Fall 2010 VYSA State Cup Preview and Predictions – Week 3
Week three of the Fall 2010 VYSA State Cup is back in full swing after a lightened weekend last week due to the Yom Kippur holiday. There are 64 games scheduled throughout some of the best (and worst) fields in Virginia, and by Saturday night, 153 games (and 1 forfeit) will be in the books, with just 88 teams remaining in eight age/gender categories.
The girls are further along, with the U18s taking the week off and already into the quarterfinals, and the other three age groups will be down to eight after Saturday. The boys have some catching up to do, with the U15s taking the weekend off, but still sitting in the round of 16. The other age groups are all in action, with the 16s and 17s the most active, needing to get from 32 to 16 teams, and the U18s playing their round of 16 to determine the quarter-finalists.
Slowly but surely, teams are starting to enter their rosters and player stats on our official State Cup tracking website at report-a-score.com. Goalkeeper saves are a little short (note: to add GK save credits, you have to set the number of saves in the team stats section of a match report first), but our goal-scoring leaders are shaping up in five of the eight contested categories.
As a reminder, Potomac Soccer Wire will be featuring the goal scoring, assist, and saves leaders for each age and gender group, and presenting the leaders with awards during a PSW-hosted social event (time and location TBD). We’ll also provide media coverage/recognition for the leaders, and issue a media alert to media outlets throughout Virginia announcing the awards.
State Cup Video Highlights and Contest
Did you catch the two State Cup games highlighted by us earlier this week? We included two games in our new feature contest called “Guess the Teams”, where readers watch the highlights and send in guesses of which teams they’re seeing on film. There’s still time to enter, and every correct team submitted is one entry in the contest. Watch the video and get entry instructions for entering the contest here:
And now on to the predictions… 75% correct and counting!
In each age and gender group, we’ve listed Saturday’s scheduled games in chronological order, with home teams listed first and our staff’s picks to win listed to the right. As in the previous two weeks, our editorial board has combed through the match-ups and made our picks for this week. So far, we’ve correctly picked 67 out of 89 total games, and even picked some upsets correctly on some of those 22 games we’ve missed. Think you can out-pick us? Just use the comments section below. You can post anonymously, or use login from Facebook or other social sites.
Reminder: in each age and gender group, we take a stab at recommending a “game to watch”, take a legitimate shot at picking an (almost random) upset, then have a little fun with a completely random drawing for another “upset pick.” Let us repeat – the “Totally Random Upset Picks” listed below are just that… T-o-t-a-l-l-y R-a-n-d-o-m.
VYSA Fall 2010 State Cup Week-Three Predictions
Pick History: 12 correct out of 15 games so far – 80%
Game to Watch: This is easy – though neither made it to the final four last year (this past spring technically) after falling in 1-0 each matches to strong teams in earlier rounds, the NVSC Jr. Majestics Gold and BRYC Elite are definitely two of the top teams in this age group in any conversation. The WAGS D1 heavyweights tied 0-0 in fall league play, then the Majestics beat the Elite 1-0 to take the OBGC Capital Cup Championship earlier this month, but the Elite responded with a 3-1 win a week later in WAGS. On recent form, the Elite look to have the upper hand, so we’re going with them as our pick, but this game is a coin flip for sure. It’s a shame it’s taking place in the round of 16. Local rivalries never hurt either. Get out to Valley View at 6 PM Saturday for nightcap game if you can.
Nearly Random Upset Pick: SOCA Storm versus the #6 seed Richmond Kickers should be a southern Virginia battle that could go to either team. Kickers are ranked higher, and should win on paper, but SOCA can win this one, so we’re calling it the upset pick.
Totally Random Upset Pick: At the risk of being redundant, our magic pot draw just picked our “game to watch” as an upset. Since we’re officially picking BRYC to win, luck of the draw may be on the side of the Majestics.
Game to Watch: Keeping with our theme from the U15 game to watch of picking a close battle, we’re going with the McLean Power and LMVSA Patriots match-up for the U16 game to watch. We can’t find any recent match-ups between the two, but we’re picking the Power to win. However, the Patriots have turned in some strong recent performances against quality competition. Both teams are physical, fast and passionate, and the local rivalry factor always influences these good games to watch.
Nearly Random Upset Pick: The CYA Phoenix have not been lucky with the draw – ever, but they are always a solid team, and doing well as always of late. But without breaking into the top eight of a State Cup, they’ve drawn tough game after tough game in the earlier rounds. This year is no different, but this is a team that can win any game on any given day, so we’re picking them to upset the Kickers at Ukrop Park. The Kickers are a strong bunch in this age too, with some dominant individual players. Whichever team scores first is very likely to win this one.
Totally Random Upset Pick: It’s not completely far-fetched, but would clearly be an upset if our random pick of FASA Unity Elite to upset FC Virginia Hotspur comes true. We’re quite familiar with both teams here, and the Hotspur should not have any trouble, but FASA have a very fast and dangerous forward who can shoot with both feet, making her wicked cut-back move all the more dangerous. They also have a powerful central #10 who can score from anywhere, and a well-organized defense. Will they get lucky?
Pick History: A perfect 7 correct out of 7 games so far – 100%
Game to Watch: With names listed on the VYSA website as long as “VBTS Beach FC U17G Red (aka 93/94 Piranhas)” taking on “RSK Richmond Strikers Elite U17G”, the pre-game cheers may cut a few minutes into your viewing pleasure for this one. Once they get going however, I’m sure easier to say Beach and Strikers will put on a great show. Both got byes in the first round – Beach by virtue of their #8 seed, and the Strikers on the random, but aptly assigned #9 seed. Beach won over the Strikers 3-0 in last year’s Cup, but these VCCL foes are very familiar with each other, and anything can happen.
Nearly Random Upset Pick: We’re picking LMVSA officially to win over SOCA, but these teams are not that far apart. There’s not much head-to-head history, and though LMVSA is seeded, SOCA has a few more impressive wins over good competition in their bag, which proves they come to play against good competition. Look for the Storm to prove our pick wrong, and pull this one off.
Totally Random Upset Pick: This one would be a shocker, but random picks are what they are. Be surprised if the McLean Fusion pulls of an upset of FC Virginia Cardinals, but don’t completely discount it either. The Fusion is good enough that the Cardinals will need to be on their toes.
Idle – Play resumes next weekend, October 2nd
Pick History: Another perfect 7 correct out of 7 games so far – 100%
Game to Watch: PWSI Courage Red can’t be happy about the luck of the draw feeding them a strong, early test in fellow NCSL D1 side Springfield BOCA. At the end of day, one really good team’s 2010 State Cup will be over, and it’s anybody’s guess which one it will be. Those always make for some great games to watch – and again, the local rivalry doesn’t hurt. And if by some chance there are not any U16 boys games next Saturday in State Cup, the loser of this game won’t have long to wait for revenge, as the two are scheduled to clash in NCSL action.
Nearly Random Upset Pick: When looking for upset picks, we always start with the top seeded games looking down the line for a match up where it’s not a sure thing, and for this age group we didn’t have to look far. The #2 seeded Beach FC Red team made an impressive run to the finals in last year’s U15 State Cup, and they’ve opened the VCCL season with a perfect 2-0 record, but they face a dangerous NCSL D1 Reston FC side fresh off an opening round 2-0 win over a good SOCA team, and a perhaps even more impressive league draw with Great Falls Elite. Beach are more than capable of winning this one, of course, and we’re giving the official nod to pull off what should be a close match, but no one will be surprised if last year’s finalists crash out early here. (Side note: With Reston Knights the #1 seed, if this upset comes true, both Reston sides will have a path to an inter-club finals match up.)
Totally Random Upset Pick: Bad luck of the draw for Annandale United Force, our little prediction pot just said to watch out for Chesapeake Heat to use it’s own force against them… These are not the droids you’re looking for, move along.
Game to Watch: Let’s give some credit to the boys from Newport News. The Strikers just knocked off Beach FC Crew in VSL Division 1 play, and should be no push over for an Annandale City FC team that’s stronger on paper for sure. We just think this will be a good game to watch between two teams that could hardly be further apart geographically, but may be closer together on the field than most might think. This game should either be a night, nail-biter, or a complete blow out. Either way, fun to watch, and no boring 2-0 or 3-1 game here.
Nearly Random Upset Pick: Roanoke Star Elite are the #6 seed, and have our pick in the official predictions as a result, but we see this game as one Loudoun Red really should win. The long drive won’t help, but look for Loudoun to earn the right to stay close to home next round, and be the favorites against PWSI White, who we think will upset Beach FC Black.
Totally Random Upset Pick: Can Shenandoah Premier prove our magic pot is is more truth teller and overcome the favored Team America 93? You’ll have to head out to Harrisonburg to find out (or just check the scores online – which would be easier).
Game to Watch: What’s not to watch about the defending champions in an early tilt against a team that could definitely knock them off their perch early? That’s just what we have tomorrow when the Arlington Venom start their title defense against a Reston Rowdies side that finished in third place in NCSL D1 last season. The loser of this game will have a chance for revenge in less than a month, as the two have an October 24th league date to look forward to.
Nearly Random Upset Pick: We think the Lions are going to roar at the beach tomorrow, and put out the Fire. The NCSL D1 side just put five past a strong Loudoun 92 Red team last week to earn this shot at the 2009 finalists. Once again, we’re picking the seeded team officially, but conceding we’ll get that wrong, confidently calling this upset for the Lions.
Totally Random Upset Pick: The seeding and the rankings websites say this game should go to SOCA officially, so we do too in our official pick. However, we sort of have to agree with our random drawing for this match, and think this might not be so random after all. Look for Richmond Strikers (fresh off an 11-0 win in round 1) to upset SOCA.