The Sept. 20-21 weekend of Development Academy play will be the busiest slate of games to date. A whopping 157 matches are scheduled among the U-13/14 through U-17/18 age groups.
The majority of the Frontier Divisions are looking forward to their first games, though last weekend the Colorado Rapids U-15/16 and U-17/18 teams started their new campaign with victories against the San Antonio Scorpions Youth Academy.
Many eyes will naturally be on FC Dallas – the defending division champion at the U-15/16s and U-17/18s – which faces a tough opponent right out of the gate in Solar Chelsea SC on Sunday. Solar was third in the division at the older age group last season and the U-15/16s were fourth. FC Dallas continually boasts some strong talent, though other players will have to step up at the U-17/18s with Weston McKennie and Alejandro Zendejas spending the fall semester with the U.S. U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida.
In the West, an interesting crossover match on Saturday features the Northwest Division’s San Jose Earthquakes against the Southwest’s LA Galaxy. Both Quakes teams won their openers against Academy newcomer Juventus Sport Club last weekend while the LA Galaxy U-15/16 and U-17/18 teams are both 2-0-0 to start the season. The Galaxy U-17/18s have scored 10 goals while posting shutouts in their first two games.
In the East, the New England Revolution of the Northeast Division caps off its weekend with a Sunday matchup against the Atlantic Division’s Philadelphia Union. The U-15/16 matchup, in particular, could be one to watch closely. The Union U-15/16s are in good form early on with two wins, outscoring their opponents 8-0. The New England Revolution U-15/16 team opened its season with a robust 4-0 victory against Albertson SC.