US Soccer Set For Winter Showcase

CHICAGO – The U.S. Soccer Development Academy will host its second annual Winter Showcase this December at the Lancaster National Soccer Center in Lancaster, California.

All 148 teams representing 74 clubs, plus the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will participate in 240 games over the extended weekend on Dec. 5-8.

Dozens of professional scouts from around the world and hundreds of college scouts are anticipated to attend the event to view some of the nation’s top prospects from the Under-15/16 and Under-17/18 age groups. The head coaches from all of U.S. Soccer’s Youth National teams and additional members of the National Team scouting network will watch and evaluate all 240 games played over the long weekend.

A new component of this year’s Academy Winter Showcase will be the Nike International Friendlies, featuring Under-17 Men’s National Teams from the U.S., Australia and Brazil. The games will be played on a reserved field at the Lancaster National Soccer Center.

The Academy Winter Showcase will be the first major Development Academy event for the 12 newest clubs in the Academy that joined at the beginning of the 2008-09 Season. While the eight new clubs from Texas and the three new clubs from California have already started their seasons, it will be the first Academy games for the New England Revolution.

The Winter Showcase will also feature some of the nation’s top young referees, who will be working under the guidance and instruction of the U.S. Soccer Referee Department Staff. Officials from Major League Soccer and some professional referees will also be working games and mentoring the younger referees.

The Academy Winter Showcase will also provide a platform for coaching development. College and Academy coaches are invited to attend a SPARQ Strength Training Seminar led by Paul Winsper, a Goalkeeper Coaching Symposium led by Under-20 Men’s National Team Assistant Coach Tim Mulqueen and Scouting Symposiums with National Team Scouts.

The 2008 Winter Showcase will be the first of two Showcases held during the 2008/09 season followed by the Academy Playoffs and Academy Finals Week.

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