As the arrival of spring looms, the schedule of the USSF Development Academy ramps up into overdrive. This weekend is going to be the busiest 2011 has seen so far, with 64 games are on the schedule.
Six of those teams heading into action are MLS Academies, and all but one faces the prospect of playing games on both days of the weekend.
Starting out west, Real Salt Lake stay at home, welcoming the Santa Cruz Breakers and De Anza Force.
The start of the MLS season is right around the corner, and for a handful of clubs across the country, last weekend provided a chance for MLS academies to head into action.
There were some strong performances from some academy sides as the hunt for a spot in the Development Academy playoffs later this summer heats up. The San Jose Earthquakes posted a 3-1 mark at home, as the U-16s defeated Irvine Strikers 5-1 before squeaking past Pateadores 1-0. The U-18s couldn’t quite replicate that success, defeating the Strikers 2-1 before losing 2-0 to Pateadores.
Two days of dreary skies and gray weather gave way to sunshine at the Jefferson Cup on Sunday, and as the wind picked up, so did the action. At West Creek, a marquee matchup in the U17 Championship division pitted the talk of the tournament, Aztecs FC of San Diego, against the always-solid Herndon FC of Virginia.
Having downed Georgia's Cobb FC with a late winner on Saturday, coach Hector Diaz and his Aztecs might have been looking for something a little more comfortable against Herndon. But the white-clad Virginians refused to cooperate.
The Beautiful West Creek facility in Richmond was the sight of some of the highest leves of youth soccer in the country on Saturday.
Down on the turf fields of SportsQuest, the second day of Jefferson Cup action was extremely busy as top sides across several age groups competed for a chance to keep their hopes for a Sunday final appearance.
RICHMOND, Va. – Only cloudy and gray skies hung over SportsQuest Complex on the first day of Jefferson Cup action following torrential downpours the night before. It was the third year in a row heavy rains preceded Jefferson Cup boys action, but with 25 synthetic turf fields available to organizers, Richmond Strikers, only needed some pre-planned re-scheduling to get Friday's showcase age groups started on track.
Five MLS Academies head into action during this weekend’s USSF Development Academy slate.
Columbus, D.C. United and New York will all see action in the Development Academy league for the first time in 2011 after a long winter break.
The Crew Academy make a road trip to Michigan for a Saturday doubleheader against Derby County Wolves and two Sunday games against Vardar at both U-16 and U-18 age levels.
The Atlantic Soccer League will wrap up their regular season schedule in Richmond, Virginia this weekend as part of the prestigious Jefferson Cup tournament. As one of the top events in the country, the Jefferson Cup will play host to the 15 ASL clubs providing quality competition, great facilities and top level exposure for its players, teams and clubs.
Washington, D.C. - D.C. United’s Youth Academy opened March with a successful weekend in South Carolina as the U-16 squad claimed the Charleston Cup title with a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Fire, while the U-18 team was runner-up, falling in the final to Chicago 2-1. Both finals were played on Sunday, March 6 at Blackbaud Stadium, home to United Soccer Leagues club Charleston Battery.
The Chicago Fire and D.C. United academies sides emerged victorious in this weekend’s inaugural Charleston Challenge Academy Cup. Held in conjunction with the pro exhibition tournament, the two-day youth tournament paid dividends for the two teams that made the trip to South Carolina.
Sunday featured two all-MLS finals. The Chicago Fire defeated D.C. United 2-1 to capture the U-18 honors, while D.C. United bested Chicago in the U-16 final by a 3-1 score line.