Jefferson Cup 2017 Championship Division Preview: U-16 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-16 Boys Championship Division.
Arlington 01 Red (VA)
Coach: Eduardo Lima
Reigning Virginia State Cup champion Arlington 01 Red is having an outstanding 2016-2017 season in tournament play, finishing at the top of its bracket in both the OBGC Capital Cup and Disney Soccer Showcase, in addition to winning the state tournament. The team posted unbeaten 2-0-1 records in group play at the two showcase events, most recently earning quality wins over Georgia side Kalonji Soccer Academy and Ohio South State Cup champion Club Ohio Soccer Green 1 at Disney. Arlington is off to a strong 6-3-0 start in Club Champions League play on the season as well. Attacking midfielder Maxim Bjarnason is representing the team on the US Youth Soccer Region I ODP roster for the 2001 age group.
Levittown Gunners FC (NY)
Coach: Gary Book
EDP League side Levittown Gunners FC has been on an absolute tear in showcase play, racking up division titles at the FC DELCO Players Cup, Holmdel FC June Invitational, EDP Cup Fall Showcase and Massapequa Winter College Showcase over the past year. Over the course of those events, the team picked up wins over a variety of elite level teams, including Pennsylvania East State Cup champion Penn Fusion 01 Elite, Virginia State Cup finalist BRYC Elite Academy 02 Elite, Pennsylvania East State Cup finalist Ukrainian Nationals 01 Black Premier and Brazilian side Esporte Jacuipense. Levittown also finished second in the highly competitive EDP League 1st Division North last spring, posting a 5-1-2 record while outscoring opponents 16-6. Midfielder Sterling Rosado, defender Stone Strongin, midfielder Ari Kantorowitz, forward Andrew Weiner and Romeo Lepe are representing the team on the US Youth Soccer Region I ODP roster for the 2001 age group.
OBGC Rangers Blue (MD)
Coach: Pete Wood
One of the most talented teams in this age group from the state of Maryland, OBGC Rangers Blue is coming off division championship victories at the PA Classics Winter College Showcase and Bethesda Premier Cup, in addition to second place finishes at the EDP Cup Spring 2016 and APC Premier Cup. Most recently, OBGC swept the competition at the PA Classics Showcase and Bethesda Premier Cup, netting 21 goals and only giving up three over the course of the two events. The Rangers have earned quality wins over US Club Soccer Pennsylvania State Cup champion LDC United Freedom and US Youth Soccer New York East State Cup finalist Atletico FC 01, among others.
Vaughan 01 OPDL (CND)
Coach: Anthony Vadori
Canadian side Vaughan 01 OPDL is verified as a top notch contender against U.S. competition of this caliber. The team claimed a division championship over Thanksgiving weekend at the EDP Cup Fall Showcase, posting an unbeaten 2-0-1 record one of the EDP’s flagship events in Hammonton, New Jersey. Vaughan earned wins over reigning Delaware State Cup champion Delaware Rush 01 and 2016 Jefferson Cup U-14 top division champion Calverton Cerritos Academy at the event, and played Pennsylvania West State Cup semifinalist Century V 01 Gold to a 1-1 draw. On another trip to the U.S. last spring, Vaughan earned a second place finish in its bracket at the APC Premier Cup.
Bethesda SC South 01 (VA)
Coach: Osman Cuadros
2016 US Club Soccer Southeast Regional champion and US Youth Soccer Region I Championships semifinalist Bethesda SC South 01 has consistently finished at or near the top of its divisions both in league play and showcase action over the past year, as it has played an extremely challenging schedule. Bethesda finished at the top of its brackets at the 2016 APC Premier Cup, Potomac Memorial Tournament and OBGC Capital Cup, while placing second in the National Capital Soccer League’s U-16 Division 1, fourth in the EDP League’s 01 South and third in the Region I Champions League’s U-14 Elite Red. Angel Sanchez-Palomino is representing the team on the US Youth Soccer Region I ODP roster for the 2001 age group.
Penn Fusion Elite 01 (PA)
Coach: Mark Thomas
Well-established as one of the top teams in Region I, Penn Fusion Elite 01 is the reigning US Youth Soccer Pennsylvania East State Cup champion and recently won the top flight of the Bethesda Premier Cup in the U-16 age group. Fusion also earned a second place finish in the top U-14 division of the 2016 FC DELCO Players Cup and a fourth place finish in the 2015-2016 US Youth Soccer National League’s U-14 Blue Division. During the team’s run to the Potomac Division title at the Bethesda Premier Cup, Fusion scored eight goals and did not concede a single one, going up against Pennsylvania West State Cup champion Beadling SC, Bethesda SC Blue 01 and US Club Soccer Southeast Regional champion Bethesda SC South 01. Corron Hovington, Kevin Kiefer and Aden Slifer led the team with two goals each in US Youth Soccer National League play this season.
Scuola Calcio Inter USA 01 Academy (FL)
Coach: Ricardo Alcerro
After largely dominating some of the top tournaments across the state of Florida over the past year, Scuola Calcio Inter USA 01 Academy will travel to Virginia for a major test at the Jefferson Cup. Inter is no stranger to top level competition, winning a division championship at the 2016 Disney Soccer Showcase Qualifier and following that up with a second place finish in its bracket at the flagship Disney event in December. Additionally, the team has won division titles at the 2016 Orlando City Festival and the Sting Cup, and has finished as a finalist at the West Pines Kickoff Classic and the Orlando City Youth Junior Pro Invitational.
World Class FC 01 (NY)
Coach: Medhi Ballouchy
Former U.S. Soccer Development Academy side World Class FC 01 is coming off a perfect 4-0-0 run in the top U-16 division of the EDP Cup Fall Showcase, where it racked up seven goals and did not allow a single one against several other elite level squads. World Class has picked up multiple resume-building wins over the past year in league and tournament play, including victories over New York East State Cup finalist Atletico FC 01, Pennsylvania East State Cup finalist Ukrainian Nationals 01 Black Premier and Maryland’s Brausa United FC Blue 01.
BRYC Elite Academy 01/02 (VA)
Coach: Brian Welsh
Northern Virginia side BRYC Elite Academy 01/02 has demonstrated a sustained track record of success in some of the Mid-Atlantic region’s most challenging competitions, including a run to the top U-16 division title at the 2016 OBGC Capital Cup and a trip to the semifinals of the US Youth Soccer Virginia State Cup. BRYC is off to a strong 5-2-2 start in the Club Champions League this season as well. Defenders James Barata and Eduardo Castillo-Bonilla led the team with two goals each this season in US Youth Soccer National League play.
Concorde Fire Central Elite (GA)
Coach: Ken Kurilec
Georgia State Cup finalist and 2016 US Youth Soccer Region III Championships semifinalist Concorde Fire Central Elite has put forward a remarkable run over the past year, complimenting its state and regional accolades with top finishes in showcase and league play. Concorde capped off 2016 by winning the US Youth Soccer National League U-16 Division title at the Disney Soccer Showcase, finishing at the top of its bracket before defeating CASL 01 Red in the final. The team finished the 2016-2017 National League season with just one loss, posting a 2-1-4 record and only giving up four goals over the course of the seven games. Concorde also had a successful season in the Southern Regional Premier League, finishing second in the 12-team table with a 7-1-3 record. Defender Alex Taylor is representing the team on the US Youth Soccer Region III ODP roster for the 2001 age group.
CASL 01 Red (NC)
Coach: Etienne Boulanger
Representing one of North Carolina’s premier clubs, CASL 01 Red recently clinched the No. 1 spot in the Southern Regional Premier League’s U-16 Premier Division for the 2016 fall season. CASL beat out 11 of the other top teams from North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Florida to win the league, recording an 8-2-1 record while giving up only six goals over the course of the season. In tournament play, CASL closed out 2016 with a division championship run at its club’s prestigious CASL Boys Showcase and a trip to the finals at the Disney Soccer Showcase in the US Youth Soccer National League U-16 Division. CASL finished the 2016-2017 National League season with a 5-2-0 record, and is currently holding onto first place in the U-16 Black Division; putting the team in position to qualify for the 2017 US Youth Soccer National Championships. Forward Matthew Stewart led the team with five goals in National League play, which is tied for sixth among all players from the 32 teams in the age group.
Wall SC Elite Cosmos (NJ)
Coach: Michael Turtle
US Club Soccer New Jersey Cup champion Wall SC Elite Cosmos is one of the most accomplished EDP League teams across the U-16 age group. The team has finished as a finalist or semifinalist at several of the league’s top annual events, including the EDP Winter Classic, EDP Cup Fall Showcase, EDP Cup Spring 2016 and the EDP Open Cup. The Cosmos also placed second in the EDP League’s U-14 1st Division Central during the Spring 2016 season, going 5-1-2 while doubling up their opponents in scoring with a 22-11 goal differential. Midfielder Aden Castell led the team with three goals at the 2016 US Youth Soccer Region I Championships, which was tied for sixth among all players in the age group’s 16 teams at the event.