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Generation adidas Cup: MLS academies, Liga MX teams to compete in expanded 2019 tournament

Orlando City's U-16 team participates in the 2015 MLS Generation Adidas Cup. (Mark Thor/Orlando City)

Major League Soccer released details Thursday about the 2019 Generation adidas Cup, which will feature MLS academy and international youth teams.

The GA Cup will take place at the Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco, Texas, home of FC Dallas, from April 13-20. This year marks the 12th year of the annual under-17 youth tournament. 

The tournament will include 32 teams — the largest field in Generation adidas Cup history — 21 of those coming from MLS academies. Participants in the U-17 Championship division include academies from FC Dallas, LA Galaxy, Montreal Impact, New York City FC, New York Red Bulls, Real Salt Lake, Toronto FC, and the Seattle Sounders. 

MLS will also continue growing its relationship with Mexico’s Liga MX by debuting a U-15 tournament that pits the two leagues against each other. LAFC, New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union and Toronto FC will send their U-15 sides to play against four Liga MX sides, with each team playing the opposing league once. The final will take the best Liga MX side against the best MLS side.

“The Generation adidas Cup is a world-class competition that offers MLS Academy teams the opportunity to compete against some of the most talented youth players across the globe. With the addition of more international clubs, we are excited to see the most competitive iteration of the tournament yet,” MLS executive vice president of competition and player relations Todd Durbin said in a statement. “This year’s introduction of the new U-15 tournament against Liga MX clubs enhances a growing partnership that bolsters the sport across North America on and off the pitch.”

The tournament will also be a hub for coaches, who will converge from across the world to participate in an education symposium and lectures.

“The industry-leading partnership between adidas and Major League Soccer continues to drive the evolution of player development in North America through the growth and success of programs like the Generation adidas Cup,” Aaron Maines, director of soccer sports marketing for adidas, said in a statement. “With MLS academy teams participating, along with renowned international clubs, the Generation adidas Cup provides a world class platform for North America’s best players to measure themselves.”

All 21 MLS U-17 academies competed in two regional qualifying events from October 2018 to February 2019. The top eight MLS clubs advanced and will play in the Championship Division of the GA Cup, where they will face eight international opponents. The remaining 13 MLS clubs will play in the Premier Division against a field of seven international sides.

Similarly, MLS U-15 teams played qualification rounds and the top four teams advanced to the U-15 division competition against Liga MX teams.

U-17 Championship Division – MLS Participants

FC Dallas
LA Galaxy
Montreal Impact
New York City FC
New York Red Bulls
Real Salt Lake
Seattle Sounders FC
Toronto FC
 
U-17 Premier Division – MLS Participants

Atlanta United
Chicago Fire
Colorado Rapids
Columbus Crew SC
D.C. United
Houston Dynamo
Sporting Kansas City
New England Revolution
Orlando City SC
Philadelphia Union
Portland Timbers
San Jose Earthquakes
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
 
U-15 Division – MLS Participants

Los Angeles Football Club
New York Red Bulls
Philadelphia Union
Toronto FC

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