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TAMPA, Fla. (Dec. 30, 2019) — The 2019-20 US Youth Soccer National League Boys competing this week wrapped up their Winter Showcase event on Monday at the Tournament Sportsplex of Tampa Bay in Tampa, Fla.
All 14U Boys teams, along with the 15U-19U Boys sides who did not play in Tampa, will conclude their National League season by playing their final three games in March 13-15 in Las Vegas.
The National League features teams in the 14U-19U Boys and Girls age groups who all compete for a league title and a spot in the US Youth Soccer National Championships —meaning each and every league game will play into who represents the National League this coming summer in Overland Park, Kan.
The results in Tampa saw three boys teams — 16U PPA KSA 04 Pro-Profile (GA), 17U Baltimore Celtic 03 (MD) and 18U Baltimore Celtic 02 (MD) — clinch division titles, while one 19U side — FC Dallas 01 Premier (TX-N) — secured a top two finish. Thanks to those performances, each of those sides have secured a berth to the 2020 National Championships.
“This is our second year in the National League. Last year, we came up short by one point. This year, it feels really great to go all the way,” said Borfor Carr, coach of the KSA 04 side that won the 16U Black Division on Monday. “The boys are excited and I’m excited. This is what we work for. It’s a very tough competition, so to win this league it shows the guys are improving.”
The teams who punched tickets to Overland Park can now look ahead to the summer knowing they’ll be competing for a division title. Meanwhile, several of the National League teams who competed in Tampa will now wait for the results in Las Vegas to see how the division standings shake out.
While 19U FC Dallas will have an eye on the games in Las Vegas, the North Texas side knows it’s heading to Kansas after picking up a key result on Monday — guaranteeing it a top-two finish in the Blue Division. A draw against defending National Champion PPA KSA 01 Pro-Profile (GA) allowed FC Dallas to come away on top of the group, as it prevented the Georgia side from surpassing it in the standings.
“It’s fantastic being a part of a league like National League with the best teams in the country,” FC Dallas 01 coach Casey Cantor said. “When the schedule comes out, and you have the defending National Champs in your bracket — you know it’s going to be a fun one. They were our last game, so we knew today was going to be good.”
The event in Tampa also featured teams from the US Youth Soccer Conferences competing in showcase matches.
National League action will continue Jan. 10-12 in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., where half of the teams in the 15U-19U Girls age groups will compete in their second event of the season. 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 Monday’s matches…
- Ten of the 15 games in the age group were decided by two goals or less on Monday.
- Every team in the Black Division is very much alive for the title, as just four points separate first and eighth. La Roca S CS (UT), Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals 06 Boys Black (PA-E) and Alexandria 06B Red (VA) all have seven points to lead the division, while six teams are within two points of the top.
- SC Wave Juniors 06 Boys (WI) is the only team in the age group to start 4-0-0, as it leads the Blue Division with 12 points.
- Raiders FC - 2006 (IL) and NLS Ajax (MD) each have 10 points to lead the Red Division.
- Three teams — FC Europa Elite (PA-E), Riverside City FC B06 Academy (CA-S) and PPA KSA 06 Pro-Profile (GA) — have nine points to lead the White Division.
Washington Capital United 05 Blue (MD) needed a win Monday against Ukrainian Nationals 2005 Black (PA-E) to stay alive in the 15U Blue Division. Carlos Calderon Jr. took a pass from across the right and booted the ball past the keeper to give Washington the early 1-0 lead in the second minute. The rest of the game saw strong defensive efforts from both sides, but Washington’s lone goal was enough to secure the 1-0 win and allow the team to move into first place past idle Santa Clara Sporting 05B Green (CA-N).
With a 3-1 win over Michigan Jaguars 04 Green (MI) on Monday, PPA KSA 04 Pro-Profile (GA) secured the 16U Black Division title. Siem Beraki put the Georgia side in front with a 25th-minute goal, and Emanuel Michael doubled the KSA advantage with a strike just before halftime. Michael extended the lead to 3-0 in the 42nd minute before Benjamin Kalosa-Kenyon scored a late goal for the Jaguars to cap the scoring in the 3-1 KSA win.
Germantown Legends 04 Black (TN) came back from a second-half deficit to defeat Rise 04 NL (TX-S), 3-2, and move into first place in the 16U Blue Division. Jahir Escobar put Rise up in the ninth minute before Robert Jordan found the back of the net in the 14th minute to equalize for Germantown. Christian Castaneda helped Rise regain a lead with a goal early in the second half. However, Aaron O'Malley pulled Germantown even in the 53rd minute and Jordan netted his second goal of the game in 67th minute to give the Tennessee side a 3-2 win.
Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals 03 Black (PA-E) had a chance to clinch first place in the 17U White Division with a win on Monday, but KCSG Academy 03 (KS) had other ideas as it won, 5-1. The Kansas side took a 2-0 lead into halftime thanks to goals from Quinten Blair and Yahel Anderson. Henry Curnow made it 3-0 before Philadelphia went down to 10 men. Caden Caire followed up a shot off the bar and finished a half volley to add to the KCSG lead, while Brandon Curran curled home a left-footed effort to pull a goal back for Philadelphia. Anderson added his second goal late in the match to cap the victory. That result allowed OK Energy FC Central 03 (OK) to move into first place, as Cameron Little slid a shot inside the near post following a second-half corner kick to score the winning goal in Oklahoma’s 2-1 victory on Monday.
Monday saw a battle for the top spot in the 17U Blue Division when OESA-KY 03 Academy (KY) took on Solar 03B De Leon (TX-N). Coming into the match, OESA had 15 points to Solar’s 14. OESA’s Hunter Sekelsky struck first in the 20th minute when he found the back of the net. Stites Allen put OESA up 2-0 when he was able to tap the ball in from a deflected shot off the post. A strong defensive effort in the second half led to no goals being allowed by either side, as OESA held on for the shutout win. OESA will wait to see if its lead atop the division holds following the games in Las Vegas.
After winning the 17U Red Division on Sunday, Baltimore Celtic 03 (MD) completed a 7-0-0 season with a win on Monday.
Salvo SC/REV Academy 2002B Navy (MN) had a hard fought win against CT Rush Shoreline (CT) on Monday. After an exciting 83 minutes of end-to-end action with strong defensive efforts on both sides, Jacob Salmon gave Salvo the winning goal in the 84th minute when his shot on center goal was deflected off the foot of a defender and rolled past the reach of the keeper. With the 1-0 win, Salvo now stands alone in first place in the 18U Red Division but will need help in Las Vegas to hold on to its lead.
After winning the 18U Black Division on Sunday, Baltimore Celtic 02 (MD) completed a 7-0-0 season. Baltimore’s Spencer Hanks finished the season with 14 goals — the second-most in a single season by a male player in National League history.
With a trip to the National Championships on the line in the 19U Blue Division, first-place FC Dallas 01 Premier (TX-N) met second-place PPA KSA 01 Pro-Profile (GA) in their final game of the season. KSA pushed numbers forward on the attack throughout the opening 45 minutes and applied consistent pressure around the FC Dallas penalty area. However, the North Texas side remained organized and threatened on the counter attack to score the opening goal. FC Dallas managed to create more chances of its own in the second half and came close to taking a lead on multiple occasions — only to see several shots saved by KSA keeper Nestor Lacayo Gonzalez. A late KSA chance was hit over the crossbar, and FC Dallas hung on to secure the draw it needed to clinch a top-two finish in the Blue Division.
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/