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2012-2013 National League Vegas Preview: U-16 Boys

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A pair of Georgia clubs are already planning for Overland Park this summer, with Concorde Fire Elite and GSA Phoenix earning enough points to guarantee top-two finishes.  Both teams matched the fifth best scoring output in league history by scoring 17 goals this season, but neither team is guaranteed the title as play in Las Vegas needs to shake out.  Concorde’s Jose Perez leads all scorers with six goals, and GSA’s Josef Samuel, a U.S. National Team pool member, and Kofi Twumasi are just behind Perez with five and four goals respectively.
In the Blue Division, all four teams competing in Vegas can catch current second seed, LMSC Lightning (E-PA), but only one can challenge Concorde for the division crown.  CCV Stars (AZ) can take over first place with two wins and a draw.  Albion SC (CA-S) are just two points behind CCV, and their match on the final day of the season could have a ticket to the National Championships riding on it.  Challenger Crew Juniors will need seven points and goal differential, while KCSC Blackstars (KS) will need a perfect weekend to surge into the second spot.
Two-time defending National Champion Fullerton Rangers (CA-S) are currently in second place in the Red Division, despite having three games left to play, but will have challengers in Vegas.  Fullerton needs two wins and a draw, along with goal differential, to assume the lead in the division over GSA Phoenix.  Although Fullerton’s potent offense usually grabs the attention with youth U.S. National Team pool member Amirgy Pineda, Ronaldo Pineda, Ricardo Ruiz and George Castro, keeper Keith Murphy and the Fullerton defense haven’t been scored on in two National Championship runs and the first half of the National League season.
Sereno (AZ) sit just one point back of Fullerton and hope a strong weekend could propel them past their Far West Regional League rival.  Defending Region I Champion Manhattan SC Paris Saint-Germain (E-NY) have some work ahead of them, but are also in contention for the second seed, while Libertyville FC (IL) will hope to crush dreams in Las Vegas.
Other news…
  • Youth U.S. National Team Call-ups:
Amirgy Pineda – Fullerton Rangers
Josef Samuel – GSA Phoenix
  • 2012 US Youth Soccer ODP Boys Winter Interregional All-Stars:
Cameron Keys – Lehigh Valley United
Josef Samuel – GSA Phoenix
Manuel Sarabia – SAA Real Madrid
Daniel Kierath – GSA Phoenix
  • Albion SC’s Sergio Chavez and Andrew Garcia, along with Fullerton Rangers’ Alexis Diaz won the 2013 US Youth Soccer ODP ’97 National Championship this month playing for Cal South ODP.  Cal South defeated Florida in the final, which featured SAA Real Madrid’s Sebastian Herran.
  • Fullerton Rangers’ keeper Keith Murphy and his Cal South team won the 2013 US Youth Soccer ODP ’96 National Championship.  Cal South defeated Eastern Pennsylvania in the final, which featured Lehigh Valley’s Mark Forrest and Brendan McNamee.