WILSON, N.C. – Only one more day remains in the opening weekend of 2012-2013 US Youth Soccer National League Boys play, with Sunday’s matches solidifying team standings until the next meeting in Orlando, Fla., Dec. 27-29.
The third day of the opening weekend of National League play tends to separate the field as teams settle in after an anxious start to the season. Under-17 Boys Carlsbad Elite (CA-S) upset defending Region III Champion and National Finalist CESA 95 Premier (SC) on the opening day, twice coming from behind before a last minute winner, and tied GSA 96 Phoenix Red (GA), last season’s division champion, in the first two games. But Carlsbad felt the impact of such a demanding stretch as they gave up five goals in the second half to National League veterans OBGC Rangers (MD) in a 6-1 loss today.
“That was a great team we played today,” said Carlsbad Elite Head Coach Cliff Tabor.
“It’s a great opportunity for the boys and the team to be out here at the US Youth Soccer National League. We’ve worked real hard to get this chance and it’s amazing how many good teams are out here from all over the country. We’re thrilled to be here.
“This is the first time we’ve played in the National League and we knew there was going to be a lot of great teams. Obviously, you want to do as well as you can. We wanted to come here and have a good showing, maybe upset a few teams and maybe be a surprise team at the end. I think every team that comes down here obviously wants to win, and is capable of winning, you just have to get on a good roll. If you play your best when it counts the most then you’ll come out on top.”
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 and are among the nation’s best. 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). The National League provides 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….
Defending National Champion Galaxy SC 94/95 Blue (IL) has bounced back well after a surprising opening day loss with back-to-back victories in a 1-0 win today over Albion USA (CA-S). An Eric Osiha goal just two minutes into the game was good enough for the win as the Galaxy defense and Best XI keeper Michael Pavliga held off the Albion attack.
FC Frederick 94 (MD) handed Region IV Champion Sereno 95 White (AZ) their first loss of the season with a come-from-behind victory to move into a tie for second place in the division. Benjamin Fagan put Sereno in front in the 15th minute, but FC Frederick leveled in the 65th on a goal from Matt Yurich and Austin Thames hit the winner with 10 minutes to play for the victory.
Newcomer Carlsbad Elite (CA-S) raised some eyebrows after the first two days as they took down Region III Champion and National Finalist CESA 95 Premier (SC) and then drew with defending National League division champ GSA 96 Phoenix (GA). Having finished runner’s-up by one point in the last two years, OBGC Rangers (MD) held a proper welcoming on day three, netting five times in the second half for a 6-1 victory to move OBGC to 3-0 atop the table. Last year’s leading scorer Jeremy Ebobisse struck twice, as did current leader Sam Schmidt. Nicholas Tait and Carter Manley also added goals for OBGC, while Ethan Cowling grabbed the lone goal for Carlsbad.
Defending Region I champs Lehigh Valley United (E-PA) moved to 2-1 and in second place in the division after a 4-1 victory over FC Golden State (CA-S). Lehigh took a 2-0 lead at halftime thanks to goals from Sam Feehrer in the 20th and Wyatt Fabian in the 34th. FC Golden State pulled back into the game a minute after the restart from Noah Medina, but Colten Habecker reestablished the two goal lead for Lehigh in the 58th before Fabian sealed the game with his second in the 74th.
Two-time defending National Champion Fullerton Rangers 96 White got back to their winning ways with a 4-0 victory over defending National League and Region II champs CUP Crew Jrs Gold 96/97 (OH-S). After 11 games in the National Championships and National League, Fullerton has yet to concede a goal and became the first team to hold CUP’s Luke Treadway scoreless in a National League game in two years. Fullerton won stoppage time penalty kick at the end of the first half, which youth National Pool member Ronaldo Pineda converted for the 1-0 lead at the break. Five minutes into the second half, Fullerton was awarded another spot kick which Pineda again converted for a 2-0 lead. Rangers kept up the pressure as CUP pressed for a goal and Trey Foresta put the game away for Fullerton with two excellently taken goals in the 61st and 68th to clinch the win.
Region I rivals Manhattan SC Paris Saint-Germain 96 (E-NY), Region I Champions, and UFA NJ Strikers (NJ), Region I Premier League division champs, battled to a 1-1 draw. Manhattan PSG went in front just nine minutes into the match from Jeremy Barovick, but Bryan Walkley struck for UFA five minutes after the restart in the stalemate.
Defending Region III Champion and National Finalist Sunrise Elite (FL) pulled out their third victory 1-0 over Sereno 98 (AZ) who was looking for their first point of the season. Sunrise’s Lucas DeOliveira connected for the game winning goal with 15 minutes to play as Sunrise is poised to earn a spot back to the National Championships.
CUP Crew Jrs 97 (OH-S) picked up their first win to stay unbeaten and move to 1-0-2 as they defeated Alliance 98 Black (MI) 1-0. After a scoreless first half, Evan Cusmano struck a beautiful direct kick for the game’s only goal and a CUP victory.
The opening weekend of National League Boys action concludes Sunday, Nov. 18. 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.