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Tournaments Mar 23, 2014

Jefferson Cup Qualifier event sees 18 teams punch tickets for 2015

A total of eighteen girls teams currently playing in the Under-12 through U-16 age categories have secured coveted places in the 2015 Jefferson Cup after two days of qualifying play at River City Sports Plex in suburban Richmond.

Following two enormous weekends of 2014 Jefferson Cup play, the “Qualifier” weekend has become a tradition in recent years, with 67 teams competing in 2014 for one of the biggest prizes in youth soccer – a sure thing bid into the Jefferson Cup’s main event.

The Jefferson Cup is one of the top events for youth boys and girls in the United States, featuring teams from throughout North America each year. The 2014 boys and girls weekends drew over 450 college scouts evaluating talent in the high school age brackets.

Meanhile the younger age groups meet top competition to test themselves against new opponents while building a reputation over time, with the hopes of maintaining their status as a “Jeff Cup” team once they, too, reach that critical college recruiting age.

Such is the prestige of the Jefferson Cup main event that most of the teams qualifying this weekend are likely to use the fact they have a sure bid next March in promoting their team and club over the next year, with particular interest in the upcoming May/June “tryout season.”

The teams will play “up” an age next March from where they competed today as all youth teams in the US officially begin new annual season on August 1 each year, where today’s U-12 teams will become U-13s, today’s U-13s become under-14s and so on.

As such, each qualifier competition only invites teams up to a current age group of U-16, as they will be U-17s for the 2015 main event. That 2015 edition will not see any of today’s qualifiers in U-12 or U-18 age groups.

This is not the only chance for teams to pre-qualify for the 2015 Jefferson Cup, either, as the Richmond Strikers’ ever-growing Capital Fall Classic event also awards several bids to top teams in the premier age brackets. That event will take place in November, with teams already “aged up” to the same age groups they would compete in next March.

Following are the teams and some notes on each of the teams qualifying today.


Under-12

Vienna Pride Red of Virginia lost 1-5 in the U-12 finals to fellow Virginia club FC Milan. However, both finalists had already earned their bids. As big of a score line that is, Vienna had beaten Milan on Saturday in group play by a 3-2 score, proving not much should be read into the results of a final where both teams had already accomplished their primary goals.


Under-13
This age group was divided into three equally competitive groups of five teams playing four round-robin matches. The winners of each group qualified automatically for 2015, with the “best second place” team also gaining a berth.

Group A Winners: Braddock Road YC Elite of Virginia
Group B Winners: Rage SC Athletica of Pennsylvania
Group C Winners: Arlington SA Comets Red of Virginia
Best 2nd Place Team: Virginia Legacy Phoenix

 

Under-14
The finalists of two divisions of eight teams each earned bids to 2015.

The Orange division saw PWSI Courage Red of Virginia top Group A, winning all three group games without conceding a goal… until they faced fellow qualifiers Arsenal FC Golden Fire of Pennsylvania. Arsenal also won their three group games, scoring seven goals and allowing two, but then scored the only goal in the final with nothing more than bragging rights on the line.

The Black division similarly saw two finalists qualify for 2015 with 3-0 performances of their own in group play, then FASA Elite Impact of Virginia beat fellow Virginia team Southwestern Youth Association “SYA” Cardinals 3-2 for their own bragging rights.

 

Under-15
The finalists of two divisions of eight teams each earned bids to 2015.

The Black division contributed one team from New York and one from Virginia as Rockville Centre Express (N.Y.) and Reston United (Va.) both reached the division final, which Reston won in a 2-1 decision. Each team went 3-0 in group play posting impressive goal difference stats of 10 for Rockville and 12 for Reston.

The two 2015 entrants from the Orange division are Annandale United FC of Virginia and Albany Alleycats Redcats of New York. Albany went 3-0 in group play scoring six goals and allowing just one, while Annandale was the only U-15 qualifier not to post a perfect group record as they won twice, but could only draw 1-1 in a third against second place finisher Lake Grove-Newfield Tsunami of New York. ABGC recovered well however, putting two past Alleycats in the (albeit ceremonial) final.

 

Under-16
With an odd number of entrants at this age level, the two divisions played different formats, but still contributing two teams each to the 2015 edition of March (Jeff Cup) Madness.

The Orange division featured six total teams, playing in two groups of three on Saturday, with the top two teams playing a cross-over (#1 v #2) semifinal on Sunday morning for all the marbles. In the end, Rage SC of Pennsylvania sent their second club team of the weekend to 2015, while Annandale FCV United West did this same. The FC Virginia affiliates then dropped the final to Rage 2-3, but certainly have no reason to mope.

Two more Virginia teams rounded out the qualifying group, with McLean Extreme Green and Old Dominion FC Revolution both wining their 4-team groups in the Black Division with identical 2-0-1 records and low goals totals of just three for McLean and two for ODFC. It’s no surprise with those stats then that the final between these Commonwealth rivals only saw one tally, with ODFC taking the 1-0 honors along for their short race home up 95 North.

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