The draws for US Soccer's Development Academy playoffs at the U-18 and U-16 levels were held on Wednesday, with 25 Major League Soccer club academy teams drawn among the 64 that qualified for the postseason.
The playoffs will be held June 23-26 at Grand Sports Park in Westfield, Indiana, outside of Indianapolis. Each age level consists of eight groups of four teams each, with only the group winners advancing. The quarterfinals will be held as single-elimination games hosted by the higher seed, with the semifinals and finals at each age level held at StubHub Center in Carson, California, July 16-18.
Last year, the LA Galaxy beat rivals Real Salt Lake 2-0 in the U-16 final, while PDA beat Bethesda-Olney for the U-18 title after they knocked off FC Dallas and the Montreal Impact in the semifinals.
This year, 14 of the 18 MLS academy teams reached the postseason at the U-18 age level, including division winners Houston Dynamo (Frontier), Chicago Fire (Mid-America), New York Red Bulls (Atlantic), Montreal Impact (Northeast), San Jose Earthquakes (Northwest) and Real Salt Lake (Southwest).
At the U-16 level, 11 MLS academy teams qualified for the playoffs, as did Chivas USA in their final academy season. Division winners included FC Dallas (Frontier), New York Red Bulls (Atlantic), Orlando City (Southeast), Vancouver Whitecaps (Northwest) and LA Galaxy (Southwest).
U-16 competition is the same age group as the 2015 Generation adidas Cup, and the group stage features a high-profile matchup in Group B between FC Dallas, the top MLS finisher at that tournament (fourth place), and the LA Galaxy, who finished third in that tournament's Premier Division. The group stage will also include all-MLS matchups in Group A (New England Revolution vs. Seattle Sounders), Group F (Philadelphia Union vs. Houston Dynamo) and Group G (regular-season champion New York Red Bulls vs. Portland Timbers).
Thanks to the concentration of MLS teams, the older age group features a glut of head-to-head matchups, including Real Salt Lake meeting FC Dallas in Group B in what has become a rivalry game across most age levels. Two groups will feature three MLS teams, with regular-season champion Montreal challenged by both the LA Galaxy and Philadelphia Union in Group E, and the New York Red Bulls, Chicago Fire and Sporting Kansas City drawn together in Group F.
The groups are as follows:
Group A - D.C. United, Vancouver Whitecaps, Shattuck-St. Mary's, Oakwood
Group B - Real Salt Lake, FC Dallas, Chicago Magic, Concorde Fire
Group C - Pateadores, PDA, Colorado Rush, Sockers
Group D - CASL RailHawks, Seattle Sounders, Real So Cal, Solar
Group E - Montreal Impact, Kendall, LA Galaxy, Philadelphia Union
Group F - New York Red Bulls, Chicago Fire, Sporting Kansas City, Gottschee
Group G - San Jose Earthquakes, Texas Rush, Indiana Fire, Charlotte
Group H - Houston Dynamo, Crossfire, Orlando City, Vardar
Group A - CSA Wolves, CASL RailHawks, New England Revolution, Seattle Sounders
Group B - FC Dallas, LA Galaxy, St. Louis Scott Gallagher, South Carolina United Battery
Group C - Sockers, Real Colorado, San Jose Earthquakes, Chivas USA
Group D - Gottschee, Georgia United, PDA, Real So Cal
Group E - Orlando City, Beachside, Dallas Texans, Bethesda-Olney
Group F - Philadelphia Union, Houston Dynamo, Weston, Westchester
Group G - New York Red Bulls, Portland Timbers, Solar, IMG Academy
Group H - Vancouver Whitecaps, Arsenal, Chicago Magic, Concorde Fire