D.C. United’s U-16 and U-18 Youth Academy teams are set to compete in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy National Playoffs from June 24-28 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas.
Both squads earned automatic qualification into the National Playoffs after finishing atop the Mid-Atlantic Division table. This marks the first time in club history that both the U-16 and U-18 squads earned first place in their respective division during the same campaign.
“It’s a huge accomplishment to claim both divisions, that doesn’t happen a lot at the Academy level,” said U-18 Head Coach Judah Cooks. “We have a strong conference and it shows that our guys are working hard. Both teams are excited for the playoffs and we are prepared to face a good set of teams.”
The U-16’s (16-6-5, 9-3-0) won their final regular season matches behind four goals from Patrick Foss, defeating FC Delco 5-1 on Saturday, June 11 and then beating PA Classics 3-0 on Sunday, June 12. The Black-and-Red carry an impressive seven-game winning streak into the playoffs and will enter the tournament as the No. 14 seed.
D.C. United’s U-16 squad will face Empire United, Columbus Crew Soccer Academy and Seattle Sounders FC in the opening round of group play. Along with D.C., Empire United and Sounders FC were the only other Academy clubs to finish atop of their respective divisions in both age groups.
The U-18’s (14-6-7, 8-2-2) struggled to find a rhythm against F.C. Delco on June 11, losing 1-0. However, the Black-and-Red regained their form the following day with a 3-1 victory versus PA Classics to round out the regular season. The Black-and-Red earned the No. 11 seed and will set out on their playoff campaign following a strong regular season.
Like their younger counterparts, United’s U-18’s will face Empire United in the opening match of group play. The Black-and-Red will also square off against Pateadores before closing out group play against the North Carolina Fusion.
The top finisher from each group in Frisco will move on to the Development Academy Finals, which will be held from July 9-16 in Milwaukee, Wis.