Photo by ISI Photos
A total of 44 youth programs from around the nation will converge on Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas this weekend for the U.S. Soccer Player Development Academy’s Winter Showcase. Led by five MLS Youth Academies, the showcase will feature a total of 88 games over the course of two days at the Pizza Hut Park youth fields.
College coaches from across the country will join U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley, U.S. Under-20 national team coach Thomas Rongen and new Director of Development Academy scouting Dave Sarachan at the showcase, which will take place on Sunday and Monday.
"We’re anticipating that it will be the best showcase yet as far as the whole package goes," Sarachan told SBI on Thursday. "To have all the best teams in one location is important, but also having the chance for all the coaches to get together in one place over the course of a couple of days is invaluable for sharing information."
Youth teams from the Red Bulls, Columbus Crew, Colorado Rapids, Chicago Fire and D.C. United will compete in the event as well.
Created to help establish a more unified system for player youth development in the United States, the Player Development Academy is U.S. Soccer’s first major step toward trying to harness the vast soccer talent in the United States.
"When you take a step back and look at the size and scope of this country, it’s a daunting task," Sarachan said. "It’s not something that’s going to be accomplished in a short period of time, but with the right resources, organization and expertise, we can go a long way toward establishing a better player development system in this country."
For more information on the showcase go to http://www.ussoccer.com/teams/acad/index.jsp.html.