WILSON, N.C. – The 2012-2013 US Youth Soccer National League Boys season continued its opening weekend today with just nine of the 64 teams victorious in both games after two days of play at Wilson Gillette Soccer Complex, Barton College and Fike High School in Wilson, N.C.
Penn Fusion SA (E-PA) has had several teams qualify for the National League, one of which advanced to the National Championships in 2009-2010, and the club is back in 2012-2013 with the Under-15’s. Penn Fusion 97 grabbed a win today after giving up a two goal lead yesterday to tie.
“It was a positive result for us today. We dropped two points yesterday so we needed the three points today and I thought the boys played excellent throughout,” said Penn Fusion 97 Head Coach Sean McCafferty.
“The National League has been fantastic. We’ve had some older teams in the league and it’s a great setup, very professional, and for our guys it’s a step up in the level of play. We’ve gotten great exposure and the National League gives us the best competition we can have. Every game is a tough game, there are no easy games and you can’t take a minute off. This is the best competition we get all year.”
Under-17 Boys SDFC Gauchos (NJ) have competed in the National League for three years and qualified for the 2011 National Championships as Region I Champions. After two days, Gauchos sit atop the division at 2-0 and have ambitions to get back to Nationals.
“This is our third year in the National League now and every year it’s been extremely tough. I think the National League is a phenomenal option for us,” said SDFC Gauchos Head Coach Jorden Scott. “National League offers as good of competition as you’ll find in this country no matter academy, showcase or whatever. The players here are as good, if not, at times, a little better. It’s been a great showing by college coaches and you see the Division I coaches here this weekend, there here for a reason; because the level and the quality is here. We’re proud to be a part of the National League.
“If you look at the history of teams that went to the National Championships from the National League, they have gone out there and been stronger than anyone. Michigan Jaguars for example; part of National League for the past two years, National finalists and then win it last year. These boys are driven at winning the National Championship, so that’s what we’re trying to do.”
National League teams earn their place in the league based on a proven track record of success in US Youth Soccer regional and national competitions. Competing for a league title and a spot in the US Youth Soccer National Championships, each and every game will play into who represents the National League this summer in Overland Park, Kan.
The league is an extension of the US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues (US Youth Soccer Region I Premier League, Midwest Regional League, Region III Premier League and Far West Regional League), providing an avenue for teams to play in meaningful matches against top competition from across the country for continued development and opportunities for exposure at the national team, collegiate and professional levels.Some highlights from today’s matches…
Raiders FC Premier (IL) look determined to avenge their National Championship game loss last summer as they moved to 2-0 after a dominating win over AC Bethesda (MD), 4-1. Midfield general Brandon Medina (Northwestern) set the tone for Raiders just six minutes in for a 1-0 Raiders’ lead, and Alexis Monteon doubled it in the 18th before Gonzalo Romo (Illinois – Chicago) and Addon Delgado added second half goals. Donovan Arias grabbed a consolation goal for Bethesda in the 88th but it was too little too late as Raiders grab the early lead in the division.
It may seem like a long time ago, but West Coast FC (CA-S) were National Champions in 2009 as Under-14’s, and the team would like nothing less than to have a chance to get back to the big stage. A 1-0 win over Tampa Bay United Premier (FL) today put West Coast at 1-0-1 and a good start at planning for Overland Park this summer. Brian Way scored the game winner in the 8th minute and goalkeeper Ricky Brown (Colgate) and the West Coast defense did their part with a shutout for the victory.
Defending National Champions Michigan Jaguars 96 Green (MI) bounced back from an opening day loss to get back on track with a 1-0 victory over Bethesda SC Revolution (MD) today. After a scoreless first half, Mitchell Smith found the back of the net in the 55th minute for Jaguars to put them back in a position for a chance to advance to their third straight National Championships appearance.
SDFC Gauchos (NJ) have played in the National League for three years now, although the lone year they advanced to the National Championships was in 2011 as Region I Champions. Gauchos have positioned themselves well after two days this year, moving to 2-0 by defeating West Pines Strikers (FL), who took down the defending National champs yesterday. Alex Patel put Gauchos in front in the 17th minute and Zachary Beckerman made it a 2-0 lead in the 28th. Walker Dawkins pulled West Pines within a goal, but Gauchos held onto the lead for the 2-1 victory.
CUP Crew Jrs Gold 96/97 (OH-S) took home the division crown last year with a 6-0-1 record and 2012-2013 has been much of the same as CUP moved to 2-0 after defeating Libertyville FC 1974 (IL) 1-0. What is becoming a ridiculous run of form, CUP’s Luke Treadway scored the game winner today in the 28th minute. Treadway holds the National League single-season scoring record with 13 goals last season, and has now scored in every single National League game his team has played in over their first two years in the league.
Albion SC White (CA-S) understand how important it is to take as many points as possible in the National League after having a chance to overtake the division in the final weekend last season, but falling short. Today, Region III Champion SAA Real Madrid Miami (FL) twice took the lead, but Albion battled back and earned a 3-2 victory to move to 2-0. Tomas Garcia Morillo put SAA up early with a 3rd minute goal, but Albion’s Tanner Caldwell leveled just seven minutes later. SAA again took the lead in the 17th and entered halftime with a 2-1 lead, but Chandler Short leveled for Albion in the 61st before an own goal 10 minutes from time gave Albion all three points.
After taking a 2-0 lead yesterday and settling for a draw, Penn Fusion 97 (E-PA) took care of their lead today to earn a 1-0 victory over OP Eagles Dublin G1 (OH-S). Jared Lawler scored the lone goal of the game for Penn Fusion in the 72nd minute as the defense did their part with a shutout for the win.
GSA Phoenix 98 Red (GA) clinched their second victory in as many days, taking down Libertyville FC 1974 (IL) 3-1. Samaan Williams led GSA with goals in the 31st and 49th minutes, while Emmet Johnson scored in between Williams’ strikes for a 3-0 lead. Libertyville’s Adolfo Lasso put the team on the board in the 63rd, but that was all they could find as GSA grabbed the victory.
National League action continues Saturday, Nov. 17. Complete standings, scores and schedules, including goal scorers and match information, can be found at the results page here
. Click on the score of each game for more information.