The Toronto FC Academy is set to host the 2018-19 Generation adidas Cup Central Region qualifying event over the Thanksgiving weekend (October 5,6 & 8). 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 12th 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 qualifying rounds 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 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 Champions 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 2018-19 GA Cup?
The Toronto FC Academy 2002 age group 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, Sporting Kansas City, Chicago Fire, and Montreal Impact.
The Toronto FC Academy 2004 age group will represent TFC in the U-15 bracket. They are joined by Columbus, Houston, Chicago, Sporting KC and Minnesota United.
Both TFCA rosters will be announced closer to the tournament.
When and where?
The tournament will be held over the Thanksgiving weekend (October 5,6 & 8). It will be hosted at the BMO Training Ground in Downsview Park. Admission and parking are free.
Directions to the grounds can be found 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.
The results of these games are very important as advancing to the Champions Division offers the players an opportunity to compete against some of the top international talents in the game.
Last year’s TFC U-17 team qualified for the Champions Division and played against Eintracht Frankfurt (Germany), River Plate (Argentina) and Real Madrid.
How can I follow?
Aside from attending the tournament in person, you can follow all of the action right here on TorontoFC.ca.
We will be providing comprehensive coverage on the site and we will also be providing live updates on the academy twitter account so be sure to follow. Als,o keep an eye on the Academy Instagram for snaps from the tournament.