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BOCA RATON, Fla. (Nov. 24, 2019) — The first games of the US Youth Soccer National League 2019-20 season kicked off on Sunday, as all 14U Girls teams began league play at the Spanish River Athletic Park in Boca Raton, Fla.
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.
This week will feature only 14U Girls games, as those teams begin their National League season by playing some exciting matches in Boca Raton, where the US Youth Soccer ODP Girls Interregional is also taking place.
Sunday marked the first-ever National League game for every 14U team that took the field in Boca Raton, including Albany Alleycats Academy Red (NY-E) — the first team from its club to play in the National League. After playing to a draw in its opener, Alleycats coach Tara O'Keefe said it’s an exciting experience for her team to play in the league.
“This team has done really well in our region. Now, when we come out of the area and travel for National League, we’re seeing the best,” O’Keefe said. “We’re being exposed to faster play, more organization, more technical ability, so it’s really good for us to see that.
“It gives that initiative to continue to push. We’re at this point, and we don’t want to drop. We want to continue to be one of the best in the country.”
In addition to working hard to maintain a place in the National League, the teams competing in the league also have an opportunity to punch a ticket to the 2020 National Championships. Several sides took a step toward that goal on Sunday by kicking off their seasons with a victory.
“Every game is meaningful, so we know we need to get the maximum points we can get every game,” said CFJ South 06 Premier (IL) coach Jose Smith, whose team secured a 1-0 win on Sunday. “At the end of the day, we want to make sure we’re in a good position to move on to Nationals and play in July. We want to keep playing all the way through and prolong our season.”
Following this opening 14U Girls event, two National League Fall Showcase events will see the 15U-19U Girls (Dec. 5-8 in Wilson, N.C., and Goldsboro, N.C.) and the 15U-19U Boys (Dec. 11-15 in Panama City Beach, Fla.) begin their seasons. The 14U Boys will play their first games Dec. 27-30 in Tampa, Fla.
National League action will continue Monday, Nov. 25, as the 14U Girls teams play their second game of the season. 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 Sunday’s matches…
- Eleven of the 14 matches on Sunday were decided by one goal or less.
- Audrey Nicoloff and Lindsay Stein of CUP 06 Gold (OH-S) were the only players to score multiple goals on Sunday. They each scored twice to help CUP to a big opening win. It is currently leading the 14U Girls Red Division, while FC Dallas 06 West (TX-N) also has three points in the group following a 2-0 win.
- CFJ South 06 Premier (IL) was the lone team in the 14U Girls Blue Division to secure a win on Sunday, while five teams in the division saw their games end in draws.
- In the 14U Girls Blue Division, FC Copa Academy 2006 NL (NJ), MRM Academy Coyotes Blue 06 (MD) and 06 Lady Lobos Rush Premier (TN) each won by 2-1 score lines. FC Dallas 06 (TX-N) added a 1-0 victory, as all four teams have three points in the Blue Division standings.
- Defending Eastern Regional Champion Real JFC 06 (NJ) opened its 14U Girls White Division campaign with a 3-0 win. It has three points in the standings, along with GSC Prima Green 06G (NE) — which received a game-winner from Emma Brezenski in the final minutes to earn a 2-1 win in its first game.
Keep up with the National League all season:
National League Home: USYouthSoccer.org/National_League
Schedule and results: https://www.usyouthsoccer.org/tournaments/2019-20-national-league/