TAMPA, Fla. – The United Soccer League announced a league-first event that will see the USL Academy League Finals take place in conjunction with the Super Y League Finals at the Tournament SportsPlex of Tampa Bay.
The third edition of the USL Academy League Finals will see an evolution of the competition format with the implementation of a single-elimination tournament bracket. The top 16 teams from the USL Academy League regular season will be represented, with the ten divisional winners and six wildcard teams based on their divisional records qualifying for the competition. The Playoff Bracket will feature three days of group-play beginning on Thursday, December 7th and culminating with the USL Academy League Championship on Sunday, December 10th between the top two teams.
"As USL Academy continues to grow and evolve, we're incredibly excited to move forward with our evolution of our postseason tournament,” said USL Technical Director Liam O’Connell. “By syncing with the Super Y League Finals, we will have an opportunity to create a more holistic and beneficial experience for all players, coaches, scouts, referees and parents involved. Beyond that though, we look forward to rolling out a new single-elimination format to the USL Academy Finals. This structure will replicate the experience these players will face in knockout competition at the Senior Team level, and will help prepare more of our top talents to make the jump to that level in the coming years."
The Super Y League Final will kick off on Friday, December 8th beginning with three days of group stage play followed by the Championship matches then taking place on Tuesday, December 12th. There will be 130+ boys and girls teams fighting for the national championship across six age groups ranging from U12 to U19. The country’s longest-running national youth league, the Super Y League offers a unique experience for both boys and girls between the ages of 10-18 years old to compete against the top players both within their region and nationally during the finals.
“As one of the longest standing youth-league National Championships, Super Y League Finals remains as the pinnacle for our member clubs and their players, coaches and families.” said USL SVP of Youth and Pre-Professional Joel Nash. “While everyone hopes to lift one of the national champion trophies, the overall experience has proven to be why the event is marquee on everyone's calendar. We are delighted to be combining the Finals this year as it will enhance the experience for everyone involved and highlight the growing presence of USL across the American soccer landscape.”
Information about the qualified teams, event experience and more will be announced in the coming months.