US Youth Soccer National League Las Vegas Preview: U-14 Girls
With each team still to play its final three games of the season, the races for the Under-14 Blue Division title and the group’s two National Championship berths are wide open. Greater Binghamton United FC (NY-W) emerged from the opening week in North Carolina in first place, but three teams are within three points of the New York side entering play in Las Vegas. The final weekend of play will test the teams’ ability to focus after traveling, as most of the sides are from the East Coast and Midwest.
Greater Binghamton United FC (NY-W) — GBUFC is in first place, but two of its opponents in Las Vegas are the teams that sit just one point back in the standings.
Dallas Kicks SC (TX-N) — The Region III Champions showed some offensive firepower in North Carolina, scoring 11 goals — the most of any Under-14 side.
PSG MI Gators 01 Orange (MI) — Gators are tied for second with Dallas and will have to take advantage of their games against Kicks and GBUFC to try and secure a place in the top two.
Michigan Jaguars Green (MI) — The Michigan side is three points back of first place but doesn’t have any games against the teams that sit above it in the standings. Jaguars will have to take care of their own matchups and hope the top three sides split some points.
Game to watch
March 22, PSG MI Gators 01 Orange (MI) vs. Dallas Kicks SC (TX-N)
Don’t take your eye off the first two days of play, but this matchup could potentially be for a spot at Nationals. These two teams enter the weekend tied for second place and each have a matchup against first-place Great Binghamton United before this clash. The first two days’ results will have a great influence on this game, but there’s a good chance one, or both of the teams, will have a lot on the line.
As play shifts to Las Vegas, the Under-14 Red Division is set up very similarly to the Blue Division. CUP Gold 00/01 (OH-S) sits alone in first place, but it has a few teams on its heels with opportunities to gain ground. Just as with the Blue Division, the top three teams in the Red Division play each other during the final weekend. Those matchups give the group leaders opportunities to create separation, while a team from the middle of the pack could make a run at a berth to Nationals if the top three teams steal points from each other.
CUP Gold 00/01 (OH-S) — A team can’t lose if it doesn’t give up a goal, and that’s exactly what the division leaders have done through four games. We’ll see if it can it continue in Las Vegas.
OFC 01 Phillips (OK) — The Oklahoma side opened its season with a big win before coming away with a couple one-goal victories. It will likely need to win some more close ones during the final weekend.
South Shore Select Elite (MA) — South Shore has shown the ability to succeed in tight games, and it will likely need a win against CUP or OFC to have a chance at a top-two finish.
Michigan Hawks 01 (MI) and United FA 01 Premier (GA) — These two sides are tied for fourth with six points. They face each other on the first day of play in Las Vegas, and the winner will have a great shot at finishing in the top two.
Game to watch
March 20, OFC 01 Phillips (OK) vs. CUP Gold 00/01 (OH-S)
The matchup of the top two teams on the first day in Las Vegas will have a big influence on how the standings look entering the final two days of play. OFC and CUP have a small advantage on the rest of the pack, and CUP could take a big step toward its pursuit of a division title with a win. Should OFC come out on top or earn a tie, it would allow for the mid-table teams to inch closer to the top two positions and set up an intense final two days.
The following Under-14 Girls were selected for the Under-14 Girls’ National Team camp taking place this March: Maciah Lipsey (Michigan Hawks); Aliyah El-Naggar (CUP Gold 00/01); Alyssa Fleming (South Shore Select Elite); Gabrielle Robinson (BRYC 00 Elite); Venessa Buso (Legends FC 00); Samantha Meza (Dallas Kicks SC)
Hensley Hancuff of OFC 01 Phillips (OK) was selected for the Under-16 Girls’ National Team camp in February.
The following Under-14 Girls participated in the 2015 US Youth Soccer ODP Girls National Camp in January: Annie Payne, Alyssa Fleming (South Shore Select Elite); Kaya Frazier, Ally Childers, Mariana Daniela Muskovac (Michigan Hawks 01); Juliet Moncho (OFC 01 Phillips); Gabrielle Robinson, Cara Norlin (BRYC 00 Elite); Aliyah El-Naggar (CUP Gold 00/01); Alana Wood (PSG MI Gators 01 Orange)