Jefferson Cup 2019 Championship Division Preview: U-19 Boys
SoccerWire.com continues its article series previewing the top divisions for the 2019 Jefferson Cup showcase age groups. In this edition, we take a look at the teams competing in the U-19 Boys Championship Division.
Delaware FC 00 (DE)
Coach: Tyler Bastianelli
Returning Jeff Cup champions Delaware FC 00 will aim to defend their title at the U-19 level after capturing the U-18 Championship Division crown in 2018. In an evenly-match group at last year’s event, not a single team in the top bracket had a perfect record. Only two of the eight teams, DFC and Spirit United, were able to go undefeated with two wins and a draw. DFC conceded only one goal at the event, taking the top spot in the table with a 5-1 goal differential. In league play, DFC placed third out of 12 teams in a highly competitive EDP League last season, posting an 8-1-0 record while outscoring opponents 43-8 in the NPL Division.
Manhattan SC Emelec (NY)
Coach: Colin Hodge
New York City side Manhattan SC Emelec has been a staple at the Jeff Cup over the years, and they will make their final appearance at the event in 2019, looking to make one more big splash. Emelec had a great showing in the prestigious Potomac Memorial Tournament last Memorial Day weekend, winning the top bracket with a perfect 3-0-0 record. They outscored three high-level opponents by a margin of 9-2 at the Maryland-based showcase. Manhattan is also coming off a 2nd place finish in the US Club Soccer New York State Cup.
McLean 01/00 Boys ECNL (VA)
Coach: Jamil Walker
McLean 01/00 Boys ECNL joins the Jeff Cup’s top bracket after a strong fall season, in which they won the US Youth Soccer Virginia State Cup U-19 title and a division championship at the Capital Fall Classic, hosted by Richmond Strikers Tournaments. In league play last season, McLean placed 2nd in the US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional League, and earned a 5th place finish in the Club Champions League (CCL).
North Carolina FC 00/01 Boys ECNL (NC)
Coach: Tim Evans
With six wins, a draw and only one loss in their first eight Boys ECNL Mid-Atlantic Conference games, North Carolina FC 00/01 is well on their way to a playoff spot this season. NCFC has allowed just nine goals in Boys ECNL conference play, which is the fewest among Mid-Atlantic teams. They are 9-1-1 overall against Boys ECNL opponents during the 2018-2019 campaign, and are currently on a 10-game unbeaten streak.
Richmond Strikers 00/01 Elite (VA)
Coach: Jeff Gettler
Representing the host club, Richmond Strikers 00/01 Elite is the reigning US Club Soccer Virginia State Cup champion side at the U-19 level. Their high-powered offense piled up 8 total goals in their semifinal and final victories in November, as they won the state title. The Strikers are a returning Jeff Cup champion as well, having captured the U-17 Championship Division trophy in 2018. In league play, Richmond finished at the top of the table in the Virginia NPL during the 2018-2019 campaign. Most recently they placed 3rd in a challenging 14-team bracket at the Disney Soccer Showcase.
STA-MUSC 00 NPL (NJ)
Coach: Thomas Shields
Another current state champion squad, STA-MUSC 00 NPL has seen continuous success across league and tournament play over the past year. The side claimed top honors in the US Club Soccer New Jersey Cup in June 2018, while at the same time wrapping up their league title in the New York Club Soccer League (NYCSL) U-19 NPL Division. STA-MUSC finished in the top half of the Jeff Cup’s U-18 Championship Division last spring, winning two out of three games. They placed 2nd at the Potomac Memorial Tournament last May, and most recently won the top bracket of the PA Classics Winter College Showcase in December.
Toledo Celtics SC 00 Black (OH)
Coach: Kirk Brazeau
Ohio-based Toledo Celtics SC 00 Black will try to make it back-to-back division titles at the Jeff Cup, following their U-18 Elite Division championship run in 2018. Toledo racked up 12 goals while posting an unbeaten 2-0-1 record in Richmond last year, and has since gone on to win more 1st place trophies at the Ohio North State Cup and the Disney Boys Soccer Showcase. The team won their league title in the Midwest Regional League in the spring of 2018, and went on a run to the semifinals of the US Youth Soccer Region II Championships.
Washington United Arsenal (NJ)
Coach: Matthew Driver
US Youth Soccer New Jersey State Cup champion Washington United Arsenal earned its place in the Jeff Cup’s top bracket thanks in large part to several dominant performances in high-level events in the spring and early summer of 2018. Arsenal kicked off the spring with a strong 3rd place finish out of 12 teams in the Jeff Cup’s U-18 Superior Black Division. From there, they hit full stride, winning the State Cup along with top bracket titles at the Potomac Memorial Tournament and EDP Cup Spring Showcase. They finished the 2017-2018 campaign with a run to the semifinals of the US Youth Soccer Region I Championships.