DURHAM, N.C.—A pair of incoming men's soccer Blue Devils will begin their quest for a U.S. Soccer Development Academy title before they officially arrive in Durham in August. The duo of Wilhelm Jacques and Daniel Wright start the journey Thursday with the opening games of the USSDA Playoffs.
The playoffs consist of 32 teams spread out over eight groups. Eight teams will advance to the knockout stage, which will take place July 6-7. The Academy Finals featuring the four winning teams will take place July 14-16 at the National Training Center in Los Angeles.
Jacques, a defender for FC Boston Bolts Academy, helped his squad to the No. 18 spot in the 32-team playoffs and was placed in Group B with Sporting Kansas City, Atlanta United and LA Galaxy. The Bolts open the tournament against Kansas City June 22 at 5:30 p.m., in Westfield, Ind. Jacques has started 18 games for FC Boston Bolts and has a goal. He helped anchor a stalwart defense that allowed just 25 goals in 24 games, the fewest of any team in the Eastern Conference.
No. 18 FC Boston Bolts – Wilhelm Jacques
- Sporting Kansas City – Thursday, June 22 – 5:30 PM
- Atlanta United – Saturday, June 24 – 5:30 PM
- LA Galaxy – Monday, June 26 – 5:30 PM
The Crew SC Academy Wolves top scorer and one of the top goal scorers in USSDA, Wright has the Wolves as the No. 12 team in the 32-team field. They will play in Group E with Lonestar SC Academy, Real So Cal Academy and Philadelphia Union. Their opening game will be against Lonestar SC June 22 at 6:30 p.m. Wright, a starter in all 24 games, owns 21 goals, which are 11 more than the next closest teammate. He is tied for ninth in the USSDA in goals scored and only two away from fifth. Wright will join sophomore Suniel Veerakone as products of Crew SC Academy Wolves.
No. 12 Crew SC Academy Wolves - Daniel Wright
- Lonestar SC Academy – Thursday, June 22 – 6:30 PM
- Real So Cal Academy – Saturday, June 24 – 6:30 PM
- Philadelphia Union – Monday, June 26 – 6:30 PM