Jefferson Cup 2017 Championship Division Preview: U-17 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-17 Boys Championship Division.
BRYC Elite Academy 00 (VA)
Coach: Chris Jennings
Northern Virginia side BRYC Elite Academy 00 will look to repeat as Jefferson Cup champions after winning the U-15 Superior Division title in 2016. Since then, the team has done plenty to prepare for its upcoming appearance in the Jeff Cup Championship Division, having won top division titles at the highly-competitive OBGC Capital Cup and Bethesda Premier Cup. The side also finished as a semifinalist at the FC DELCO Player Cup. BRYC held its own in the US Youth Soccer National League this season, compiling a 3-3-1 record and securing a third place finish in the U-17 Red Division. Victor Montero and Kahlil Dover led the team with four goals and three goals respectively in National League competition.
McLean Youth Soccer Hotspur Green (VA)
Coach: Jamil Walker
US Youth Soccer National Champion McLean Youth Soccer Hotspur Green is having another outstanding season, having already clinched a spot in the 2017 National Championships where it will look to make it back-to-back titles. McLean recently capped off an undefeated season in US Youth Soccer National League play, finishing with a 5-0-2 record while scoring a division-high 13 goals. Rogelio Benitez, William Blake, Gustavus De Andrade and Maverick McGann netted three goals each to lead the team’s balanced attack in National League action. McLean also reached the semifinals of the US Youth Soccer Region I Championships and the APC Premier Cup, and recently had another strong showing at the Disney Soccer Showcase.
OBGC Rangers Blue (MD)
Coach: Pete Wood
Maryland State Cup champion OBGC Rangers Blue saw its impressive run at the 2016 Jefferson Cup end with a narrow loss in the title match to Delaware Rush, and will undoubtedly be motivated to get back to the final this time. Since the last Jeff Cup, OBGC has gone on to earn a second place finish at the EDP Cup Spring Showcase and won division championships at the Bethesda Premier Cup and NSCAA Baltimore College Showcase. The team also finished at the top of the table in the 2016 Region I Champions League’s U-15 Elite Red Division, posting a 7-1-0 record with 25 goals scored and a division-low two goals given up for the entire season.
Match Fit Academy FC 00 Blue (NJ)
Coach: Malcolm Murphy
Representing New Jersey powerhouse club Match Fit Academy FC, this EDP League side has been dominant in college showcase competition since finishing second in the 2016 Jefferson Cup U-16 Classic Division. The team has gone on to pile up division titles at the EDP Easter Showcase, EDP Cup Spring Showcase, Bethesda Premier Cup, EDP Cup Fall Showcase and PA Classics Winter College Showcase. Recently, Match Fit finished as a semifinalist at the Disney Soccer Showcase.
STA-MUSC 00 NPL (NJ)
Coach: Shane Bullock
Reigning US Youth Soccer and US Club Soccer New Jersey State Cup champion, US Youth Soccer Region I semifinalist and US Club Soccer National Cup finalist STA Morrs United 00 NPL has piled up the accolades over the past year. In addition to the state, regional and national tournament success, STA has competed in some of the top national and international showcase events, including the Disney Soccer Showcase (Finalists), PA Classics Winter College Showcase (Champions), APC Premier Cup (Champions), Bethesda Premier Cup and Dr Pepper Dallas Cup. In league play, STA finished at the top of the table in the New York NPL during the spring of 2016.
GPS New Hampshire NPL (NH)
Coach: John Price
Another reigning national champion squad, GPS New Hampshire NPL won it all at the 2016 US Club Soccer National Cup, competing in the U-15 Super Group. The team is also the US Club Soccer New Hampshire State Cup champion, and has won division titles as prestigious showcase events including the Massapequa Winter College Showcase and Manhattan Kick-Off Classic. In league play, GPS finished at the top of the table in the New England Premiership NPL during the spring of 2016, compiling a 9-1-1 record with 31 goals scored and only eight given up.
Manhattan SC Villa (NY)
Coach: Ray Selvadurai
Last year’s Jefferson Cup U-16 Championship Division winner, Manhattan SC Villa will be back in Richmond looking to add to its already extensive trophy collection. Villa came away with a national title as well last season, winning the US Club Soccer NPL Finals in the U-16 age group. In other showcase action, the team has captured top division titles at the Potomac Memorial Tournament, Puma Christopher Columbus Cup and the Disney Soccer Showcase. Last spring, Villa placed second in the challenging EDP League 1st Division North, going 6-1-1 with 24 goals and just 10 allowed.
CASL 00 Red (NC)
Coach: Tim Evans
North Carolina side CASL 00 Red has been equally as dominant against national competition as it has been against state and regional opponents over the past year. Within Region III, CASL has earned a second place finish in the North Carolina State Cup, a first place finish in the 2016 Southern Regional Premier League’s U-17 Premier East Division and a first place finish in the 2016 NCYSA Spring Classic League. The team took that level of dominance to the national level this season, recently capping off the US Youth Soccer National League season with a 5-1-1 record and putting the team in position to clinch a spot in the 2017 National Championships. Camden Holbrook is tied for the lead among all U-17 National League players with five goals on the season, while Anrew Rossetti is second on the team with three scores.
LA Premier FC 00 (CA)
Coach: Radames Lafaurie
Southern California’s LA Premier FC 00 will make the cross-country trip to go up against some of the best competition the East Coast has to offer. LA Premier has plenty of experience on the biggest stages in youth soccer, including appearances at the San Diego Surf Cup and Dr Pepper Dallas Cup. Last spring, the team had a strong season in the Southern California NPL, posting a 5-1-3 record while scoring the second-most goals in the division with 26. Premier also won a division championship at the 2nd Annual California Premier League College Showcase, reeling off four straight wins.
Delaware Rush oo (DE)
Coach: Tyler Bastianelli
At the 2016 Jeff Cup, the most unstoppable force in the U-15 Championship Division was Delaware Rush 00, which netted 11 goals and gave up just three over the course of four straight wins to capture the title. Rush is back in the top bracket this season, coming off appearances in top events including the PA Classics Winter College Showcase, EDP Cup Fall Showcase, EDP Cup Spring Showcase and the Delaware State Cup. Rush also earned second place finishes in the 2016 Region I Champions League and SC Del Sol Presidents Day Tournament. This season in US Youth Soccer National League play, Rush is off to a perfect 4-0-0 start with 11 goals scored and only two given up. The team is on the verge of clinching a spot in the 2017 National Championships with a top two finish in the division. Niklas Powell leads the team with four goals, and Casey Kurlej is second with three goals so far in National League competition.
Penn Fusion SA Elite 00 (PA)
Coach: Rosen Nenchev
Well-established as one of the age group’s top teams in talent-rich Eastern Pennsylvania, Penn Fusion SA Elite 00 will continue its run of appearances in premier level showcase events at the Jeff Cup. The team has played in the top divisions at the PA Classics Winter College Showcase, EDP Summer Showcase and Potomac Memorial Tournament since making a run all the way to the finals of the 2016 US Youth Soccer Pennsylvania East State Cup.
SOCA Elite 00 (VA)
Coach: Dan Ensley
Virginia State Cup champion SOCA Elite 00 is another team seeking back-to-back Jefferson Cup division titles, following a first place finish in the 2016 Jeff Cup’s U-15 Elite Division. SOCA was absolutely dominant at the event, winning four straight matches with a goal differential of 15-5, highlighted by a 5-1 rout of a talented Ukrainian Nationals side in the final. The team earned a first place finish in the Club Champions League during the 2015-2016 campaign, and is off to an unbeaten 11-0-1 start to take hold of first place again this season in the CCL.