Ideal weather and field conditions graced the opening day of competition at the Jefferson Cup Boys Showcase, as over 420 teams from around the country kicked off the event on Friday.
College coaches streamed in throughout the day at the tournament’s central field locations, watching some of the nation’s premier men’s soccer recruits at the U-16, U-17 and U-18 levels. The U-15 top flight will take to the field for the first time on Saturday.
See below for a recap of Day 1 in the Championship Divisions at the college showcase levels.
U-16 Championship Division
Loudoun 99 Red, Manhattan SC Villa, Carolina Rapids 99 Burgundy, Andromeda FC 00 Red and Penn Fusion 99 Elite each earned wins on the first day of the event, taking over the top five spots in the early U-16 Championship Division standings.
Virginia State Cup champion Loudoun jumped to the top of the table with a decisive 4-0 victory over South Carolina United FC 99 Elite, while Manhattan SC also had a roaring start with a 7-1 win over Patriot FC Red.
In the first Championship Division match of the morning at River City Sportsplex, Texas side Andromeda FC 00 Red notched a 2-1 comeback victory against the reigning New York East State Cup champion Dix Hills SC Hurricanes. After Dix Hills took a 1-0 into the half, Andromeda answered with a flurry of attacking runs and a rigorous tempo on both ends of the pitch, storming back two score two unanswered goals after the intermission. The Texas North State Cup finalists equalized early in the half when Jose Zertuche sent a corner in to defender Jeremy Basso, who beat a crowd of defenders and the opposing keeper to the ball and finished inside the left post on a close-range shot.
Just a few minutes later, Andromeda scored what proved to be the game-winner as Trevor Martineau linked up with a sprinting Guillermo Medina on a run down the center of the field, and Medina promptly blasted a shot into the left side of the goal from outside the box to give his team the lead. Playing in an attacking midfielder role, Martineau, along with versatile center back Basso and two-way player Zertuche, led the hyper-aggressive Andromeda team in the second half as they took control of the match.
Later in the day at River City, North Carolina State Cup champion Carolina Rapids earned a clean sheet in a 2-0 win against Virginia’s Chantilly Youth Association (CYA) 99 Purple, also thanks to a second half surge. After the teams went into the break scoreless, Carolina netted two goals in a span of two minutes to seal the victory. The first came on a point-blank finish by Cole Schmidt on a play in front of the right post following a free kick, and the second came in the form of a penalty kick earned by Logan Garica after he was taken down in the box. Garcia took the PK himself, and promptly beat the keeper to the right to give his team some insurance.
Meanwhile, the Rapids back line seemed to get stronger as the game went on and goalkeeper Jordan Hall picked up the shutout in net, making the save every time he was tested.
U-17 Championship Division
Maryland’s OBGC Roadrunners Blue, New York’s Massapequa SC Aces, Ohio Galaxies FC 98 Elite and Georgia side Concorde Fire jumped out to the top four spots in the 12-team U-17 Championship Division.
Playing in front of a collection of college coaches at West Creek Complex, OBGC earned a 2-0 clean sheet victory over Pennsylvania side LDC United Italia 98-99, taking over the top spot in the table at the end of Day 1.
Every other game in the tightly-contested division was decided by just one goal or ended in a draw. Reigning New York East State Cup champion Massapequa SC was among the three winners of the one-goal decisions, edging out Virginia State Cup champion Loudoun 98 Red 2-1.
Ohio Galaxies FC also notched a hard-fought 2-1 win, coming out on top against Brentwood SC NPL Aguila 98. Meanwhile, reigning Georgia State Cup champ Concord Fire picked up a 1-0 clean sheet victory against FC Virginia / SYC Strikers Blue, and North Carolina State Cup champion CASL 98 Red played US Youth Soccer Region III champion CESA Elite 98 Premier to a 1-1 draw in a battle of Southern powerhouses.
U-18 Championship Division
In the top U-18 bracket, New York side Smithtown Kickers SC Thunder got off to a favorable start with a 1-0 victory against Missouri State Cup champion SLSG SC Elite 97/98.
Meanwhile, reigning Virginia State Cup champion SOCA 97-98 Elite played New Jersey’s TSF Academy to a 1-1 draw at West Creek in a tough defensive battle.