FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE 2019 FALL REGIONAL SHOWCASES

This weekend kicks off the season's first major series of events for the Development Academy, presented by Allstate: Fall Regional Showcases. For three consecutive weekends, top U-13 and U-14 Boys' teams will come together to square off against the country's best at their age. Here are five things you need to know about the event that puts the Academy's younger age groups in the spotlight.

WHAT IS THE SHOWCASE?

Development Academy showcase events bring together clubs from across the country to compete in highly-competitive, hand-selected games. The Fall Regional Showcases are the first events for players in the Academy pathway, catering exclusively to the U-13 and U-14 Boys' age groups. Academy events are also held in the winter, spring and summer, but the fall is the only to focus solely on the younger age groups.

Three showcases serve the Academy's three regional conferences: Central, East and West. The Central Regional Showcase takes place Oct. 18-21 at MoneyGram Soccer Park in Dallas, Texas, the East Regional Showcase runs from Oct. 25 - 28 at BB&T Sports Park in Bermuda Run, N.C. near Winston-Salem, N.C. and the West Regional Showcase will be held Nov. 2 - 5 at the OC Great Park in Irvine, Calif.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

All teams will play four mini-games during the Showcase, consisting of two 25-minute halves. U-13s will take the field on the Friday and Saturday of each event, while the U-14s will play Sunday and Monday.

Each match-up at Showcase events is hand-picked by Academy staff to ensure the most competitive games. The mini-game format provides a variety of competition as teams face clubs they don't see during the regular season schedule. It also affords a chance for player rotation and a unique talent evaluation environment.

Two of the Regional Showcase sites hosted Academy events last season. BB&T Sports Park in Bermuda Run, N.C. hosted the 2017 and 2018 East Regional Showcases, while the OC Great Park in Irvine, Calif. served as host for the 2019 Academy Championships last July.

WHO WILL ATTEND?

Over 250 teams will compete at the Fall Regional Showcases over the next three weekends. Broken up by the Academy's regional conferences, there is some crossover in the divisions that will attend each Showcase.

Regional Showcase

Divisions Attending

Central

Frontier (Texas), Mid-America (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio), Sunshine (Florida)

East

Metro (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania), North Atlantic (Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia), Northeast (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York ), South Atlantic (Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina)

West

Colorado, LA (California), Northwest (California), Oregon, San Diego (California), Washington,

Florida and Colorado will play outside of their geographic divisions, attending the Central and West Showcase, respectively, offering an extra wrinkle of variety in the competition.

READ: Florida Squads Make a Splash at Central Regional Showcase

READ: Elevated Competition at Lower Elevation: Colorado Comes West

READ: Seattle and the Sounders: Building the Player Pathway


EARLY TALENT IDENTIFICATION

Academy Showcase events have become a hotbed for scouts, not only from U.S. Soccer, but also the professional and collegiate ranks.

The Regional Showcase Events serve as an important scouting tool for U.S. Soccer's YNT Identification Centers, which bring together individual top talents and serve as a bridge into the YNT program. Many of the players who participated in the first year of the YNT U-14 TID program were identified at Regional Showcase events.

HOW TO FOLLOW

For updates throughout the weekend, follow the Academy on Facebook and @ussoccer_acad on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Schedules and event related news can be found on ussoccerda.com.