The USA U17 national team has begun a series of 10 matches to be played against various Academy teams throughout the country.
The first match was on Thursday against Development Academy club PDA and was followed up with a game against New York Red Bulls Academy on Saturday.
The series will give the national team players and Academy players the chance to play against quality opposition in a professional environment to help develop and nurture the talent in the USA.
U17 head coach Wilmer Cabrera said it was a fantastic opportunity for the young players to experience life as a professional player and play in big stadium in front of decent crowds.
“Games like these are played worldwide and helps players develop more quickly, makes them feel a greater commitment to their clubs and helps them improve in regards to the maturity required to play in a soccer stadium filled with people,” said Cabrera. “It’s something that is very important and will help us tremendously.
“When the players have the chance to play where a professional team plays, the opportunity for development and learning is different from playing on any other field or park,” Cabrera added. “It makes the players feel more connected with professional soccer. It’s also a chance for other people to get excited, to stay and watch and see how the future professionals and the future national team players are doing, how they’re developing.”
The next eight matches for the USA U17s will be against Indiana United, Columbus Crew Academy, FC Dallas Academy, Houston Dynamo Academy, Chicago Fire Academy, Chicago Magic, Dallas Texans and Texas SC DTH.