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NCAA Mar 10, 2015

US Youth Soccer National League Las Vegas Preview: U-17 Boys

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+Read: National League Las Vegas Preview
Age Group Previews, Games to Watch and Player Notes: U-14U-15 | U-16 | 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.

U17B Standings

Blue Division

Four teams are playing for one spot to the National Championships in the Under-17 Blue Division. Arlington Impact Red (VA) came out on fire — going 4-0-0 in a great opening week in North Carolina — and secured a top-two finish when it wrapped up its season in Orlando. The four sides still to play in Las Vegas are all alive to capture the division’s second spot at Nationals, which should make for a very interesting three days.

Notable teams

Ohio Premier Green (OH-S) — The 2014 National finalists sit in a tie for second place as they look to book a return trip to Nationals. Ohio Premier proved to be the most potent offense in North Carolina and will need more of the same in its final three games.

Santa Barbara SC White (CA-S) — After picking up three wins in North Carolina, the two-time National Champions will have the advantage of playing closer to home as they try to secure a top-two finish in the division.

FC Golden State Platinum (CA-S) — FC Golden State is two points back of Ohio Premier and Santa Barbara, but it showed the ability to succeed in Las Vegas last season.

Grand Rapids Crew Juniors (MI) — The Michigan side is tied with FC Golden State and displayed stout defensive play in North Carolina that could cause difficulty for opponents.

*Arlington Impact Red (VA) — Arlington beat every team playing in Las Vegas, so it has the tiebreaker advantages when it comes to winning the division title.

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

Game to watch

March 14, Santa Barbara SC White (CA-S) vs. Ohio Premier Green (OH-S)
Pick any game in this division and it will be a fun and meaningful one. However, this matchup on the second day features a rematch of the 2014 National Championships semifinal. Ohio Premier came away with a 3-1 win over Santa Barbara — ending the Cal South side’s bid for a rare National Championships three-peat. The two sides enter play in Las Vegas tied for second place in the division, and this game should have a big impact on whether one of teams punches its ticket back to Nationals.


Red Division

The Under-17 Red Division is essentially a two-team race among the teams still to play in Las Vegas. Defending National Champion Baltimore Celtic 97/98 (MD) and Fullerton Rangers White (CA-S) are both in serious contention to punch their tickets to Tulsa, and there is a possibility that both could go through if the pieces fall perfectly into place. However, Sunrise Elite 97/98 (FL) is finished with 16 points in the standings and can clinch a top-two finish if a couple results go its way.

Notable teams

Baltimore Celtic 97/98 (MD) — The 2014 National Champions are in good position to earn a chance to defend their title in Tulsa, and a couple wins in Las Vegas could be enough to earn the Red Division title.

Fullerton Rangers White (CA-S) — None of Fullerton’s games in North Carolina were decided by more than a goal. Rangers will need to come out on top of some close games during the final weekend of play to have a shot at a berth to Nationals.

*Sunrise Elite 97/98 (FL) — The Florida side is in good position to move on with 16 points in the standings. Sunrise’s plus-9 goal differential is also beneficial should it come into play in a tiebreaker scenario.

*FC Dallas 98 Premier (TX-N) — FC Dallas is currently in second place, but a win by Baltimore would push the Texas side out of the top two.

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

Game to watch

March 14, Fullerton Rangers White (CA-S) vs. Baltimore Celtic 97/98 (MD)         
Should Baltimore win its first game of the weekend, it would have a shot to claim the Red Division title with a victory against Fullerton. However, a win in this matchup for Rangers could prove huge in their attempt to secure a top-two finish. With this essentially being a must-win game for Fullerton, it should be a very difficult test for the defending National Champions from Baltimore.


Other Notes

Jules Pasco of Santa Barbara SC White (CA-S) was on the winning Cal South 1998 team at the 2015 US Youth Soccer ODP Championships.

Christopher Fleischer of Arlington Impact Red (VA) was named the 2014-15 Gatorade High School Player of the Year for the District of Columbia.

Antonio Romanelli of Ohio Premier Green (OH-S) was named to the 2014 NSCAA Boys’ Fall High School All-American Team.

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