- Under-17/18 Teams Begin Play Today at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TexasÂ
- Under-15/16 Teams Kick Off Tomorrow, June 25Â
- Showcase Will Run Concurrently with 92 Teams Participating
CHICAGO (June 24, 2011) â€“ The 2010-11 Development Academy Playoffs and Showcase kick off on Friday, June 25, with the Under-17/18 age groups taking to the fields at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. The event runs from June 24-28 and features 64 teams competing in the 2010-11 Academy Playoffs, and concurrently, 92 teams competing in a bracket format at the Showcase.
The Under-15/16 age group begins play on Saturday, June 25, with matches taking place Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday.
Each of the top two teams in the Development Academyâ€™s 10 divisions earned automatic qualification to the Playoffs, while the remaining 12 spots were open to wildcard teams that had the best overall points per game average throughout the full season.
The 32 teams in each age group were placed into four pots based on overall seeding and were then randomly drawn into eight groups of four. The top finisher in each group will move on to the fourth annual Development Academy Finals Week, which will be held from July 9-16 at three venues in Milwaukee, Wis.
For the Showcase portion of the event, teams will compete in a bracket format for the first time, and every match will be observed by a U.S. Soccer Technical Advisor or scout. Showcase games kicked off in this morning, while Playoff matches will take place in the evening.
Athletes at the Playoffs and Showcase will also have a unique opportunity to watch the U.S. Menâ€™s National Team face Mexico in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup final and the U.S. Under-17 Menâ€™s National Team play its third and final Group D game at the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Both matches will be available in the Athletesâ€™ Lounge on Saturday, June 25. The U-17 MNT roster for the FIFA U-17 World Cup includes 15 Development Academy players representing 14 Academy clubs.
The Academy Playoffs were incorporated into the programâ€™s schedule in 2009 to increase the number of meaningful games that a team plays over the course of the season, while still limiting the number of games overall. In 2011, the Showcase takes place alongside Playoffs for the first time.
For a complete list of the Playoff groups, a full schedule of games and all the latest news, keep up with the Academy section of ussoccer.com, follow the Development Academy on Facebook or on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.