Champions crowned at US Youth Soccer Region IV Championships
SEATTLE (Via US Youth Soccer) — The 2017 US Youth Soccer Region IV (West) Championships came to an exciting conclusion on Sunday in Seattle as 14 teams claimed titles. Not only did those sides step off the 60 Acres Soccer Complex fields as Regional Champions, but they also secured berths to the 2017 US Youth Soccer National Championships, which will be played July 24-30 at the Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco, Texas.
Cal South led the way with five Region IV Champions, while Utah was close behind with three winners. Nevada won two titles, and Arizona, Cal North, Colorado and host Washington each had one champion. West Coast FC (CA-S) won three titles as a club, while Celtic FC (UT) claimed two.
2017 US Youth Soccer Region IV (West) Champions
|13U||Girls||San Diego Surf||CA-S|
|13U||Boys||Heat FC 04 ET||NV|
|14U||Girls||LVPSA 03 Red||NV|
|14U||Boys||CDA Slammers FC HB 03 Godinez Black||CA-S|
|15U||Girls||La Roca PO 02||UT|
|15U||Girls||# Real Colorado 02 Olympico||CO|
|15U||Boys||Tuzos Academy 02||AZ|
|16U||Girls||Celtic FC Premier SA||UT|
|16U||Boys||WCFC Armour 2001||CA-S|
|17U||Boys||Santa Clara Sporting 00 Green||CA-N|
|18U||Girls||Arsenal Colorado Academy 99||CO|
|18U||Boys||West Coast 99 Wyss||CA-S|
|19/20U||Girls||Eastside FC 98 Red||WA|
|19/20U||Boys||West Coast Haney||CA-S|
# Advances to National Championships as Region IV representative. 15U Girls La Roca to represent the National League.
“The feeling to be a champion today is pretty awesome,” said 18U Girls Arsenal Colorado Academy 99 coach Luis Dominguez, Jr., whose team beat two-time National finalist La Roca Premier PO (UT) in overtime. “When that final whistle blew, it was a huge weight off of our shoulders as a group. It has been a tough road, but they found a way to win.
“To win a Region IV Championship is tough. We were in a very tough group. We had our backs against the wall and needed to get a result against Cal North to get out of group play. We came out second in our group, so we almost weren’t here. But the grit the group showed to get to the final, it just showed they wanted it this year.”
The 18U Girls final was one of two games to go to overtime on Sunday, as Celtic FC Premier SA (UT) needed a penalty kick shootout to win the 16U Girls championship. In all, nine of the 14 finals were decided by one goal on a very competitive final day of play in Seattle.
Sunday’s winners can now set their sights on the National Championships in Frisco, Texas. Many of them have worked hard to earn the title of Regional IV Champions, but they know the level of play will be raised even higher when they join the top 96 teams in the country at the National Championships.
“Heading to Texas is going to be huge for us,” Dominguez, Jr. said. “We’ve been to a regional final before and came up short, but now it’s our chance. We’re going to play eight quality teams. To have the opportunity to play those teams, it’s going to be a tough road. But, hopefully our girls can have the same mindset and can become National Champions.”
Highlights from the Region IV Championships Finals…
After conceding an early goal, San Diego Surf (CA-S) battled back to take the 13U Girls title with a 2-1 victory over Real So Cal 04 (CA-S). Georgia Watts put Real in front in the eighth minute when she worked her way into the box and slid her shot around the keeper. Surf responded shortly after, as Cosette Thistle gathered the ball around the top of the penalty area and placed her shot into the left upper-90. With the minutes winding down in the second half, Chloe Green netted a 67th-minute game-winner to give Surf the championship.
A 2-1 win on Sunday propelled Heat FC 04 ET (NV) to the 13U Boys title. In its matchup with Tuzos Academy 04 (AZ), the Nevada side struck first when Donald Kiernan found the back of the net in the fourth minute. Tuzos replied just before halftime, as Baldemar Guillen beat the keeper to equalize the score at 1-1. Heat FC regained the lead in the 48th minute on a Clifford Jaxson Findlay strike, and its defense made sure that goal held up, as the Heat held on for the 2-1 victory.
In a game filled with energy both on and off the field, LVPSA 03 Red (NV) earned a 2-1 win over Legends FC G03 Academy (CA-S) to claim the 14U Girls championship. Las Vegas broke through in the 25th minute when Olivia Garcia hit a shot that beat the keeper’s outstretched arms and dipped under the crossbar. That lead held until the second half, when Legends’ Velize King found the back of the net to level the score at 1-1. However, Samantha Nieves scored what proved to be the game winner in the 52nd minute — sending Las Vegas to Frisco, Texas, as the Region IV Champions.
When the final whistle blew after a frantic last few minutes, 14U Boys CDA Slammers FC HB B03 Godinez Black (CA-S) celebrated a 3-1 win over LVSA 03 Silver (NV) that gave it the Region IV title. Alexis Moran gave the Slammers a 21st-minute lead, which appeared as if it may be the game’s lone goal for much of the contest. However, LVSA equalized in the 67th minute on a Abel Mendoza strike to pull level with just a few minutes remain. That score line didn’t last long, as Brian Arens netted a 69th-minute goal for the Slammers, and Eduardo Villeda added an insurance goal in stoppage time to cap the 3-1 victory for the Cal South side.
A second-half hat trick from Caroline Stringfellow helped La Roca PO 02 (UT) cruise to the 15U Girls title with a victory over Real Colorado 02 Olympico (CO). After some early pressure, La Roca opened the scoring in the 22nd minute. Sarah Wynn got to the end line before playing a square ball to the back post, where Tiani Fonoti arrived to tap in the opening goal. Brynlee Meyerhoffer added a second for La Roca just before half to give the Utah side some breathing room. Stringfellow extended the lead with a 61st-minute goal and added two more in the final 10 minutes to seal the dominant win for La Roca.
Tuzos Academy 02 (AZ) used the momentum from a quick opening goal to earn a 2-0 win over Excel Soccer Academy 02 (AZ) in the 15U Boys final. It took just three minutes for Eliseo Sanchez to put Tuzos in front, as he found the back of the net to spot his side an early lead. Ivan Pino Cebrero doubled the advantage with a goal early in the second half, and the Arizona side’s defense picked up its third clean sheet of the week to see out the victory and claim the title.
A couple of dramatic moments led to Celtic FC Premier SA (UT) defeating La Roca Premier FD (UT), 3-2 (PK), to claim the 16U Girls title. After a scoreless first half, Devi Dudley put Celtic in front with a 52nd-minute strike. Twelve minutes later, La Roca’s Heather Stainbrook ran on to a low cross and rocketed a volley into the net to level the score at 1-1. The game moved to extra time, and Abbie Kotter put La Roca in front with an 85th-minute strike. But with the final kick of the overtime periods, Paola Garcia placed a right-footed shot into the left corner of the net to send the match to penalties. Celtic’s Haven Empey made two saves in the shootout to help her side come away with the win and take the 16U Girls crown.
In the 16U Boys final, WCFC Armour 2001 (CA-S) earned a 1-0 win against defending National Champion Valparaiso United FC 01 JG (AZ) to punch its ticket to Nationals. Alejandro Perez put West Coast in front in just the fifth minute when he found the back of the net. The Cal South side’s defense stepped up and recorded its first shutout since the opening game of preliminary play to help West Coast hold on for the 1-0 victory to claim the 16U Boys title.
Celtic FC (UT) used a last-minute strike to earn a 4-3 win over Legends FC 00 South (CA-S) in the 17U Girls final. Tara Warner put Celtic in front with a fifth-minute goal, but Alyssa Moore equalized for Legends in the 21st minute when she worked her way into the box and place her shot inside the left post. Celtic’s Anna Pickering and Legends’ Chelsee Duran exchanged goals later in the first half to send the teams to halftime tied at 2-2. Moore added her second goal two minutes into the second half to put Legends in front, 3-2. Jamie Shepherd pulled Celtic level in the 66th minute, and Pickering scored a dramatic goal in stoppage time to give the Utah side the victory.
Santa Clara Sporting 00B Green (CA-N) held off Seattle United Copa (WA) for a 2-1 win in the 17U Boys final to punch its ticket to Nationals. The Cal North side grabbed a 20th-minute lead thanks to a Ramon Inda Felix goal. Seattle showed signs of creating an equalizer, but it was Santa Clara’s Javier De Los Santos who recorded the next goal — a bomb from 30 yards out that flew on a line into the far upper-90. Seattle pulled a goal back in the final minute when Reese Owens flicked a header past the keeper, but the Cal North side saw out the final moments to record the 2-1 victory and take the title.
It took overtime for Arsenal Colorado Academy 99 (CO) outlast La Roca Premier PO (UT) and earn a 3-2 win in the 18U Girls final. Arsenal opened the scoring in the 32nd minute, as Madison Williams got behind the defense before rounding the keeper and guiding her shot into the open goal. Taylor Bee doubled the Colorado advantage with a 58th-minute goal, but Mylee Broad immediately replied to pull La Roca back within a goal. Macy Martinez added her sixth goal of the week later in the half to equalize the score and send the game to overtime. In the 99th minute, Gia Lemley scored what proved to be the game winner for Arsenal, as it claimed the 3-2 victory.
An early hat trick from Nicholas Cirrito set the pace for West Coast B99 Wyss (CA-S) in its 4-0 win over WPFC 99 Black (WA) in the 18U Boys final. Cirrito put his side up, 1-0, in the 18th minute before adding two more goals around the half-hour mark — giving West Coast firm control of the game. Brett Jones capped the victory with a 54th-minute free kick goal, as the Cal South side celebrated the Region IV title and berth to Nationals with the shutout victory.
Local side Eastside FC 98 Red (WA) put a cap on a dominant week with a big win over Utah Celtic 98 (UT) in the 19/20U Girls final. The 2013 National Champions, Eastside jumped on Utah early when Laura Roberts netted a second-minute goal. Joanna Harber extended the lead in the 10th minute, and Alexa Kirton added a pair before Harber scored her second just before halftime. Olivia Van Der Jagt headed home a corner kick in the 84th minute to seal the decisive Eastside win and Region IV Championship.
West Coast Haney (CA-S) is heading to Frisco to play for the James P. McGuire Cup after coming back from three goals down to win, 4-3, against LA Premier FC White (CA-S) on Sunday. Johnathan Guardado scored three times in the opening 48 minutes to give LA Premier what appeared to be a comfortable 3-0 lead. Joey Barry put West Coast on the scoreboard in the 54th minute, and Jonathan Stoop pulled the team within one with a goal 10 minutes later. In the 77th minute, Garrett Amador found the back of the net for West Coast — completing the comeback and tying the game at 3-3. West Coast didn’t stop there, as Daniel Lind scored a dramatic game-winner in the 86th minute to give West Coast the 19/20U Boys title.
The US Youth Soccer National Championships will consist of US Youth Soccer Regional Champions in the 13U through 19/20U Boys and Girls age groups, as well as the US Youth Soccer National League qualifiers in the 15U through 19/20U Boys and Girls age groups to complete the field of 96 teams.