Jefferson Cup 2017 Championship Division Preview: U-16 Girls
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 Girls Championship Division.
1776 United FC Xtreme (PA)
Coach: Sam Griggs
Reigning Pennsylvania East State Cup champion 1776 United FC Xtreme has racked up favorable results at some of the top events in the country over the past year, winning a division title at the Bethesda Premier Cup, earning a second place finish at the Discovery Cup and finishing as a semifinalist at the FC DELCO Players Cup. During the 2015-2016 season, the team placed second in the Region I Champions League with a strong 5-1-1 record, scoring 16 goals and only giving up four.
Albertson Fury 01 ECNL (NY)
Coach: Paul Riley
Long Island’s Albertson Fury 01 ECNL earned a second place finish in the Elite Black Division at the 2016 Jefferson Cup, and returns this year in the top bracket. Earlier this season, Albertson won a top division championship at the National Elite Women’s Soccer Showcase. At the Showcase, Albertson picked up wins over US Club Soccer Mid-Atlantic Regional champion STA Morris United, Connecticut State Cup champion Beachside SC and ECNL side Connecticut FC 01 on its run to the title. Albertson’s almost its entire ECNL Northeast Conference schedule ahead of it entering the Spring 2017 season.
Bethesda SC ECNL Union 01 (MD)
Coach: Stephen McKenna
One of several teams in the division with ECNL postseason experience, Bethesda SC Union 01 appears poised once again to qualify for the ECNL’s prestigious Champions League playoffs. Bethesda closed out the 2016 portion of its ECNL 2016-2017 schedule on a seven-game unbeaten streak in league play, and enters 2017 holding onto second place in the Ohio Valley Division. The team’s tough defense has shutout four of its first nine league opponents this season, and has allowed more than one goal only once. Bethesda’s deep roster includes U.S. Youth National Team forward Jameese Joseph.
BRYC Elite Academy 01/02 (VA)
Coach: Abe Thompson
Very few teams around the country can match the résumé of Northern Virginia side BRYC Elite Academy 01/02, which is coming off US Youth Soccer State Cup and Region I Championship title runs, and a second place finish at the 2016 US Youth Soccer National Championships. In showcase action, BRYC recently won a division title at the Bethesda Premier Cup and OBGC Capital Cup, and was a finalist at the Disney Soccer Showcase. During the 2015-2016 season, BRYC posted a perfect 7-0-0 record in Region I Champions League action, outscoring opponents 20-1. The team also placed second in the Club Champions League and in its group at the 2016 Jefferson Cup. BRYC posted an unbeaten 3-0-4 record in US Youth Soccer National League play this season, and is currently in second in the U-16 Red Division. Edna Konte led the team with five goals, which is tied for the third-most among all players in the U-16 girls age group.
Cincinnati United Premier Gold (OH)
Coach: Kurt Fischer
Representing Ohio powerhouse club Cincinnati United, CUP Gold is a reigning US Youth Soccer State Cup champion and is coming off a first place finish in the 2015-2016 US Youth Soccer National League’s U-14 Red Division. Recently, the team clinched another National League division title, finishing the 2016-2017 regular season with a 5-1-1 record in the U-16 Red Division. CUP showed off its balanced attack during National League play this season, as Elise Le and Ellie Podojil led the way with three goals each, and three other players netted two apiece.
FC Virginia ECNL 01 (VA)
Coach: Terry Foley
Widely recognized as one of the top teams on the East Coast in this age group, FC Virginia 01 is in position to reach the ECNL’s Champions League playoffs once again. FCV captured an ECNL division championship last season, advancing to the National Finals. The team finished the 2016 portion of its 2016-2017 ECNL schedule on a five-game unbeaten streak, and is currently holding onto second place in the highly-competitive Chesapeake Division. FCV’s talented roster includes U.S. Youth National Team players Olivia Migli and Natalie Wilson.
McLean Youth Soccer ECNL (VA)
Coach: Brent Leiba
ECNL Chesapeake Division leader McLean Youth Soccer has had a remarkable season both in league and showcase tournament play. The Northern Virginia squad is off to a scorching 11-1-1 start in ECNL Mid-Atlantic Conference play, outscoring opponents 45-8 while holding the No. 3 overall seed for the Champions League playoffs. In its last four league matches of 2016, McLean netted 20 goals while not allowing a single one. Additionally, the team has won division titles at the Bethesda Premier Cup and Discovery Cup, two of the nation’s most competitive tournaments.
PDA Splash 01 ECNL (NJ)
Coach: Jeremy Beardsley
After winning the U-15 Championship Division at the 2016 Jefferson Cup, PDA Splash 01 ECNL is back to defend its title in the top U-16 bracket. Splash not only made waves at the 2016 Jeff Cup, blanking Bethesda SC ECNL 3-0 in the title match, but also won the ECNL’s U-15 Metro Division during the 2015-2016 season. PDA’s stacked roster includes U.S. Youth National Team players Madisyn Pilla, Julianne Leskauskas and Leah Scarpelli, along with several other highly touted recruits for the classes of 2019 and 2020.
Penn Fusion SA ECNL 01 (PA)
Coach: Craig Scangarella
Coming off a third place finish in the ECNL’s Metro Division a season ago, Penn Fusion 01 is off to a hot start four games into its 2016-2017 ECNL slate. Fusion remains undefeated with three wins and a draw, outscoring opponents 10-3. After opening Northeast Conference play with a 2-0 shutout of FC Bucks, the team had an impressive run at the league’s Florida Showcase, earning positive results against St. Louis Scott Gallagher (MO), Maryland United FC and Ohio Premier.
SJEB Rush 01 Academy (NJ)
Coach: Donald D’Ambra
EDP League side SJEB Rush 01 Academy has continually challenged itself against some of the nation’s top competition and enjoyed plenty of success in the process. In the spring of 2016, Rush went 6-1-1 and finished second in the EDP League’s 1st Division Central. In tournament play, the team has recently captured division championships at the CASL Girls Showcase and the EDP Cup Fall Showcase, and has earned second place finishes at the Manhattan Kick-Off Classic and Spring EDP Cup. Rush capped off 2016 with a 2-1-0 showing at the Disney Soccer Showcase, netting nine goals and only giving up three.
South Shore Select U16 AP (MA)
Coach: Driton Mustafoski
US Youth Soccer Massachusetts State Cup champion and 2016 Region I Championships finalist South Shore Select AP heads to the Jefferson Cup after dominating some of the top events in the Northeast and throughout the East Coast over the past year. Most recently, South Shore beat out teams from Florida, Maryland and California to win the Elite Red Division at the CASL Girls Showcase, and finished as a semifinalist at the Disney Soccer Showcase. Prior to that, the team won division titles at the Spirit United Kickoff Classic, NEFC Preseason Tournament and GPS March Madness, and finished at the top of the table in the Region I Champions League with a perfect 7-0-0 record, 21 goals scored and only five given up. South Shore’s roster includes U.S. Youth National Team midfielder Alyssa Fleming.
United Futbol Academy 01 Premier (GA)
Coach: Iggy Moleka
Georgia State Cup semifinalist United Futbol Academy 01 Premier is well-established as one of the age group’s top teams in Region III, and is continuing its success on the national stage as well. UFA recently finished the US Youth Soccer National League 2016-2017 season with an unbeaten 3-0-4 record, finishing tied for the second most points with 13 in the U-16 Red Division. The team’s outstanding defense earned clean sheets in four of its seven regular season National League matches. Offensively, Jordan Hall led UFA with five goals in the seven games, the third-most of any player in the U-16 age group.
NJ Stallions Academy 01 Freedom NPL (NJ)
Coach: Shaun Cryer
The 2017 Jefferson Cup will be a continuation of the college showcase gauntlet that NJ Stallions Academy 01 Freedom has gone through over the past year, as the team has challenged itself at top events including the San Diego Surf Cup (Finalists), Disney Soccer Showcase, CASL Girls Showcase and Manhattan Kick-Off Classic (Champions), as well as the 2016 Jeff Cup (Semifinalists). Additionally, the NJ Stallions Academy side finished as a semifinalist in the New Jersey State Cup and earned a spot in the 2016 US Youth Soccer Region I Championships. Last spring, the team finished tied for the best record in the Region I Champions League’s U-15 Elite Blue Division at 6-1-0.
Total Futbol Academy Elite 01 (OH)
Coach: Jay Kiley
Making the trip from Cincinnati, TFA Academy Elite 01 had a 2016 campaign highlighted by a division championship at the Gateway Showcase and second place finishes at the adidas Blue Chip Showcase and Oho Elite Girls College Showcase. TFA also finished second in the highly-competitive Midwest Regional League’s Premier I Blue Division during the Spring 2016 season, posting an unbeaten 3-0-4 record.
CASL 01 ECNL (NC)
Coach: Sam Stockley
North Carolina side CASL 01 ECNL closed out 2016 with a strong performance at the ECNL Florida Showcase in December, going toe-to-toe with some of the top clubs in the nation, including FC Dallas Youth, Orlando City Youth Soccer and Georgia’s Gwinnett Soccer Association. CASL racked up seven goals over the three matches, earning a win and a draw along the way. Last season, the team placed second the ECNL’s U-14 Chesapeake Division. CASL’s roster includes U.S. Youth National Team defender Elaine Rouse.
Richmond United ECNL 01 (VA)
Coach: Andy McIntosh
Hometown club Richmond United will look to continue its hot streak at the Jeff Cup, after finishing 2016 by earning a win or a draw in five of its last six ECNL matches. Recently at the ECNL Florida Showcase, United secured points against two of the top Northeast sides, playing Boston Breakers Academy to a 3-3 draw and shutting out Match Fit Academy FC 1-0. United’s roster includes U.S. Youth National Team goalkeeper Lindsey Romig.