Va. State Cup: Boys’ brackets whittling down to trophy contenders

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.

Under-15 

SEMIFINALS 

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.

Under-16

SEMIFINALS

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.

Under-17

QUARTERFINALS

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.

Under-18

QUARTERFINALS

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.

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