It’s playoff time for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy and the Philadelphia Union U18 and U16 teams will both look to start group play on the front foot today with games against Real So Cal and LA Galaxy in Westfield, Indiana.
The U16s play LA Galaxy at 3:30 p.m. this afternoon and three hours later the U18 team will face Real So Cal. Neither game is on the schedule for live streams so the best way to get updates on the game will be to follow the Union Academy Twitter feed at @philaunionyouth.
The U18 team advanced out of the group stage in the playoffs a year ago, the U16s did the same in 2015.
Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin spoke about the playoffs in his weekly press conference on Wednesday.
“Usually in these types of competitions a couple kids will emerge as the guys that start to separate themselves in an age whether it’s U16, U18 as the guys,” Curtin said. “It’s important in competitions to challenge yourself against the best and you hope that some kids rise to the occasion.”
Play will continue Saturday with the U16s playing Vancouver Whitecaps at 3:30 p.m. and the U18s playing Lonestar SC at 6:30 p.m. Group play concludes on Monday with the U16s playing Houston Dynamo at 3:30 p.m. and the U18s taking on Crews SC Academy Wolves at 6:30 p.m.
The winner of each group advance to the Round of 16 to be played at host sites. The Union have hosted Round of 16 games each of the last two years at Power Training Complex - the U16s beat New England Revolution in 2015 and the U18s fell to Players Development Academy last summer.