The four 15U Boys Black Division teams who are competing in Las Vegas are each still in the hunt for a first-place finish. However, Olympiacos FC B05 Academy (CA-S) and Players SC 2005 Boys Elite (NV) each have an inside track on the division title, as they both began their seasons 4-0-0. Those performances have put the teams just one point behind current group leader 05 PGSA Stars (NC), which finished its season in Florida with a 4-2-1 record.
Olympiacos FC compiled its four wins using an attack that is on pace to set the National League record for goals scored by a team in a single season. Meanwhile, Players SC showcased an ability to come away with wins in tight games, as three of its four victories came by one-goal margins. No matter the style of wins, both teams have put themselves in good positions to contend for the Black Division title.
Real Jersey FC (NJ) and Raiders FC - 2005 (IL) each have six points in the standings with three games left to play. They still have the ability to pass Olympiacos FC and Players SC, but they will need to win each game in Vegas and get some help from the results of the other contests.
Game to Watch
March 15, Players SC 2005 Boys Elite (NV) vs. Olympiacos FC B05 Academy (CA-S)
This is a pretty straightforward choice, as Players SC and Olympiacos FC enter the final week of the season with perfect 4-0-0 records. Barring any significant hiccup by either team, this game could present a winner-take-all scenario in the hunt for the division title. The Cal South side has shown it can be potent offensively, but Players SC also had a strong showing to begin the season and will be playing in its hometown.
The teams in the 15U Boys Blue Division will be chasing Washington Capital United 05 Blue (MD), which won all three of its games in Tampa to move to 15 points in the standings. The Maryland side will need to wait and see if that total holds up, as a couple of the teams with games left to play are within striking distance.
Santa Clara Sporting 05 Green (CA-N) is just three points behind the group leader, as the Cal North side won all four of its games to open its season. Santa Clara outscored its opponents, 18-to-2, during the opening week of the season, and it secured a win against Washington Capital. With that head-to-head victory, Santa Clara has the opportunity to move to the top of the standings with a single win in Las Vegas.
Just two points behind Santa Clara, Pennine United 05 (OH-N) is also in contention for the Blue Division title. The Ohio North side played to a tie in its season opener before reeling off three straight wins, including a victory against Washington Capital. Pennine will need to overtake Santa Clara during the final weekend in order to finish in first place.
Game to Watch
March 14, Santa Clara Sporting 05B Green (CA-N) vs. Pennine United 05 (OH-N)
It’s very possible this match determines the Blue Division winner. Regardless of Friday’s results, this match will have an impact on the title race. Santa Clara has the advantage of taking a two-point lead over Pennine into the final weekend of the season. Should that gap hold after the first day of play, the Cal North side will be looking for either a win or a draw in this match. Pennine may need to push for a win, which could lead to an open game that has scoring chances on either end.
Four teams are still alive in the pursuit of the 15U Boys Red Division title. One of those sides, Bethesda SC Blue (MD), has completed its season and is currently in first place with 16 points in the standings. That total gives Bethesda a six-point advantage over the nearest challenger, and it will need to keep an eye on the results in Las Vegas to see if that proves to be enough.
With three wins and a draw from its matches in Panama City Beach, LVSA 05 Red (NV) compiled a strong total of 10 points to begin its season. The Nevada side owns a win against Bethesda, which could prove to be important should tiebreakers come into play. LVSA will need to get at least two wins to catch Bethesda in the standings.
Celtic Academy Harps (CA-S) and KHA 05 Red (KY) have nine and seven points, respectively, but both sides dropped their match against Bethesda. Celtic will need to win all three of its games to pass Bethesda and clinch the title, or it will need to reach 16 points and hope a three-way tiebreaker goes its way. Meanwhile, KHA must also hope for a tiebreaker scenario, but it will first need to win all three of its games to get to that point.
Game to Watch
March 15, LVSA 05 Red (NV) vs. Celtic Academy Harps (CA-S)
Getting to 16 points in the standings is the goal for all of the contending teams playing in Las Vegas. It’s possible LVSA could accomplish that feat on Saturday, but there may still be work to do in this match. All of LVSA’s games have featured close results, and they’ll have to continue to secure hard-earned points to climb to the top of the standings. Meanwhile, outside of its narrow defeat to Bethesda, Celtic was dominant during its opening week of the season. A similar showing in Las Vegas could put the Cal South side in position to challenge for the division title in this match.
Three wins in Tampa helped Future SA 05 (NJ) build a lead at the top of the 15U Boys White Division. In all, the New Jersey side compiled five wins and a draw from its seven league games to put itself in position to finish at or near the top of the standings. It will need to wait for the dust to clear in Las Vegas to see if it can hang on to first place.
Of the few teams in striking distance of Future SA, USA Premier 05 Angeletti (UT) is the best situated to make a run at the division title. The Utah side handed Future SA its only loss of the season in a 1-0 win when the teams met in Panama City Beach. That victory capped a 4-0-0 start for USA Premier, as it is just four points out of first place with three games left to play.
Libertyville FC 1974 Elite (IL) is also unbeaten, as it started its season with three wins and a draw. The Illinois side has a shot to compete for the division title, as it heads to Las Vegas six points out of first place and two points behind USA Premier. Meanwhile, DKSC 05 Carrillo (TX-N) has a 3-1-0 record, with its lone blemish being a close loss to Future SA. It will likely need to win all three games in Las Vegas to clinch the White Division title.
Game to Watch
March 15, Libertyville FC 1974 Elite (IL) vs. DKSC 05 Carrillo (TX-N)
These two teams are looking up at both Future SA and USA Premier in the standings. This match on the opening day of play in Las Vegas could decide whether Libertyville or DKSC is in the best position to challenge USA Premier heading into the weekend. It’s always important to start an event strong, and a win in this match would allow the victor to stay on pace to contend for the top spot in the division, while creating a bit of separation in the standings from its opponent.