WESTFIELD, Ind. (Via US Club Soccer) – Twelve clubs produced 12 national champions at the 2017 NPL Finals, July 13-17 at Grand Park in Westfield, Indiana. The league-based, national championship tournament featured 150 teams from 99 clubs in 13-U through 18/19-U boys and girls age groups. All 22 regional NPLs across the country were represented at the culminating event of year-long competition.
“The 2017 NPL Finals lived up to the hype as one of the most prestigious national championships in the country,” NPL General Manager Leo Garcia said. “This type of environment is an invaluable experience for clubs, coaches and players to test themselves at the NPL’s highest level. It’s certainly an accomplishment just to be playing at this point in the season.”
Monday’s national championship game results are listed below:
13-U (2004s): Scottsdale Soccer ’04 Blackhawks Zelin (Arizona NPL)
Scottsdale Soccer ’04 Blackhawks Zelin (Arizona NPL) 3, Chicago Inferno ’04 Elite (NISL) 1
14-U (2003s): Las Vegas Sports Academy ’03 Silver (SoCal NPL)
Las Vegas Sports Academy ’03 Silver (SoCal NPL) 5, FC Wisconsin (Midwest Developmental League) 0
15-U (2002s): Chicago Inferno ’02 Elite (NISL)
Chicago Inferno ’02 Elite (NISL) 4, NEFC ’02 NPL (NEP) 2
16-U (2001s): San Jose Earthquakes ’01 PDA (NorCal NPL)
San Jose Earthquakes ’01 PDA (NorCal NPL) 3, Metropolitan Oval ’01 (Northeast Pre-Academy League) 0
17-U (2000s): Manhattan SC Villa (EDP)
Manhattan SC Villa (EDP) 1, NEFC ’00 NPL (NEP) 0
18/19-U (1998/99s): FC Wisconsin (Midwest Development League)
FC Wisconsin (Midwest Developmental League) 3, New York SC (EDP) 1
13-U (2004s): NEFC Breakers ’04 NPL (NEP)
NEFC Breakers ’04 NPL (NEP) 3, Legends FC Riverside (SoCal NPL) 2
14-U (2003s): South Shore Select (NEP)
South Shore Select (NEP) 2, SUSA NPL ’03 (NYCSL) 1
15-U (2002s): FC Elk Grove ’02 Platinum (NorCal NPL)
FC Elk Grove ’02 Platinum (NorCal NPL) 1, FC Stars West NPL ’02 (NEP)
16-U (2001s): SUSA ’01 NPL (NYCSL)
SUSA ’01 NPL (NYCSL) 2, South Shore Select (NEP) 0
17-U (2000s): FC Copa Academy ’00 Black (EDP)
FC Copa Academy ’00 Black (EDP) 5, FC Stars ’00 NPL (Northeast Girls NPL) 3
18/19-U (1998/99s): Indiana Fire Juniors (wildcard)
Indiana Fire Juniors (wildcard) 3, VYS Phoenix (Virginia NPL) 1
This year’s championship round was among the most diverse in NPL history, as 11 leagues from every region of the country were represented. The Elite Development Program (EDP), New England Premiership (NEP) and NorCal NPL all took home two titles. Arizona NPL, Midwest Developmental League, New York Club Soccer League (NYCSL), Northern Illinois Soccer League (NISL) and SoCal NPL all claimed one championship.
Additionally, the Northeast Girls NPL, Northeast Pre-Academy League and Virginia NPL had member clubs that finished as national finalists.
NEP featured the most teams playing on the final day with six, followed by EDP (three). Midwest Developmental League, NISL, NorCal NPL and SoCal NPL all had a pair of teams competing on Monday. NorCal NPL boasted the best winning percentage of the day, going 2-for-2: FC Elk Grove ’02 Platinum (15-U girls) and San Jose Earthquakes ’01 PDA (16-U boys).
Some NPLs have now earned a reputation for winning brackets at the NPL Finals. This was the second consecutive year that the following leagues have had a member team win their respective age group: SoCal NPL team (14-U boys), NISL (15-U boys), EDP (17-U boys) and Midwest Developmental League (18/19-U boys).
Manhattan SC Villa (EDP) clinched back-to-back championships after edging NEFC ’00 NPL (NEP) in the 17-U boys division title game. The New York-based club walked off the stage during the awards ceremony to chants of “three peat.”
New York SC (EDP) nearly captured the elusive three-peat, but was defeated by FC Wisconsin (Midwest Developmental League) in the 18/19-U boys bracket championship game.
id2 Boys Program Director Gerry McKeown was on-site to scout the youngest boys age group for potential invitations to future id2 Training Camps. It’s a yearly scouting voyage for McKeown, and one that always results in numerous players receiving id2 invitations.
Goalkeeper and id2 alumnus Santiago Davila – a member of the 2017 id2 National Selection International Tour to Spain earlier this year – was the netminder for FC Wisconsin’s (Midwest Developmental League) national finalist team in the 14-U boys division.
On the girls’ side of the tournament, NEFC (NEP) continues to add to its trophy case, as it won the 13-U girls age group in a 3-2 nail-biter against Legends FC Riverside (SoCal NPL). This marked the fourth consecutive year NEFC has secured a national title.
The 14-U girls and 16-U girls national championship matchups featured the same clubs and ended with different results. South Shore Select (NEP) knocked off SUSA (NYCSL) in the younger bracket, before the older SUSA team got revenge against their Northeast region rival.
Grand Park will continue to play host to US Club Soccer’s national championship competitions later this week when the National Cup XVI Finals arrives in Westfield.