Eight teams solidify berths to National Championships
ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 2, 2013) – The US Youth Soccer National League Under-15, Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 Girls competing this weekend solidified their season standings today at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Soccer Complex in Orlando, Fla. Four of the league's eight teams per division competed this weekend. The remaining four teams per division will compete in Las Vegas, Nev., alongside the Player's College Showcase March 15-17, where league standings will be finalized.
Eight teams solidify berths to National Championships
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ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 2, 2013) – The US Youth Soccer National League Under-15, Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 Girls competing this weekend solidified their season standings today at ESPN's Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Fla. Four of the league's eight teams per division competed this weekend. The remaining four teams per division will compete in Las Vegas, Nev., alongside the Player's College Showcase March 15-17, where league standings will be finalized.
The top two finishers per division earn a spot at the 2013 US Youth Soccer National Championships
, the oldest and most prestigious National Championship in the country, and the four National League representatives will join the four Regional Champions in the Under-15 through Under-18 age groups. Eight girls teams were able to secure a top-two finish this weekend, while the rest will have to wait until March to see how the remaining games play out.
2013 US Youth Soccer National Championship Girls Qualifiers
Match Fit Chelsea (NJ) had two teams qualify for the 2012-2013 National League season, both of which advanced to the 2011 National Championships, U-17 Beat via the National League and U-16 Colchesters as Region I Champions, and both have earned a spot in the league each year since their U-15 season. In 2013, both teams will again make the trip to Nationals, as both secured a top-two finish in their division.
Under-17 Match Fit Chelsea Beat were in great position coming to Orlando with three wins and a draw, but two 0-0 ties left them needing to defeat PWSI Courage 95 Gold (VA) in order to secure at least a second place finish. A second half goal gave Beat the win they needed and Match Fit Girls Director of Coaching, Dominick Bucci, recognized what an accomplishment it is to qualify out of the National League after coming up short last year.
"This is our third year in the National League. The first year we qualified for the National Championships through the National League, which was great, but last year we didn’t. We finished second so that was a bit of a bad taste in our mouths. To come back this year and qualify back into Nationals is what we set as a goal for ourselves at the beginning of the year. This is the best league in the country, so we’re happy to be apart of it. The two events have been great and we positioned ourselves to get into the National Championships.
"I think every game is difficult in this league. Every team deserves to be in here, they earned their way in here, and every team competes to the end. So, every game for us was very, very difficult. The coaching, the players and like I said, I think this is the best league in the country, and for us to qualify for the National Championships through the National League is a testament to our players."
The Match Fit Beat team was not only determined to get back for a chance at the National Championship, but benefitted from their success with players already committing to collegiate programs
such as American, Kansas, Lehigh, Maryland and Seton Hall.
"The amount of coaches that are coming out to watch these players, our players are going to some of the top school in the country, in terms of soccer, they’re getting identified through this league. So, we couldn’t be happier with the amount of coaches and where these girls are ending up. And for us, that’s the most important thing, that we can get them into the best possible schools."
Under-15 Eclipse Elite USYSA Black (IL) wrapped up their ticket to the National Championships yesterday, and Eclipse Select SC Head Coach Rory Dames discussed the level of competition and the benefits for his players to compete in the National League with the possibility to earn a chance to play for the National Championship. Two players from the U-15 Eclipse Black team were called into U.S. National Team camps in October. Overall, 16 current National League girls players were invited into National Team camps in 2012.
"I think for player development, they have to continue to play in competitions that take them out of their comfort zone and that have something on the line that requires them to have to play under some sort of pressure. When there’s something on the line, and you can get players into those types of competitions, it’s definitely going to increase their development."
Dames sees that progression of earning their way into the National League and possibly to the National Championships as something he wants his players to experience, and give them a taste of what it means to play for something important.
"You’re going on to the next stage of events. They have to prepare for it and they have to put the time in prior to going there to have a chance to be successful. So, anytime it requires the players to have to set goals and have a plan and follow through on the plan leading up to something, I think it’s a great life lesson for them and again, continuing with their development, having to play in situations that matter.
"It’s always nice for the players to be recognized for what they’ve accomplished and be in a room with other players who have accomplished the same thing. The opportunity to see the trophies (at National Championships Player Luncheon) and the names that are on the trophies, it’s good for them to see the history of the event they’re competing in. From a developmental standpoint, to have to be able to go into an event like that and deal with all the outside circumstances besides soccer and still stay focused on the task at hand will go along way for these players and preparing them to go on and play in college and whatever else they choose to do with soccer in their life."
Under-18 Team Chicago Academy Botafogo put on a record performance
this season. After claiming the Region II Championship last year, but falling short of the National Championship game, Team Chicago became just the third girls team in the history of the league to finish with a perfect 7-0-0 record. In doing so, Team Chicago scored 23 goals, the second best mark from a team, and conceded just three.
Botafogo has three National Team pool members and 17 players have committed to play collegiate soccer, 10 of which are headed to programs that advanced to the 2012 Division I NCAA Tournament. Botafogo commitments include schools such as Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami (Fla.), Ohio State, UCLA, Wake Forest and West Virginia. The team looks poised to challenge for the National Championship after a perfect National League record that included knocking off the defending National Champs.
The National League is an extension of the highly successful US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues (Region I Premier League, Midwest Regional League, Region III Premier League and Far West Regional League). The National League provides an avenue for teams to play in meaningful matches against top competition from across the country for continued development. In addition to recruiting opportunities, National League teams compete for the league title and two slots per division to the annual US Youth Soccer National Championships
National League action will resume March 15-17 alongside the Player's College Showcase in Las Vegas, where final standings will be decided. 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.