The Toronto FC Academy is set to host the 2017-18 Generation adidas Cup Central Region qualifying event over the Thanksgiving weekend (October 6,7&9). The event will showcase some of the top talents from around MLS at the U-17 and U-15 levels right here in Toronto.
So, what exactly is the Generation adidas (GA) Cup?
The GA Cup is an annual tournament run by Major League Soccer that focuses on player development while providing elite competition for its club’s Academies. This year will be the 11th year of the competition that was started back in 2007.
What is the format of the tournament?
The tournament consists of three rounds. Two regional qualifiers culminate in a final weeklong event held in Frisco, Texas at the FC Dallas training grounds.
The participating teams are split into three regions (East, Central, West) with teams playing each team at least once in a round robin during the qualifiers for a total of six matches.
The regional qualifiers are split across two weekends. The first round is played in October (the one hosted by TFC) with the next held in February over the Family Day long weekend.
At the end of the second qualifying weekend, the top two teams in each region are placed in the Championship Division for the final round in Frisco. There the teams are joined by top international talent as they battle it out to be crowned GA Cup Champions.
The remainder of the MLS teams are placed in the Premier Division with international competition and they battle for the Premier Division title.
During the qualifiers, the games are played with two 40-minute halves and in the event of a draw; the extra point is decided on penalty kicks. The U-15s will play matches with two 35-minute halves.
Who is participating in the 2017-18 GA Cup?
This is a 2017-18 event. The Toronto FC Academy U-16 (2001) team will be participating in this year’s tournament, as they will be U-17 players in 2018.
Joining them in the U-17 regional are the Houston Dynamo, FC Dallas, Columbus Crew, Colorado Rapids, and Chicago Fire.
The current Toronto FC Academy U-14 (2003) team will also be playing a round of friendly matches against other U-15 academy sides during the regional qualifiers as a GA Cup test run at the U-15 age group. Colorado, Chicago, and Columbus are also competing in the U-15 tournament.
Both TFCA rosters will be announced closer to the tournament.
When and where?
The tournament will be held over the Thanksgiving weekend (October 6,7&9). It will be hosted at the Kia Training Ground in Downsview Park. Admission is free.
Directions to the grounds can be found here.
The full schedule is available here.
The importance of the Generation adidas Cup
Not only is this a great opportunity to watch high-quality youth soccer right in your backyard but the future of Toronto FC and MLS will be on display over the weekend.
Homegrown TFC players have participated in this tournament during their time in the Academy. Forward Jordan Hamilton led a TFC side to the 2012 GA Cup Final where he scored this great opening goal for the Reds. The team ultimately fell in PKs to the Philadelphia Union.
A majority of the current TFC II roster has also participated in the tournament.
Other notable players to have participated include Andy Najar, Victor Ulloa, Bill Hamid, and Juan Agudelo just to name a few.
The results of these games are very important as advancing to the Championship Division offers the players an opportunity to compete against some of the top international talents in the game.
Last year’s TFC side qualified for the Championship division and played Club Tijuana (Mexico) and Estudiantes de la Plata (Argentina) in their group matches. Other clubs in the tournament included Argentine side River Plate, German side Eintracht Frankfurt, and Spanish giants Real Madrid.
How can I follow?
Aside from attending the tournament in person (which is free), you can follow all of the action right here on TorontoFC.ca.
We will be live streaming most of the games on YouTube and be providing comprehensive coverage here on the Academy website. We will also be providing live updates on the academy twitter account so be sure to follow.