Development Academy season resumes this Saturday

Impact U15s, U17s, and U19s open their seasons against D.C. United this Saturday

The summer has come to an end for our Academy teams. This weekend, the US Soccer Development Academy returns to Montreal, as the Impact’s U15, U17, and U19 teams will all be in action against D.C. United on Saturday, August 31, at Centre Nutrilait. We’d like to remind you that you can come watch these games free of charge.

The U15 team will play at 9am, the U17s kickoff at 11am, followed by the U19 group at 1:30pm. This year, head coach Nicholas Gagnon takes over the U15 side, while former assistant coach for the Montreal Impact’s first team, Jason Di Tullio, will act as head coach of the U17 team. Finally, Academy director Philippe Eullaffroy will return as head coach of the Academy’s oldest team, the U19s.

The last time D.C. United visited Centre Nutrilait was during the International U14 tournament at the end of June. The Washington representatives finished in third place.

Change of format

The USSDA has undergone a serious format change this year. If the Impact kicks off play in the USSDA this Saturday, it isn’t in the regular season: a new competition, called the Development Academy Cup, was introduced this year, the goal being to increase quality matchups for the better teams participating in the competition.

Qualifications for the DA Cup start now, with teams taking part in the USSDA regular season split into nine groups. From the nine groups, 32 teams qualify for the tournament called the Winter Cup, where they’ll be split into eight groups of four teams each. This tournament will take place in Bradenton, Florida.

Afterwards, the best team in each group will qualify for the final phase, the Spring Cup Championship, an eight-team knockout bracket at a single location to crown the DA Cup champion. More details regarding this competition will be released by the USSDA in the coming weeks.

Regular season

This format change doesn’t change the fact that there’s still a regular season to be played, but those games won’t start until October 19, when the Impact U19 takes on the Red Bulls, while the U15 and U17 team will take on the New York representatives the following week.

As in previous years, the top teams in each division qualify for the playoffs. The regular season in USSDA comes to an end on May 30 at Centre Nutrilait, with the Impact’s teams taking on New York City FC.

To make the playoffs, the Impact’s teams need to finish atop of their group.  The Impact U15 and U17 need to finish in the top three of their group to quality for the postseason, while the U19 need to finish in the top four.

About D.C. United

In MLS since the league was inaugurated in 1996, D.C. United’s Academy consists of six teams, ranging from the U12 level to the U19 level. The D.C. United Academy has produced a total of nine homegrown players: Ian Harkes, Chris Durkin, Bill Hamid, Collin Martin, Andy Najar, Jalen Robinson, Michael Seaton, Conor Shanoksy, and Ethan White.

Upcoming games

After opening the season against D.C. United at Centre Nutrilait, the Academy teams will head to the Big Apple, to take on the New York Red Bulls at the Red Bulls Training Facility in Harrison, New Jersey.