As College Soccer heads to Winter break in a self-congratulatory mood, in Europe the Clubs are looking to give young players international competition experience at club level.
Via UEFA.com – UEFA will organise a new Under-19 club competition, the UEFA Youth League, for the 2013/14 season after the UEFA Executive Committee approved the name during its meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday.
The 32 clubs that qualify for the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League group stage will also be given the opportunity to participate in the UEFA Youth League from next season. A 96-game group stage will take place between September and December 2013, with fixtures being played around or on the same dates as the UEFA Champions League at grounds in close proximity to the venues used for those matches, where logistics allow. The eight group winners and eight runners-up from the UEFA Youth League group stage will then participate in a knockout phase, played in single matches, from February 2014 onwards.
The trophy will be named after the UEFA honorary president Lennart Johansson. This format will remain for a second year before a review is held, which also ensures that the UEFA Youth League runs alongside the existing club competition cycle which ends after the 2014/15 campaign. Read More.