Jefferson Cup 2020 Championship Division Preview: U-17 Boys
With brackets set for the 2020 Jefferson Cup, SoccerWire continues its annual article series previewing the event’s Championship Divisions. In this edition, we take a look ahead at the U-17 Boys age group.
*All standings & statistics current as of Feb. 28, 2020
GPS MA Elite Red 03 (MA): Returning to the Jefferson Cup’s top flight once again, GPS is coming off a first place finish in the New England Premiership NPL. They scored the most goals (27) and conceded the fewest (9) during their 7-1-2 season in the NEP last spring. GPS has won three straight tournament titles as well, at the VisitRaleigh Boys College Showcase, GPS Thanksgiving Showcase and the GPS Memorial Day Tournament 2019.
Syracuse Development Academy 03 Nike (NY): Western New York State Cup champion SDA is one of the top-ranked teams in the region thanks in large part to their league title in the US Youth Soccer National League EDP North Atlantic Premier I Division. They went 8-1-0 in the league last spring, outscoring opponents by a 29-6 margin. SDA went on to finish as semifinalists in the 2019 USYS Region I Championships and the USYS National Championships.
Florida Rush 03 NPL (FL): After capturing the Jefferson Cup U-16 Platinum Orange Division championship last spring, Florida Rush earned a spot in the top flight for 2020. Rush is the reigning champion of the US Club Soccer Florida Cup, placed second in the 2019 US Youth Soccer Florida State Cup and recently won the top U-17 bracket at the Disney Boys Soccer Showcase.
NEFC 03 NPL (MA): US Club Soccer Massachusetts State Cup champion NEFC has been dominant in showcase competition, winning division titles at the 2109 IMG Cup Boys Invitational, GPS Thanksgiving Showcase and the NEFC Spring Showcase. In league play, NEFC placed second in the New England Premiership NPL last spring.
Beach FC 03 Red (VA): In the fall of 2019, Beach FC won it all in the US Youth Soccer Virginia State Cup, culminating with a 4-1 defeat of Arlington 03 Academy in the title match. They are coming off a second place finish in the 2018-2019 Club Champions League (CCL) season.
BRYC Elite Academy ECNL U-17 (VA): Currently on their way to a potential top-10 seed in the ENPL Playoffs, BRYC Elite Academy is sitting atop the Boys ECNL Mid-Atlantic Conference with a 12-2-3 record. The Northern Virginia side has outscored Boys ECNL conference opponents by a decisive margin of 49-14.
Baltimore Celtic 2003 Premier (MD): Representing one of Maryland’s top clubs, Celtic 03 Premier finished at the top of the table in the US Youth Soccer National League during the 2018-2019 campaign. They also came out as finalists in both the 2019 Maryland State Cup and the USYS Region I Championships. Celtic heads to the Jeff Cup fresh off a division title run at the EDP Winter Showcase 2020.
Bethesda SC Blue 03 (MD): USYS Maryland State Cup champion Bethesda SC will aim for another Jefferson Cup title at this year’s event, after winning the U-16 Superior Black Division in 2019. Bethesda was the top scoring team in their 12-team bracket at last year’s Jeff Cup, finding the net 9 times while only conceding 2 goals.
HMMS Eagle FC 03 (PA): Eastern Pennsylvania’s USYS State Cup champ HMMS Eagle FC 03 is looking to win their second straight Jefferson Cup Championship Division title. HMMS emerged as the top team out of 16 squads in the 2019 Jeff Cup’s U-16 Championship Division, posting a 2-0-1 record. They were the only team to score 7 goals on the weekend, in a highly-competitive bracket where not a single team ran the table.
Ohio Galaxies FC 03 Elite (OH): In December 2019, Ohio Galaxies turned in an outstanding performance at the VisitRaleigh Boys College Showcase, winning their bracket in the U-17 Elite Gold Division. They were the only side in the 16-team division that posted a perfect 3-0-0 record in the prestigious North Carolina showcase.
PDA Hibernian Larsson (NJ): Back in the Jefferson Cup Championship Division once again, PDA went unbeaten with a 1-0-2 record at last year’s event. PDA conceded just one goal at the 2019 Jefferson Cup, posting a pair of clean sheets. The New Jersey side also went unbeaten at the Surf Cup over the summer in San Diego, finishing first in Bracket D of the top U-17 division.
STA-MUSC 03 National League EDP (NJ): League and tournament accolades have piled up for STA-MUSC over the past year. They captured both the USYS and US Club State New Jersey State Cup titles in 2019, and went on to win the US Club Soccer National Cup. In showcase play, STA-MUSC claimed top flight championships in the 2019 Potomac Memorial Tournament and the National League EDP Conferences Boys Showcase.
Downtown United SC 03 Blue (NY): Following top performances in several prestigious showcase events over the last year, the 2020 Jefferson Cup will be yet another big opportunity for DUSC 03 Blue. The team racked up division championships in the 2019 NYCSL College Showcase Tournament, Bethesda Premier Cup and the Massapequa Winter College Showcase, and placed second at the San Diego Surf Cup.
Lake Grove Newfield S.C. Dynamite (NY): Winners of both the 2019 USYS Eastern New York State Cup and the US Club NY Cup, Lake Grove Newfield will look to continue their remarkable success in 2020. The Dynamite placed second in the USYS National League last season, and reached the finals of the US Club Soccer National Cup. Over Thanksgiving, they won the top U-17 bracket at the Bethesda Premier Cup.
SF Glens Evolution 03 Celtic Academy I NPL (CA): A member of the NorCal NPL, SF Glens Evolution regularly faces some of the top competition in the country. During the fall of 2019, SF Glens was the highest-scoring team in the NorCal NPL 03 1 South Division, piling up 23 goals over just 8 games. In showcase play, they had a perfect 3-0-0 run in the 2019 San Francisco Evolution Cup.
Mandeville Lakers Elite 03 (LA): Rounding out the U-17 Championship Division is Mandeville Lakers Elite, the reigning champ of the USYS Louisiana State Cup. Mandeville is back in the Jefferson Cup’s top division for another year, as they are coming off a first place finish in the Louisiana Classic Soccer League this fall.