Development Academy Showcases provide a national platform for Academy teams to play league matches against non-conference opponents. The Showcases also provide Academy players with exposure to U.S. Soccer Best Practices and additional educational programming.

The top three (3) teams from each division (Northeast, Atlantic, Southeast, Frontier, Mid-American, Northwest, and Southwest) will automatically advance to the Academy Playoffs based on overall points per game. The next eleven (11) teams with the overall most points per game not based on division will also qualify for the Academy Playoffs.

Once a team has qualified for the Playoffs, teams will be seeded into four (4) pots based on overall points per game throughout the Academy season.

Pot #1: Teams seeded #1-#8
Pot #2: Teams seeded #9-#16
Pot #3: Teams seeded #17-#24
Pot #4: Teams seeded #25-#32

Teams will be drawn from each pot and placed into a Playoff Group of four (4) teams. Teams will be placed back in their respective pot if drawn into a Playoff Group with a division opponent.

Each of the eight (8) Playoff Groups will contain four (4) teams each. The same procedure applies to both the U-15/16 and U-17/18 age groups.

The top finisher from each of the eight (8) Playoffs Groups will qualify for the Knockouts Stage. Each qualifying team will be matched up to play one of the other seven (7) qualifying teams. A single knockout game will be played where the higher seed will host the lower seed at their home venue. The winners of this round advance to the Academy Championships.

The same procedure applies to both the U-15/16 and U-17/18 age groups.

The top four (4) finishers from the Knockout Stages will be invited to attend the Academy Championships. Each club is allowed up to 18 players and three (3) coaches per team for a week's stay. Players and coaches are exposed to an overall event designed according to U.S. Soccer Best Practices both on and off the field. Each team is grouped together and reseeded from 1-4. The higher seeds will play the lower seeds in a single game that will place the winners in the Championship Game (i.e. 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3). Both the Championship Game and a third place playoff game will conclude the Development Academy Season.

The same procedure applies to both the U-15/16 and U-17/18 age groups.

Futsal became a key component to player development and mandatory part of seasonal training plan for the Development Academy U-13/14 Program during the winter months for all clubs, called the Futsal Period.

  • U.S. Soccer provides coaches with education on futsal training and competition.
  • Clubs train futsal on their own and may also enter/create non-U.S. Soccer futsal leagues during the designated Futsal Period (Dec-Feb).
  • U.S. Soccer hosts series of futsal showcases located in major markets and facilities (late Jan/ early Feb). Development Academy U-13/14 League Clubs are required to attend.
  • Clubs will have flexibility to schedule soccer training and full-sided friendly matches during futsal period.

U.S. Soccer is conducting training sessions in conjunction with local clubs and state associations to identify players with Youth National Team potential. Training Centers will be conducted by a member of the U.S. Soccer Technical Staff. Training Centers (TCs) are a new platform designed to improve player identification, player development and coach development. Each TC will be administered by the Academy Conference’s Technical Advisor, assisted by Academy coaches and National Team Coaches. Most TCs will be aligned with the Youth National Team calendar to evaluate players before trips and camps. Top players from each Academy club at both age groups will be invited to attend the training sessions. Non-host coaches are encouraged to attend. After piloting the program in the 2008-09 season in large markets such as Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, positive feedback was given by both Academy players and coaches in hopes of continuing to improve the everyday environment.

There are no fees for players to participate in the U.S. Soccer Training Centers but players are responsible for their own travel and must be invited by a U.S. Soccer National Team coach.

Local coaches are invited to participate and to view the quality of a Youth National Team training session and evaluate local players.