2021 Academy Cup will see 74 Teams Compete Across Three Age Groups
TAMPA, Fla. – The United Soccer League (USL) announced today the 37 clubs that will compete in the 2021 Academy Cup, presented by Puma, which will take place at the Hillsborough County Tournament SportsPlex in Tampa, Fla. on May 28-31, 2021. The USL Academy Cup will feature some of the country’s most talented youth players from across the country showcasing in two age groups, U-13 and U-17 age groups and will build on the success of the first two regional events held prior to the pandemic.
Portland Timbers U23’s youth affiliate Capital FC Timbers in partnership with United PDX have formed three Allstar Teams to compete in the U-13 and U-17 age groups (U-13 and U-17 boys, U-17 girls).
“We are excited for this opportunity to showcase our players at the highest level,” said CFC and Portland Timbers U23 Executive Director, Collin Box. “This is a unique opportunity for our teams to make connections, build relationships, and compete within the elite player pathway. We’re looking forward to traveling and giving both our girls and boys teams a chance to grow.”
The partnership of Capital FC Timbers and United PDX will allow Oregon to be represented with a competitive team of elite Oregon talent within the U-13 and U-17 age groups.
“This opportunity provides the groundwork for Oregon to become a competitor on the national stage, while allowing some of the most talented players in the state to showcase their abilities on a national stage,” said Brandon McNeil United PDX Technical Director. Capital FC Timbers and United PDX are committed to the development of the players within the state of Oregon and providing them with the best possible experience for their ability.
The Academy Cup, will see top youth academy teams compete from across all three senior divisions of the USL represented, with clubs from the Championship, League One and League Two as well as representation from MLS clubs all competing against one another to represent a growing footprint that reaches 22 states across the country.
Portland Timbers U23’s Head Coach and United PDX Premier Director, Matt Broadhead, said “With the rapid speed that the American professional game is growing we’re extremely excited to be a part of the USL #Path2Pro movement with our youth players.”
These events are designed to help better identify top youth players with a clear pathway to professional and accelerate the development of these elite youth players with the potential to reach the professional ranks.
In addition, a U-17 Girls Division will be included at this year’s event, after the USL announced a complementary women’s pathway to the overall Academy platform in 2019. This new female-specific age group will serve to further enhance the mission of USL to provide proven pathways for all players, especially with the continued growth of the women’s game at the senior team levels.
“This competition gives Oregon players the unique opportunity to showcase their talents to professional scouts across the Nation ensuring a complete player pathway from youth to pro,” said CFC’s Director of Coaching, Joe Wentworth. “This opportunity is especially important with the addition of a Girls Division ensuring our female players receive equitable opportunities that only male players had received in the past.”
“The USL Academy Cup is a prime example of the great work being done by our clubs and their youth affiliates to develop youth soccer across the country,” said Liam O’Connell, Technical Director of the USL. “We are incredibly excited to see our teams take the pitch this year at the cup and to witness our clubs continue to make an impact in youth soccer and the development of youth players across the American soccer landscape.”
USL Academy Cup Schedule:
5/28 @ 10 am vs Wake FC
5/29 @ 12pm vs FA Euro New York
5/30 @ 12pm vs Little Rock Rangers
5/31 @ TBD
5/28 @ 10am vs Wake FC
5/29 @ 10am vs West Virginia United
5/30 @ 8am vs Philadelphia Lone Star
5/28 @ 10am vs Real Monarchs SLC
5/29 @ 10am vs Peachtree City MOBA
5/30 @ 10am vs PSG Academy FL (FC Miami City)
For more information on conference alignment and to stay up to date on the competition structure, schedule release, and more, visit www.usl-academy.com/academy-cup.