• FC Dallas enters Finals Week on an 11-game winning streak that at one point included four consecutive shutouts.
• CASL Chelsea FC has 10 draws on the season, but still finished near the top of the competitive Atlantic Division with 15 wins and only four losses.
• Real So Cal went through the highly competitive SoCal Division with an impressive 21-3-5 overall record on the season, and won all three games in Greensboro.
• The potent Concorde Fire offense scored 75 goals in 30 games during the regular season, and kept up that pace in Greensboro with eight goals in three games.
• One of two teams from Michigan (along with the Derby County Wolves), Vardar qualified for its first-ever Finals Week by finishing atop a highly competitive Playoff group that concluded with a thrilling 3-2 win against FC Milwaukee.
• The Bays will be looking to return to the top of the U-17/18 podium after a 2008 championship, and carry an impressive 20-4-6 regular season record into The HDC.

KEEP UP WITH CARSON: U.S. Soccer will produce six shows during the course of Finals Week, keeping fans up to date on the results and standings, while providing an in-depth analysis of key matches by youth national team coaches and technical advisors. Fans can expect a closer look at what’s going on at Finals Week with interviews with coaches, players, technical experts and youth national team coaches.

PLAYOFFS RECAP: Every game during the 2010 Academy Playoffs was important as no Finals Week berths were clinched until the last day of games. The Baltimore Bays, Derby County Wolves, FC Dallas, Real So Cal and Concorde Fire each won all three games in Greensboro to win their respective groups, setting up 16 highly competitive matches at The Home Depot Center.

U-15/16 Playoffs Groups and Final Standings
U-17/18 Playoffs Groups and Final Standings

BEST PRACTICES: In accordance with the Development Academy Best Practices, teams will alternate game days with a day of recovery during the week. The first U-15/16 matches will kick off on Saturday, July 10, and game days will continue on July 12 and 14 with the final set for July 16. The U-17/18 age group will play on alternating days.

GLIMPSE AT GROUP 1: Derby County will be looking to accomplish what only one other club has done before – a second Finals Week championship. The opportunity won’t come easily from Group 1 though with CASL Chelsea FC, FC Dallas and Crossfire Premier all competing for a place in the final.

 U-17/18 Group 1 Schedule
 Date    Match                                                                    Time (PT)  Venue 
 July 11  CASL Chelsea FC Academy vs. Derby County Wolves 8:30 p.m.  Field 2 
 July 11  FC Dallas vs. Crossfire Premier 8:30 p.m.  Field 1 
 July 13  Derby County Wolves vs. FC Dallas 3 p.m.  Field 1 
 July 13  Concorde Fire vs. Vardar 4 p.m.  Field 2 
 July 15  Crossfire Premier vs. Derby County Wolves 7 p.m.  Field 2 
 July 15  CASL Chelsea FC Academy vs. FC Dallas 7 p.m.  Field 3 


CHECKING IN ON GROUP 2: Group 2 is a diverse group that includes a team from the SoCal, Southeast, Great Lakes and Mid Atlantic Divisions. Baltimore Bays Chelsea hoisted the U-17/18 trophy in 2008, and will be looking to return to the top of a difficult group that features three Division winners.

 U-17/18 Group 2 Schedule
 Date     Match                                                                    Time (PT)  Venue 
 July 11 Vardar vs. Real So Cal 5:30 p.m.  Field 3 
 July 11 Baltimore Bays Chelsea vs. Concorde Fire  5:30 p.m.  Field 1 
 July 13 Real So Cal vs. Baltimore Bays Chelsea  6 p.m.  Field 3 
 July 13 Concorde Fire vs. Vardar  7 p.m.  Field 2 
 July 15 Concorde Fire vs. Real So Cal  4 p.m.  Field 2 
 July 15 Vardar vs. Baltimore Bays Chelsea  4 p.m.  Field 3 
 
Complete U-17/18 Finals Week Schedule

MORE FROM LOS ANGELES: The teams, along with the U.S. Soccer staff, will once again be staying in downtown Los Angeles for the duration of Finals Week. The hotel is stocked with an athletes’ lounge, training room, meeting rooms and meal rooms to mirror the setup national teams use while in training camp. Keep an eye on everything going at Finals Week by visiting the YNT Blog.

THE MOST COMPETITIVE MATCHES: The Development Academy playoff system was created to add to the number of meaningful games for Academy athletes, further enhancing the player development process. 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.

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