The Virginia State Cup comes to a dramatic finish this weekend at the VYSA Training Center in Fredericksburg, where the U-15 through U-18 age groups will play their semifinal rounds on Saturday leading into the finals on Sunday. See below for previews of the match-ups on the boys side.
Reigning Region I Champion McLean 00 Green missed out on a state title in 2014 but will look to add it to their trophy case this season. Coached by former MLS player Jamil Walker, McLean earned a second place finish in the Region I Champions League Division 1 Red, and has won titles at prestigious showcase tournaments including the OBGC Capital Cup, Bethesda Premier Cup and Spring EDP Cup. After winning the Region I championship, McLean advanced to the US Youth Soccer National Championships and fell just short of advancing to the semifinals, posting a strong 1-1-1 record in group play. Midfielder Garrett Socas and Daniel Diaz-Bonilla were named to the U-14 Boys Best 11 at Nationals.
Last year’s U-14 State Cup runner-up Loudoun goes up against fellow Club Champions League (CCL) side McLean for a chance to return to the state final. Loudoun went 10-4-1 to place fifth in the CCL last season, and currently leads the U-15 age group at 4-0-0. The team also finished fourth in the 2015 Region I Champions League Division 1 Red and fared well against some of the best competition in the country at showcases such as the Bethesda Premier Cup, Potomac Memorial Tournament and OBGC Capital Cup. Goalkeeper Jeffrey Gates and forward/midfielder Alexander Robles represent the team on the Region I ODP Player Pool for the 2015-2016 season.
SOCA tied with DC Stoddert for first place in the CCL U-14 age group for the 2014-2015 season, compiling a 12-2-1 record. The team is off to a perfect 3-0-0 start this season in CCL play, and has reached the State Cup semifinals following three wins and two draws in the opening rounds, including three clean sheets. Forward Henry Van Wincoop is a member of the 2002 Region I ODP Roster Pool and was selected for the US Club Soccer id2 Training Camp Roster for the recent New Jersey event.
Coming off a 7-7-1 mark in the CCL last season, Arlington has struggled out of the gates this fall during league play but has picked up some serious momentum in the State Cup. Arlington reeled off four straight wins to begin the State Cup before falling to McLean 3-0 in its final group match, but still placed second in Flight A to advance to Fredericksburg for the final weekend. Midfielder Nicolas Lopez and Adam Snowdon have been named to the 2000 and 2001 Region I ODP Roster Pools, respectively.
Returning State Cup champion Arlington Eagles Red looks to defend its title, but needs to go through BRYC 99 Elite in a re-match of last year’s U-15 State Cup final to do so. Grant Smith‘s squad is coming off a run to the US Youth Soccer Region I semifinals, a top flight championship at the Potomac Memorial Tournament, a first place finish in the Region I Champions League Division 1 Blue, a Bethesda Premier Cup top flight title, a second place finish in the US Youth Soccer National League and an undefeated 13-0-2 season in the CCL. Paul Bangura, Connor Andrews, Seungmin Kang and William Socas have been named to the 2000 Region I ODP Roster Pool.
BRYC came up just short of a State Cup championship in 2014, and will have to take down the defending champs in order to return to the final match. Brian Welsh‘s team placed third in the CCL last season at 8-2-5, and won the top flight of the 2015 FC DELCO Playres Cup, one of the top showcase tournaments in the country. BRYC also reached the finals of the Premier Division at the 2015 OBGC Capital Cup, and finished sixth in the 2015 Region I Champions League Division 1 Blue. Aidan O’Connell returns as a top 10 scorer in the 2014-2015 US Youth Soccer National League.
Loudoun returns to the State Cup semifinals after dropping an epic match to eventual champion Arlington last season. The team went on to win the OBGC Capital Cup Premier Division and reach the finals of the Potomac Memorial Tournament’s top flight, while also finishing second in the CCL with an 11-3-1 clip. Loudoun has a perfect 6-0-0 record in so far in CCL play this season. Forward Bardia Kimiavi and striker/center midfielder Brett Halsey have been selected for the Region I ODP Player Pool for the 2000 age group.
CYA 99 Purple is also looking to avenge a loss in the 2014 State Cup semifinals, coming off a second place finish in the EDP League Spring 1st Division South and a first place finish in the Region I Champions League Division 2 Blue. CYA advanced to the finals of the 2014 Bethesda Premier Cup Chesapeake Division as well. Ridge Pearson is a member of the 2000 Region I ODP Player Pool for the 2015-2016 season.
Loudoun reached the semifinals of the State Cup, Region I Championships and US Youth Soccer National Championships last season, and won the CCL U-16 Division with a 13-1-1 record. The team is off to an unblemished 5-0-0 start in the CCL once again, and is 4-0-1 five games into the State Cup having earned the top seed in Flight A. Goalkeeper Nabil Milani and midfielder Michael Scully have been named to the 1999 and 1998 Region I ODP Roster Pools. Loudoun is led by US Youth Soccer National Competitive Coach of the Year Mark Ryan.
After a 7-7-1 season in the CCL for 2014-2015, SOCA is 1-3-0 to begin the new season in league play. SOCA earned the No. 2 seed in Flight B of the State Cup group stage after defeating CFC Cosmos 98 and Richmond Strikers Elite in the preliminary rounds. The team earned a 2-2 draw against BRYC to begin the group stage before taking down Roanoke Star Elite 6-2 and Arlington Attack Red 1-0 to earn a trip to the semis.
Last year’s U-16 finalist BRYC took the top seed in Flight B, posting a 2-0-1 record while outscoring opponents 9-2. The team is 4-1-0 so far in CCL play after compiling a 12-3-0 record last season, earning a second place finish. BRYC won the OBGC Capital Cup Premier Division earlier this fall, and won the Liberty Division of the 2014 Bethesda Premier Cup. Elite also placed fourth in the 2015 Region I Champions League Division 1 Blue. Class of 2017 forward Juan Benavides netted two goals in US Youth Soccer National League play last season as a member of the BRYC 99s.
Virginia Legacy posted an impressive 12-3-0 record during CCL play in 2014-2015, placing third in a highly competitive U-16 Boys Division. Legacy earned the No. 2 seed in Flight A of the State Cup group stage, going 2-1-0 after defeating Arlington Attack White and Beach FC 98 Red in the preliminary rounds. Midfielder Antonio Gonzalez has been selected for the 2015-2016 Region I ODP Roster Pool in the 1999 age group.
BFC Barca picked up the top seed in Flight A after going an unbeaten 2-0-1, earning wins over Arlington Impact Red and Virginia Rush Elite, while also getting a point in a 1-1 draw against Loudoun 97 Red. Brian Robertson‘s team has a deep resume over the past year, having won divisions at showcase tournaments including the Embassy Cup, August Cup and Potomac Memorial Tournament. Barca finished first in the 2015 Region I Champions League Division 2 White and seventh in the EDP League Spring 2015 1st Division South, while also reaching the finals of the OBGC Capital Cup’s Premier Division.
Coming off an undefeated season in the CCL at 14-0-1, the league’s returning champions have started their U-18 season with a strong 2-1-1 record. SOCA earned the No. 2 seed in Flight B at 1-1-1, playing stifling defense along the way. SOCA has allowed just one goal through five State Cup matches so far, outscoring opponents by a total of 13-1.
Bethesda Premier Cup Patriot Division champions and Potomac Memorial Tournament Patriot-West Division finalists SYA Strikers Red earned a sixth place result in the CCL last season, and have begun the 2015-2016 with a 4-1-1 clip. Mike Jorden‘s team earned the top seed in Flight B during State Cup group play, and is coming off back-to-back shutouts of fellow CCL sides Roanoke Star and SOCA.
Virginia Invitational and Kirkwood Boys College Showcase champion Virginia Rush Elite also reached the finals of the 2014 EDP EDP Cup/MSSL Winter Showcase and the Capital Fall Classic Premier Division. Rush had its four-game State Cup winning streak come to an end last weekend in a 2-0 loss to Barca, but earns a trip to Fredericksburg for Final Four weekend with the No. 2 seed in Flight A after defeating Loudoun 97 Red and Arlington Impact Red by 3-1 margins to open group play.