Tuesday, May 12, 2009

5/12/09: U-16 Columbus Crew Fighting For National Playoff Spot


A Columbus Crew U16 player does his best imitation of Ekpo in the Winter Showcase in Lancaster, California. Picture by John Dorton

According to TopDrawerSoccer.com, 32 teams qualify for the USSF Development Academy playoffs for both the U-16 and U-18 groups. There are 9 divisions and the top 3 teams from each division secure a playoff spot for Bryan Park in Greensboro from June 26-29. The top three teams in each of nine divisions (based entirely on divisional play), plus the five best fourth-placed teams (the five are determined by overall record) will make up the 32. At that event, there will be eight groups of four teams each, with the eight winners of round robin play advancing to the finals at Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. July 11-18.

Currently, the Columbus Crew are in third place in the Great Lakes Division:
Derby County Wolves and in-state rivals Vardar have playoff spots sewn up at 29 and 26 points respectively. Columbus Crew are in third with 20 points but defending national champion Carmel United and Cleveland area clubs CASA and Internationals could all surpass the Crew by virtue of having a back-loaded schedule. Those three clubs also play multiple matches against one another in early June. Carmel are also looking strong for a wildcard berth if they finish fourth.

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