US Youth Soccer National League 2019-20 Season Preview: 17U Girls
With the 2019-2020 US Youth Soccer National League season kicking off this month, we take a look ahead at the competition with an in-depth preview of each age group.
In this edition, find out what’s in store for the 17U Girls.
Coming off a strong 2018-19 season, Legends FC G03 Premier (CA-S) looks to be a contender to finish near the top of the 17U Girls Black Division. Legends won the division a year ago, compiling a perfect 7-0-0 record. The Cal South side carried that momentum into the US Youth Soccer National Championships, where it advanced to the final match before coming up a goal short of the National title. With that performance, Legends showed it can compete with any team in the country.
Sunrise Prime 2003 X1 (FL) is another team to watch after it won the US Youth Soccer Southern Regional Championship. The Florida side bounced back from a loss to start its week in Baton Rouge, La., by stringing together five straights win — including 4-0 victories in both the semifinal and final — to take the regional crown. While it came up short at Nationals, Sunrise now has a shot to showcase its ability against national competition within the Black Division.
Meanwhile, FC Revolution Rowdies (PA-E) proved they can handle league play by winning the US Youth Soccer Mid Atlantic EDP Conference Premier I Division. In doing so, FC Revolution won all nine of its games to win a tight race at the top of the standings. The Rowdies put on a strong showing at the US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional Championships, ultimately advancing to the final. After coming one win away from a berth to Nationals, FC Revolution should be anticipating the chance to compete for the title in the Black Division.
The 17U Girls Blue Division features last year’s division winner, San Diego SC Academy Navy (CA-S), among several challengers. San Diego won all seven of its games last season to finish on top of the Blue Division, and it also compiled an unbeaten record to win the US Youth Soccer Pacific Conference. The Cal South side narrowly missed a semifinal berth at the National Championships in a three-way tiebreaker during Group A. With its successful background in league play, San Diego will look to earn its way back to Nationals through this season’s National League.
PSA National 03 Girls (NJ) emerged from the Group A tie at Nationals only to fall in the semifinals. Now, the New Jersey side will set its sights on competing for the Blue Division title. At the Eastern Regional Championships, PSA did not concede a goal until the final match, as dominant defense powered it to the regional title.
Elsewhere, Eastside FC G03 Red (WA) used stingy defense of its own to win the US Youth Soccer Northwest Conference with a 7-0-1 record. The Washington side outscored opponents, 16-to-3, as it showed its strong ability in league formats. With several other teams who finished near the top of their conferences, or made runs to the knockout rounds of their Regional Championships, there are plenty of contenders for the Blue Division title.
Several US Youth Soccer Conference winners are in the 17U Girls Red Division, including LVSA 03 National League (NV). The Nevada side won the US Youth Soccer Desert Conference, in addition to claiming last year’s National League title in the Red Division. During the summer, LVSA added a US Youth Soccer Far West Regional Championship and semifinal berth at the National Championships to its 2018-19 accomplishments. The Nevada side will look to repeat that success this season, but several challengers are ready to try and overtake LVSA for the Red Division title.
Iowa Rush 2003 Girls (IA) also competed at the National Championships, but a Day 3 loss to LVSA kept Iowa from advancing to the semifinals. Iowa advanced to Nationals as the representative from the US Youth Soccer Midwest Regional Championships, where it advanced to the final before falling to the eventual National Champions.
DKSC 03G Black Hilliard (TX-N) advanced to the semifinals of the Southern Regional Championships after it finished first in the US Youth Soccer Frontier Division with a 6-1-0 record. Meanwhile, Keystone Premier 03G (PA-E) and AFC Lightning 2003 Gold (GA) each won their respective Conference before advancing the quarterfinal round of their Regional Championships. Likewise, Beadling 2003 Showcase (PA-W) finished first in the US Youth Soccer Great Lakes Conference Premier I Division. With each of those teams having past success in league formats, they should be ready for the grind of the National League season.
Defending National Champion Lou Fusz 03 Blue (MO) looks like the team to beat in the 17U Girls White Division as it comes off a highly successful 2018-19 season. The Missouri side went 7-0-0 while winning last year’s White Division, averaging more than five goals scored per game en route to a first-place finish in a tight US Youth Soccer Midwest Conference Premier I Division. On top of that league success, Lou Fusz won the Midwest Regional Championship before claiming the National title during the summer.
One of the teams looking to overtake Lou Fusz in the White Division will be IFC 03 Girls Red (MS), which has shown its own ability to do well in league formats. The Mississippi side went unbeaten, with six wins and three draws, to win the US Youth Soccer Mid South Conference. If IFC can translate that ability to grind out results to the National League season, it will be a team to watch. Cleveland FC 03 (OH-N) also showed potential last season, when it finished in second in the National League and narrowly missed a semifinal berth at the Midwest Regionals. Cleveland will look to take the next step this season and contend for the division title.
Arsenal Colorado Academy 2003 (CO) is coming off a trip to Nationals as the Far West Regional representative. In its run to the Regional final, Arsenal came away with several wins by one-goal margins — a clutch trait that could prove important during its White Division campaign. Delaware FC 03 Girls (DE) showcased a similar ability during its run to the semifinals of the Eastern Regional Championships, and it will look to make a run at a National League division title this season.
- Megan Morgan (Sunrise Sting) – Golden Ball, Best XI at the National Championships; Leading scorer at the Southern Regional Championships with eight goals
- Lauryn White (Legends FC Premier) – Best XI at the National Championships
- Chloe Netzel (Lou Fusz) – Best XI and leading scorer (seven goals) at the National Championships
- Natalie Thoen (Iowa Rush) – Best XI at the National Championships
- Kennidy Tallman (Sunrise Sting) – Best XI at the National Championships
- Madelyn Smith (Lou Fusz) – Best XI at the National Championships
- Gianna Ocello (Legends FC Premier) – Best XI at the National Championships
- Alexis Pashales (LVSA) – Best XI at the National Championships
- Kelsey Kehoe (Lou Fusz) – Best XI at the National Championships
- Madalyn Davis (Lou Fusz) – Golden Glove, Best XI at the National Championships
- Sarah Foley (Lou Fusz) – Leading scorer at the Midwest Regional Championships with six goals
- Olivia Garcia (LVSA) – Leading scorer at the Far West Regional Championships with 11 goals
2019 US Youth Soccer ODP Girls Thanksgiving Interregional – 2003/2002 Roster
East Region – Jailene DeJesus, Haley Gschrey, Gabriella Kurtas (FC Revolution); Michaela Kasparcova, Janae Stewart (FCUSA Philadelphia)
Midwest Region – Elizabeth Overburg, Makenzie Roling (Iowa Rush)
West Region – Olivia Garcia (LVSA)
2019 US Youth Soccer ODP Girls Thanksgiving Interregional – 2004 Roster
Midwest Region – Layla Kelbel (SC Wave)