FRISCO, Texas (Via US Youth Soccer) — Games kicked off Tuesday at the 2017 US Youth Soccer National Championships at the Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco, Texas. The teams took the stage, making their first push to earn one of the 14 National titles that will be awarded this weekend. The field of 96 teams is comprised of the nation’s top players in the 13U through 19/20U Boys and Girls age groups.
Group play takes place over the course of three days and will conclude on Thursday. Three points are awarded for a win, one point for a tie and zero points for a loss. The top two teams in the 13U and 14U age groups will advance to the National Championship final on Saturday, while the top two teams in each group in the 15U through 19/20U age groups advance to their respective semifinals.
The event is estimated to bring more than $5 million to the local economy. In addition to the impact locally, the championships provide college coaches from around the country with a premier stage to evaluate future collegiate players, offering a tremendous impact to players and their families. Many college coaches and U.S. Soccer scouts lined the sidelines on Tuesday to watch the players make their first push for the 2017 National Championship.
All of the teams competing in Frisco earned their place in the National Championships via success in the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series or the US Youth Soccer National League.
A few highlights from Tuesday’s matches…
13U Girls: Sporting Blue Valley (KS) 1-1 Lonestar 04 Red (TX-S)
The Region II Champions, Sporting Blue Valley (KS) tied the Region III Champions, Lonestar 04 Red (TX-S), 1-1. The first to strike for either team was Lonestar’s Mallory Allen in the 18th minute with a breakaway run that she was able to capitalize on an open net. The final goal of the match came in the 35th minute when Sporting Blue Valley’s Jane Hansen found the back of the net, with a fantastic assist from her teammate, Mia Yang. The goal leveled the sides, earning each one point after a tight first match.
14U Girls: Nationals Union 03 Black (MI) 4-0 SDFC 03 Yellow (NJ)
Nationals Union 03 Black (MI) soared to a 4-0 win over SDFC 03 Yellow (NJ). In the 11th minute of play, Brooklyn Steere opened up the scoring for Nationals Union. The remainder of the first half was scoreless for both teams, but the flood gates opened up for Nationals Union in the 48th minute when Mia Leonetti found the back of the net after a great run on the left flank. To make the score 3-0, Marisa Metzger scored in the 61st minute and just four minutes later, the final goal of the match came from Genna Gaitan in the 65th minute.
15U Girls: Solar Chelsea 02 Grado (TX-N) 1-1 La Roca PO 02 (UT)
In a game that came down to the wire, Solar Chelsea 02 Grado (TX-N) and La Roca PO 02 (UT) tied 1-1. Solar Chelsea’s Gabriella Lovkvist scored in just the 6th minute of play to give the North Texas team the lead. Solar Chelsea held the lead until La Roca’s Abbie Kotter hit a shot from the top of the box that got deflected and looped up and over the Solar keeper to tie the game up in the final minute of play.
16U Girls: CUP Gold 01 (OH-S) 1-0 Michigan Jaguars 01 Green (MI)
In an extremely tight matchup, CUP Gold 01 (OH-S) edged Michigan Jaguars 01 Green (MI), 1-0. The deciding goal was from CUP’s Samantha Dodd in the 36th minute of play. CUP Gold’s backline held strong in the second half to prevent an equalizer and to start the tournament with a clean sheet.
17U Girls: Celtic FC (UT) 2-2 Sporting Omaha FC Elite 2000 (NE)
Celtic FC (UT) and Sporting Omaha FC Elite 2000 (NE) resulted in a 2-2 draw on the first day of the 2017 National Championships. Anna Pickering scored the first goal of the match in the 20th minute and the remainder of the first half was scoreless. Picking back up in the second half of play, Sporting Omaha tied up the score with a goal from Delaney Gunn. To go up one, Emma Slattery netted one for Sporting Omaha in the 53rd minute. The equalizer for Celtic FC was scored by Rebecca Olsen in the 74th minute.
18U Girls: Legends FC 99 Academy (CA-S) 2-0 FC Pennsylvania Strikers (PA-E)
The National League Black winner, Legends FC 99 Academy (CA-S) was victorious over the FC Pennsylvania Strikers (PA-E). First to score for Legends FC was Kaylee Ramirez in the 50th minute, and just two minutes later, Vanessa Evans doubled the Legends FC lead to 2-0. Legends FC will face Cleveland FC (OH-N), the Region II champions on Wednesday.
19/20U Girls: 98 CR Academy (NC) 2-0 EGA Maroon 98 (NE)
To kick off the 2017 US Youth Soccer National Championships, 98 CR Academy (NC) defeated EGA Maroon (NE), 2-0. CR Academy’s Naomi Powell netted the first goal in the 20th minute, and shortly before halftime, Mary Givens’ doubled CR Academy’s lead. Going into the second half of play, CR Academy was able to hold its lead and keep its strong defensive blackline for the 2-0 result.
13U Boys: TSC Hurricane 04 Umelo (OK) 1-2 Heat FC 04 ET (NV)
Heat FC 04 ET (NV) defeated the Region III Champions, TSC Hurricane 04 Umelo (OK), 2-1 to kick off its 2017 National Championships. Heat FC got the lead in the 19th minute as a long cross was played into the box and Michael Vela beat the keeper to the ball, heading it home. Heat extended its lead just eight minutes later when Donald Kiernan finished off a corner kick with a flick from close range. TSC pulled one back midway through the second half when Tatenda Chigede headed home a corner kick to make the score 2-1. Heat FC held off any attempts at a comeback to earn the 2-1 victory.
14U Boys: Beadling 2003 (PA-W) 1-0 FC Wisconsin WDA (WI)
Beadling 2003 (PA-W) defeated FC Wisconsin WDA (WI), 1-0 to earn three points heading into day two. The game decider, and lone goal, came in the 43rd minute of play. Beadling’s Joseph Fanagy worked his way through the Wisconsin defense, megged a defender and then slotted his shot near post beyond the keeper for the 1-0 lead. Beadling’s defense kept Wisconsin off the scoreboard for a gritty win.
15U Boys: Tuzos Academy 02 (AZ) 3-2 ID Club Division 02 (TX-S)
Tuzos Academy 02 (AZ) showed its fight as it clawed its way back from a deficit to earn a 3-2 victory over ID Club Division 02 (TX-S). ID Club started off fast as Andrei Aguirre scored in just the fifth minute of play. ID’s Luis Guzman increased the lead for the South Texas side, notching a goal in the 29th minute to secure a 2-0 lead into halftime. Tuzos came out determined in the second half, and pulled one back five minutes into the second half thanks to Jason Villalba. Angel Ramirez equalized in the 60th minute and then Brian Machado Cicairos tipped the scales, giving Tuzos the lead with eight minutes to go. Tuzos’ defense held strong earning them an important win and three points on day one.
16U Boys: Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals 01 Black Premier (PA-E) 0-3 LVSA 01 Red (NV)
LVSA 01 Red (NV) defeated Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals 01 Black Premier (PA-E), 3-0 to earn an important three points. The first half looked like it would go scoreless as neither team could find the back of the net, but LVSA’s Antonio Gomez scored in the last minute of the half for a 1-0 lead. LVSA played off that momentum in the second half and added to its lead with goals from Michael Vogel and Jesus Ubario. LVSA kept the clean sheet to earn three points and the top spot in Group B.
17U Boys: McLean 00 Green (VA) 3-3 Santa Clara Sporting 00 Green (CA-N)
In a rematch of group play from 2016, defending National Champions McLean 00 Green (VA) used a last minute goal to draw, 3-3, against Santa Clara Sporting 00 Green (CA-N). McLean started off hot as Spencer Gregory scored in just the 3rd minute of play. Santa Clara leveled before halftime, with Harrison Kepp converting from the penalty spot. Santa Clara earned another penalty kick in the second half and Ramon Inda Felix scored from the spot to give Sporting the lead. McLean equalized in the 76th minute as Maverick McGann broke free in the box to beat the Sporting keeper from close range. However, Sporting drew yet another penalty kick to retake the lead with Javier De Los Santos, finishing his own rebound after his initial shot was saved. McLean kept pushing and equalized in the last minute of play thanks to Dean Hughes.
18U Boys: Baltimore Celtic SC Christos (MD) 4-0 UFA 99 Premier (GA)
Baltimore Celtic SC Christos (MD) made the most out of its first appearance in a National Championships game, earning a 4-0 victory over UFA 99 Premier (GA). Jon-Nicholas Muller got Celtic off on the right foot, scoring in just the 8th minute of play. Celtics leading scorer from Region I Championships, Samuel Solomon, made it 2-0 for Celtic going into halftime as he added a goal just before the break. Celtic picked right off where it stopped in the first half, adding a third goal thanks to Jacob Steinberg, and then Solomon added his second of the game to make the final score 4-0.
19/20U Boys: Chicago Fire Juniors South (IL) 1-1 FC United (IL)
In a battle between two Illinois sides, FC United (IL) and Chicago Fire Juniors South (IL) tied, 1-1. FC United’s Andres Marx opened the scoring in the 43rd minute. FC United hit a free kick that bounced around at the top of the box and, in the scramble, Marx hammered a low shot into the bottom left corner. Chicago leveled the score in the 60th minute when Matthew Bahena found the back of the net. Neither side could break the deadlock and both leave with one point to start group play.