Impact U16 and U18 teams open their seasons this weekend
Photo: Impact U18
MONTREAL, Quebec - The Montreal Impact U16 and U18 teams are set to make history as they open their inaugural seasons in the prestigious U.S. Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) this Saturday, with both teams travelling to Great Neck, New York, to take on Albertson FC.
The 10-month calendar for the 2012/2013 season is made up of double headers as both the U16 and U18 teams will play the same clubs on the same days, at home or on the road.
“We feel a mix of pride and excitement as we start this new adventure, but we are also anxious to see how we stack up against other Academy sides,” said Academy director Philippe Eullaffroy. “It will give us the opportunity to evaluate where we stand in order to optimize the development of our young players.”
"After one year of hard work, we are now only a couple of days away from our first season in the USSDA with a roster of 25 players, who have earned their spots with the team,” said Impact U16 head coach Jason Di Tullio. “I am very proud of the way the group has approached this adventure. They have grown to respect and believe in our philosophy and now it’s time to see which players are able to develop and continue moving forward towards their main objective, which is to one day play for the club’s pro team."
“The USSDA soccer league is an important tool for the development of our young players,” said Impact U18 head coach Wilfried Nancy. “They will be introduced to a league that is longer than they are used to with different mentalities and cultures, as well as a much higher competition level. They will have to raise their game in order to improve and develop individually within our structure. Our objective for the season is to be successful in the league, but also to impart our culture and identity within this league.”
The Impact will be playing in the East Conference’s Northeast Division that features Albertson SC (Great Neck, N.Y.), BW Gottschee Academy (Queens, N.Y.), Empire United (Rochester, N.Y.), FC Greater Boston (Waban, Mass.), FC Westchester (Scarsdale, N.Y.), Met Oval (Lynbrook, N.Y.), the New England Revolution (Foxborough, Mass.), New York Red Bulls (Secaucus, N.J.), Oakwood Soccer Club (Glastonbury, Conn.), Seacoast United (Hampton, N.H.) and South Central Premier (Branford, Conn.).
The Impact will host the New York Red Bulls on September 30 and the New England Revolution on April 13. All home games will be played at the St-Jean Vianney Sports Complex, are open to the public and admission is free of charge.
The Development Academy, which counts 80 teams for the 2012-2013 season, was created in 2007 to enhance the player development environment for elite youth players. Most clubs in MLS play in this league. The Impact joined the USSDA on April 3, 2012, following an extensive review process.
The Montreal Impact club now counts four teams: pros (MLS), U21 (CSL), U18 (USSDA) and U16 (USSDA)