The 19U Girls Blue Division title was decided in Lakewood Ranch, where 1776 United FC 01 Xtreme (PA-E) finished its season with 18 points to secure a first-place finish. The Eastern PA side recorded shutouts in four of its six victories while outscoring its opponents, 28-to-8, over the course of the season. With 1776 United owning the division title, there is still a berth to the National Championships on the line for the side the finishes in second place.
The lone loss for 1776 United came in Lakewood Ranch against Nationals Union 01 Black (MI), which completed a strong season of its own. After being a bit shorthanded in North Carolina, the Michigan side capped its season with three decisive wins in Florida to position itself in second place. Nationals Union will now have to wait and see if its 16 points is enough to maintain that spot after the remaining teams play in Las Vegas.
Kentucky Fire Juniors G01 Premier Red (KY) leads a pair of teams that have the ability to move into second place during the Las Vegas weekend. The Kentucky side is seven points back of Nationals Union and holds the head-to-head tiebreaker thanks to a 3-2 win when the teams met in North Carolina. That could prove important if the teams finish even at 16 points in the standings.
With seven points in the standings ahead of the final event, Utah Celtic FC 01 (UT) also has the ability to catch Nationals Union if it can win each of its remaining games. However, Celtic will need to match the Michigan side’s impressive goal differential to gain an edge in the potential tiebreaker.
Game to Watch
March 22, Utah Celtic FC 01 (UT) vs. Kentucky Fire Juniors 01 Premier Red (KY)
When these two teams meet on the final day of the season, it’s possible that a berth to the National Championships could be on the line. If Kentucky Fire is still in contention for second place, its results during the first two days will determine whether it’s looking for a win or draw in this match. On the other hand, Utah Celtic will be aiming to win each game in Las Vegas during its pursuit for second place. No matter what is at stake in this game, the teams’ earlier performances this season suggest it will be a close matchup.
The top two spots in the 19U Girls Red Division — along with the accompanying berths to the National Championships — are still up for grabs, and each of the teams playing in Las Vegas are in play for them. JB Marine Schneider (MO), which finished its season in Lakewood Ranch, is currently on top of the standings but will have to see if its 13 points are enough to hold on to one of the top spots.
A pair of teams — La Roca PO (UT) and Dallas Texans Red (TX-N) — have 10 points entering the Las Vegas weekend, as each secured three wins and a draw during play in North Carolina. Each team earned a win against JB Marine, so a single win in Las Vegas would allow either to move ahead of the current leader. La Roca has a slight edge over Dallas in goal differential, as the Utah side conceded just three goals during its first four matches. That could come into play, but there’s a lot of soccer to be played before tiebreakers could potentially play a factor.
TFA Elite 01 (OH-S) is also unbeaten, as it earned eight points from two wins and two draws. The Ohio South side won the White Division last season, so it has experience successfully navigating a full National League season. TFA had the stingiest defense of any team in the division during the North Carolina event, and a similar showing in Las Vegas could help it climb the standings and contend for a top-two finish.
With four points in the standings, Santa Monica United FC (CA-S) is capable of catching some of the teams positioned above it. The Cal South side will likely need to win each of its remaining games and get some help in other matches to earn a top-two finish.
Game to Watch
March 21, La Roca PO (UT) vs. TFA Elite 01 (OH-S)
La Roca and the Dallas Texans play a match on the first day in Vegas that will also have a big impact on the top of the division. But this game on Saturday will present TFA with its first shot at taking some points from the two teams beginning the week ahead of it in the standings. Depending on the first day’s results, TFA could enter this match behind, even with, or ahead of La Roca in the group table, so either team could find itself as the aggressor and looking for all three points. La Roca and TFA earned six points and seven points, respectively, in Las Vegas last season, so they each know what it takes for a strong finish to a National League campaign.