Chicago Fire Academy Teams Victorious in USSDA Playoff Openers

Academy U16s

The Chicago Fire U-16 and U-18 teams got off to a winning start in the 2016 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs on Wednesday night. Both sides opened up their respective group play with victories over Floridian opponents.

The U-16s took on Striker FC out of Fort Lauderdale in their Group E opener and were paced by goals from Victor Bezerra and Anthony Markanich in a 2-0 shutout. They’ll look to keep that momentum going in their next game, a tilt with the IMG Academy U-16s on Friday, June 24, at 5 p.m., and will round out group play against the New York Red Bulls U-16s on Sunday, June 26th.

The defending national champion U-18s were in action against Kendall FC in their first match in the age level’s Group G, and pulled off a 3-2 victory over the Miami side. Goals were scored by Djordje Mihalovic, Jack Shaw, and Vitalis Takawira Jr. They’ll resume play on Friday as well with a match against the Philadelphia Union U-18s at 7:30 p.m. and finish up the group against Beachside SC on Sunday.

The U.S. Soccer Development Academy playoffs are being held at Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco, Tx., and feature the 32 best youth clubs in the U.S. from each age group. The top team from each age level’s eight groups will advance to the single-game knockout rounds, with the four winners of those matches continuing on July 14-16 at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, Ca. 

For more information on the tournament, visit