- Nike International Friendlies to Coincide with Showcase, Featuring the U.S., Netherlands, Portugal and Brazil U-17 Men’s National Teams
- Three U.S. Games to be Televised Live on Fox Soccer Channel at 7 p.m. MT on Dec. 4, Dec. 5 and Dec. 7
- A Total of 240 Games to Take Place During Five Days at Reach 11 Sports Complex
CHICAGO (Nov. 17, 2009) – The 2009 Development Academy Winter Showcase and Nike International Friendlies are set for Dec. 4-8 at the Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix, Ariz. All 154 teams representing 77 Development Academy clubs will participate in 234 games during the extended weekend, while six Under-17 international matches will highlight Friday, Saturday and Monday.
The new cycle of the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team, players eligible for the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup, will play its first ever international games against Portugal on Dec. 4, Brazil on Dec. 5 and the Netherlands on Dec. 7, with all three games being shown live on Fox Soccer Channel at 7 p.m. MT. Other international games in Phoenix will include Brazil against the Netherlands on Dec. 4, Portugal and the Netherlands matching up on Dec. 5 and Portugal and Brazil squaring off on Dec. 7.
In addition to the four national teams, eight Development Academy Select Teams will be featured throughout the weekend. Four teams comprised of players born in 1993, three with players born in 1994 and one made up of players born in 1991 and 1992 will play together across the weekend. Development Academy Select Teams are comprised of 130 total players who were chosen by youth national team coaches and U.S. Soccer’s youth national team scouting network. They will have a unique opportunity to play alongside some of the top players in their age while competing against either an Academy club team or another Select Team.
The Winter Showcase will incorporate the overall theme for the Development Academy’s 2009-10 season, the Every Day Environment. The Every Day theme involves specific player development recommendations for individual training, team training, off field routines and games. The message will be highlighted throughout the weekend in video content featuring members of the Men’s National Team and youth national team coaches and player education opportunities found inside the Players Lounge.
The Reach 11 Complex will be the first to host the Winter Showcase outside of Florida or California, with 16 fields, including 10 equipped with lights, hosting as many as 58 games in a single day.
More than 200 college scouts are expected to be on site, watching matches alongside U.S. youth national team coaches and national staff coaches. Thomas Rongen, who led the U.S. team at the recent FIFA U-20 World Cup, Wilmer Cabrera, who recently returned from the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Nigeria, and Mike Matkovich, head coach of the U.S. U-18 MNT, are all expected to be in attendance throughout the weekend.
U.S. Soccer’s national staff coaches and members of the youth national team scouting network will evaluate every game over the course of the five days and also lead field and classroom educational opportunities for Academy coaches on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which will count toward continuing education credits.
All 240 games will be taped in high definition, with DVDs of each game available to teams for technical analysis and analyzed by ProZone for long-term performance analysis. Additional development opportunities include the launch of NIKE Elite Training Live, an introduction to SPARQ training’s strength, power and agility exercises, Gatorade Fluid Loss Testing and real time video analysis training from Interplay. For the first time, players will also have an opportunity to be taped while performing specific skills and will receive instant feedback from an instructor and slow motion video.
The Development Academy will once again welcome some of the top referees from across the country, with 34 states sending officials to Phoenix. Referees will receive mentoring from three of U.S. Soccer’s full-time referees as Ricardo Salazar, Baldomero Toledo and Terry Vaughn will all be on site. The referee education will continue with an assessor academy that will be held in conjunction with state and national referee assessors.
U.S. Soccer will once again be on hand to provide complete coverage of the 2009 Development Academy Winter Showcase and Nike International Friendlies. Stay tuned to ussoccer.com for results, highlights, photos and full episodes of Studio 90 throughout the weekend.