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TAMPA, Fla. (Dec. 28, 2019) — Half of the teams in the 15U-19U Boys age groups joined all of the 14U Boys teams in competing at the US Youth Soccer National League Boys Winter Showcase on Saturday in Tampa, Fla. All games are taking place at the Tournament Sportsplex of Tampa Bay.
The event in Tampa also features teams from the US Youth Soccer Conferences competing in showcase matches.
The battle for positioning in the standings remains close, and there is still very little clarity at the top of most of the divisions. Saturday saw several teams make important jumps in the standings by securing three points with wins.
The 17U Boys White Division exemplifies the close races for top spots in the groups, as five teams were within two points of the top of the standings entering Saturday’s action. Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals 03 Black (PA-E) beat previous leader OK Energy FC Central 03 (OK) to move into a tie atop the White Division, along with fellow Saturday winner KCSG Academy 03 (KS).
“The competition has been great. The level of competition in the National League from every team — every game has been a battle,” Philadelphia coach David Carvalho said. “We’ve had to work for every single point. This level has been something we’ve been chasing, and the exposure is something that’s been amazing for these kids. I’ve seen colleges of all levels here. It’s a great opportunity.”
The National League features teams in the 14U-19U Boys and Girls age groups, each of whom earn their place in the league based on a proven track record of success in US Youth Soccer’s top competitive programs and are among the nation's best. Competing for a league title and a spot in the US Youth Soccer National Championships, each and every game will play into who represents the National League this coming summer in Overland Park, Kan.
Following this week of games in Tampa, all 14U Boys teams, along with the remaining 15U-19U Boys sides, will conclude their National League season by playing their final three games in March in Las Vegas.
National League action will continue Sunday, Dec. 29, with 14U-19U Boys teams in action. 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.
Some highlights from Saturday’s matches…
- Twelve of the 15 games in the 14U age group were decided by two goals or less on Saturday.
- Just four teams in the age group — Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals 06 Boys Black (PA-E), 2006 Pipeline SC Pre-Academy (MD), FC Europa Elite (PA-E) and KHA 06 Red (OH-S) have conceded no goals through two games.
- PPA KSA 06 Pro-Profile (GA) leads the age group with nine goals scored through two games, as it is 2-0-0 and tied atop the White Division.
- Pedro Gonzalez of La Roca S CS (UT) netted a hat trick in his team’s 3-3 tie against Alexandria 06B Red (VA). Gonzalez leads the age group with six goals through two games.
In 15U Black Division, 05 PGSA Stars (NC) held on to their third-place spot with a 5-2 win over BRAUSA Blue (MD). Ariel Nunez gave PGSA the early lead when he found the back of the net in the 5th minute. Corbin Jefferson and Thomas Lowry both had goals for PGSA before Roman Impagliatelli was able to give BRAUSA its first goal with some quick footwork to get around the keeper. A second half goal by BRAUSA’s Ryan Belal was not enough, as PGSA never gave up its lead. Both Nunez and Jefferson scored again to seal the PGSA victory.
Team Challenger FC 04 Black (OH-N) and Potomac Blue 2004 (MD) each entered Saturday’s action with six points in the 16U White Division. The Ohio North side managed to climb closer to the group leaders behind a Jackson Herbert goal in a 1-0 win against 04 TUSA Wake Blue (NC). Meanwhile, Potomac secured a point with a 1-1 tie against VHSC Steamers 04 Black (AL). David Diaz scored for Potomac, while Kosi Udeh netted a late equalizer for VHSC.
Saturday saw an exciting match up of the top two teams in the 16U Black Division — PPA KSA 04 Pro-Profile (GA) and PA Dominion 04 (PA-E). Emanuel Michael gave KSA the early lead when he found the back of the net in the 3rd minute, but Jake Barton responded right away with a goal for PA Dominion in the 8th minute. Two more goals in the first half by KSA’s Alex Lee and PA Dominions’s Diego Guzman led to a 2-2 tie going into halftime. The second half saw KSA take control, as Alex Lee completed his hat trick with goals in the 64th and 73rd minutes — capping a 4-2 win for the Georgia side. Lee is currently the 16U Boys top scorer with six goals on the season. KSA currently stands alone in first place in the Black Division with a record of 5-0-0.
The 17U White Division wrapped up the first week of league play with five teams within two points of first place, and two of those teams met on Saturday in Tampa. In that match, Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals 03 Black (PA-E) used a quick start to secure a 3-1 win over the previous group leader, OK Energy FC Central 03 (OK). Christopher Hackley put Philadelphia in front just seconds into the match, and Mateo Infante doubled the lead when drilled a shot on a line into the right upper-90 from 30 yards out. Oklahoma’s Kobe Trussell pulled a goal back shortly after, as he settled a low cross in the 6-yard box and finished through traffic. Brandon Curran scored to push the Ukrainian Nationals’ lead back to two goals later in the half, and the defense ensured that advantage held up throughout the remainder of the game. Philadelphia is now tied at the top of the group with KCSG Academy 03 (KS), who also won on Saturday.
Baltimore Celtic Premier (MD) extended its lead at the top of the 17U Red Division with a 3-2 win against second-place Triangle United SA 03 Wake Blue (NC). Baltimore’s Van Danielson opened the scoring in the 18th minute, and Matias De Jesus doubled the Celtic advantage with a blast shortly before halftime. Kendrick Grant pulled TUSA within a goal in the 48th minute, but Jonah Stoutenborough extended the Baltimore lead back to two goals with a strike nine minutes later. Daniel Gordiano netted a goal for TUSA to again cut the deficit to one goal, but Celtic held on to earn a tight win in the matchup of the Red Division’s top two sides.
CUP 02 Gold (OH-S) moved into second place in the 18U White Division with an exciting 3-2 win over the defending National Champions, Solar 02 Castro (TX-N). CUP took a 13th-minute lead when Ben Damge found the back of the net, but Jackson Castro and Johnathan Sauceda came back with scores of their own to send Solar into the half with a 2-1 lead. CUP came back strong in the beginning of the second half with goals by Luke Birdsong and Ben Griffis in the 47th and 51st minutes, respectively. CUP’s defense proved to be the difference as it held off Solar’s attacks for the rest of the match to secure the 3-2 victory.
Baltimore Celtic 02 (MD) continued its winning streak in the 18U Black Division with a 4-0 win over 02 Lobos Rush Premier (TN). Spencer Hanks completed a hat trick with goals in the 7th, 22nd and 68th minutes of the match. Hanks is currently the top scorer in the 18U age group with 9 goals on the season. Robert Ryerson Jr. also recorded a goal in the 70th minute of play. With this win, Baltimore improves to 5-0-0 on the season and sits alone in first place in the Black Division.
A late goal helped FC Dallas 01 Premier (TX-N) secure a 1-0 win against Galaxy 2001 Blue (IL) in a game in which both teams entered Saturday tied for second in the 19U Blue Division. The teams traded periods of attacking possession throughout the match but entered the final minutes in a scoreless tie. FC Dallas began applying consistent pressure on the Galaxy goal in the final 10 minutes and earned multiple corner kicks as it looked for a winning goal. That tally came in the 90th minute thanks to some wonderful skill from FC Dallas forward Jose Ortiz, who chested down a cross from the right wing and hammered a volley inside the right post. That goal provided the difference, as FC Dallas moved into a first-place tie with idle OC Surf Armour 2001 (CA-S).
Keep up with the National League all season:
National League Home: USYouthSoccer.org/National_League
Schedule and results: USYouthSoccer.org/tournaments/2019-20-National-League/