MONTREAL – After playing its last games of the Development Academy season last Saturday against the Philadelphia union, the U17 and U19 Impact teams are now focusing on the playoffs, from June 18 to 26 in Oceanside, California.
Both teams finished at the top of the Northeast division and in the league’s top 8, which means both will be top seeds in the first playoff phase.
It’s the fourth consecutive year that the Impact U19 qualifies for the playoffs and the third straight time for the U17 team.
“It shows the progress made since our beginnings,” said the Academy director and Impact U19 head coach Philippe Eullaffroy. “It also validates the development options we took, and the quality of the work done daily. Our standards are higher and higher and it’s now the norm for both our teams to qualify every year. We also have to mention that the Impact U15 did well and would also have qualified for the playoffs it there was playoffs at that age.”
The group phase will regroup the 32 qualified teams for each age category, split in eight groups of four teams. After facing every team in its group, the top team is the only one to move on to the quarterfinals.
The Impact U19 will face an interesting challenge as it is grouped with the Atlanta United, the Houston Dynamo and the LA Galaxy.
The team ended its season with a 20-2-4 record, in fourth place in the entire league, and scored a total of 83 goals in 26 games. Forward Vincent Lamy scored 21 goals in 22 games and the team’s defence managed to get 11 clean sheets. Mathieu Choinière, Clément Bayiha and Daniel Kinumbe were also invited to the first-team training camp and are currently with the U21 Canadian team at the Toulon Tournament.
The Impact U17 will face Saint Louis FC Academy, Players Development Academy and the Carolina Rapids.
“Our goal is to be champions, but we know that we need to take it one game at a time to succeed,” said Impact U17 head coach Nicolas Gagnon. “The biggest challenge will be to keep controlling every game while displaying our qualities and identity.”
The team finished its season in 7th place in the league with a 17-6-3 record. The offensive production is split between Calin Calaidjoglu (10 goals), Moulay Abdallah Kanzi Belghiti (12 goals) and Woobens Pacius (13 goals).