The Development Academy showcase events bring together clubs from all over the country to compete in a series of highly-competitive, hand-picked games. The Fall Regional Showcases are the first events for players in the Academy pathway, catering to the U-13 and U-14 age groups. Showcase events are also held in the Winter, Spring and Summer. The Fall events put younger age groups solely in the spotlight.
“The Development Academy Regional Showcase provides an early stage for our U13’s and U14’s. It gives them experience in the early stages of their development on a national platform, against national competition.” Brian Cvilikas, 04B Head Coach.
The Central Conference Boys Regional Showcase brought in thirty-four teams from three conferences, the Mid-America (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Ohio), Frontier (Texas), and Sunshine (Florida). Ten clubs affiliated with MLS sides attended the Showcase: Chicago Fire, Crew SC Academy, Crew SC Academy Wolves, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Houston Dynamo Youth, Indiana Fire Academy, Minnesota United FC, Orlando City SC and Sporting Kansas City. Teams played three games during the Showcase. Games at Showcase events are hand-picked by Academy staff to ensure the most competitive match-ups.
Academy Showcase events have become a haven for scouts from US Soccer as well as from the professional and collegiate ranks. Ninety-two percent of Men’s Youth National Team players during the 2016-17 cycle came from Development Academy clubs. Every game at the Showcase will be scouted by Development Academy Technical Advisors and US Soccer scouts. Eighteen of the twenty-one players on the US U17 National Team at the ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup come from Development Academy clubs.
While the Showcase moves the U-13 and U-14 players through the early steps of the talent identification pipeline, the trip / event also contributes a progression in their player development pathway. A longer journey means that it’s one of the first times that players are on the road without their parents, giving them a chance for team-building and a taste of growing to be a pro.
“We played competition from Florida, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. The event and competition provided great scouting opportunities and development for our players both on and off the field.” Brian Cvilikas, 04B Head Coach.
“The Fall Showcase is a great opportunity for our players to get a sense of what they are competing against nationally. This was the first time in this environment and for the most part we were pleased with the players response.” Dave Dengerink, Boys Development Academy Director.