Sharing the spotlight with the 2017 Men's Nike International Friendlies is the 2017 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase. While loads of games will occur during the event from Nov. 30-Dec. 4 at Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., 12 teams will have the opportunity to play in showcase games on the facility's stadium field with all six games being streamed live on the Development Academy Facebook page, U.S. Soccer YouTube channel and

Here's a preview of the two marquee matchups from the U-18/19 age group taking place on Thursday, Nov. 30:


A coast-to-coast clash between two founding Development Academy clubs kicks off the week's slate of six feature games. California's Strikers FC take on the FC Greater Boston Bolts at the U-18/19 level in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. on the first day of the 2017 Boys' Winter Showcase.

Both teams are in playoff position heading into the event. Strikers FC brings a strong midfield that can dictate the flow of a game and a red-hot striker in Victor Onofre. He's scored three goals in the last two games, plays with next-level pace and is good for at least one highlight-reel a game.

A disciplined defense is the starting point for the Strikers' fluid ball movement up the field, where attackers like Onofre are dangerous in front of the net. Behind him, the midfield is anchored by a trio of strong players. Hard-working captain Benny Giacabello never stops running at the No. 8 spot, defensive midfielder Arturo Chavez tackles hard and Tsukasa Yakumaru, who arrived to the Strikers from Japan at age 14, can play an amazing final ball.

The Strikers have a history of developing high-quality professional and National Team players as Bobby Wood, Benny Feilhaber, Michael Orozco and Chris Pontius all spent time at the California club.

From the opposite coast, FC Greater Boston Bolts build up through possession and dynamic player movement. The team's attacking style is founded on players' ability to make quick decisions, identify and then play penetrating passes up the field.

Midfielder Joseph Morrison leads the pool of athletic and creative players in scoring, as his eight goals are good for Top 10 in the Eastern Conference. Gabriel Meireles and Julio Fulcar hold down the midfield lines, while goalkeeper James Swomley is solid in the back. Miles Robinson, the No. 2 overall pick in last year's MLS Superdraft for Atlanta United, spent his youth days with the Bolts.


The day's second feature game matches two teams near the top of their Academy divisions: the Frontier-leading Colorado Rapids and Crossfire Premier, second place in the Northwest Division.

Crossfire enters the Showcase on a red-hot run, winning their last four games while scoring 22 goals. The team's 40 goals lead the Academy this season and the goal scoring efforts are spearheaded by midfielder Declan McGlynn, who has netted 10 times in as many games.

Crossfire's production is indicative of their attacking style. They pressure opponents high in hopes of creating turnovers and more chances in front of the net. The team excels in transition, and their athletic style is anchored by players like defender Ethan Bartlow and midfielder Christian Soto, who have both spent time with the U-17 Men's National Team.

Last year, nine of Crossfire's current players were on the team that fell to local rival Seattle Sounders in the Quarterfinals of the Academy Playoffs. They're looking to end their Crossfire tenures on a high note, as 16 have played at least four years with the club and four have been with the team since the U-10 level.

The Rapids have had their mettle tested this season, as an abundance of injuries have necessitated that every player be ready to contribute. They pride themselves on fighting for 90 minutes, building up through ball circulation and penetrating with passes and dribbles. The offense flows through the Rapids' front line of attack, a group of high-paced players that are dangerous one-on-one.

Some of those electric attackers include crafty midfielder Matt Hundley and the strong and skillful Enoch Mushagalusa. On the back line, Sammy Vines can launch the attack with a knack for distribution and great two-way skills.

Catch all of this week's feature games streamed live on the Development Academy Facebook page, U.S. Soccer YouTube channel and!