Sky Blue - PDA, FC Virginia U-16/17 set to Clash in First Ever Girls' Development Academy Feature Game
11AM ET | Academy Facebook | #GirlsDA

After it was officially announced in February of 2016 that the U.S. Soccer Development Academy would be starting a Girls' program in the fall of 2017, the question remained what clubs would be selected to participate in the inaugural season. Following club announcements in June, July August and October of 2016, the final two last clubs were welcomed last May. With the field of 69 member clubs in the Academy's four age groups (U-14, U-15, U-16/17, U-18/19) ready for takeoff, Sky Blue - PDA (Somerset, N.J.) was selected to host FC Virginia (Chantilly, Va.) in the first featured live broadcast in the history of the Girls' Development Academy. Saturday's showdown is certain to make for a highly competitive contest as both teams will look to prove their early dominance in the Mid-Atlantic Division.

Sky Blue - PDA

In 2016, after the announcement of the Girls' Development Academy program, Sky Blue FC partnered with Players Development Academy to provide youth female players in New Jersey the proper resources for elite player development and a path to professional opportunities for players in the system.

After being founded in 2008, Sky Blue FC competed in the Women's Professional Soccer league from 2009 to 2011, collecting a championship trophy in 2009. Sky Blue FC's best finish in the NWSL came in their inaugural season, finishing as semi-finalists in 2013. Sky Blue FC has continued to provide opportunities for New Jersey Youth Soccer, with players such as Maya Hayes coming up through the youth system to the first team.

With a strong history of player production, Players Development Academy has continued to live at the forefront of player development. Most notably producing the likes of current Women's National Team midfielder Tobin Heath and former midfielder Heather O'Reilly. PDA's alumni list from their boys program, which also competes in the Boys' Development Academy, includes Bryan Meredith (Seattle Sounders) and former Philadelphia Union homegrown player Cristhian Hern√°ndez.

FC Virginia

FC Virginia U-16/17 is coached by Julie Shackford. A former head Women's' Soccer coach for the University of Princeton, Shackford holds a U.S. Soccer 'A' License and has been a scout and assistant coach across many levels of the U.S. Women's National Teams.

Earlier in 2017, FC Virginia initiated a major partnership with Loudoun Soccer club, which is a member club of the Boys' Development Academy at the U-12, U-13 and U-14 age groups. Under the collaboration, the two clubs share resources in order to present a stronger, more unified player pool to compete for the Loudoun County area on regional and national stages.

The FC Virginia U-16/17 squad will look to approach the game on the road by playing a possession oriented style, controlling the ball and getting in behind the Sky Blue - PDA defense. Look for the rhythm from FC Virginia to try and dictate the flow of the game.

How to Watch

A total of 108 games will kick off on opening weekend, highlighted by the Girls' Academy's first feature game in Somerset, N.J. between Sky Blue - PDA and FC Virginia in the U-16/17 age group (2002/2001 birth years). The game will be streamed live on the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Facebook Page, beginning with a pregame show at 10:30 a.m. ET and kickoff at 11:00 a.m. ET.