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TAMPA, Fla. (Dec. 27, 2019) — The first 14U Boys games of the US Youth Soccer National League 2019-20 season kicked off on Friday, as all 14U Boys teams began league play at the Tournament Sportsplex of Tampa Bay in Tampa, Fla.
The 14U Boys are playing the first four games of their National League season this week. They will be joined on Saturday by half of the teams in the 15U-19U Boys age groups, who will be playing Dec. 28-30 in the final three games of their National League season in Tampa. The National League Boys Winter Showcase in Tampa also features US Youth Soccer Conference teams competing Dec. 28-30 in showcase matches alongside the National League games.
Friday featured several exciting opening matches for the 14U Boys teams, including a back-and-forth Blue Division matchup between SC Wave Juniors 06 Boys (WI) and PSA National 06 (NJ). After falling behind just seconds into the match, SC Wave scored four straight goals before holding off a late surge from PSA — resulting in a 4-3 win for the Wisconsin side.
“At the end of the game, that’s what the National League is all about,” SC Wave coach Ian Bennett said. “Their team came back and didn’t stop fighting, so we had to hold on at the end. In the National League, you’ve got to get these wins and we were able to do that.”
With this being the first year for the 14U Boys to play in the National League, Friday marked the first opportunity for the players to experience the competition level in the league. Bennett said the league provides an opportunity for his players to develop, and Friday’s challenge from PSA National offered an excellent first test.
“It showed a lot of character from the boys. The National League is the big time,” Bennett said. “It shows you how these kids are growing from young kids into young adults. Playing soccer at this high level is great for them. Seeing some of these teams we’re not used to seeing is amazing for the players.”
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.
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.
National League action will continue Saturday, Dec. 28, 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 notes from Friday’s 14U Boys matches…
- Nine of the 16 games on Friday were decided by two goals or less.
- Half of the victors on Friday used strong defensive efforts to secure wins, as seven teams kept clean sheets in their season-opening victories.
- Just one match ended in a draw on Friday, as NLS Ajax (MD) and OEFC Central 06 (OK) played an exciting back-and-forth game that ended in a 4-4 tie.
- Just two of the four teams who played at the 2019 National Championships came away with wins on Friday. Defending National Champ 2006 Pipeline SC Pre-Academy (MD) and Far West Regional Champ Rebels SC (CA-S) each opened their seasons with wins.
- Pedro Gonzalez of La Roca S CS (UT) leads the age group in scoring after netting a hat trick in his team’s win on Friday.
- Nine different players scored two goals on Friday.
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/