The 17U Girls Black Division is a rare case of a group that is guaranteed to have the winner come from the teams playing in Las Vegas. Entering the final weekend of the season, Impact MN (UT) — which has three games remaining — is sitting in first place with 12 points. The Utah side won all four of its matches in North Carolina to build a lead in the standings and maintained that position after half of the division competed in Lakewood Ranch.
While Impact MN had the strongest opening week of the season, each of the three other teams competing in Las Vegas are still in position to challenge for the division title. That includes two other unbeaten teams in Sunrise Prime 2003 X1 (FL) and Legends FC G03 Premier (CA-S). Sunrise just two points behind Impact MN, as the Florida side picked up three wins and a draw from its opening four matches. Meanwhile, Legends FC has eight points in the standings after securing two wins and two draws during play in North Carolina.
Indy Premier 03G Elite I (IN) is also in contention for the Black Division title, as it heads to Las Vegas with seven points in the standings. Indy Premier showcased strong attacking prowess in its first four games, helping it to the second-best goal differential — behind only division leader Impact MN. With each of the teams competing in Las Vegas still very much alive in the pursuit of first place, the Black Division should have an exciting final weekend of play.
Game to Watch
March 21, Impact MN (UT) vs. Sunrise Prime 2003 X1 (FL)
All six games within the Black Division have the chance to be that one that — when looking back on the weekend — prove to be the key deciding factor in the title race. If any team is going to overtake current leader Impact MN, the Utah side will need to drop points. Sunrise Prime enters the weekend as the closest challenger, and it could potentially overtake Impact MN in the standings with a win in this matchup. The outcome of this match will either see the group standings become even more compact — with several teams in title contention prior to the final day of play — or have one of the teams pull away from the pack and become a title favorite.
It looks like the winner of the 17U Girls Blue Division will be determined on the field in Las Vegas, as three of the sides playing in March are in contention for the title. Of the four teams playing in Las Vegas, three have unbeaten records through their first four games of the season. Whichever team can regain its form from earlier in the season may be the one that winds up on top of the standings at the conclusion of the season.
CUP 03 NL (OH-S) and Legends FC East Corona 03 (CA-S) are in the most optimal positions to contend for the division title. The two sides each compiled three wins and a draw during play in North Carolina, giving them 10 points apiece in the standings. That is just one point behind the current leader, PSA National 03 (NJ), which finished its season in Lakewood Ranch. Neither CUP nor Legends was overly dominant during the opening week of the season, but they each showed a great ability to pick up points in close matches.
Add in defending Blue Division winner San Diego Soccer Club Academy-Navy (CA-S), and the games in Las Vegas figure to continue that trend of down-to-the-wire contests. The Cal South side — which had six points — is no stranger to close games, as it played to three scoreless draws in North Carolina, along with one win. San Diego’s defensive battles show the heightened value of every goal, and that should hold true when the teams face off in Las Vegas.
Game to Watch
March 21, Legends FC East Corona G03 (CA-S) vs. CUP 03 NL (OH-S)
These two teams enter the final event even in the standings, and there is a possibility they’re the top two teams in the table when they meet on the second day of play in Las Vegas. Their early results are nearly identical across the board, so this figures to be an even match. If either Legends or CUP is able to come away with a victory, that team will likely be in control of the group heading into the final day of the season. A draw would allow San Diego SC to have an opportunity to pull closer to them and add extra title-clinching scenarios to Sunday’s matches.
With 14 points from its seven games, Keystone FC Premier 03 (PA-E) is currently in first place in the 17U Girls Red Division. The Eastern PA side has a small cushion between it and the teams with games left to play, but it will need a little bit of luck with the remaining results in order to maintain its place on top of the division.
LVSA 03 NL (NV) is the closest challenger, as it is four points back of Keystone with three games left to play. The Nevada side, which will be playing in its hometown, has a plus-10 goal differential. That could come into play if tiebreakers come into play with Keystone. Beadling 2003 Showcase (PA-W) is right behind LVSA with nine points in the standings. Beadling’s lone loss came to Keystone, so the PA West side will likely need at least two wins in Las Vegas to have a shot at the division title. The strong starts to the season give both LVSA and Beadling a little room for error during play in Las Vegas, but they’ll each need to be on top of their game to climb the standings.
After picking up seven points via two wins and a draw in North Carolina, GPS LA G03 Red (CA-S) is also in contention for the division title. To do so, it has to make up the seven-point differential between it and Keystone while also catching LVSA and Beadling. The Cal South side does have the advantage of being the only team of the three to beat Keystone, so it would own that tiebreaker if it came into play.
Game to Watch
March 21, LVSA 03 National League (NV) vs. Beadling 2003 Showcase Team (PA-W)
Of the three teams with a chance to move into first place during play in Las Vegas, LVSA and Beadling are the closest to the top of the standings. Just one point separates the two sides heading into the weekend, and there’s a chance this match could see one of the two teams make the move into first place with a win. Each game during the first couple days in Las Vegas should have an impact on the division title pursuit, but this one looks certain to have an added influence in determining which team eventually claims first place.
The top spots in the 17U Girls White Division are all finalized after some strong performances by the teams who wrapped up their seasons in Lakewood Ranch. Lou Fusz 03 Blue - McKee/McVey (MO) won the White Division for the second straight season, as it ran the table to go 7-0-0. In doing so, Lou Fusz set a new National League record for goals in a season by a team (boys or girls) by netting 38. With the ticket to the National Championships secured, Lou Fusz will head back to Overland Park, Kan., where it will have a chance to defend the National title that it claimed in 2019.
Despite the historic campaign by Lou Fusz, it was 25 minutes away from a second-place finish, as it trailed Cleveland FC 03 Royal (OH-N) by a goal late in their final game in Lakewood Ranch. The Missouri side fought back for the win to complete its perfect season, while Cleveland FC finished the year with 15 points in the standings — enough to secure a second-place finish. That allows Cleveland FC to earn the division’s second qualifying spot for next year’s National League.
Game to Watch
March 20, Arsenal Colorado Academy 2003 (CO) vs. LASC OUFC 03G (OR)
Arsenal Colorado and LASC OUFC will have the chance to build some momentum for both the remainder of the Las Vegas weekend and for competitions later in the spring and summer. Both sides attended the Far West Regional Championships a year ago, and Arsenal Colorado compiled an unbeaten group stage before advancing to the final match. This match presents each side with a chance to test itself against an in-region foe, which could prove beneficial moving forward.