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Boys Jun 24, 2015

EDP Cup: New Jersey clubs earn 11 Boys Showcase division titles

For the college coaches and scouts in attendance on June 13 and 14, Hammonton, N.J., must have seemed like a buffet of talent as hundreds of elite level U-15, U-16 and U-17 teams played in the EDP Cup, one of the most competitive showcase events on the East Coast.

The boys side featured US Club Soccer State Cup and Regional champions hailing from the seven Eastern Development Program’s (EDP) member states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Host state New Jersey led the way with 11 boys teams capturing division titles. Seven New York sides were crowned champions along with five Pennsylvania teams, two from Maryland and one from Connecticut.

Lockport Lightning Premier (New York-West), Dix Hills Hurricanes (New York-East) and SJEB 99B (New Jersey) were among the reigning state champions in the U-15 age group, while Dix Hills Elite (New York-East), Monroe Township SC (New Jersey) and Montgomery SC Falcons (Maryland) made the trip in the U-17 divisions.

Along with other accomplished teams stacking the top brackets, the quality meant closely-contested games throughout the tournament. Dix Hills Hurricanes were the only State Cup winners to also earn a championship at the EDP Cup. A majority of games in the top two divisions in all age groups were decided by just one goal. Four of the six championship games were also one-goal contests.

+Read: US Club Soccer NY Cup Boys Finals: Manhattan SC teams rack up six championships

One of the two more comfortable final matches came in the U-15 Gold Division. East Brunswick United FC entered that championship match-up with a pair of convincing wins already in the tournament. It won its opener by a 4-1 score and, after falling 1-0 in its second contest, overcame NJ Stallions Academy Madrid 3-0 in the semifinal.

“This just culminates the performance of individual players and of the team and what they have been working for in the last six months,” East Brunswick FC head coach Hector Escobar said.

While the team certainly expected to compete entering the EDP Cup, it also faced its share of challenges. Six players recently left the squad to join U.S. Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) sides, including three to the Philadelphia Union Academy, leaving East Brunswick United with some major holes to fill on the roster. According to Escobar, the addition of new faces to the squad went off without a hitch.

“To us it was a big test after losing six players to the Academy last year, rebuilding a team, especially at the U-15 level, over the spring,” Escobar said.

Winger Allen Gavilanes and midfielder Francisco Corral led the East Brunswick United attack, each notching key goals over the course of the weekend. That offense kept on clicking against the Ironbound SC Navigators in the championship game.

“[Gavilanes] performed exceptionally, getting all the scores that we needed,” Escobar said. “[Corral] gave us some key goals throughout the tournament and in the final, as well.”

Escobar’s team walked away with a 2-0 win and a championship to show for its efforts that weekend. Going away with a win summed up a strong weekend.

“[The championship game was] very well executed by our players by sticking to our style of play of possession by every single player at every position. This culminated in a dominant win over Ironbound,” Escobar said.

One of the EDP Cup’s big draws is the ability to showcase talent for college coaches. The weekend brings together top players from across the region and allows them to perform in front of recruiters in one place. With members of the class of 2016 already starting to verbally commit, the U-15 to U-17 ages are when much of the most important recruiting occurs. Escobar mentioned Seton Hall of the Big East Conference as one of several schools that contacted his players.

For the players, a series of games played in front of colleges is a valuable opportunity. For teams, the strong competition provides important experience and a chance to test themselves against the best opponents. The collection of so many top sides in one place made the EDP Spring Tournament one of the marquee events of the youth soccer calendar.

Boys U-15 Champions

Platinum- Dix Hills SC Hurricanes (New York)

Gold – East Brunswick United FC (New Jersey)

Silver- Severna Park Fury (Maryland)

Bronze- Lockport SC Lightning Premier (New York)

Premier – Rancocas Valley SC Blaze (New Jersey)

Royal- Toms Rivers FC Elite Newcastle (New Jersey)

Scarlet- Berkeley SA Revolution (New Jersey)

Ivory- Quickstrike FC QSFC Elite ’00 (New York)

Boys U-16 Champions

Platinum- FSA FC U16 Boys Elite 98 (Connecticut)

Gold – OBGC Roadrunners Blue (Maryland)

Silver- LDC United Italia 98-99 (Pennsylvania)

Bronze- World Class FC ‘98 (New York)

Premier – TSF Academy 98/99B (New Jersey)

Royal- Wall SC Hurricanes (New Jersey)

Scarlet- Lehigh Valley United LVU 98B Gold (Pennsylvania)

Ivory- Pittsgrove SC Panthers (New Jersey)

Ebony – The Football Club of NJ 98/99B Green (New Jersey)

Boys U-17 Champions

Platinum- LDC United City Islanders 97-98 (Pennsylvania)

Gold – EUSA Empire Revolution Buffalo 97/98B (New York)

Silver- Smithtown Kickers SC Thunder (New York)

Bronze- Real New Jersey FC Fire (New Jersey)

Premier – Parkwood YO Elite 97 (Pennsylvania)

Royal- Alleycats SC Elite Crush 97/98 (New York)

Scarlet- City Futbol Knights (New Jersey)

Ivory- Council Rock United Clash (Pennsylvania)

Ebony – FC Copa Academy Torino EDP (New Jersey)

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