This April's Development Academy Spring Showcase represents the first-ever Academy event exclusively for girls. While over 3200 players will take part in 304 games over the course of the five-day event, an octet of feature showdowns highlight the massive slate of matches.

All eight games will be played just outside of Greensboro, N.C. at Bryan Soccer Park's MacPherson Stadium and streamed live on, the Development Academy Facebook page and U.S. Soccer's YouTube channel.

Here's a look at the duo of feature duels on Sunday, April 8.


One of the West Coast's best clubs faces off against one of the East's top teams in the day's first feature game. LAFC Slammers and Sky Blue - PDA have a history of tight games, and the Spring Showcase provides the opportunity for these two clubs to square off midseason. Slammers enter as the No. 2 team in the U-16/17 Academy and top dog in the deep Southwest Division. Sky Blue - PDA also enters in prime playoff position as the club battles for the No. 1 spot in the Atlantic Division.

LAFC Slammers arrive on the opposite coast as one of the Academy's most dominant teams. The SoCal squad leads the Academy in goals scored, rank fifth in goals allowed and hasn't lost since September. The high-powered attack has gotten contributions across the board, as seven players have scored three or more goals this season. Forward Grace Watkins has netted 13 times to lead the team, good for 10th in the West Conference.

Defender Skylar Briggs consistently holds down LAFC Slammers' back line, while goalkeeper Megan Quiggle is steady in the net. Underage players Tatiana Fung and Simone Jackson, recent U-15 Girls' National Team call-ups, will join their club's U-16/17 side and play up an age group in the Showcase.

Sky Blue - PDA kicked off the Girls' Academy inaugural season with its first-ever feature game last September, a 1-0 victory over FC Virginia. Natalia Ramirez scored the Girls' Academy's first-ever goal and carried the momentum to become the team's leading scorer, but she will miss the Spring Showcase and her teammates will need to step up on the attack in her absence.

The NWSL affiliate has seen marked improvements since the fall, and will bring one of the Academy's top defenses to MacPherson Stadium. Sky Blue - PDA's most consistent players will be called upon against LAFC Slammers. Defender Nicky Chico has provided steady leadership as the team's captain since the fall (LINK). Behind her, goalkeeper Arden Lembryk has improved in each game of the inaugural Academy campaign.


Two teams currently at the top of their divisions will take the field for the day's feature finale. The Michigan Hawks are currently first in Mid-America while the Reign hold a tenuous lead in the Northwest. Both teams' steely defenses are headlined by recent U.S. Soccer Under-15 Girls National Team call-ups.

Michigan defender Aidan McConnell is fresh off of a National Team appearance with the U-15 GNT last month. She was joined in camp by Hawks goalkeeper Haley Craig. Those two, along with defender Ella Young, help anchor a defense that has given up the second-fewest goals in the Central Division.

On the offensive, forward Samantha Woods' 18 goals are good for sixth in the Academy. She's also spent time as the Hawks' captain. While she leads the attack, the team prides itself on each player's two-way ability and emphasizes solid, quick decision-making.

The Reign's battle for first place is guided by a defense that's the best in the West Conference. It all starts at the back with goalkeeper Neeku Purcell. Cool under pressure, Purcell has already earned training time with the Reign's NWSL side though she's not even in high school yet. Purcell is also fresh off a trip to the U-15 GNT camp (LINK) last month, which also included Michigan's McConnell and Craig.

In front of her, defender Kate Sprink has started every game for the Reign and defender Layne St. George has started all but one. Their consistent minutes have seen the pair improve each week of the season to help anchor the Reign's back line.

The Seattle squad's attack is no slouch either. The composed and cerebral Jayce Woodward has also had opportunity to train with the first team. Her on-field vision makes her one of the U-15s' most dangerous forwards. Forward Mia Ammons leads the team with seven goals, with midfielder Kate Tomey, a box-to-box workhorse midfielder, close behind at six goals. Forward Aly Akers helps the Reign attack push the tempo. She's a big-time playmaker with a lot of potential.

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