2015 Jefferson Cup Preview: U-18 Men’s Championship Division
With the 2015 Jefferson Cup quickly approaching, SoccerWire.com has started an article series previewing the top divisions for the showcase age groups. See below for a look at the U-18 Men’s Championship Division.
*Note: Jefferson Cup teams, please send us college commitments and Players to Watch by adding a SocceWire.com Player Profile. Click on the team names or logos below to view the Report-a-Score.com team page.
Head Coach: Mo Tayari
Coming from one of the strongest clubs in Northern Virginia, Arlington Strikers Red have been perennial contenders at national competitions over the years. They were finalists in of the top brackets of the Jefferson Cup and Potomac Memorial Day Tournament in 2014, and are currently in close contention for a division title in the Club Champions League. A few key players for Arlington include: Kevin Hwang (Midfielder | George Washington University), Cole Stinger (Goalkeeper | University of Delaware) and Jordan Edwards (Defender/Midfielder | George Mason University).
Head Coach: Luciano Gallo
Representing the U.S. Soccer Development Academy club, Empire Revolutuion are the reigning State Cup champions in Western New York, and were semifinalists in Region 1 in 2014. They were also semifinalists at the NEFC Preseason Tournament and College Showcase in March 2014 and finished fifth in the Region I Premier League. Key players include: Henry Frome (Forward | 2015), Marcus D’Aguiar
(Defender | 2015) and Paul Malinowski (Midfielder | 2015).
Coach: Bo Amato
Reigning Virginia State Cup champion Annandale United FC 96 have also won the top flights of the Generation Adidas Bethesda Tournament, OBGC Capital Cup and USCS Southeast Regional in the past year. A few of the team’s key players include forward Stephen Durbin (George Mason University 2015), midfielder Miguel Arrate (Virginia Military Institute 2015) and forward Tommy Buono (Marbella United FC – Spain).
Head Coach: Mike Hammer
The reigning EDP Spring Cup Gold champions and 2014 New Jersey Cup finalists are no strangers to elite competition, regularly finishing at or near the top of some of the most prestigious events in the country. A few of Manalapan’s key players include: Ryan Hammer (Forward/Midfielder | 2015), Davin Eugenio (Defender | 2015) and Jordan Urbaczek (Defender/Midfielder | 2015).
Head Coach: Paul Bigilin
A mainstay among the Tri-State region’s elite teams, Massapequa Celtics are coming off a second place finish in the 2014 Region I Northeast League and a run to the final in the 2014 Jefferson Cup Elite Division. A few key players for Celtics include: Eric Reiss (Forward | 2015), Brandon Merklin (Defender | 2015) and Greg Baumstein (Defender | 2015).
Head Coach: Dan Griest
Ohio Galaxies will look to build on their trip to the Jefferson Cup in 2014 when they won the U-17 Elite Division as they move up to the top bracket for 2015. Representing one of the top clubs in the Midwest, Galaxies recently advanced to the Premier Red Division final at the Disney Showcase. A few key players for Ohio Galaxies include: Noah Kummer (Goalkeeper | 2015), Tristan Lyle (Forward | 2015), Derek Schneider (Midfielder | 2015) and Nathan Beem (Defender | 2015)
Head Coach: Joe Schulman
The reigning Colorado State Cup champions are looking to make an impression on some largely unfamiliar opponents this March at the Jefferson Cup. A few key players for Pride SC include: Austin Dewing (Forward | Air Force Academy), Aaron Haefner (Defender | University of Colorado at Colorado Springs) and Nick Bannister (Defender | Indiana Wesleyan University).
Head Coach: Paul Rideout
Representing Region IV, Sereno advanced to the final in the 2014 Las Vegas Thanksgiving Classic and finished third in the Arizona State League. The team is particularly deep in the midfield. A few key players for Sereno include: Javier Bernaldo de Quiros Bulnes (Midfielder | 2015), Esaul Aceves Lopez (Midfielder | 2015) and Michael Peay (Midfielder | 2015) and Daniel Teran (Defender | 2015).
Head Coach: Paul Kowalewski
The two-time reigning Maryland State Cup champions have depth at every position. Severna Park finished first in the EDP Spring League 1st Division North in 2014 and fourth in the Region I Premier League. A few key Severna Park players include: Yui Sung Kwon (Forward | U.S. Naval Academy), Nicholas Crockett (Defender | 2015), and Evan Monseu (Defender | 2015).
Head Coach: Tom Lips
The 2014 Region 1 finalists have consistently played and beaten some of the top competition in the nation, winning several major events in the past year. Smithtown won the 2014 Region 1 Premier League, EDP Spring League and Cup, and are in contention to repeat as US Youth Soccer National League champions. A few key players for the Eastern New York powerhouse include: Steven Dovi (Defender | 2015), Thomas Butzke (Midfield | Boston University), Stephen Elias (Forward | North Carolina State), Max Heffron (Defender | Dartmouth) and Fernando Cortez (Midfield | 2015).
Head Coach: Dewan Bader
Representing one of the premier North Carolina clubs, TFCA 96 boasts one of the strongest defensive units in the country. In 2014, they won the North Carolina State Cup and the CASL Boys Showcase top bracket, and were finalists in the US Youth Soccer Region 3 Southern Championship. A few key players for TFCA include: Brendon Ngo (Defender | 2015), Michael Chin (Defender | 2016) and Ian Bennett (Midfield | 2015).
Head Coach: Amaro Pereira
Another one of the hardest-working defensive units in the country, NJ Strikers are led by a back line whose core players – Randy Gonzalez, William Sjaastad, Nicolas Zolofra and Robert Ellerson – have been teammates for over a decade. The team recently captured a Disney Showcase title and advanced to the US Club Soccer National Cup final in 2014. More key players for NJ Strikers include: Josh Samuels (Goalkeeper | 2015), Peter Hall (Midfielder | Rowan University) Kevin Pereira (Midfielder | Rowan University) and Derick Carpio (Forward | Rowan University).