Spring into action: March brings plethora of Development Academy games
By Jimmy LaRoue
Spring soccer season is nearly at hand for much of the nation, and it’s shaping up as a busy weekend in U.S. Soccer Development Academy play. A whopping 69 games are scheduled, the Liberty and Mid-Atlantic Divisions resume play with intradivision games and the Central Conference’s Great Lakes Division begins divisional play this weekend after some intradivision matches last weekend.
Indiana United Fire Academy Under-17/18s is led by Thomas Sanner, who has seven of the team’s nine goals. IUFA has a pair of games this weekend against Crew Soccer Academy and Vardar FC Freiburg. Crew Soccer Academy (4-0-1), which has outscored opponents 17-3 in five matches has eight players who have scored at least once, with Brett Elder leading the pack with five goals.
South Conference Atlantic and Southeast Division rivals will square off this weekend also as Kendall SC of Miami, Fla. makes the northward trek to face North Carolina Fusion and CASL Chelsea FC Academy in both U-15/16 and U-17/18 play. Kendall is among the four Florida teams in the Southeast Division that have played half as many games (6) as their Georgia and South Carolina rivals, who have all played 12 games and have breaks in their schedules until June.
In Central Conference, Texas Division play, FC Dallas will kick off a series of seven straight home games when it takes on Classics Elite Sunday. FC Dallas’ U-17/18s have lost just once in 20 matches, while the U-15/16s are in third.
Sporting Kansas City and St. Louis Scott Gallagher play the first Frontier Division games of the season this Sunday, with most of the division kicking off play against each other before the end of the month.
Out west, the Chivas USA and Strikers FC academy teams will face each other Saturday, with Chivas USA’s U-15/16s holding onto first place in the SoCal Division.
Pateadores and Real SoCal’s academy teams will play each other Sunday. Both sets of teams are in the middle of the SoCal Division standings.
Liberty, Mid-Atlantic division teams square off
Baltimore Bays Chelsea will be looking to get off to a strong start as Development Academy play resumes in the Mid-Atlantic Division with a New York road trip this weekend.
Both the Bays Chelsea U-15/16s and U-17/18s face the Liberty Division’s New York Cosmos and Met Oval on consecutive days this weekend, as teams square off in their first division games of the season. Bays Chelsea U-17/18s last played at the Winter Showcase in Bradenton in early December, falling in three, one-goal games in a matter of four days and are 1-4-0 overall.
D.C. United’s U-15/16s (4-0-1) and U-17/18s (2-2-1) host New England Revolution Saturday and FC Greater Boston in other intradivision matchups.
Both Potomac U-15/16s (0-4-1) and U-17/18s (0-3-2) will look for their first wins of the season as they also travel north to face the same two opponents as Bays Chelsea.
In Atlantic Division play, the Richmond Strikers and Virginia Rush’s two academy teams take the field this weekend at Striker Park in conjunction with the Jefferson Cup. With high school play in Virginia heating up, the state’s Atlantic Division teams won’t play again until June while the North Carolina contingent catches up.