TAMPA, Fla. – The United Soccer League today announced the schedule and participating clubs for the inaugural USL Academy Playoffs, Presented by PUMA, which will take place in Tampa, Fla., Dec. 2-5.
Eight Academy teams from seven different regions of the United States will compete for the title of 2021 USL Academy League Champions: Queensboro FC (Northeast), Southern Soccer Academy (Southeast), Indy Eleven (East Central), New Mexico United (Southwest), Charlotte Independence (Atlantic), Weston FC (Florida), San Antonio FC (South Central) and AC Connecticut (Wildcard). Seven earned berths by winning their respective regional division; AC Connecticut qualified as the team with the best points per game among all second-place finishers.
“We couldn’t be more excited to celebrate the conclusion to our inaugural season of the USL Academy League, and we want to congratulate the eight clubs that have qualified for the playoffs,” said USL Technical Director Liam O’ Connell. “All of these clubs have proven the strength of their USL Academy pathways, having recruited top local talent to compete in an elite player development environment, while providing a meaningful connection to the club’s Senior Team in USL Championship, League One, or League Two. With many of these USL Academy players already getting experience at those levels, we can’t wait to see the quality on hand at our first USL Academy League Playoffs.”
The international-style tournament features two groups of four, with each team playing three group phase matches December 2-4 at the Waters Sports Complex, home to USL League Two’s Tampa Bay United.
The winning teams from Group A and Group B will square off in the USL Academy League Final on Sunday, December 5 at 6:30 p.m. ET at Al Lang Stadium in Saint Petersburg, home of USL Championship’s Tampa Bay Rowdies. Streaming information will be shared at a later date.
The six teams that do not advance to the Final will play a fourth match on Dec. 5, with the seventh place and fifth place games taking place at 11:00 a.m. ET at the Waters Sports Complex, while the third-place game will kick off at 3:30pm ET at Al Lang Stadium as a prelude to the USL Academy Final.
For a breakdown of the full schedule and results, please visit www.usl-academy.com/playoffs.