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ECNL Jun 28, 2014

Tri-State area ECNL playoff roundup, all seven clubs in action

The Elite Clubs National League Under-14 and Under-18 National Finals, as well as the Under-15 through Under-17 Playoffs are taking place in Seattle, Washington this week, with several teams from the seven Tri-State competing in all age groups.

Teams from Connecticut FC, PDA, and World Class FC are competing in the Under-14 and Under-18 Finals, while those are joined by Albertson Fury, East Meadow, Match Fit,  and SoccerPlus Elite are all represented in the three 64-team pools hoping to find a spot for the ECNL National Finals in Richmond, Virginia next month.

The under-14 and under-18 competitions have played three group games already and are in semifinal action Saturday, then finals on Sunday. Seattle is the end of the ECNL season for all teams in the under14 and under-18 ages.

For the under-15 through under-17 age groups, 64 teams from each age group earned their way into either the Champions League or the North American Cup for post-season competition, where the season will end for all but 16 group winners.

The Champions League is made up of the top 24 teams that automatically qualify based solely on conference games. To get up to 32, the league then looked at the next best 14 conference-only records, and then added in non-conference games to come up with a ranking of all 14 teams based on total points per game for all ECNL games. From there the top eight (8) joined the 24 into eight groups of four teams each just like the World Cup. They’ll compete within the group, with only the winners of each earning a trip to Richmond in July for a shot at the ECNL National Championship.

The North America Cup field of 32 teams per age group was selected by taking the next best overall points per game records for all ECNL games – conference and non-conference. Those teams too are each divided into eight groups of four teams each, with the winners booking passage to Richmond to compete for the National Cup Final.

Here’s a round up of all the Potomac regional ECNL club results so far:

Under-14 National Finals

PDA won their group and play Real Colorado in the semifinals Saturday, hoping to meet up with Michigan Hawks in the 9:30 am PT final on Sunday.

World Class FC finished after the group stage, losing twice against Slammers FC and Solar Chelsea, sandwiching a 3-3 draw with group winners and finalists Michigan Hawks and drawing 3:3 with


Under-18 National Finals

Connecticut FC beat Mountain View and Ohio Premier, but fell 1-0 in their second game on Wednesday to group winners Michigan Hawks.

PDA won their group on three wins, scoring 11 goals and allowing four against So Cal Blues, McLean YS, and D’Feeters. They play San Diego Surf Saturday in the semis and will face either Michigan Hawks or Real Sol Cal in the final if they win.


Under-15 Champions League Playoffs

Albertson Fury have won one and lost one in group play so far, and face Washington Premier on Sunday morning and must a win combined with a loss by leaders Michigan Hawks to advance to Richmond.

Connecticut FC drew Colorado Storm on Thursday, but lost to DeAnza Force on Friday, so will not have a chance to advance no matter their result on Sunday with Bethesda SC.

Match Fit drew Solar Chelsea 1-1 on Thursday, but tripped up against West Coast FC on Friday, dropping a 0-6 result. They face 0-2 Carmel United on Sunday for pride.

PDA lead their group only on tie-breaker after two games with a win over Charlotte SA on Friday that followed a scoreless tie against Slammers FC on Thursday. Slammers also have four points from group play with an identical goal difference, but have scored one less goal than PDA so far. PDA appear to have the tougher of two games on Sunday based on Crossfire Premier‘s record so far, and will need to match Slammers’ result and goal scoring against Charlotte to keep their season alive.


Under-15 North American Cup Playoffs

East Meadow have dropped both their game so far in Seattle, losing Thursday 0-1 to Dallas Sting, then allowing two goals without scoring Friday against Birmingham United. It doesn’t get any easier Sunday as they face top of the table Sporting Blue Valley who have won both games without allowing a goal.


Under-16 Champions League Playoffs

East Meadow play Michigan Hawks on Sunday trying to avoid last place in the group following two losses so far at 60 Acres North fields. They are 0-2 after losing to both Concorde Fire and Dallas Sting so far, but Michigan has only managed a tie and a loss themselves, so the New York club can move into 3rd with a win.

Match Fit has managed only one point so far from a 1-1 draw with Sporting Blue Valley on Friday, and have no chance to advance to Richmond no matter their Sunday result against De Anza Force. They lost 0-2 to group leaders San Diego Surf on Thursday but can spoil De Anza’s chances of catching San Diego or out-pacing Sporting for the group win.

PDA is in the drivers seat after winning both group games so far 3-1 over Atlanta Fire and 5-1 over Mustang SC; and can clinch a National Finals appearance with only a draw against Maryland United FC on Sunday, while a loss would gift the Maryland club the honors.


Under-16 North America Cup Playoffs

Albertson Fury have already lost twice, dropping a 0-4 result Thursday to McLean YS and then a much closer 1-2 match up Friday against Sereno SC. They play fellow 0-2 side Albion Hurricanes FC on Sunday for 3rd place and pride.

Connecticut FC have all but clinched their ticket to Virgina thanks to strong 3-1 and 3-0 wins over Mountain View and GSA respectively. With a +4 goal difference and 3 points lead over both 2nd place teams in group play, they only need to tie Heat FC to advance. However, as one of the 3-point teams, if Heat FC win, they’ll go through on head-to-head.

SoccerPlus Elite still have a chance to win their group, but need a 3-goal win over Ohio Elite SA on Sunday combined with a draw between group leaders San Juan and FC Wisconsin Eclipse at the same time. That result would put three teams level on five points, triggering the goal difference tie breaker.

World Class can only play for 3rd place on Sunday having lost both group games so far; 1-5 on Thursday to St. Louis Scott Gallagher and 1-2 Friday to Eagles SC. Pleasanton Rage are their Sunday opponent, sitting on three points themselves, but a win would leapfrog the California outfit on the group standings on head-to-head tie-breaker.


Under-17 Champions League Playoffs

Match Fit are looking great to win their group and extend their season in the process after winning both their opening games without allowing a single goal. After winning 4-0 Thursday over Ohio Elite and 2-0 Friday over D’Feeters, they still need to at least tie on Sunday against West Coast to be sure. A West Coast win would leave Match Fit needing D’Feeters to also win, and for their goal difference to hold up.

PDA have a chance to win their group, but will need help. Currently level on four points with Vardar, which they drew 1-1 on Friday, but behind them by one on goal difference, PDA at least need to match Vardar’s result Sunday with a superior goal difference. Vardar play winless Bethesda SC on Sunday, which PDA beat 2-1. PDA face Sereno SC, who could win the group themselves if both they and Bethesda win.


Under-17 North America Cup Playoffs

Albertson can’t win their group following a 2-3 loss to Birmingham United and a 3-1 loss to Utah Avalanche, but they can get out of the group basement with a win Sunday over Sockers FC. Sockers put eight goals past Birmingham though, so it looks like an uphill battle for sure.

East Meadow are completely in control of their destiny, sitting on a perfect record after two games following a pair of 4-goal win margins. They shut out San Juan 4-0 on Thursday, then rolled 6-2 over Sporting Blue Valley Friday. They face fellow 2-0 Texas Rush on Sunday however, but with a +5 goal difference advantage, only need a draw to advance.

SoccerPlus posted a narrow 3-4 loss to Strikers FC on Thursday, but then yielded in a 0-4 loss Friday to St. Louis Scott Gallagher. The 0-2 record sees them sitting tied at the bottom of the group with Sunday’s opponent Charlotte SA, who also lost both of their first two games to the same opponents.

World Class did well to qualify for Seattle, but are finding it rough going in Cascadia. Thursday brought a 1-6 loss to Minnesota Thunder Academy, while Friday was a more competitive 0-3 loss to Eagles SC. They face Challenge SC on Sunday for their season finale, who were 1-0 winners and 0-1 losers in their opening two games, but have almost no chance to win the group given their only chance is a huge win over World Class and a small Eagles FC win over Minnesota.


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