Champions crowned at US Club Soccer National Cup XV
AURORA, Colo. (Via US Club Soccer) – Forty teams walked on stage Monday afternoon – 20 champions and 20 finalists – at the conclusion of the National Cup XV Finals at Aurora Sports Park.
Some players danced. Some cried. Some took selfies with the Doug Hamilton Memorial Trophy. Most cheered. No matter the emotions, all made history as triumphant members of US Club Soccer’s 15th anniversary of its cup-based national championship series: the National Cup.
The National Cup XV Finals served as the culminating event of the National Cup XV, which featured six National Cup XV Regionals and numerous qualifying state cups. U-13 through U-17 boys and girls champions from Regionals and state cups qualified directly to the Finals.
The wide array of qualification events ensured challenging conditions, as participants faced varying styles from teams around the country. The tournament field began with 158 teams and was narrowed through group play, semifinals and, finally, championship Monday. It was the largest number of teams in National Cup history.
“The National Cup Finals is always special, and with this year being the 15th anniversary, it added to the prestige,” US Club Soccer Director of Events Chad Williams said. “We’ve seen this national championship series grow, and that’s a testament to all the clubs, coaches, players and parents who have been a part of the National Cup.”
The championship round, which included 15 different states, featured 12 games that were decided by one goal.
Monday’s national championship game results are listed below:
U-13 Super Group: NEFC Elite (Mass.)
NEFC Elite (Mass.) 2, Chicago Inferno ’03 Elite (Ill.) 1
U-13 Premier Group: Jackson Red Bulls (N.J.)
Jackson Red Bulls (N.J.) 3, Campton United ’03 (Ill.) 1
U-14 Super Group: Salinas Galaxy ’01 (Calif.)
Salinas Galaxy ’01 (Calif.) 5, Chicago Inferno Elite (Ill.) 1
U-14 Premier Group: GPS ME Phoenix (Maine)
GPS ME Phoenix (Maine) 2, Fredericksburg FC ’01 Black (Va.) 1
U-15 Super Group: GPS NH Classics 00/01 NPL (N.H.)
GPS NH Classics 00/01 NPL (N.H.) 3, STA Morris United NPL ’00 (N.J.) 2
U-15 Premier Group: Frederickburg FC ’00 Black (Va.)
Frederickburg FC ’00 Black (Va.) 3, GPS ME Phoenix (Maine) 1
U-16 Super Group: Match Fit Academy FC ’00 Black (N.J.)
Match Fit Academy FC ’00 Black (N.J.) 2, Marin FC 99/00 Blue (Calif.) 1
U-16 Premier Group: NEFC Premier South (R.I.)
NEFC Premier South (R.I.) 3, Napa Sport Academy ’00 Blue (Calif.) 2
U-17 Super Group: Marlboro SA Warriors Blue (N.J.)
Marlboro SA Warriors Blue (N.J.) 2, Holmdel FC Njx Sounders (N.J.) 1
U-17 Premier Group: Seacoast United Maine SC Mariners (Maine)
Seacoast United Maine SC Mariners (Maine) 3, Connecticut FC United 98/99 (Conn.) 2
U-13 Super Group: Chicago Inferno Elite (Ill.)
Chicago Inferno Elite (Ill.) 3, Leahi ’03 Premiere Green (Hawaii) 0
U-13 Premier Group: Cleveland United Elite (Ohio)
Cleveland United Elite (Ohio) 2, GPS NH Elite Classics (N.H.) 1
U-14 Super Group: FC Boston Scorpions ECNL (Mass.)
FC Boston Scorpions ECNL (Mass.) 4, STA NPL ’01 (N.J.) 3
U-14 Premier Group: Hawaii Rush ’02 (Hawaii)
Hawaii Rush ’02 (Hawaii) 2, NEFC Premier South (Mass.) 0
U-15 Super Group: NEFC Elite (Mass)
NEFC Elite (Mass) 1, Orlando City Youth Soccer 00/01 Purple (Fla.) 0
U-15 Premier Group: Hawaii Rush ’01 (Hawaii)
Hawaii Rush ’01 (Hawaii) 4, GPS NH Classics Elite (N.H.) 1
U-16 Super Group: NEFC Elite (Mass.)
NEFC Elite (Mass.) 3, Hawaii Rush ’00 (Hawaii) 0
U-16 Premier Group: Colorado United White (Colo.)
Colorado United White (Colo.) 1, Mercer FC Magic (N.J.) 0
U-17 Super Group: Downtown Las Vegas SC ’99 Academy (Nev.)
Downtown Las Vegas SC ’99 Academy (Nev.) 4, NEFC Elite (Mass.) 2
U-17 Premier Group: FC Boulder ’99 Elite (Colo.)
FC Boulder ’99 Elite (Colo.) 3, Sockers FC NPL (Ill.) 2
After winning the U-13 girls Premier Group last year in Indiana, Hawaii Rush ’02 welcomed the increased difficulty of winning back-to-back championships. It did just that, winning the U-14 girls Premier Group through four games that included three shutouts and +11 goal differential. As a club, Hawaii Rush won another championship at the U-15 girls Premier Group division and finished runner-up in the U-16 girls Super Group.
NEFC Elite – no stranger to US Club Soccer national championships – won three titles and a second-place finish. One of those teams, the U-16 girls Super Group champion accomplished a rare feat of winning both this cup-based national title and a league-based national title last week during the 2016 NPL Finals.
Chicago Inferno qualified three teams to the National Cup XV Finals and all three advanced to Monday, when one claimed its bracket.
Five teams within the Global Premier Soccer (GPS) organization umbrella also earned the rights to play this afternoon, and two took home national championships.