Jefferson Cup 2017 Championship Division Preview: U-15 Boys
With the 2017 Jefferson Cup fast approaching, SoccerWire.com has started an article series previewing the top divisions for the showcase age groups. Continue reading for a look at the U-15 Boys Championship Division.
CASL 02 Red North (NC)
Coach: David Rodriguez
After placing second in Group B of the Elite Division at the 2016 Jefferson Cup, CASL 02 Red North returns for the 2017 event in the top bracket. One of North Carolina’s top teams in the 2002 age group, CASL earned a third place finish last spring in the NCYSA Spring Classic League.
FC Stars of Mass NPL 02 (MA)
Coach: Alec Cruickshank
US Club Soccer Massachusetts State Cup finalist FC Stars NPL 02 has fared extremely well at some of the nation’s top tournament over the past year, claiming a division title at the GPS Thanksgiving Showcase, and finishing as semifinalists at the Bethesda Premier Cup, NEFC Preseason Tournament and 2016 Jefferson Cup. The team also placed second in the New England Premiership during the Spring 2016 season.
Manhattan SC Titans (NY)
Coach: John Lathan
A Tri-State area powerhouse, the Manhattan SC Titans have racked up division championships at the Massapequa Winter Showcase, Puma Christopher Columbus Cup, Spring 2016 EDP Cup and 2016 NY Cup over the course of the past year. The team also earned second place finishes in the top brackets of the Bethesda Premier Cup and the Manhattan SC Kick-Off Classic.
SJEB Rush 02 Boys Academy (NJ)
Coach: Dave Barbour
EDP League side SJEB Rush 02 Boys Academy is coming off a run to the semifinals in the top bracket of the EDP Cup Fall Showcase, a trip to the finals at the FC DELCO Players Cup and a fourth place finish in the EDP’s 1st Division Central during the Spring 2016 season. Rush has picked up quality wins over some of the best teams on the East Coast in the age group, including Pennsylvania East State Cup champion Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals 02 Black and Delaware State Cup champion Delaware Rush 02 over the past year.
Brausa United Futebol 02 Blue (MD)
Coach: Adauto Neto
Maryland side Brausa United Futebol 02 Blue is on an utterly dominant run, claiming championship trophies at the Disney Soccer Showcase, Tottenham Hotspur America Trophy, EDP Cup Fall Showcase, OGBC Capital Cup, Spirit United Kickoff Classic and Nether United Spring Invitational in tournament play. The team also posted an unbeaten 7-0-1 record, outscoring opponents 32-11 to finish at the top of the table in its EDP League division last spring. Most recently, Brausa ran the table in the Showcase Red Division at Disney, sweeping its three group opponents from Tennessee, Massachusetts and Georgia before defeating Club Ohio Soccer Green 1 in a 6-2 rout to win the title.
Carolina Elite 02 Premier (SC)
Coach: Nick Finnoti
South Carolina State Cup finalist Carolina Elite 02 Premier makes the leap to the Championship Division after winning the Classic Division at the 2016 Jefferson Cup. CESA outscored its three group opponents by a total of 12-1 at last year’s Jeff Cup, before going on to defeat US Youth Soccer Region I champion Syracuse Development Academy 02 by a 2-1 scoreline in the title match. This past fall, CESA placed second in the US Youth Soccer Southern Regional Premier League, compiling a strong 7-1-1 record with 25 goals scored and only eight allowed.
FCUSA Levittown Gunners 02 (NY)
Coach: Gary Book
Another EDP League side, FCUSA Levittown Gunners 02 had an outstanding fall season as they finished first in the U-15 1st Division North table with a 4-1-1 record. The Gunners beat out other top squads from around Eastern New York and Connecticut in league play, and advanced all the way to the final at the EDP Cup Fall Showcase. They swept the competition with three straight clean sheet wins in Group A of the EDP Cup, including a 1-0 shutout of New York East State Cup champion Cedar Stars Staten Island 02 Green, before a narrow 3-2 loss to Princeton SA 02 NPL in the final.
NJ Stallions Academy Juve 02 (NJ)
Coach: Marcelo Fracchia
US Club Soccer Mid-Atlantic Regional finalist and New Jersey Cup finalist NJ Stallions Academy Juve 02 will also attend the 2017 Jeff Cup as one of the EDP League’s top representatives in the U-15 Boys age group. NJ Stallions is fresh off an undefeated season in the EDP League’s 1st Division Central during the fall season, as the team went 6-0-1 with 18 goals scored and only three given up. Last spring, the team also finished as a semifinalist in the top bracket of the Potomac Memorial Tournament, and won the top bracket in its age group at the MAPS Spring Challenge.