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NCAA Mar 10, 2015

US Youth Soccer National League Las Vegas Preview: U-16 Boys

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+Read: National League Las Vegas Preview
Age Group Previews, Games to Watch and Player Notes: U-14U-15 | U-17 | U-18

+Read: National League Boys standings take shape at Disney Showcase

+Read: Boys wrap up first leg of US Youth Soccer National League alongside CASL Showcase

(Via US Youth Soccer) – The 2014-15 US Youth Soccer National League Boys season will wrap up play March 13-15 at Heritage Park in Henderson, Nev., as 48 teams — representing 19 states and 40 clubs — play their final three games and solidify the division standings. In the Under-15 through Under-18 age groups, each division will be represented by four of the eight teams, while the Under-14 divisions will each feature all eight sides.

U16B Standings

Blue Division

With one of the top-two spots already secured in the Under-16 Blue Division, a few teams have some work to do in Las Vegas if they want to be the side that grabs the other ticket to Nationals. SDFC Rangers (NJ) finished an unbeaten season in Florida, as it claimed five wins and two draws during its National League campaign. The only team that can challenge SDFC for the division title is Michigan Jaguars 99 (MI), which must win each of its three games to have a chance at the crown. However, the Jaguars will face some opponents who are also looking to climb into the top two and punch their ticket to Tulsa.

Notable teams

Michigan Jaguars 99 (MI) — Entering the final weekend in third place, Michigan is in the best position to qualify for Nationals of any of the division teams playing in Las Vegas. The Jaguars need four points to have a shot at a top-two finish, but that number will likely rise as the weekend progresses.

Scottsdale Blackhawks 99 Davidson (AZ) — The Arizona side is three points behind Michigan and seven behind second place. It can’t afford a loss if it wants a shot at booking its place at Nationals.

Santa Clara Sporting 98 Green (CA-N) — Santa Clara is still alive for a second-place finish, but it needs to win all three of its Las Vegas games and get some help in the others.

*SDFC Rangers (NJ) — The New Jersey side is locked into the top two, and is waiting to see if it will take the division crown.

*Loudoun 98 Red (VA) — Loudoun is hoping its 12 points ends up being enough to stay in second place, but it will need some results in Vegas to go its way.

*Team has completed all seven games and will not be playing in Las Vegas.

Game to watch

March 13, Michigan Jaguars 99 (MI) vs. Scottsdale Blackhawks 99 Davidson (AZ)
This game dictates how the rest of the weekend will play out. Should Michigan win, it would have complete control of its own destiny when it comes to qualifying for the National Championships. A Scottsdale win would pull the Arizona side even with Michigan and keep the race for second place in the division wide open.

Red Division

The Under-16 Red Division may have the tightest standings of any group entering play in Las Vegas. The bottom two teams could still conceivably win the division title, as all four sides playing in the final weekend are still alive to punch a ticket to the 2015 National Championships. Penn Fusion 98 (PA-E) needs just a tie to move into first place, but has a difficult road ahead with three important matchups against teams that have a lot on the line.

Notable teams

Penn Fusion 98 (PA-E) — The Eastern Pennsylvania side is in the driver’s seat heading into its final three games, but Penn Fusion can’t afford to take its foot off the pedal if it wants to hold off its opponents and capture the division title.

Albion SC White (CA-S) — Albion is the biggest threat to Penn Fusion, as it sits just three points behind the Pennsylvania side entering play in Las Vegas.

Michigan Wolves 99 (MI) and United FC Gold 98 (CA-S) — Both teams face the same scenario. They are still in contention for a berth to Nationals, but each side most likely needs all nine points in Vegas.

*Ohio Galaxies FC 98 Elite (OH-S) — Ohio Galaxies are currently in first place, but there’s a chance they could finish outside of the top two when the standings are finalized.

*Team has completed all seven games and will not be playing in Las Vegas.

Game to watch

March 14, Albion SC White (CA-S) vs. Penn Fusion 98 (PA-E)
Both Albion and Penn Fusion left North Carolina with plus-3 goal differentials and appeared to be the top two teams in the division. Entering play in Las Vegas, the sides have a good chance to finish together in the top two of the standings, and this matchup could determine which team claims the division title. Both teams played tight, low-scoring games in North Carolina, so an early goal could be crucial in this game.

Other Notes

Michael Ingraham of Albion SC White (CA-S) was on the winning Cal South 1998 team at the 2015 US Youth Soccer ODP Championships.

[player_box id=50900 leftright=right]Nicolas Short of Loudoun 98 Red (VA) was on the Virginia 1999 roster at the 2015 US Youth Soccer ODP Championships.

Alexander Spratte of Michigan Jaguars 99 (MI) was on the Michigan 1999 roster at the 2015 US Youth Soccer ODP Championships.