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WESTON, Fla. (Feb. 18, 2012)
– The 2011-2012 US Youth Soccer National League
Under-15, Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 Boys resumed league play at Weston Regional Park in Weston, Fla., today alongside the Weston Cup. Each age group is represented by four of the eight teams per division, and this weekend of play will finalize league standings until the remaining four teams per division compete in Las Vegas, Nev., March 23-25.
Five teams came to Weston with a chance to clinch division titles before they left, however after the first day of play only Under-15 Chicago Magic (IL) and Under-16 GSA 96 Phoenix Red (GA) still control their own destiny as every other division will be waiting until March to know who will take home a National League championship.
The National League is an extension of the highly successful US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues (US Youth Soccer Region I Premier League, Midwest Regional League, Region III Premier League and Far West Regional League). National League teams are among the best in the country and each team has had to earn their place in the league with a proven track record of success in US Youth Soccer regional and national competition, regardless of club affiliation or location.
The National League provides an avenue for teams to play in meaningful matches against top competition from across the country for continued development and opportunities for exposure at the national team, collegiate and professional levels. In addition to recruiting opportunities, the first place finishers from each division (blue and red) in the U-15, 16 and 17 age groups will earn a ticket to the 2012 US Youth Soccer National Championships
, making each match valuable to the team's fate as it could make or break their chance at competing for a National Championship.
Some highlights from today's matches…
Defending Region II champion and National Championships finalist Chicago Magic (IL)
entered their final weekend of National League play knowing they could clinch the Blue division title with three victories. They got off to a good start as Magic defeated GSA Phoenix 97 Red (GA) 4-1
. Amit Tal struck for Magic's first goal in the 34th
minute and Sal Gloria followed up just four minutes later for a 2-0 halftime lead. Tal grabbed his double five minutes after the restart to make it 3-0, but Jonathan Borja got a goal back for GSA in the 72nd
before Renato Albuquerque sealed the game for Magic with a stoppage time goal.
CESA 96 Premier (SC)
scored a dramatic goal with three minutes left in the game to defeat defending Region I champion Smithtown Arsenal (NY-E)
and move into second place in the Blue division, just two points behind Chicago Magic, to set up a crucial match between the two tomorrow. With the game winding down, Jaedon Williamson scored in the 77th
minute to deliver the 1-0
win for CESA.
Region III finalist GSA 96 Phoenix Red (GA)
can still clinch the Red division title this weekend, but after salvaging a 1-1
draw with Lehigh Valley United 95 (E-PA)
, GSA will need to finish with two wins to assure themselves a first place finish. Austin Stout gave LVU the lead just before the halftime whistle and the goal looked like it would stand until injury time when Christopher Morgan scored for GSA to earn the draw.
Scottsdale 96 Blackhawks (AZ)
still control the Blue division, but the next two teams in line faced off with SAA Real Madrid - Miami (FL)
moving into a tie for the division lead after knocking off Region I finalist OBGC Rangers (MD)
by a 2-1
score. Locals SAA Real Madrid got off to a fast start, scoring both goals in under 15 minutes from John Diaz in the 7th
and Carlos Sanchez in the 13th
. Region I ODP player Jeremy Ebobisse extended his league scoring lead to seven total and bring Rangers within one in the 65th
, but the equalizer could not be found as SAA has two games to jump Blackhawks for the division lead.
Holding the head-to-head tiebreaker over two-time defending National League champion and National Championships finalist Albion White (CA-S)
, Region III semifinalist AHFC 95 (S-TX)
needed three victories this weekend to dethrone the champs. Albion now holds its own league fate as AC Bethesda (MD)
scored an 87th
minute goal to draw with AHFC 1-1
today. Junior Morataya scored his fifth goal of the season in the 66th
to put AHFC in front, but Region I ODP player and University of Maryland commit Christopher Odoi-Atsem headed home a cross with three minutes to play to also keep Bethesda in the hunt for first place.
Region II semifinalist Raiders FC (IL)
and FC Frederick 94 (MD)
faced off to put some heat on defending Region IV champion and Red division leader Eastside FC 94 Red (WA)
, and Raiders stepped to the plate with an 86th
minute goal for a 1-0
victory. Eastside is sitting pretty with a 4-0 record, one of just two teams in any age group, boys or girls, to hold a perfect record, but Raiders are now in the best position to take over the lead until Eastside finishes up in Las Vegas next month. Alexis Monteon joined the league scoring lead with his sixth goal of the season with just four minutes to play to give Raiders the victory.
Region II finalist Lou Fusz SC Gold (MO)
and Region III semifinalist CESA 93 Premier (SC)
both dropped crucial points in an effort to take control of the Blue division today. However, Lou Fusz assumed the top spot in the division despite a 1-1
draw with North Texas state champion TFC 94 (N-TX)
. Xavier University commit Kyle Martin put Lou Fusz in front in the 69th
minute, but Diego Gutierrez Chavez equalized for TFC nine minutes later to steal a point.
WAZA FC 94 Black (MI)
moved into contention for first place after handing CESA their first loss on the season. Long Island University commit Brian Alumbaugh netted the game winner for WAZA in the 65th
as they search for an outside chance of taking the division after a 1-0
National League action continues Sunday, Feb. 19, at Weston Regional Park with games at 8 and 10 a.m. and Noon ET. For complete standings, scores, schedules and match details, click here
or go to /National_League/
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