Jefferson Cup 2016 Championship Division Preview: U-16 Boys
With the 2016 Jefferson Cup quickly approaching, SoccerWire.com has started an article series previewing the top divisions for the showcase age groups. See below for a look at the U-16 Boys Championship Division.
Andromeda FC 00 Red
Coach: Grant Sawyer
North Texas State Cup finalist Andromeda FC has placed first or second in virtually every tournament and league it has competed in over the past year and a half. The team has recently won division titles at the Disney Soccer Showcase, Plano Labor Day Invitational, Andromeda Premier Cup and King TUT Tournament, while also finishing atop the standings in the CCSAI Classic League’s fall and spring seasons against some of the top clubs from throughout Northern Texas. Carlos Candelaria and Trevor Martineu led the Andromeda attack during league play this season with 11 and 8 goals respectively.
Arlington Eagles Red
Coach: Grant Smith
A well-established Northern Virginia powerhouse, Arlington Eagles Red played a key role in helping their club win a second straight Club Champions League (CCL) Overall Boys Championship during the 2014-2015 season by finishing at the top of the U-15 table with an undefeated 13-0-2 record. The team is 11-1-0 in CCL play so far this season, and advanced all the way to the Virginia State Cup final during the fall. In the spring of 2015, Arlington won the top bracket of the highly competitive Potomac Memorial Tournament, placed first in the Region I Champions League 1st Division Blue and reached the semifinals of the US Youth Soccer Region I Championships. The team is 1-2-4 this season in US Youth Soccer National League play, currently sitting in fifth in the U-16 Blue Division. Midfielder Paul Bangura and forward William Socas have each been selected for the Region I ODP 2000 age group player pool.
Carolina Rapids 99 Burgundy
Coach: Bobby Rosario
Reigning North Carolina State Cup champion Carolina Rapids 99 Burgundy is one of three Region III representatives in the Jefferson Cup U-16 Boys Championship Division. In the fall, the team placed seventh in the US Youth Soccer Southern Regional Premier League and in the spring finished second in the North Carolina Youth Soccer Association’s Classic League.
Cincinnati United Premier (CUP) Gold 99/00
Coach: Scott Bower
Representing one of the top clubs in the Midwest, CUP Gold 99/00 will be the only Region II squad in the top U-16 boys bracket at the Jeff Cup. The Ohio South State Cup finalists have already made one very successful trip South this season, winning the CASL Boys Showcase Elite Red Division back in November. Prior to that, CUP Gold won the US Club Soccer Midwest Regional’s Super Group over the summer, placed third in the US Youth Soccer Midwest Regional League in the spring of 2015 and reached the semifinals of the adidas Blue Chip Showcase. Midfielder Walt Zeller has been selected to the US Youth Soccer Region II ODP player pool for the 2000 age group.
Chantilly Youth Association (CYA) 99 Purple
Coach: Oscar Feliu
Northern Virginia side CYA 99 Purple has cemented itself in the top tier of teams around the Mid-Atlantic region, backing up a first place finish in the 2015 Region I Champions League’s Division 2 Blue with a second place finish in the very competitive EDP League 1st Division South. Since the start of the 2015-2016 season, the team has made runs to the semifinals of the Virginia State Cup, OBGC Capital Cup and the Disney Soccer Showcase Premier Gray Division. Midfielder Ridge Pearson has been selected to represent Region I’s ODP 200 age group squad.
Dix Hills Hurricanes
Coach: Jose Rebay
Sustained dominance on the regional and national level makes Dix Hills Hurricanes one of the favorites in this loaded U-16 bracket. In addition to winning the Eastern New York State Cup title and ending up as finalists at the 2015 US Youth Soccer Region I Championships, the Hurricanes have recently won the top flight at the Disney Soccer Showcase and EDP Cup, and finished atop the standings of the Region I Champions League Division 1 Red. Dix Hills has completed its US Youth Soccer National League schedule with a 5-1-1 record, their 16 points good for first place in the Red Division. As a result, the team has secured a guaranteed spot in the 2016 US Youth Soccer National Championships. Forward Samuel Steinberg, goalkeeper Marc DePasquale, defender Matthew Barresi as well as midfielders Nicholas Honor and Leo Musacchia are representing the club on the US Youth Soccer Region I ODP roster for the 2015-2016 season.
GPS-MA NPL 99/00
Coach: Matthew Hardiman
This squad representing Global Premier Soccer’s Massachusetts branch has stormed through US Club Soccer competition over the past year, winning both the Mid-Atlantic Regional and the National Cup at the conclusion of the 2014-2015 season. The team has also won division titles at the 2015 GPS Thanksgiving Showcase, GPS Fathers Day Showcase and Needham Memorial Day Tournament, while also finishing at the top of the table in the New England Premiership. Midfielder Marcelo Lage is a member of the Region I ODP 2000 age group roster pool.
Loudoun 99 Red
Coach: John O’Hara
Loudoun 99 Red has shown no signs of slowing down since capturing the Virginia State Cup title back in November, continuing on to win the top brackets at the OBGC Capital Cup and Bethesda Premier Cup, and reaching the finals at the Disney Soccer Showcase. The team currently leads the CCL U-16 boys division with an undefeated 13-0-1 record after placing second in 2014-2015, going 11-3-1 for the season. Also in 2014-2015, Loudoun placed fifth in the Region I Champions League’s Division 1 Blue, reached the finals of the Potomac Memorial Tournament and the semifinals at the EDP Open Cup. Forward Bret Halsey has been named to the Region I ODP roster for the 2000 age group.
Manhattan SC Villa
Coach: Ray Selvadurai
Hailing from the Big Apple, Manhattan SC Villa will travel to Richmond seeking to build on a successful run at showcase events in recent months. The team is coming off a run to the finals in the Disney Soccer Showcase Premier Gray Division as well as the semifinals of the Massapequa Winter Showcase and Puma Christopher Columbus Cup. Villa captured the U-15 title at the 2015 US Club Soccer NY Cup, taking home the state championship while also finishing second in the EDP League during the spring season.
Patriot FC Red
Coach: Steven DeMatteo
Eastern Pennsylvania side Patriot FC Red reached the pinnacle of the EDP League in the spring of 2015, finishing at the top of the U-15 1st Division Central with an unbeaten 7-2-0 record, netting 17 goals and allowing only five. Their dominating defense conceded eight fewer goals than the next best back line in the highly competitive league featuring some of the top teams from around Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Since then, the team has also placed third in the Region I Champions League Division 2 Red, reached the semifinals of the Eastern Pennsylvania State Cup and advanced to the finals of the MSSL Summer Showcase.
Penn Fusion SA 99 Elite
Coach: Jamie Merrick Scott
Penn Fusion SA 99 Elite, the 2015 Eastern Pennsylvania State Cup finalists, have also recently advanced to the semifinals of the MSSL Summer Showcase and placed second in the Region I Champions League Division 2 Blue. One of the team’s key players, midfielder Michael Mandia, has been selected for the Eastern Pennsylvania ODP player pool for the 1999 boys age group.
South Carolina United FC 99 Elite
Coach: Robert Strickland
A high-achieving team from one of the top clubs in the southern region, South Carolina United FC 99 Elite is fresh of a season in which they advanced to the State Cup finals and Region III semifinals. Since the start of the spring 2015 season, coach Robert Strickland‘s group has also placed third in the US Youth Soccer Southern Regional Premier League, won their divisions at the Charlotte Invitational and CASL Showcase, and finished at the top of the standings in the South Carolina State Challenge League. SCUFC currently ranks fourth in the US Youth Soccer National League with a 2-4-1 record. Defender Joshua Corning and goalkeeper Cameron Smith have both been selected for the Region III ODP 2000 age group player pool, anchoring one of the top defensive units in the country.