Katie Edgar

Academy teams prepare to host USSDA Playoffs

FRISCO, Texas – The FC Dallas Academy teams closed out their regular season campaigns on Saturday with two shutout victories over their Andromeda FC counterparts. The U-16s ended the season with a 2-0 win, while the U-18s earned a 3-0 victory.

The win for the U-16s came off of second half goals by Jairo Villalta in the 50th minute and Victor Portillo in the 70th. The win lifted the team to fourth place in the Texas Division with a divisional record of 9-6-1, leaving them just one point shy of earning one of the playoff berths awarded to the top two teams in each of the 10 USSDA divisions.

However, the Development Academy Playoff format provides 12 Wild Card berths to be awarded to the remaining teams from across the league with the highest points per game average. The FC Dallas U-16s finished with a 1.83 ppg average, good enough for the eighth spot in the Wild Card race.

The U-18s went up 2-0 in the first half of their final game with goals from midfielders Daniel Garcia in the 12th minute and Flavio Guzman in the 44th. Home Grown forward Jonathan Top tallied the final goal of the game in the 85th minute to seal the 3-0 victory.

For the second year in a row, the U-18s clinched first place in the Texas Division with a divisional record of 10-1-5 for the 2010/2011 USSDA season. Dallas Texans SC currently hold the second spot in the division, but with just one game remaining can only climb to within three points of FCD.

The U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs will run from June 24-28 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco. FC Dallas Academy Director Oscar Pareja said that playing at home should serve as extra motivation for his team.

“We are all looking forward to hosting the Playoffs here in Frisco,” said Pareja. “Playing at home will surely give the players one more reason to perform well.”

U-18 defender Michael Ambrose agreed that playing with home field advantage should aid the teams in advancing in the tournament.

“Of course we’re going to be used to the training grounds and the fields,” said Ambrose. “We’re also going to have the advantage of our home crowd. All of our supporters and fans will be out here for us and hopefully we can get three wins for FC Dallas.”

Although the FC Dallas Academy teams played their final regular season games last weekend, other teams from around the Academy will finish play this weekend with the regular season coming to an end on Sunday, June 19. After the final weekend of the regular season, the qualifying playoff teams will be seeded.

About the Playoffs

Qualifying playoff teams are seeded into four pots of eight teams based on overall points per game throughout the Academy season.

Pot 1: Teams seeded 1-8
Pot 2: Teams seeded 9-16
Pot 3: Teams seeded 17-24
Pot 4: Teams seeded 25-32

Teams will be drawn from each pot and placed into eight four-team playoff groups. Teams will be placed back in their respective pot if drawn into a playoff group with a divisional opponent.

Teams will play a round robin format, facing the other three teams in its group once apiece. The winner of each of the eight playoff groups will advance to the Academy Finals Week in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from July 9-16.