Champions crowned at US Youth Soccer Far West Regional Championships
HONOLULU (Via US Youth Soccer) — The 2018 US Youth Soccer Region Far West Regional Championships came to an exciting conclusion on Sunday in Honolulu as 14 teams claimed titles. Not only did those sides step off the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex fields as Regional Champions, but they also secured berths to the 2018 US Youth Soccer National Championships, which will be played July 23-29 at the Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco, Texas.
Cal South led the way with nine Far West Regional Champions, while Utah had two winners. Cal North, Nevada and Arizona each had one champion.
2018 US Youth Soccer Far West Regional Champions
|CDA Slammers FC HB05 Elite
|San Diego Surf 05 Academy Select
|ECFC Salinas United 04
|Total Futbol Academy
|Tuzos Academy 02
|USA 02 Premier
|Santa Barbara Soccer Club
|Rebels 2001 Elite
|Downtown LVSC 00 Academy
|CDA Slammers FC HB 00 Elite
|FC Golden State White
|Utah FC 99 Black
In the 18U Boys Far West Regional Championship match, Downtown LVSC 00 Academy (NV) came back from a one-goal deficit to defeat Strikers FC South Bay (CA-S), 2-1 with a last-minute game winning goal.
“We had a lot of confidence and a lot of belief that we could earn a win and earn a championship today,” head coach Liam Connors said. “I think the guys have always been very consistent in their approach in how they want to play, and I think that was evident in the course of the game. Whenever you go behind, it’s that character check. We’ve been in that situation before having to play from behind this week and in the semifinal game, so there was a lot of belief that we could turn the result around again. As we grew and as we built, I think that the end result of the game was the right one.”
Connors noted that the team has worked hard throughout the entire journey and that their work is related to more than just the game.
“It’s outstanding to be a regional champion,” Connors said. “It’s a goal that we’ve openly and actively spoken about and work towards and plan for. For these guys to have gone through that process and to learn those life lessons and to take that with the reward of being regional champions, it’s going to do great things for them as young men as they move on from the game and to a different level of the game.”
LVSC certainly has some celebrating to do, but the Nevada side is not done yet as it heads to the National Championships in Frisco.
“As the coach, I want to be able to enjoy this for a little bit for these guys because I’m super proud of them and they deserve it, but by the time we hit that flight home, it’ll be preparing for getting it right in Texas as well,” Connors said. “We want to make sure we represent the region as champions as well as we can and represent our club and our families and our state of Nevada. We’re incredibly proud and we’re excited for what’s next.”
Highlights from Sunday:
CDA Slammers FC HB05 Elite (CA-S) claimed the 13U Boys Far West Regional title with a 4-0 win over LVSA 05 Red (NV). Slammers got the game going when the ball made its way into the 18-yard box and Luca Petruolo slipped the ball under the keeper before he could get on top of it. The score remained close until the second half when Slammers put three in the back of the net with the help of Reed Flores, Sonny Mosdri and David Hallworth.
San Diego Surf 05 Academy Select (CA-S) defeated Rush 05 (HI) in a close 1-0 match to earn the 13U Girls regional title. After a scoreless first half, Surf came out of halftime hungry for a goal and did just that as Maryn Wolf put one away in the first minute of the half. Wolf finished the event as the 13U Girls leading scorer with seven total goals.
ECFC Salinas United 04 (CA-N) came out with a 4-1 victory over LV Revolution FC Gunners 04 (NV) to take the 14U Boys regional crown. In the first 14 minutes of the match, the score appeared as 3-1 in ECFC’s favor with Miguel Marcos and Alejandro Ibarra Moreno scoring first to give ECFC the early lead. While LV Revolution’s Maximo Zontecomani pulled one back, Ibarra Moreno and Marcos each scored again to put the Nevada side out of reach. The ECFC duo each tallied seven goals for the week and stand on top of the 14U Boys leading scorers list.
Arsenal FC (CA-S) and Seattle United Copa (WA) met on the first day of the round robin to play to a scoreless draw, but in the 14U Girls final match, all it took was one goal for Arsenal to earn the 14U Girls regional title in a 1-0 match against Seattle United. After the first half, the score remained 0-0. It was Breeanne Brewer who finally broke through for Arsenal and put the ball in the back of the net. The game winner was Brewer’s second goal of the event.
Total Futbol Academy (CA-S) became the 15U Boys Far West Regional Champion after a 2-1 victory over FBSL Tuzos Academy 03 (AZ). All of the scoring action took place in the first 14 minutes of the match and within the span of five minutes. Joel Trejo scored first for Total Futbol Academy in the 10th minute, and Christian Briseno made it a 2-0 game only two minutes later. After another two minutes of play, Tuzos cut into Total Futbol Academy’s lead as Richard Tabares Ochoa netted a goal. Although the majority of the game was still to be played, neither team converted another goal and the Cal South side walked away with the win as well as the regional title.
Beach FC (CA-S) defeated Leahi 03 Premier (HI), 2-1 in overtime to become the 15U Girls Far West Regional Champion. Beach FC started off with high pressure, but Leahi had some early shots and took the first lead of the match when Caly Ah Soon passed the ball into the bottom corner of the net, scoring in the 32nd minute. The Cal South side knew it had some work to do to stay in the game, and Amelia Abusham scored the equalizer in the 68th minute, allowing Beach FC to have more time to play. Samantha Thompson earned the game winner in overtime, and the Beach FC players walked away as champions.
In the 16U Boys age group, Tuzos Academy 02 (AZ) became back-to-back Far West Regional Champions with a 2-1 win in kicks from the mark. The Arizona team’s opponent, Boca Juniors USDA-LA 02 (CA-S) made it a tough game as Uriel Ferguson scored for Boca in the 63rd minute. However, Tuzos’ Julian Aceves converted the late equalizer to keep the team in the game. Two overtime periods and a round of kicks from the mark later, Tuzos took the regional title. Tuzos will head to Frisco, Texas for redemption and another shot at the National Championships after finishing as a 2017 finalist.
USA 02 Premier (UT) claimed the 16U Girls regional crown with a 2-0 victory over WA Timbers 02 Red 1 (OR). Erin Bridges took the credit for both of USA’s goals as she scored in the 16th and 23rd minute, totaling five for the week. Timbers put USA under pressure especially in the second half, forcing the Utah side to keep up its defensive game, but USA ended up with the win.
A 4-1 win over LVSA 01 Red (NV) earned Santa Barbara Soccer Club (CA-S) the 17U Boys Far West Regional Championship title. LVSA scored first as Michael Vogel’s shot took a deflection and lofted into the goal, but Santa Barbara was right back into it when Branden Dolezal scored just before halftime. In the second half, James Yonally stole the lead for Santa Barbara after scoring his fifth of the week, and three minutes later Abubakar Fofanah increased the lead once more. Just before the final whistle, Frank Daroma topped off the win with Santa Barbara’s fourth goal.
With a 3-2 victory against Arizona Arsenal Teal (AZ), Rebels 2001 Elite (CA-S) gained redemption after falling to Arsenal in group play and became the 17U Girls regional champion. Emma Gaines-Ramos and Olivia Sekimoto each scored for Rebels to give the team a 2-0 lead, but Alia Shatswell pulled one back for Arsenal with her goal just before halftime. In the second half, Angelina Espinal earned some breathing room for Rebels, yet Arsenal’s Mollie Griswold put the team within reach once again. However, the equalizer never came and Rebels claimed the regional crown.
Downtown LVSC 00 Academy (NV) heads to the National Championships after a 2-1 victory against Strikers FC South Bay (CA-S) in the 18U Boys regional championship match. Strikers went into halftime with the momentum after William Hildyard put the ball in the net in the 44th minute. However, LVSC came right back as it only took four minutes into the second half for Juan Estrada to tie up the game. It was a battle until the final minute when the game winner came off of a corner kick and Corrigan Neville rose up above the defense to head the ball into the goal.
CDA Slammers FC HB 00 Elite (CA-S) defeated Greater Seattle Surf 00A (WA) in kicks from the mark to become the 18U Girls Far West Regional Champion. Although Slammers’ Alyssa Sanchez scored in the 18th minute, Surf’s Jadyn Edwards scored in the 36th minute to tie up the match. With a full 45 minutes left to play, neither team could score the game winner, so the match eventually went to overtime and then to kicks from the mark. Both goalkeepers made outstanding saves, doing their share of the work, but it was Slammers FC who ran off the field in joy.
FC Golden State White (CA-S) pulled away from Sereno 99 Thompson (AZ) in a 4-0 win to take the 19U Boys regional crown. Matheus Francisco Ribeiro got the ball rolling in the sixth minute of the game when he netted a goal, earning his fourth of the week. Jhonny Felipe Barbosa Pereira, Flavio Lucas Correia De Moraes and Renato Mendes De Lima also contributed to the game with a goal each to secure the regional title.
After a 1-1 tie in group play between Utah FC 99 Black (UT) and Hawaii Heat FC 99 (HI), the 19U Girls final game was set up to be a close one. This time, a winner was decided and it was Utah FC who took the Far West Regional title after a 1-0 victory. Emma Card scored the only goal of the match as she sent a low driven shot into the back of the net. Despite Hawaii Heat’s best efforts, Utah FC held on for the win and will head to Frisco, Texas.
The US Youth Soccer National Championships will consist of US Youth Soccer Regional Champions in the 13U through 19U Boys and Girls age groups, as well as the US Youth Soccer National League qualifiers in the 14U through 18U Boys and Girls age groups to complete the field of 96 teams.