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Boys Jun 28, 2018

US Youth Soccer Southern Regional Championships draw to a finish

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Greensboro, N.C. (Via US Youth Soccer) — The 2018 US Youth Soccer Southern Regional Championships came to an exciting conclusion in Greensboro, N.C., as 13 teams were crowned champions to complete all 14 final matches.

Not only did those sides step off the BB&T Soccer Complex at Bryan Park fields as Regional Champions, but they also secured berths to the 2018 US Youth Soccer National Championships, which will be held July 23-29 at the Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco, Texas.

North Texas led the way with four Southern Regional Champions, while Florida had three winners and North Carolina and Georgia each had two. Texas South, Alabama and Louisiana round of the list with one champion each.

2018 US Youth Soccer Southern Regional Champions

Age Group Team State
13U Boys Rise 05 Elite 1 TX-S
13U Girls Liverpool 05 Elite TX-N
14U Boys VHSC Steamers 04 Black AL
14U Girls FC Dallas Blue TX-N
15U Boys 03 PTFC Black NC
15U Girls Liverpool 03 Elite TX-N
16U Boys 02 NCFC Elite NC
16U Girls Sparta FC 02 Elite TX-N
17U Boys PPA KSA 01 Pro-Profile GA
17U Girls Mandeville SC Lakers LPDL 01 LA
18U Boys Davie United Sharks 2000 Blue FL
18U Girls Sunrise Sting 2000 FL
19U Boys Tampa Bay United FL
19U Girls AFC Lightning 99 Elite GA

Anything can happen if you make it to the final, and 02 NCFC Elite (NC) made that ring true when it beat FC Dallas 02 Premier (TX-N) after losing to the North Texas side early on in the tournament during pool play.

“Obviously, we know the best competition is here, and beating a club like FC Dallas who had beaten us in the first round we knew it would be tought be but came together and we did it,” said NCFC head coach Rich Flaim. “We are very happy and proud to represent North Carolina FC at the US Youth Soccer National Championships and we’re going there for one reason, which is to bring back the National Championship.”

Teams that advance to Nationals from Regionals know that the competition will be tough, but also know that there’s only one reason to go – to comeback with the National Championship.

“We expect the games at Nationals to be tough but we have proved we deserve to be there and have earned the right, “continued Flaim. “We’re not going to take anyone lightly but having said that, we’re going there to win the thing.”

Highlights from Thursday:

13U Boys
Rise 05 Elite 1 (TX-S) defeated CESA 05 (SC), 2-0, to claim the 13U Boys Southern Regional Championship. Rise’s Jahir Arias powered his team to victory with two goals – one in each half – to help secure the title. Arias showed his power for one of his goals when he collected his ball in the center of the box and spun his defender to hit a shot. The ball took a deflection and bounced slowly into the goal beyond the stranded keeper. Rise will join the three other top 13U Boys teams in the nation from the other the regions at Nationals.

13U Girls
In the 13U Girls final, Liverpool 05 Elite (TX-N) recomposed itself, after going down early, to comeback and earn a, 2-1, victory over SSA Chelsea 05 Elite (GA). SSA took the lead in just the fifth minute when McKinley High scored her third goal of the tournament to give her team a 1-0 lead. The lead was short lasted, as Liverpool bounced back and leveled just two minutes later when Theresa McCullough found the back of the net. Samantha Lumpkin scored the game winner in the 41st minute and the Liverpool defense held on to secure the 2-1 victory and 13U Girls title.

14U Boys
VHSC Steamers 04 Black (AL) claimed the 14U Boys Southern Regional title after its, 2-1, victory over Oklahoma Energy FC 04 (OK). The Alabama side used two early first half headers to take a 2-0 lead heading into half. Nathanael Carpenter got on the end of an in-swinging corner kick just five minutes in and then four minutes later Alan Guerra-Melendez headed home a free kick to increase the advantage to 2-0. OEFC pushed to get back in the game but an own goal in the 70th minute to cut the lead in half was a little too late and the score finished 2-1.

14U Girls
FC Dallas Blue (TX-N) used a comeback to defeat Sunrise Sting 2004 Black (FL), 2-1, in the 14U Girls final. After a scoreless first half, Sunrise’s Savannah Hydes scored in the 46th minute to give her team a 1-0 lead. FC Dallas battled back in the second half and Kamara Bradley scored in the 67th minute to level the score. The game moved to overtime as neither team could find a game winning goal in regulation. Bradley scored her second of the game in the 77th minute to push FC Dallas into the lead. The goal moved Bradley into a tie for the leading goal scorer of the tournament but more importantly, gave her team the 2-1 victory.

15U Boys
In a battle of the Carolinas, 03 PTFC Black (NC) defeated USA/MP 03 Premier (SC), 1-0, to be crowned the 15U Boys Southern Regional Champs. In a back and forth game, Julian Bruno-Bernal’s lone goal was all that separated the two sides. Bruno-Bernal hit a blast to the left side of goal to push his team to a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute of play. PTFC held off the USA/MP attack until the final whistle and are now moving on the 2018 National Championships. Despite the loss, USA/MP will still be advancing to Nationals as they had already qualified through the US Youth Soccer National League.

15U Girls
Liverpool 03 Elite (TX-N) came into the 15U Girls final as the top scoring team in the age group and added two more goals in its, 2-0, victory over Lady Lobos Rush Premier (TN). Ella Morgan scored early to push Liverpool into a 1-0 lead and then, age group leading goal scorer, Carolina Kniffen, added her ninth goal of the tournament to make it 2-0. Lobos could not find an answer to Liverpool and the North Texas side advances to Nationals with the 2-0 victory.

16U Boys
02 NCFC Elite (NC) defeated FC Dallas 02 Premier (TX-N), 1-0, in a 16U Boys final that could have gone either way. Alexander Burnside scored the lone first half to give NCFC the advantage headed into halftime. FC Dallas had a chance to even the score, but its penalty kick attempt smashed off the post and out. FC Dallas kept pushing late but could not get by the NCFC goalkeeper who made a point blank save late in the game to keep the North Carolina team in the lead. NCFC now advances to the National Championships after the close 1-0 victory.

16U Girls
After going down early, Sparta 02 Elite (TX-N) battled back with two second half goals to defeated Rise SC 02 Elite 1 (TX-N), 2-1. Madison Bowers scored her third goal of the tournament to give Rise the lead in just the 10th minute of play. Sparta’s Maycie Massingill sparked life into Sparta with a goal early in the second half to level the two teams. Just seven minutes later, Massingill struck again to give Sparta a 2-1 lead 56 minutes into the game. The Sparta defense held and the North Texas side will get to play in Nationals close to home. Massingill’s goal pushes her to seven on the week and into the top scorer spot for the 16U age group.

17U Boys
PPA KSA 01 Pro-Profile (GA) defeated Solar 01 Sticker (TX-N), 2-1, to claim the 17U Boys Southern Regional title. Robert Pino put Solar up in just the third minute of play but KSA immediately answered to keep the score level thanks to Fabian Rivas. The play went back and forth in an intense matchup. KSA held on, despite being a man down and scored in the 84th minute when Deedson Vixamar beat the keeper to put his team into a 2-1 lead. Each team had chances in the final few minutes but the KSA defense held on to send the Georgia side through to Nationals.

17U Girls
Mandeville SC Lakers LPDL 01 (LA) kept its knockout round clean sheet streak alive with its, 1-0, victory over 01 Lady Lobs Rush Premier (TN) in the 17U Girls final. With both teams displaying strong offensive and defense talent all event, it came down to one goal that separated the sides at the final whistle. Malia Cazalot scored what would become the game winner in the 35th minute and the Mandeville defense held strong until the final whistle to earn the 17U Girls Southern Regional title.

18U Boys
Davie United Sharks 2000 Blue (FL) defeated FC Dallas Youth 00 Boys (TX-N) in kicks from the mark to claim the 18U Boys Regional title. After a scoreless first half, age group leading goal scorer, Andoni Garrogericaechebarria broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute with his eleventh goal of the tournament. It looked like Davies might claim victory in regulation but FC Dallas’ Joshua Stone equalized late in the second half to send the game to overtime. Brandon Torres pushed FC Dallas to a 2-1 lead in overtime but Davies leveled shortly after. Davies earned a penalty kick in the 111th minute and Abel Caputo stepped up and buried the chance to tie the game. The game advanced to kicks from the mark where the first FC Dallas kicker missed his first attempt. Tyler Hogan repaid all his teammates for making their shots and made a big save diving to his right to claim the victory for Davies United.

18U Girls
Sunrise Sting 2000 (FL) defeated Mandeville SC Lakers Elite (LA), 4-0, to book its ticket to the National Championships. Sunrise started of strong in the first half as Alysa Vazquez gave her team the lead. Vazquez took a few dribbles up the right side and hit a bomb from deep to the back left side of the goal for a 1-0 lead. Sunrise kept its foot on the gas scoring two more goals by Cydni Turner and Lilana Fernandez to push the halftime advantage to 3-0. Fernandez scored just one minute into the second half to increase the lead to 4-0. Mandeville could not produce any more comeback magic, as Sunrise becomes the new 18U Girls Southern Regional Champions.

19U Boys
Tampa Bay United (FL) held on to beat South Carolina United FC 99 Elite (SC), 4-3, in the 19U Boys final. Tampa Bay scored a flurry of goals in the span of five minutes in the first half to take a 3-0 lead into halftime. Hale Lombard opened the scoring in the 30th minute and teammate Tristen Andre notched a brace in the next five minutes to give Tampa a big advantage. South Carolina got a breath of life in the 75th minute as a long cross-field pass that was hit back across the face of goal to William Dudley who was waiting for the tap in.  Tampa quickly responded on a 2v2 fast break just three minutes later. A cross came in off the break to Andre who took the ball off his chest, stepped away from the defender and then calmly slotted his chance beyond the keeper. As the clock was winding down, United cut the lead to two off a freekick from Dudley. United pulled within one during stoppage time scoring a header goal off a ball floated into the box but could not find the final equalizer before the final whistle. Tampa Bay United now advances to Nationals to compete for the 19U Boys James P. McGuire Cup.

The US Youth Soccer National Championships will consist of US YouthSoccer 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.