US Youth Soccer National League Boys play continues in Wilson, N.C
Day 2 of 4 complete
Watch 16 of Saturday’s Matches Live
WILSON, N.C. (Via US Youth Soccer) — The 2015-16 US Youth Soccer National League Boys season is in full swing after two days of play at the Wilson Gillette Athletic Complex and Rocky Mount Sports Complex in North Carolina. The season is shaping up to be a long fight for the divisional titles and automatic entries to the US Youth Soccer National Championships, and Saturday’s games should play a big role in separating some teams in the standings.
After two days of play, just 15 of the 80 teams have come away unscathed with two wins, including just one defending National Champion — Under-14 Baltimore Celtic Darby 01/02 (MD), who needed to come back from a 2-0 deficit on Friday to earn the victory.
National League teams get to face opponents from various parts of the country who bring different styles of play to the field. Teams with experience in the league develop familiarity with opponents, which is the case with Under-18 FC Dallas 98 Premier (TX-N) and Fullerton Rangers White (CA-S). After the two sides played to a 3-3 tie last season, FC Dallas managed to come away with a shutout victory on Friday in a well-played match between the two sides.
“The National League is great because you’re playing the best teams in the nation,” FC Dallas coach Scott Dymond said. “The game last year was very intense, and we were actually down 3-1 and came back in the last 10 minutes to tie it up. We knew it was going to be a tough match today, and it was. Going into the game, the kids were up for it. Whenever your play these teams, you have to be up for everything.”
FC Dallas and the rest of the National League teams are competing for top-two finishes in their division and the berth to the 2016 National Championships that comes with it. For Dallas, there is a little added incentive to qualifying with Nationals being held in their hometown.
“This is kind of the pinnacle for us,” Dymond said. “We’ve already qualified for Regionals but now the players’ ultimate goal is to get to Nationals since it is in our backyard this year at the Toyota Soccer Center.”
NOTE: There have been some field changes for Saturday’s games. Please check the online schedule to verify your game time and location.
National League teams earn their place in the league based on a proven track record of success in US Youth Soccer regional and national competitions and are among the nation’s best. Competing for a league title and a spot in the US Youth Soccer National Championships, each and every game will play into who represents the National League this summer in Frisco, Texas.
National League action will continue Saturday, Dec. 12, as the boys teams play their third game of the season. Complete standings, scores and schedules, including goal scorers and match information, can be found at the results page here. Click on the score of each game for more information.
Some highlights from Friday’s matches…
SLA Nomads 01 (CA-S) recorded its first win of the week with a 3-0 victory over Beadling (PA-W) in the Under-14 Red Division. The Cal South side grabbed an early lead when Jesus Juache found the back of the net for a 10th-minute goal, and teammate Diego Botello slipped a shot past the keeper to double the advantage before halftime. Rafael Dominguez added an insurance goal in the final minutes to cap the 3-0 victory and give SLA three points in the standings.
A late goal helped Solar Chelsea 02 Red (TX-N) pick up its second win of the week with a 1-0 victory over Sporting J. B. Marine – Mann (MO) on Friday in Under-14 Red Division play. Solar applied consistent pressure on the J. B. Marine back line, but the Missouri side managed to fend off the attacks for much of the match. However, Robbert Pino received the ball at the top of the Sporting penalty area in the 64th minute and chipped the keeper to score what proved to be the game-winner for Solar.
Defending National Champion Baltimore Celtic Darby 01/02 (MD) needed a come-from-behind 5-3 win on Friday to stay on top of the Under-14 Blue Division. Meanwhile, Team Challenger FC 01 Black (OH-N) and CASL 01 Red (NC) have yet to lose and are tied for second with four points each.
In a matchup of two former US Youth Soccer National Champions, WAZA FC East 01 Black (MI) and Houstonians 2001 (TX-S) played to a tie in Under-15 Red Division action. The two experienced sides proved difficult to break down, as the defenses presented a stiff test for each team’s attack. WAZA produced a good look at goal late in the second half, but saw the attempt go just wide as the forward turned and shot. This proved to be the closest either team would get, as the two sides played to a scoreless tie and split the points.
The Under-15 Blue Division is one of the closest so far this season, as just three points separate the first and third-place teams after two days of play. HMMS Eagle FC 00 Titans (PA-E) is currently alone atop the group standings with four points, while five others are tied for second with three points apiece.
United FA Premier (GA) pulled out a 1-0 win in a tight game with LA Galaxy South Bay Gold (CA-S) to move to four points in the Under-16 Red Division standings. The Galaxy keeper made a couple of early saves to keep the game scoreless before LA narrowly missed on a couple of scoring chances just before halftime. The teams continued to battle in the second half, and United’s Saul Tinoco finally broke the deadlock with a goal in the 76th minute. The Georgia side played out the final five minutes to hold on for the shutout victory.
In the Under-16 Blue Division, Fullerton Rangers White (CA-S) shut out defending National Champion Sporting KC Academy (KS) to remain on top of the standings. Meanwhile, La Roca South CS 99/00 Premier (UT) has yet to allow a goal and is tied with Fullerton with six points after two days of play.
After winning their division a year ago, SDFC Rangers (NJ) are off to another good start, as the New Jersey side is the lone team with six points in the Under-17 Blue Division. Sporting St. Croix (MN) and Baltimore Celtic 98/99 (MD) are two points back after each team picked up a big win on Friday.
The Under-17 Red Division has featured several close games, as half of the matches have finished in ties after two days of play. CESA 98 Premier (SC) has recorded two one-goal victories to earn six points — giving it a current hold of first in the division. Solar Chelsea Red 99 (TX-N) and Penn Fusion 98 (PA-E) aren’t far behind, as they have four points each.
In a matchup of 1-0 teams, FC Dallas 98 Premier (TX-N) withstood early pressure from Fullerton Rangers White (CA-S) to earn a 3-0 victory in the Under-18 Blue Division play. Fullerton dictated the play early and forced the FC Dallas keeper Landon Plunkett into a pair of vital saves to keep the match scoreless. Despite some continued Fullerton pressure, FC Dallas grabbed the advantage when Matthew Gonzalez gathered the ball in the penalty area and placed his shot into the back of the net. Gerber Chavez doubled the FC Dallas lead with a 67th-minute strike, and Jakob Cuellar capped the win with a third goal in the final minute, as the Texas side recorded a 3-0 victory.
Under-18 Lehigh Valley United 97 (PA-E) has yet to concede a goal after securing a 4-0 win on Friday against Ohio Premier Green (OH-S). The Blue Division match-up was even for the length of the first half until Michael Unis scored a 45th-minute breakthrough goal. Cameron Sheva doubled the lead shortly after halftime, and Evan Vare added a third for LVU in the 59th minute. Byron Derti capped off the scoring in the 74th minute, as the Lehigh Valley earned its second win of the week.
The Under-18 Red Division features three teams with six points each — led by UFA-Norcross 98 Fury Premier (GA), which has recorded 10 goals through two games. Santa Barbara SC White (CA-S) and FC Golden State Platinum (CA-S) join UFA-Norcross as Red Division sides with two wins in two days.