Group winners decided at US Youth Soccer Region III Championships
Preliminary Games, Day 3 of 3
Quarterfinal play begins on Monday
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Via US Youth Soccer) — Sunday brought an end to exciting preliminary games at the 2015 US Youth Soccer Region III (South) Championships, which has taken place at the Burns Park Soccer Complex in North Little Rock, Ark., and surrounding locations. The chase for the Regional and National Championship continues for the 92 teams who have qualified to move on from their preliminary groups.
Monday will feature quarterfinal matches in the Under-14 through Under-16 age groups. The earliest games begin at 8:15 a.m. CT and continue throughout the day with the last matches kicking off at 1:30 p.m. All games will be played at Burns Park.
Five of the six returning 2014 Region III Champions are still alive in the hunt to defend their titles, and several new contenders are looking to finish the week with a ticket to Nationals in hand.
One of the fresh faces out to make a run at the title is Under-15 Girls South Carolina United FC 99 Elite, which won its group thanks to a 2-1 victory on Sunday. The hot start has made for an enjoyable first trip to Regionals for the team.
“It’s amazing. This kids have had a blast,” South Carolina coach Tomasz Kluszczynski said. “Just being three games away from the National Championships is a fantastic opportunity for these kids.
“They all want to play in college, and they’re just having a blast. We’ve seen a great amount of college coaches. Our club has six teams here that have stuck to what we’ve asked them to do. They’ve worked the entire year to be here, and now the benefits are coming out.”
While the Under-15 South Carolina United side had its place in the quarterfinals secured entering Sunday, several teams, like Lonestars 97 Red SAN (TX-S), needed wins to advance out of group play.
The South Texas side fought hard to claim a 3-1 win in the Under-18 Boys Group B that allowed it to jump into second place and earn a place in the quarterfinals. Lonestars co-captain Gerardo Ibanez said each player did his part on Sunday, and the team knows it has only accomplished part of its goal by advancing out of the group.
“I’m proud of how we did today and how we faced adversity,” Ibanez said. “I think it comes down to playing together. We have to play as one. We can’t be individuals out here because it takes a team to win the Regional Championship.”
Georgia and North Texas each have 15 teams advancing out of group play to lead all states, while Florida and Tennessee both have 11.
Regional winners of the Under-13 through Under-19 age groups earn a berth to the 2015 US Youth Soccer National Championships, which will be played July 21-26 at the Mohawk Soccer Complex in Tulsa, Okla.
The US Youth Soccer National Championships will consist of US Youth Soccer Regional Champions, as well as the US Youth Soccer National League qualifiers in the Under-14 through Under-18 Boys and Girls age groups to complete the field of 96 teams.
Some highlight’s from Sunday’s action…
The top spot in Under-15 Boys Group B was up for grabs Sunday when FC Dallas 2000 Premier (TX-N) met South Carolina United FC 99 Elite (SC). A physical first half left little space for the teams to operate, as the game went to halftime scoreless. Play began to open up in the second half, and FC Dallas took the lead when Guy Esquivel pounced on a rebound and hit his shot just under the bar. The Texas side doubled its advantage in the 70th minute after Jesus Castro squeezed his shot under the SCU keeper. The FC Dallas back line held the dangerous South Carolina attack in check, as it recorded the clean sheet to win the group.
Under-18 Girls Oklahoma FC 97 (OK) and Arkansas Comets 97 Premier (AR) entered Sunday tied for second in Group A and alive for a spot in the semifinals. After a scoreless first half-hour, McKenzie Dixon put the Comets in front with a 34th-minute strike. The local Arkansas side worked hard to preserve its advantage and managed to hold off OFC to earn a 1-0 victory. Even with the win, the Comets narrowly missed out on a semifinals berth, as AHFC 97 (TX-S), a 2-0 winner on Sunday, advanced via a tiebreaker.
A spot in the quarterfinals was on the line when Under-18 Boys Group B sides CESA 96 Premier (SC) and Lonestars 97 Red SAN (TX-S) met on Sunday. Lonestars needed a win in the matchup to overcome CESA’s advantage in the standings, and the Texas side started off well when John Mendoza found the back of the net in the 42nd minute. However, CESA came right back and leveled the score before half. The Lonestars’ keeper made a great diving stop on a powerful header, but his second save deflected to CESA’s Conor Mattern, who hit the open net to tie the game. The Texas side regained its advantage when Patricio Botello found the back of the net in the 60th minute. Lonestars added an insurance goal from Luis Espinar to cap a 3-1 win that helped it finish second in the group and move on to the quarterfinals.
“Having this opportunity is huge. We’ve been together for five or six years developing this particular team. For us, it means a lot,” Lonestars co-captain Miguel Velasquez said. “We’re playing some of the best teams in the nation. It’s a great chance for us to show what we’re capable of, and know we can be one of the very best in the U.S.”
Under-14 Girls 00 TFCA Alliance (NC) used a 2-0 win over Cajun Soccer Club Rage 01 (LA) on Sunday to advance to the quarterfinals as the second-place finisher in Group B. Little could separate the teams for much of the match, as the game went well into the second half in a scoreless tie. However, TFCA’s Macey Vanek broke the deadlock when she found the back of the net in the 52nd minute. Madison Myott added an insurance goal just before the final whistle, as TFCA recorded the 2-0 victory.
In the Under-15 Girls age group, South Carolina United FC 99 Elite (SC) won Group A with a 2-1 victory over second-place FC Alliance 00 (TN) on Sunday. A 19th-minute goal by Alliances’ Macy Lindsey put Tennessee in position to win the group, but South Carolina’s Megan Classer scored just before halftime to pull the teams even. South Carolina pressured the Alliance goal in the second half and if not for some great saves from the Tennessee keeper, along with help from the post, United could have taken a multiple goal lead. Brooke Power finally put South Carolina in front in the 72nd minute when she chipped the keeper — giving her side the 2-1 victory.
“We probably outshot them 20 to five. Their keeper was amazing,” South Carolina coach Tomasz Kluszczynski said. “I was really proud of our team because, despite the heat, we worked hard and scored some beautiful goals.”
Two-time defending Region III Champion Solar Chelsea Red 99 (TX-N) entered Sunday with just one point and in need of a win to advance out of a tight Under-16 Boys Group D. Solar had its hands full with group-leader 98 CASL Red (NC), as the game remained level for more than an hour of play. That changed in the 65th minute, as CASL’s Robert Conger found the back of the net with what proved to be the winning goal. The North Carolina side won the group, while VHSC 99 Black Steamers (AL) used a 2-1 win to jump from last to second and earn a spot in the quarterfinals.
A great game between Under-13 Boys sides Solar Chelsea 02 Red (TX-N) and Orlando City Pre Academy (FL) decided who finished atop Group B. The sides entered Sunday with two wins apiece and were very evenly matched throughout, with action going back and forth. Early in the second half, Ilean Castorena found the back of the net to put the North Texas side up, 1-0. Solar keeper Christopher Edwards made a sprawling save on an Orlando City indirect free kick from inside the box to maintain his team’s advantage. He later made another diving save on a dangerous free kick that proved to be vital, as Solar held on for the 1-0 victory.
Daily reports and complete results from the US Youth Soccer Region III Championships are available onhttp://championships.
|NWA Lightning Strikers 02||AR||1||Fuel 02||LA||1|
|CESA 01||SC||0||TSC Hurricane 02 Parker||OK||2|
|Albion Hurricanes 02||TX-S||2||United FA 02 Premier||GA||0|
|CSA Charlotte SA Predator 01||NC||0||Sting 02 Higginbotham||TX-N||0|
|VHSC Attack 02 Black||AL||0||Creeks Krush Elite||FL||4|
|MS Rush Premier||MS||0||Tennessee SC 20||TN||1|
|Bryson Park/KSA Premier||GA||2||Celtic 02 Claros||OK||0|
|Solar Chelsea 02 Red||TX-N||1||Orlando City Pre Academy||FL||0|
|02 LA Fire Red||LA||0||Oklahoma FC 02||OK||1|
|Lonestars 02 Red||TX-S||1||BUSA 02 Elite||AL||2|
|Arkansas Comets 02 Black||AR||1||Lobos Rush 02 Premier||TN||3|
|SCUFC 01 Elite||SC||0||01 CASL Academy Jrs.||NC||0|
|00 TFCA Alliance||NC||2||Cajun Soccer Club Rage 01||LA||0|
|SSA Chelsea 01 Elite||GA||2||South Carolina United FC 00 Elite||SC||2|
|MFC Rush 01 Premier||MS||0||Tophat 19 Gold||GA||1|
|Sunrise Sting 00/01||FL||3||Solar Chelsea 01 Red||TX-N||1|
|CCSC 00 Sol Black||FL||6||AR Rush 01 Ladies Black||AR||0|
|Challenge 02||TX-S||3||Tennessee SC 2019||TN||2|
|01 Lady Lobos Rush Premier||TN||1||Dallas Kicks SC 01||TX-N||4|
|VHSC Attack 01 Black||AL||0||OFC 01 Phillips||OK||2|
|SCU/MP 00 Elite||SC||0||WSA 01 White||OK||3|
|00 NCSF Elite||NC||2||SMCSO MFC 01 Premier||MS||1|
|MSC Lakers 00/01||LA||1||TSCH 01 Carreno||OK||2|
|United FA 01 Premier||GA||1||Tampa Bay United||FL||1|
|Tennessee SC 19||TN||1||GSA 01 Premier||GA||3|
|FC Dallas 01||TX-N||3||01 Lobos Rush Premier||TN||0|
|Barcelona Texas Carrasco 00/01||TX-S||1||Houstonians 2001||TX-S||0|
|Vestavia Steamers 01 Black||AL||1||Arkansas Comets 01 Premier||AR||1|
|Tennessee SC 18||TN||0||PTFC Lady Black||NC||1|
|FC Alliance 00||TN||1||South Carolina United FC 99 Elite||SC||2|
|Classics Elite 00||TX-S||4||NASA 18 Elite||GA||2|
|Mighty Bluebirds Purple||AR||1||MS Rush 00 Premier||MS||1|
|Vestavia Attack 00 Black||AL||0||Sting Central 00 Parker||TX-N||6|
|MSC U15 Laker Elite Girls||LA||0||Tophat 18 Gold||GA||7|
|Solar Chelsea Elite 00||TX-N||2||TSCH 00 Umelo||OK||1|
|Sunrise Sting 99/00 Black||FL||4||SSC 99 Freedom||SC||2|
|FC Dallas 2000 Premier||TX-N||2||South Carolina United FC 99 Elite||SC||0|
|Bryson Park/KSA 00 Premier||GA||4||Carolina Rapids Soccer Club||NC||0|
|West Florida Flames 99 Elite||FL||2||United FA 00 Premier||GA||1|
|FC United 00 Blue||MS||3||BUSA 00 Elite||AL||2|
|Concorde Fire 99/00||GA||4||Arkansas Comets Red||AR||2|
|Tennessee SC 18||TN||1||TSC Hurricane 00 Nsien||OK||2|
|Dallas Texans 00 Red||TX-N||1||CSA 00 Lobos Rush Premier||TN||1|
|00 LA Fire Red||LA||3||Texas United Gunners Black 00||TX-S||3|
|Austin Texans 99||TX-S||1||NASA 17 Elite||GA||3|
|Vestavia Attack 99 Black||AL||1||FC Dallas 99 South Blue||TX-N||3|
|Tophat 17 Gold||GA||7||Tampa Bay United Premier 98||FL||0|
|SCU/MP 98 Elite||SC||3||Sunrise Sting 98/99||FL||2|
|GCUFC 99 Girls||MS||0||Oklahoma FC 99||OK||0|
|AR United 99||AR||0||99 Lady Lobos Rush Premier||TN||1|
|TFCA Alliance||NC||0||Tennessee SC 17||TN||2|
|CABOSA Shreveport United 99 Blue||LA||0||FC Dallas 99 Premier||TX-N||4|
|Chattanooga CF Academy 99 Premier||TN||0||Pinecrest Premier RM||FL||1|
|Oklahoma FC 99||OK||3||Blitz 99 Bradford||OK||1|
|Mighty Bluebirds Green||AR||0||Houston Express||TX-S||3|
|FC Florida 98 Elite White||FL||1||FC Dallas Youth 99 Premier||TX-N||2|
|99 Lobos Rush Premier||TN||1||VHSC 99 Black Steamers||AL||2|
|Concorde Fire Elite 98/99||GA||6||MFC Rush Premier||MS||0|
|CESA 98 Premier||SC||3||MSC Lakers 99||LA||0|
|Solar Chelsea Red 99||TX-N||0||98 CASL Red||NC||1|
|TFC United 98||MS||1||Classics Elite 98||TX-S||1|
|Carolina Rapids 97 Burgundy||NC||2||Texas Spirit North||TX-N||1|
|Oklahoma FC 98||OK||0||Tennessee SC 16||TN||3|
|South Carolina United FC 97 Elite||SC||0||SSA Chelsea 98 Elite||GA||3|
|Arkansas Comets 98 Premier||AR||1||Florida Fire Juniors||FL||4|
|Tampa Bay United 97 Premier||FL||3||98 Lady Lobos Rush Premier||TN||0|
|MSC Lakers 97/98||LA||2||Lonestars 98 Red||TX-S||0|
|Huntsville FC 98 Blue||AL||0||Tophat 16 Gold||GA||7|
|FC United 98 Blue||MS||4||USC 98 Premier||AL||1|
|CESA 97 Premier||SC||3||AR Comets 98||AR||1|
|Leg-A-Z Caimans||FL||2||Liverpool 98 Babel||TX-N||3|
|Solar Chelsea 98||TX-N||0||Bryson Park/ KSA 98 Premier||GA||3|
|Charlotte United FC Gold||NC||1||Dynamos 98 Gold||TX-S||2|
|Vestavia Steamers 98 Black||AL||2||Mandeville Lakers 97/98||LA||3|
|FC Dallas 98 Premier||TX-N||1||FC Alliance 98 Black||TN||0|
|FC Tampa Rangers||FL||0||TSCH 98 Nsien||OK||4|
|97 Louisiana Fire Navy||LA||4||TSC Huricane 97 Killingsworth Red||OK||1|
|TFC Alliance||NC||4||Capital City Streaks 97||AL||3|
|FC Alliance 97 TNSL1||TN||2||AFC Lightning 97 Elite||GA||0|
|AHFC 97||TX-S||2||Lonestar 97 Red||TX-S||0|
|Brevard Soccer Alliance Blue||FL||1||SCU/MP 96 Elite||SC||1|
|Oklahoma FC 97||OK||0||Arkansas Comets 97 Premier||AR||1|
|CESA 96 Premier||SC||1||Lonestars 97 Red SAN||TX-S||3|
|South Carolina United FC 96 Elite||SC||0||FC Dallas 97 Gold||TX-N||3|
|Oklahoma FC 97||OK||2||Space Coast United||FL||0|
|MFC Rush 97 Premier||MS||4||Dallas Texans Red 97||TX-N||2|
|Tennessee SC 15||TN||2||Florida Rush||FL||1|
|NWA Lightning Strikers 97||AR||0||Bryson Park/ KSA 97 Premier||GA||9|
|BRSC/CSC Alliance 97||LA||3||Arkansas United||AR||3|
|NASA 15 Elite||GA||5||VHSC Steamers 97||AL||0|
|Tampa Bay United Premier||FL||2||TSCH Hurricane Bolding||OK||0|
|BRSC 96 Alliance||LA||1||AR United||AR||1|
|Houston Express 96||TX-S||3||BUSA 96||AL||4|
|SM Dallas Texans SA North 96/97||TX-S||2||Cajun Fire 96||LA||1|
|GSA 96 Premier||GA||3||Dallas Texans 96 Red||TX-N||0|
|FC Dallas 96 Premier||TX-N||4||95 HFC Red||NC||3|
|JFC 96/97 Elite||FL||5||Comets 96 Classic||AR||1|
|TSCH 96 Nsien||OK||5||MS Rush 96 Premier||MS||1|