Jefferson Cup 2019 Championship Division Preview: U-16 Boys
With the 2019 Jefferson Cup coming up fast, 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 competing in the U-16 Boys Championship Division.
Mandeville Lakers Elite 03 (LA)
Coach: Nick Chetta
Louisiana State Cup champion Mandeville Lakers Elite 03 has spent the past year earning top finishes in league and tournament competition in their home state and throughout the South. In addition to their State Cup title, Mandeville placed 1st in their Louisiana Classic Soccer League division and ranks 2nd in the US Youth Soccer National League Mid-South Conference. They advanced to the semifinals of the 2018 US Youth Soccer Southern Regional Championships, and recently had a strong 1-1-1 showing at the Disney Soccer Showcase.
Boston Bolts 03 Central Elite (MA)
Coach: Bryan Johnson
One of two Massachusetts squads competing in the Jeff Cup’s top U-16 bracket, Boston Bolts 03 Central Elite is the reigning US Youth Soccer State Cup champion in the 2003 age group. The team also won the New England Premiership league title last spring, posting an undefeated 5-0-3 record. They went on to reach the semifinals of the 2018 US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional Championships in Virginia. In showcase play, Boston captured a division title at the highly competitive Needham Memorial Day Tournament last May.
GPS MA Elite Red 03 (MA)
Coach: Tommaso Trevisan
Massachusetts side GPS MA Elite Red 03 will have the opportunity to repeat as Championship Division winners at the 2019 Jeff Cup, after taking the U-15 title last year. Along with their Jeff Cup success, GPS also won their division in the New England Premiership last spring, and placed 2nd in the US Club Soccer Massachusetts State Cup. They captured another prestigious showcase title at their home club’s 2018 GPS Memorial Day Tournament, and another at the GPS Summer Showcase. GPS closed 2018 with a 1-1-1 record in group play at the Disney Soccer Showcase in Orlando, Fla.
Lake Grove Newfield SC Dynamite (NY)
Coach: Rich Busick
EDP League champion Lake Grove Newfield SC Dynamite is well established as one of the ’03 age group’s top teams in Eastern New York. Lake Grove went unbeaten with a 7-0-1 record, outscoring opponents 24-6 in the EDP 1st Division North last spring. The team also had a perfect record in the ENYYSA Premier League, and earned a 3rd place finish in the US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional League. In November 2018, they captured a division title at the EDP Fall Classic.
Arlington SA Pre Academy 03 (VA)
Coach: Osman Cuadros
Representing the host state of Virginia, Arlington SA Pre Academy is just a few months removed from capturing the US Youth Soccer State Cup title. With a trip to the 2019 US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional Championships already secured, Arlington will kickoff the spring season with a challenging test at the Jefferson Cup. Arlington placed 2nd in its Group B of the U-15 Elite Division at the 2018 Jeff Cup, and finished as a semifinalist in the top bracket at the 2018 Potomac Memorial Tournament. They placed 2nd in the Club Champions League (CCL) during the 2017-2018 campaign.
Virginia Development Academy EDP (VA)
Coach: Jeff Carroll
Coming off an outstanding season in the highly competitive EDP Atlantic Development League, Virginia Development Academy secures a spot in the Jeff Cup’s top flight. VDA earned a first place finish in the EDP’s U-16 South Division this fall, losing only once in ten games against teams from other Development Academy clubs from the Mid-Atlantic region. The team posted a 7-1-2 record, netting 19 goals and only allowing three all season long.
BRYC Elite Academy ECNL (VA)
Coach: Christopher Jennings
Northern Virginia side BRYC Elite Academy remains undefeated through seven games in the Boys ECNL Mid-Atlantic Conference, sitting in first place with a 4-0-3 record. The team has outscored opponents 14-5 in conference play. They recently had a perfect showing at the Boys ECNL National Event in Florida, sweeping their three opponents: Tennessee SC, Florida Elite and Atlanta Fire.
North Carolina FC 03 ECNL (NC)
Coach: Tom Harris
Another top team in the Boys ECNL’s Mid-Atlantic Conference, NCFC Youth is in second place through their first four conference games. NCFC is unbeaten at 2-0-2, while scoring 10 goals and only allowing three. At the Boys ECNL National Event in Florida from Dec. 29-31, NCFC Youth compiled a 1-1-1 record, highlighted by a 3-1 win over Connecticut side FSA FC and a 1-1 draw against FC Stars of Mass.
Triangle United SA 03 Gold (NC)
Coach: Mike Moltzon
After a strong performance in the 2018 Jefferson Cup’s U-15 Elite Division, North Carolina side Triangle United SA 03 Gold makes the leap to the Championship Division in 2019. Triangle United swept the competition in Group B of the Elite Division last year, conceding only one goal in group play. They ultimately placed 2nd in the division, coming up just short in a 1-0 result against STA-MUSC in the title match.
STA-MUSC 03 NPL (NJ)
Coach: Shane Bullock
The 2018 Jefferson Cup saw STA-MUSC 03 NPL secure the U-15 Elite Division championship, winning four straight matches with dominant defensive play. The New Jersey side only gave up one goal over the course of their title run. STA-MUSC is also the reigning US Club Soccer New Jersey Cup champion, and won two league titles in Spring 2018, competing in the NYCSL NPL and the EDP Spring League. They went on to finish as finalists at the US Club Soccer National Cup, and semifinalists at the US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional Championships.
Piedmont Triad FC 03 Black (NC)
Coach: Charles Gillon
US Youth Soccer Southern Regional champion Piedmont Triad FC 03 Black is back in the Jeff Cup Championship Division once again after placing 2nd at the U-15 level in 2018. PTFC had a perfect 3-0-0 record in Group A at the Jeff Cup last year, advancing all the way to the final. Last spring, they preceded their regional championship run with a North Carolina State Cup title. In November, PTFC won their division at the VisitRaleigh.com College Showcase.
PDA Hibernian Larsson EDP/NPL (NJ)
Coach: Ewen MacDonald
Hailing from one of the nation’s most prestigious youth soccer clubs, PDA Hibernian Larsson EDP/NPL has racked up several division championships at high level showcase tournaments over the past year. PDA earned first place finishes in the 2018 EDP Open Cup, DTS Winter Invitational and the EDP Cup Spring Showcase. Last spring, they advanced all the way to the semifinals of the US Club Soccer New Jersey Cup.
HMMS Eagle FC 03 (PA)
Coach: Gino Diflorio
Eastern Pennsylvania State Cup runner-up HMMS Eagle FC has relentlessly tested itself in the country’s most competitive showcase events, including the Potomac Memorial Tournament, Disney Boys Soccer Showcase, PA Classics Mid-Atlantic Cup and the Jefferson Cup. In league play, HMMS Eagle FC earned a 1st place finish in the US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional League last spring, posting a 6-1-0 record and a division-best +13 goal differential.
United Mount Pleasant 03 NPL (SC)
Coach: Robbi Arnold
At the 2018 US Youth Soccer National Championships in Frisco, Texas, United Mount Pleasant 03 had a remarkable run to the semifinal round at the U-15 level. Their 2017-2018 season also included a trip to the finals of the US Youth Soccer Southern Regional Championships, and a 2nd place finish in the US Youth Soccer National League’s 15U Blue Division.
Syracuse Development Academy 03 Nike (NY)
Coach: Shannon Colton
Western New York side Syracuse Development Academy 03 Nike has consistently finished near the top of the table in some of the region’s most competitive leagues. SDA earned a 1st place finish in the Atlantic Premier League’s U-15 First Division in 2018, and 2nd place finishes in the US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional League and Great Lakes Alliance NPL.
West Florida Flames 03 Elite Brandon (FL)
Coach: Juan Garcia
Sunshine State representative West Florida Flames 03 Elite Brandon is coming off a championship run at the VisitRaleigh.com Boys College Showcase and a 4th place finish in a strong 10-team bracket at the Disney Soccer Showcase. In league play, West Florida placed second among nine teams in the Florida State Premier League this fall. Their 16 goals scored in seven games was the highest total in the league’s U-16 Premier Division. Last spring, the team placed 2nd in their division at the prestigious Manhattan Kick-Off Classic.