Recapping Day One of Seven at the Development Academy Summer Showcase and Playoffs

Despite adverse travel setbacks and weather delays, 98 U-14 teams made their way to Westfield, Ind. for day number one of the 2017 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Summer Showcase and Playoffs. With each of the teams having already finished their respective regular seasons, the annual culminating U-14 Summer Showcase presents a unique and exciting opportunity for the country's top young prospects to compete against clubs they wouldn't otherwise get the chance to face in their part of the country.

The theme around the first day of the Development Academy's 10th consecutive summer event since 2008 was that of a professional, world class environment. During the 49 hand-selected games based on a year's worth of evaluations, 32 games were decided by two goals or less, 10 games ended in a draw and 15 games were decided by one goal. In total, 190 goals were scored, resulting in a 3.877 goals-per-game average. All of these results happened in competitive games displaying a high level of respect and sportsmanship, keeping the focus on player development.

"Overall, I think it was a great first day for everyone," U.S. Soccer Development Academy Director Jared Micklos said. "We strive to create a world class environment for players that matches the professional approach of our Academy clubs. The setting, their preparation, their training, you could see that teams played with a purpose aligned with Academy philosophies. The Clubs showed up ready to play in meaningful games and compete to their highest potential."

Along with U-20 and U-17 U.S. National Team coaches Tab Ramos and John Hackworth, all 49 games were played in front of 8 U.S. Soccer Youth National Team coaches, 25 U.S. Soccer scouts, 8 U.S. Soccer Technical Advisors, and U.S. Soccer Talent Identification Director Tony Lepore.

At the feature games, LA Galaxy stole the show with an acrobatic finish and stoppage time goal to close out a well-prepared Georgia United side. The second game was dominated by Sacramento Republic, who took down Oakwood SC 4-0. 215,000 online viewers combined from both and the Development Academy Facebook page tuned in to catch the action. The atmosphere from the feature games drew numerous teams and coaches lurking to catch a glimpse of their fellow competitors.

Aside from officially kicking off on Snapchat, lots of great action was consumed on the official Development Academy Instagram and Twitter channels.

Looking Ahead to Day Number Two

With their travel days behind them, expect to see the level of play rise for each of the U-14 sides. Another full slate of 50 games are set to kickoff at 2 p.m./4 p.m./6 p.m. ET from Grand Park's 31 pristine full-size soccer fields.

An all-MLS matchup will kick off Wednesday's slate of feature games when the Colorado Rapids square off against first year Academy club Atlanta United FC at 2pm. In the later game, Virginia Development Academy will be looking for its second win of the showcase after defeating Lonestar SC Academy 2-1, when the program takes on Chelsea SC.

A third, non-feature game matchup to keep an eye on will be San Jose Earthquakes against Philadelphia Union. The Earthquakes got off to a hot start on Tuesday, taking down Beachside Soccer Club 5-0. The Union also had their fair share of success on day one, defeating fellow MLS club Seattle Sounders 4-0.

Overall, the matchups should feature another day of meaningful games for the Clubs as they build on a solid first day of the summer showcase and make adjustments for the second day of games before a day off to recover.