The Houston Dynamo Academy U-19 and U-17 teams learned their opponents for the group stage of the 2018 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs following a random draw on Wednesday. The Dynamo were one of 26 clubs to qualify teams in both age groups.
“We are very excited to be participating in the playoffs and it’s a nice reward for the players after a long tough season,” said Academy director James Clarkson. “The staff have worked tirelessly on and off the field again and are very focused on continuing the season.”
“Both teams are in very strong brackets so this preparation time is going to be very important. We will be going to San Diego full of confidence,” he said.
The U-19s were drawn into Group B, the only all-MLS group from the U-19 Academy draw. They’ll face fellow MLS academies from the Montreal Impact, Atlanta United, and LA Galaxy. The Dynamo’s U-19s finished fourth in the Frontier Division with a 15-10-1 record (1.7692 points per game) and claimed the fourth wildcard spot out of 11.
Montreal’s U-19s won the Northeast Division title with a 20-2-4 record (2.4615 ppg), outscoring their opponents 83-22. Atlanta FC earned the Southeast Division title with a 19-4-7 record (2.1333 ppg), outscoring their opponents 81-36. The LA Galaxy took the third and final guaranteed spot from the Southwest Division with a 14-7-9 record (1.7 ppg).
The Houston Dynamo U-17s were drawn into Group G with academy teams from the New York Red Bulls, New York City FC and North Carolina FC. The Dynamo U-17s finished fourth in the Frontier Division with a 13-8-5 record (1.6923 ppg), and were able to improve their position from last year to the seventh wildcard berth.
The Red Bulls U-17s took home the Atlantic Division title with a 23-3-2 record (2.5357 ppg), outscoring their opponents 74-26. New York City FC’s 20-9-6 record (1.963 ppg) earned them second place in the Northeast Division and a guaranteed playoff berth. North Carolina FC took the third spot from the Southeast Division with a 20-9-6 record (1.8857 ppg)
The Development Academy playoffs group stage takes place June 18-24 at the SoCal Sports Complex in Oceanside, California. The knockout round follows from June 25-26, where the eight group winners will stay in Oceanside to compete for one of four spots in the Academy Semifinals, set to kickoff at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Missouri on July 8 with the championship games to be played July 10.