The 2015 Development Academy Winter Showcase returns to the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., this week. Coinciding with the 2015 Nike International Friendlies, the showcase event begins Wednesday, Dec. 2 as the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team face England at 6 p.m. ET (live on ussoccer.com).
The Winter Showcase has become an annual staple in the Academy calendar over the years as the U-15/16 and U-17/18 age groups tackle three competitive games against out-of-conference opponents. Players will also compete with the watchful eyes of the U.S. Scouting Network, which will be in attendance and evaluate every game of the showcase.
The U-17/18 Academy teams will play Dec. 3, 4, and 6 while the Academy’s U-15/16 group competes on Dec. 4, 5 and 7.
“The Academy showcase is designed for our clubs and players to compete in an environment dedicated to worldclass player development,” said U.S. Soccer Development Academy Director Jared Micklos “The matchups are created for teams to face a variety of competition in a combined location. This provides a unique opportunity for our U.S. Soccer staff, scouts, coaches, players and supporters to see the progress of all of our Academy clubs and players.”
Two games from the 2015 Development Academy Winter Showcase will be streamed live on ussoccer.com this week. On Thursday, Dec. 3, BW Gottschee U-17/18 (12-0-0; 36 pts.) will face Chargers Soccer Club U-17/18 (8-1-3; 27 pts.), while on Saturday, Dec. 5, Philadelphia Union U-15/16 (7-2-3; 24 pts.) will take on LA Galaxy U-15/16 (6-3-0; 18 pts.), with both games kicking off at 3 p.m. ET.
Featuring the U.S. U-17 BNT, the 2015 Nike International Friendlies will feature three doubleheaders, with the USA playing in the later game of each game day. The U.S. is set to play England on Dec. 2, the Netherlands on Dec. 4 and will round out the competition against Brazil on Dec. 6.
All six games will be streamed on ussoccer.com and U.S. Soccer’s YouTube page with Mike Pepper again providing commentary for a third year running. The first game each day will kick-off at 3 p.m. ET with the USA game following at 6 p.m. ET. A full streaming schedule for the 2015 Nike International Friendlies can be found here.
Sixteen of the 20 players on the U.S. U-17 MNT roster are currently registered with U.S. Soccer Development Academy clubs, while 15 players were part of the U-15 BNT side that won the Tournament de Nazioni championship this past May in Slovenia.
“Combining the Nike International Friendlies with the Academy Winter Showcase is the ideal setting to showcase the work of our elite Academy clubs across the country,” said Micklos. “The Academy has created an environment of consistent training and meaningful games for elite players to further their development. We are pleased to see our 2000 roster, along with all of our current YNT rosters, full of Development Academy products that have benefitted from the everyday environment of their club and the Academy program.
The 2015 Nike International Friendlies kickoff Tuesday afternoon as Brazil takes on the Netherlands at 3 p.m. ET, followed by the U.S. vs. England at 6 p.m. ET. Game Notes can be found here.