By Roger Gonzalez
It’s a dream almost every team in Virginia shares. There is no higher honor statewide than conquering the Commonwealth. In boys’ soccer, not many teams remain in the fight for the Virginia Youth Soccer Association State Cup as we have now reached the quarterfinal and semifinal stages.
Here’s a quick glimpse of how things shape up heading into this weekend’s action.
No. 1 Loudoun 98B Red vs. No. 4 Herndon Rovers East
No 3. SYC Strikers Blue vs. No. 2 BRYC 98 Elite
Outlook: It’s been all chalk in this category as the top four seeds have advanced to the semis. Loudoun and Herndon earned 1-0 wins to make the semifinals, while the other side of the bracket saw its teams advance comfortably to set up an all-Northern Virginia final four.
It’s a division that can go either way, but Loudoun looks like the favorite, having won the U-14 edition of the cup earlier this year.
No. 1 Arlington Impact Red vs. No. 4 Chantilly Strikers
No. 19 ABGC Annandale United FC 97 vs. No. 26 SOCA Elite 16
Outlook: It’s titans and Cinderellas in the U-16 tournament. Arlington and Chantilly have cruised through to the final four, while a pair of shockers have really made noise. Annandale took out the No. 3 seed Loudon 97 Red in the round of 16 while SOCA bounced No. 2 seed FC Richmond Magic ’97 in the quarterfinals to reach this stage.
Arlington and Chantilly likely feel comfortable in taking the title if they can reach the final, but they should be weary about the other semifinalists, who play with no fear against higher seeds.
No. 1 Arlington Strikers Red vs. No. 25 Loudoun 96B Red
No. 28 Richmond Strikers Elite vs. No. 20 VLSC U17 Wizards
No. 3 Beach FC 96B vs. No. 6 FC Richmond Magic ’96
No. 23. VSA Heat Blue 96B vs. No. 2 ABGC Annandale United FC 96
Outlook: There is still a lot to play out as we have not reached the semifinal stage. Only three of the top six seeds remain, and one of those will be knocked out as Beach FC battle Richmond Magic, who are the one to look out for. The Magic have nine goals and have conceded none in two cup games thus far.
No. 1 Loudoun 95 Red vs. No. 9 FASA Hotspur Elite
No. 5 Beach FC vs. No. 20 Herndon FC Athletic
No. 3 SYC Excel Red vs. No. 27 SOCA Elite 18
No. 23 CVU U19 White vs. 2. ABGC United FC Hawks
Outlook: Five of the top nine seeds remain in the quarterfinals, but watch out for SOCA Elite out of Charlottesville. They have scored 10 goals in two games and could cause SYC trouble. This field is wide open and while Loudoun and ABGC are generally the favorites, a lot of under-the-radar teams are ready to make noise in what is one of the most complete fields remaining.