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TAMPA, Fla. (Dec. 29, 2019) — The 2019-20 US Youth Soccer National League Boys showcased their talents in meaningful and competitive matches Sunday at the Tournament Sportsplex of Tampa Bay in Tampa, Fla. The teams competing in Tampa will wrap up the Boys Winter Showcase on Monday, as they each play their final game of the event.
The 15U-19U National League Boys teams competing in Tampa each played their sixth games of the season on Sunday, as those teams have just one more match remaining in their 2019-20 league seasons.
The first two division titles of the season were clinched on Sunday, as Baltimore Celtic 03 (MD) secured the 17U Red Division title and Baltimore Celtic 02 (MD) clinched the 18U Black Division title.
“To win the National League division title — it becomes a grind through each event,” said Miles Vaughn, coach of the 18U Baltimore Celtic team. “For our boys, each game presented a different challenge. For them to be able to adjust to those things and still come out on top of the division is a great testament to their work.”
The two National League titles for Baltimore Celtic give it seven all-time as a club, which is the most all-time for a boys club in league history.
Along with the division titles, the Baltimore sides have secured their tickets to the 2020 National Championships in Overland Park, Kan. Many other teams competing this week are looking to do the same, and a few more sides have chances secure berths to Nationals with results on Monday.
“Coming out of the National League and earning qualification to be able to go to Kansas City — it really prepares you well for the National Championships this summer,” Vaughn said. “The games here are very competitive, so those become a great testing ground for the summer.”
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.
The event in Tampa also features teams from the US Youth Soccer Conferences competing in showcase matches.
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 Monday, Dec. 30, 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 Sunday’s matches…
- Eleven of the 15 games in the age group were decided by two goals or less on Sunday.
- The Black Division is the only one in the 14U age group with no 3-0-0 teams, as La Roca S CS (UT) and Alexandria 06B Red (VA) sit atop the division with seven points each.
- SC Wave Juniors 06 Boys (WI) is the only 3-0-0 team in the Blue Division, as it sits atop the standings. Raiders FC - 2006 (IL) and Real JFC 2006 Boys (NJ) each have nine points in the Red Division, while Riverside City FC B06 Academy (CA-S) and PPA KSA 06 Pro-Profile (GA) have nine points in the White Division.
- Defending National Champion 2006 Pipeline SC Pre-Academy (MD) is the only team in the age group that has yet to allow a goal against this season. However, the Maryland side dropped its first points of the season on Sunday in a scoreless draw against Nationals Union 06 Boys Black (MI).
- Pedro Gonzalez of La Roca S CS (UT) scored once on Sunday and continues to lead the age group in scoring with seven goals through three games.
Bethesda SC Blue (MD) used a decisive win against Galaxy SC 2005 Blue (IL) on Sunday to move into first place in the 15U Red Division. Bethesda’s Kristian Fletcher caused trouble for Galaxy SC throughout the match, and he opened the scoring in the 21st minute when he slid a shot past the keeper and inside the right post. Fletcher scored once more before halftime to give the Maryland side a 2-0 advantage at halftime. Two more fletcher tallies, along with a late goal from Shahin Sanchez Seyeddi, helped Bethesda to a comfortable win.
Future SA 05 (NJ) moved into first place, past idle USA Premier 05 Angeletti (UT), in the 15U White Division with a hard fought win over TUSC 05 Red (TN). Nelson Sandoval put TUSC ahead 1-0 with a tally in the 21st minute, but Future quickly responded with goals by Enzo Yu and Leonard Lleshaj before the first half came to a close. With strong defensive play by both teams, no goals were scored in the second half allowing Future to hold on for the 2-1 win.
PPA KSA 04 Pro-Profile (GA) had a chance to win the 16U Black Division with a victory or tie on Sunday, but it fell, 2-0, in a matchup against second-place 2004 PDA Hibernian Modric (NJ). PDA went ahead in the 24th minute on a Jake Homowitz goal, and the New Jersey side grabbed a 2-0 lead when Aiden Hoenisch found the back of the net in the 52nd minute. Despite plenty of possession in the attacking half, KSA couldn’t manage to break down an organized PDA defense, as PDA held on for the 2-0 win. KSA hold a two-point lead over PDA in the standings, as the sides each have one game remaining in the season.
Pipeline Pre Academy (MD) fended off second-place Oklahoma Energy FC 04 Central (OK) to hold on to the top spot in the 16U Red Division with a 2-1 victory. Jimmy Cabrera struck first to give Oklahoma a lead in the 28th minute that it would hold on to going into the second half. Jeremiah Windsor responded quickly for Pipeline in the second half when he put one in the back of the net in the 47th minute to tie the game up. After some exciting end-to-end action, Pipeline’s Jacob Murrell scored the winning goal in the 78th minute.
OESA-KY 03 Academy (KY) held on to first place in the 17U Blue Division with a close win against HMMS Eagle FC (PA-E). OESA’s Dino Hodzic put the Kentucky side up in the first half with two goals in the 18th and 25th minutes. Luke Johnson responded for HMMS by scoring in the 31st minute to send the teams into the half with a score of 2-1. An exciting back-and-forth second half saw Zachary Blocher tie the game up in the 58th minute, but it was not enough as Hodzic completed his hat trick when he found the back of the net in the 87th minute — giving OESA a 3-2 win.
The 17U Red Division crowned its champion when Baltimore Celtic Premier (MD) defeated FC Dallas Premier (TX-N), 3-1, to improve to 6-0-0 on the season. William Baker struck first with a goal in the 4th minute to put FC Dallas up 1-0. Baltimore didn’t stay down for long as Van Danielson cut across the box and launched the ball past the keeper in the 19th minute. Baltimore remained on the attack for the rest of the match with goals by Kwaku Marfo-Sarbeng and Miles Lam in the 34th and 53rd minutes.
NJ Stallions Juve (NJ) became one of five teams within a point of the top of the 18U Blue Division after picking up a 3-2 win over TSC 02 Boys Showcase Nashville (TN) on Sunday. Marco Colasurdo put the Stallions in front in the 29th minute when he took a cross from the left wing and finished from in front of goal. Nicholas Zielonka doubled the New Jersey lead shortly after halftime before Harrison Watts pulled a goal back for TSC, which had a chance to move into first place with a win. Zielonka scored his second goal of the match to put the Stallions up, 3-1, and that proved to be the winner following a late tally by TSC’s Niyubuntu Claude.
In the 19U Red Division, Solar 01 Stricker (TX-N) moved closer to the top two with a 6-2 win against LGN United (NY-E) on Sunday. Solar fell behind early when Olsen Aluc netted a goal to give LGN a 4th-minute lead. Samuel Coad immediately replied for Solar, and the North Texas side grabbed a lead in the 17th minute when Justin Barnett found the back of the net. Jack Sissen, Kaleem Shabout and Coad added strikes to extend the Solar advantage to four goals after an hour of play. Aluc pulled LGN closer with his second goal of the game, but Bryson Bezdek added goal for Solar in the final minute to cap the victory.
The 19U Blue Division will see a top-two spot decided on Monday, when FC Dallas 01 Premier (TX-N) and PPA KSA 01 Pro-Profile (GA) face off.
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/