Three teams from California South are aiming to jump into the top two during Under-17 Blue Division play in Las Vegas. NSA Jaguars (IL) currently sits at the top of the division with 15 points — six more than any team that will be playing during the season’s final weekend. Depending on the outcomes on the first two days in Las Vegas, the division title may not be decided until the season’s last day.
Legends FC 96 (CA-S) — Legends FC is currently in a tie for fourth place after earning three wins in North Carolina. The California side likely needs two wins in Las Vegas for a chance at a top-two finish.
DMCV Sharks Elite (CA-S) — The defending US Youth Soccer National Champions are in the same position as Legends, entering the final weekend of play six points behind NSA.
Beach FC 17 Academy (CA-S) — Beach FC has six points and will need to sweep its games in Las Vegas to have a shot at a berth to the National Championships.
*NSA Jaguars (IL) — NSA is in first with 15 points. It beat both Legends and DMCV in North Carolina, which could help in a tiebreaker situation.
*VSA Heat 96 Blue (VA) — VSA is currently in second place but it will need some luck to remain there when the standings are finalized.
*Team has completed all seven games and will not be playing in Las Vegas.
Game to watch
March 22, Legends FC 96 (CA-S) vs. DMCV Sharks Elite (CA-S)
These two teams enter the weekend tied with nine points in the standings. There are good odds that one of the two sides will finish in the top two, and the result of this matchup will determine which team is the most likely to do it. DMCV won their matchup last year at Nationals, while Legends was victorious when the two played in the US Youth Soccer Region IV Championship final.
The Under-17 Red Division is the only group that has the four top teams all playing in Las Vegas. In fact, three of the teams enter the season’s final weekend with 4-0-0 records. With the four teams bunched up at the top of the standings, each game will be crucial in determining which sides secure the top two spots and accompanying tickets to the National Championships.
Kings Hammer Academy (OH-S) — KHA is one of the three teams with 12 points. The Ohio side scored 17 goals in North Carolina — putting it on pace to break the single-season team record of 26.
Carlsbad Elite (CA-S) — Carlsbad also has 12 points entering play in Las Vegas. The California side allowed just one goal through four games and will aim to continue that defensive success against the high-scoring opponents that remain.
Bay Oaks Botafogo 96 (CA-N) — Bay Oaks is the third 4-0-0 team. Like KHA, Bay Oaks used its offensive prowess to overpower teams in North Carolina, scoring 17 goals in the process.
Farmingdale United (E-NY) — The team from New York finds itself four points back from the trio of 4-0-0 teams, but the remaining games against all three give Farmingdale the opportunity to jump back into the mix.
Game(s) to watch
All of them
The Red Division has essentially become a three-game season featuring four teams. Think of it as an appetizer for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Farmingdale has the disadvantage of starting four points behind the rest of the group and will need to pick up wins in Las Vegas. With the four teams so close in the standings, it may come down to tiebreakers in the end.
Drew Moulton of Eclipse Elite 96/97 (IL) was on the Illinois 1997 roster at the 2014 US Youth Soccer ODP Championships.
Melissa Lowder of DMCV Sharks Elite (CA-S) was on the California South 1997 roster at the 2014 US Youth Soccer ODP Championships.
Peyton Perea and Ally Prisock of Legends FC 96 (CA-S) were on the California South 1997 roster at the 2014 US Youth Soccer ODP Championships.
Peyton Perea of Legends FC 96 (CA-S) was named to the 2013 NSCAA Youth Girls’ All-America Team
2013 US Youth Soccer ODP Girls Thanksgiving Interregional All-Stars:
Katie Murray, Kings Hammer Academy (OH-S)
Melissa Lowder, DMCV Sharks Elite (CA-S)