COLUMBUS – The Columbus Crew Academy Under-17 and Under-15 teams head to Florida this weekend to begin play in the 2023 Generation adidas Cup, a premier global youth tournament featuring representation from every MLS academy and renowned club academies from around the world. A record 49 different clubs from 12 countries and four continents will compete in U-17 and U-15 tournament play at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., from April 1-9.
The Crew U-17s were drawn into Group 2 and face MLS opposition in D.C. United on April 1 and Vancouver Whitecaps on April 2, before concluding group play against the prestigious Manchester United Academy on April 3. The U-17s sit atop the Mid-America Division standings in MLS NEXT FLEX, six points clear of their closest competition. In MLS NEXT league play, the U-17s are currently in second place in the Central (North) Division.
The U-15s will open Group 10 play against Club América on April 1, before taking on the New England Revolution on April 2 and Austin FC on April 3. The U-15s are currently in first place in the MLS NEXT Central (North) Division and are in second place in the MLS NEXT FLEX standings in the Mid-America Division, just three points out of first place.
The U-17s game against Manchester United on April 3 is one of 28 Generation adidas games, including championship matches in both divisions, that will stream live on MLS Season Pass, the subscription service from Apple and Major League Soccer on the Apple TV app. MLS Season Pass marks the official kickoff of the 10-year partnership between MLS and Apple, a historic first for a major professional sports league.
Forty teams, divided into 10 groups of four, will compete in each of the two age divisions. MLS club seeding was determined by Generation adidas Cup Qualifiers at MLS NEXT Fest in December 2022. Each team will play three group matches to determine qualification for the knockout round. Sixteen teams will qualify for the winner’s side of the draw with winning teams advancing to play in a bracket-style elimination format. All teams competing in Generation adidas Cup are guaranteed to play seven 60-minute matches, comprised of two 30-minute halves.
Additional information on the 2023 Generation adidas Cup can be found here.