Development Academy Winter Showcase gets underway
All 78 of the US Soccer Federation Development Academy teams have descended on Florida this weekend for the annual Winter Showcase.
Sixteen MLS Academy programs are represented at the U-16 and U-18 age groups, as well as the youth sides associated with the Philadelphia Union’s program.
Bringing the teams together allow MLS youth sides from different corners of the country to test themselves against the continent's best.
While no trophies are handed out over the five days of action, there’s still been a lot of early success for the MLS teams who faced other DA clubs over the past couple of days.
Two of the best clubs in the early days of the Development Academy, the Vancouver Whitecaps and FC Dallas, squared off on Friday morning. Neither the U-18s nor the U-16s could provide a winner, as the former drew 2-2, and the latter 1-1. Recent Whitecaps signing Bryce Alderson was among the goalscorers for Vancouver’s U-18s, while FC Dallas U-18 standout Danny Garcia had a brace.
FC Dallas had another stiff test on Saturday against Seattle’s 18s and 16s. The two sides split the day’s results, with FC Dallas snatching a 3-2 win thanks to a last second goal, while Seattle’s U-16s won handily 3-0.
They weren’t the only two MLS sides to square off on the first two days of play. Sporting KC and D.C. United all split, with KC’s U-18s sneaking a 1-0 win, while D.C.’s U-16s rolled to a 4-0 win.
It was an undefeated first couple of days for the Crew Soccer Academy. After the U-18s opened with a 3-0 win over Seacoast United, the Crew U-16s defeated Seacoast’s U-16s by the same score later in the day.
LA Galaxy’s impressive U-18 side got off to a strong start. Led by goals from Jose Villareal and Mario Rodriguez – both US youth internationals – the Galaxy’s U-18s defeated the Clearwater Charges 3-0. In the U-16 matchup of the two sides, it was a high scoring affair ending in a 3-3 draw.
The Galaxy’s U-18s were back in action on Saturday, drawing 1-1 with Texans SC Houston, before the 16s lost 4-1 later in the day.
Travis Clark covers D.C. United, College and Youth soccer for MLSsoccer.com