Jefferson Cup 2018 Championship Division Preview: U-16 Girls
With the 2018 Jefferson Cup fast approaching, SoccerWire.com continues its article series previewing the top divisions for the showcase age groups. In this edition, we take a look at the teams that will be competing in the U-16 Girls Championship Division.
East Meadow 02 ECNL (NY)
Coach: Tobias Bischof
Long Island side East Meadow 02 ECNL earned its way into the top Jefferson Cup bracket for its age group once again with another strong year in 2017. The team closed out the year with a perfect 4-0-0 showing in the 39th Annual East Meadow Tournament, and a run to the finals in the top flight of the National Elite Women’s Soccer Showcase. East Meadow opened the 2017-2018 ECNL season with an unbeaten 2-0-1 performance at the ECNL Florida Showcase.
Maryland United FC 02 ECNL (MD)
Coach: David Stokum
The 2017 Jefferson Cup saw Maryland United FC 02 ECNL finish at the top of its group in the U-15 Championship Division, en route to a second place overall finish in the highly competitive bracket. United went unbeaten with a 2-0-1 record in Group A, before falling to Penn Fusion ECNL 02 in the title match. Maryland United is back in the Jeff Cup’s top flight once again, following a championship run at the CASL Girls Showcase this fall, and a third place finish in the ECNL’s Ohio Valley Division during the 2016-2017 season. Maryland United opened the 2017-2018 ECNL season with a 1-1-1 showing at the Florida showcase, highlighted by a 5-1 rout of Orlando City SC.
McLean Youth Soccer 02 ECNL (VA)
Coach: Nadir Moumen
Coming off back-to-back division titles in showcase competition at the CASL Girls Showcase and the Bethesda Premier Cup at the end of 2017, McLean Youth Soccer 02 ECNL will look to continue its momentum in the Jeff Cup’s top flight. The team is in the midst of an outstanding season in ECNL league play, holding the top spot in the Mid-Atlantic Conference with a 10-2-1 record against conference opponents. McLean has outscored opponents 33-8 through 13 conference games, and they have earned 11 clean sheets on the defensive side in 16 total league matches.
PDA Storm ECNL (NJ)
Coach: Josh Osit
New Jersey’s PDA Storm ECNL went unbeaten in the Jeff Cup U-15 Girls Championship Division last spring, posting a 2-0-1 record and barely missing a berth in the final on tiebreaker. They return to the top flight this year at the U-16 level, after finishing at the top of the table in the 2016-2017 ECNL Northeast Conference. PDA opened the 2017-2018 ECNL season with a win and two draws at the ECNL Florida Showcase, against top level clubs Dallas Texans, Ohio Premier and Solar SC. The Storm defense conceded just one total goal, notching two clean sheets at the national event.
World Class FC 02 ECNL (NY)
Coach: Jeff Eisele
Returning Jefferson Cup champion World Class FC 02 ECNL makes the leap to the top bracket after claiming the 2017 Superior Orange title at the U-15 level. After earning an undefeated 2-0-1 record in group play, they defeated New Jersey state finalist Arsenal Premier FC Maximus Red 2-0 in the final. In ECNL league play, World Class is off to a strong 3-1-0 start this season with a 14-4 goal differential against their first four opponents. They closed the ECNL Florida Showcase with 3-0 and 5-1 wins over Orlando City SC and Concorde Fire after falling 3-2 to Armada FC in the tournament opener.
CESA U-16 ECNL (SC)
Coach: Andrew Hyslop
Carolina Elite Soccer Academy has played strong defense all season long against ECNL competition, battling its way to fourth place so far in the Mid-Atlantic Conference with a 6-4-4 record against conference opponents. CESA’s tough back line has racked up nine clean sheets across 20 total ECNL league matches this season. They have only allowed more than one goal in a game four times against 20 league opponents during the 2017-2018 campaign.
Loudoun Soccer 02 Red (VA)
Coach: David DiMillio
Reigning US Youth Soccer Region I and Virginia State Cup champion Loudoun Soccer 02 Red will seek to continue its outstanding level of play at another high level event at the Jeff Cup this March. In addition to state and regional titles, Loudoun claimed division championships at the prestigious WAGS Tournament and the Loudoun Soccer College Showcase in 2017, and placed second in the Columbia Invitational Memorial Day Tournament and the OBGC Capital Cup. In league play, Loudoun placed first in the 2016-2017 Club Champions League table as well as the US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional League.
Marin FC 02 Blue (CA)
Coach: Chris King
Northern California’s Marin FC 02 Blue represents one of the nation’s most competitive US Club Soccer National Premier Leagues, the NorCal NPL. Marin posted an undefeated 6-0-2 record to finish at the top of the NorCal U-16 table in the fall. The dominant Marin defense racked up six clean sheets on the season, while the attack led the league with 14 goals. They advanced all the way to the finals of the 2017 NorCal State Cup, recently went unbeaten (2-0-1) in their group at the Mustang Stampede Showcase in Danville, California.
SJEB Rush 02 Academy Blue (NJ)
Coach: Dave Barbour
US Youth Soccer New Jersey State Cup champion and Region I semi-finalist SJEB Rush 02 Academy Blue has reeled off multiple showcase and league title runs over the past year. SJEB won a division title at the 2017 EDP Open Cup last spring, and closed the year with first place finish at the Disney Soccer Showcase. The squad also won their divisions in the Eastern Regional League and the EDP Spring League, while placing fourth in the US Youth Soccer National League’s U15 Blue Division.
Massapequa NPL 02 Lil Rowdies (NY)
Coach: Paul Yarde
Another one of Long Island’s top U-16 teams, Massapequa NPL 02 Lil Rowdies are coming off a national title run in the US Club Soccer National Cup XVI. After winning the National Cup U-15 Super Group, Massapequa went on to capture the National Elite Women’s Soccer Showcase’s (NEWSS) top flight title over Thanksgiving Weekend. In league play, the team posted an unbeaten 8-0-1 record in the New York Club Soccer League’s NPL Division, outscoring opponents 22-3 behind the best defense in the ‘02 age group.
Lehigh Valley United 02 Black (PA)
Coach: Emmanuel Oudin
Eastern Pennsylvania State Cup champion Lehigh Valley United 02 Black climbs into the Jeff Cup’s top U-16 bracket after playing in the U-15 Superior Orange flight last year. The team earned its way into the Championship Bracket following the state title run last spring, a second place finish in the Eastern Regional League and a top division title in the prestigious Bethesda Premier Cup in November.
North United FC Rush (PA)
Coach: Jodi Chmielewski
Western Pennsylvania State Cup semifinalist North United FC Rush is coming off a division championship run at the Disney Soccer Showcase, in addition to strong showings in the 2017 US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional League (3rd place) as well as the National League (4th place). The team had an unblemished 3-0-0 run through their bracket at Disney, outscoring opponents 11-1. Along with shutouts of Columbus FC 02 Elite and STA 02 NPL, they defeated Missouri State Cup champion Lou Fusz SC 3-1 to clinch the Disney Showcase title. North United placed second in the 2017 Jefferson Cup U-15 Elite Orange Division, finishing at the top of Group B before coming up just short in a high-scoring 6-4 result against Oakwood SC in the final.