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USYS Mar 13, 2012

US Youth Soccer National League season set to wrap up March 23-25 in Las Vegas

The US Youth Soccer National League season will wrap up March 23-25 at Bettye Wilson Soccer Complex in Las Vegas alongside the Players Showcase, with all 12 bids to the prestigious US Youth Soccer National Championships still to be decided.

Half the teams in each age group division completed their season earlier this year, yet none could clinch a division title, setting up a dramatic last weekend of play. At the end of the weekend, the National League champions and 12 league qualifiers for the 2012 US Youth Soccer National Championships will be determined.

“This final weekend of National League play is huge. Teams compete in the National League because they want to play against the best competition in the country in meaningful games. With every division title and all 12 National Championship bids still up for grabs going into the final weekend, it really shows what the National League is all about,” said Paul Luchowski, US Youth Soccer National League commissioner.

Besides offering a platform for the highest level of competition, the National League is a permanent fixture among scouts looking for future collegiate, professional and Youth National Team players. The 2011-2012 National League season has averaged more than 300 collegiate coaches in attendance each weekend, and close to 350 colleges have already registered to attend in Las Vegas, with up to 600 hundred expected between the two genders. With National League players already heading to programs such as Indiana, Louisville, Maryland, New Mexico, St. Louis and Virginia on the boys’ side, and 20 of the top 30 programs on the girls’ side, college scouts will be looking for the next wave of talent coming from National League clubs.

Earlier this month, ESPNHS named their boys’ fall high school All-Americans. Four National League boys made the list, with Sean Sepe (Commack SC United (E-NY), St. John’s Univ.), Chris Odoi-Atsem (AC Bethesda (MD), Univ. of Maryland), Deven Mason (Rush Nike 94 (NM), Virginia Tech) and Chase Rau (Grand Rapids Crew Jrs (MI), Univ. of Michigan) all receiving honors.

Youth National Teams have held several camps over the past month with National League players getting called into action. On the girls’ side, four National League players were called into the Under-15 U.S. camp. Match Fit Chelsea Colchesters (NJ) had two players invited in Alana Cook and Kayla Jennings, while Peyton Perea of Legends FC (CA-S) and Bridgette Andrzejewski of PSC Baltimore (MD) were also called in.

The Under-14 and Under-15 Boys’ National Teams camped together in Carson, Calif this past week. Two players from U-15 Albion SC (CA-S), Guillermo Bermudez and Pablo Pelaez, were invited into the U-15 camp along with Lehigh Valley United’s (E-PA) Cameron Keys. Logan Panchot from St. Louis Scott Gallagher Academy (MO) was also called into the U-14 camp.

The US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (US Youth Soccer ODP) Championships were held last weekend at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Texas. US Youth Soccer ODP state teams which won their respective Regional Championships in the 1995 and 1996 age groups squared off for the national title. Forty National League players were participating as members of their state ODP teams.

The National League is an extension of the highly successful US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues [US Youth Soccer Region I (East) Premier League, Midwest Regional League, Region III (South) Premier League and Far West Regional League] in which the top teams are eligible to continue the path of succession into the National League where the ultimate prize is qualifying for the prestigious US Youth Soccer National Championships.

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