TAMPA, Fla. – The United Soccer League today announced that 38 clubs will field 76 unique teams and compete in the 2022 USL Academy Cup, presented by Puma, which will take place at the Hillsborough County Tournament SportsPlex in Tampa, Fla. from March 31 to April 3, 2022.
The second edition of the USL Academy Cup features a collection of the country’s top youth players from the U-13, U-15 and U-19 age groups. Each of the boys’ age groups will be divided into three levels of competition: Elite, Premier, and Select. The U-19 girls’ division is split into two: Elite and Premier.
“We are excited to host some of the most talented players across the nation in a growing showcase tournament,” said USL Academy Operations Manager Leo Rogers. “In addition to a high-end competition, we are striving to build off-field experiences that enhance each player’s professional development while also providing unique experiences that create long-lasting memories for the players and their families.”
The cup competition will see academy teams from clubs in all three senior divisions of the USL represented, with clubs from the Championship, League One and League Two competing against one another to represent a growing academy footprint. These events will be designed to better identify and accelerate the development of elite youth players with the potential to reach the professional ranks.
In addition, a U-19 Girls Division will be included at this year’s event that will complement the USL’s introduction of a pair of professional and pre-professional women’s leagues in the Super League and W League, respectively. The continued inclusion of a female-specific age group will serve to further enhance the mission of USL to provide proven pathways for all players, especially with the continued growth of the women’s game at the senior team levels.
“Having the opportunity to host another USL Academy Cup presents an incredible opportunity to celebrate the countless player development pathways being built in communities across the United States,” said USL Technical Director Liam O’Connell. “With our oldest boys’ and girls’ age groups aligning to the USL Academy League U-19 model, many of the participating players are integrating into their local USL senior teams, ensuring we will have some of the top pre-professional talents in the country on display.”
For more information on conference alignment and to stay up to date on the competition structure, schedule release, and more, visit www.usl-academy.com/academy-cup.