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ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 1, 2016) — The US Youth Soccer National League Girls showcased their talents in front of hundreds of college coaches in meaningful and competitive matches Friday at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Fla., alongside the Disney Soccer Showcase. The girls teams competing in Orlando will wrap up their 2015-16 season on Saturday, while the rest of the league will compete in Las Vegas March 18-20 before standings are finalized.
Under-15 Midwest United FC 01 Royal (MI) claimed the Under-15 Blue Division title today and became the first girls team to claim a division title this National League season after its 1-0 victory today. Under-18 teams Maryland United Coyotes (MD) and NJ Stallions Dynamite (NJ) remain the only other two teams that have clinched a spot in the 2016 National Championships and will compete against each other tomorrow for the Under-18 Girls Red Division title.
After missing qualification for National League last year, Midwest United is making the most of its chance here this year.
“We didn’t win our regional championship and we missed qualifying last year and felt we slipped up,” said Midwest United coach Lewis Robinson. “It’s all about earning your place and we didn’t last year. We wanted to come here and not just enjoy the experience, but the goal was always to come and win it. Now that we’ve qualified, the next goal is to go and win the National Championship.”
Robinson stressed how impressed he was with this teams results noting how hard it has been with the level of play in the US Youth Soccer National League.
“To be sitting here and be 6-0 playing the level of teams we’ve played - all state champions, regional champions and teams that played at National Championships last year – is phenomenal,” continued Lewis. “I couldn’t be more proud of what the team has done to accomplish that, and it really has been so difficult. Every game has been top level. It’s a huge achievement for the girls.”
National League teams earn their place in the league based on a proven track record of success in US Youth Soccer regional and national competitions 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 summer in Frisco,Texas.
The National League is an extension of the highly successful US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues (US Youth Soccer Region I Champions League, Midwest Regional League, Region III Premier League and Far West Regional League). 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.
Some highlights from Thursday’s matches…
Under-15 Midwest United FC 01 Royal (MI) claimed the Under-15 Blue Division title today and became the first girls team to claim a division title this National League season after its 1-0 victory today over 2015 National Championship finalists Dallas Kicks SC 01 (TX-N). A Midwest goal from Ashley Ward in the first half was enough to claim the 1-0 victory as Midwest held the Dallas Kicks scoreless.
In the other Blue Division game, OFC 01 Phillips (OK) earned a hard fought 3-2 victory over FC United Select 1 00/01 (IL) to claim a crucial three points going into the final day of play.
In the Red Division, Sunrise Sting 00/01 (FL) and Campton United Navy (IL) played to a 0-0 draw after a late penalty kick save in the 67th minute by Campton helped gain the Illinois side earn a point. The points keeps Campton only one point behind Sunrise in the standings. In the other game, 00 TFCA Alliance (NC) grabbed a crucial 2-1 win over South Shore Select Elite (MA) to move into second place in the division.
FCKC Pink Panthers Elite (MO) defeated SAC Premier United (MD) 3-0 to move it within a win of clinching a top two spot in the Under-16 Red Division. An own goal put the Missouri side up in the 11th minute and Kassidy Newsom scored twice in the 35th and 37th minutes to bring the final score to 3-0 as FCKC held SAC off the scoresheet.
Elsewhere in the Red Division, Cleveland FC (OH) did everything it could to keep its hopes alive by defeating Solar Chelsea Elite (TX-N) 2-1. Cleveland will hope for a good result tomorrow and some help in Vegas in order to advance.
In the Blue Division, FC Pennsylvania Strikers (PA-E) defeated United FA 00 Premier (GA) 2-0, with the help of two Emily McNesby first half goals, and moved into first. In the other game, neither Tennessee SC 18 (TN) and Midwest United 00 Royal (MI) could find the back of the net and the teams remained tied 0-0 at the final whistle.
In the Under-17 Red Division, FC Kansas City Forte Elite (MO) defeated YMS Xplosion 98 (PA-E) 2-1 to keep the race for a top two spot tight as the Missouri side now sits just two points behind YMS. Kayla Devear, now tied for top goal scorer in the age group, scored the game’s first goal in the 62nd minute. Tess Rellihan added what would be the game winner in the 75th while YMS added their lone goal of the game just three minutes from the final whistle on an Allison Klei goal. Despite its first loss of the season, YMS can clinch the division title with a win on the final day of play.
In the other Red Division matchup, ABGC Annandale United FC 98 (VA) defeated Solar Chelsea 99 Elite (TX-N) to pick up its second win of the National League Season.
In the Blue Division, Sunrise Sting 98/99 (FL) saw a 3-0 lead slip away as Team Chicago Academy-Brasilia (IL) fought its way back to earn a 3-3 tie and keep its spot on top of the division. In the other game, Loudoun 98 Red (VA) picked up its first win of the season after defeating Lou Fusz – Wipke 1-0 as Genevieve Foster scored her first goal of the 2015-16 National League season.
NJ Stallions Dynamite remain a perfect 6-0-0 in Red Division play after defeating FC United Select 97/98 (IL) 3-0. In the other game, Maryland United Coyotes pick up its first loss of the season after losing 1-0 to defending National Champions Tampa Bay United 97 Premier (FL). Coyotes and Stallions will play tomorrow to determine the final top two standings between the teams.
In the Blue Division, Syracuse Development Academy 97/98 (NY-W) picked up its second straight win of the week with a 4-2 win over Michigan Jaguars 98 Green (MI). Syracuse will need a result tomorrow and lots of help in Vegas in order to finish in the top two. In the other game, VSA Elite 97 (VA) picked up its second win of the season after it earned a 6-0 victory over KCU Rangers 97/98 (KS).
National League action continues Friday, Jan. 2, at ESPN Wide World of Sports with games at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. 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.
Keep up with the National League all season:
National League Home: USYouthSoccer.org/National_League
Schedule and results: http://tournaments.usyouthsoccer.org/events/2015-16-National-League/