KC Legends KCL Academy Red 2009 NL (KS) 3-2 Solar Soccer Club Solar 10G Grado (NTX)
Solar 10G Grado had most of the possession in the opening minutes and came extremely close to opening the scoring. Quinn Mack had the game’s first chance in the 8th minute, but Mia Terrazas, a defender who filled in for the injured Emily Izatt as the Kansas side’s goalkeeper, was able to keep it level.
KC Legends settled in after the early scare, though, and even jumped out to the lead after Jacy Hackler converted a chance in the 11th minute to break the deadlock.
It was a back-and-forth affair for most of the opening half's duration, but Taylor Bealmear added the team’s second in the 32nd minute, a clinical shot from 25 yards out that beat the keeper, and it looked like they might run away with it.
Solar 10G Grado came out of the break ready to fight, though, and brought one back four minutes into the second half – a Brynlie Ward finish after a scramble from a free-kick, and the game was ripped open.
Both teams had chances throughout the second half, but the score remained level until the 68th minute, when Hackler added her second of the game, and ninth of the tournament, as a much-needed insurance goal. It proved vital instantly, as Mattilyn Gibson did her best to bring the North Texas side back into the game in stoppage time when she added a goal of her own. The Kansas side saw this one out, though, and was crowned National Champions.
Matt Iverson, head coach of the KC Legends, talked about the heart and character of his side.
“I know that they’re excited about it,” Iverson said. “They’ve been great role models to our younger teams in the club and I think everybody in the club, in Kansas City, is looking at us as a model for what we can achieve. They’ve done this with respect, they’ve done this with a great attitude the whole time, and they deserve all the credit.”
Imperial Soccer Club 09B (STX) 1-2 Boca Orange County Boca OC B09 RW USL Academy (CA-S)
Imperial SC 09B and Boca Orange County B09 came into the National Championship having drawn against each other in the group’s first match.
The Cal-South side started the match with its usual 3-5-2 formation, while Imperial ran its 4-3-3. Joaquin Chavez almost had the game’s opener in the 7th minute, coming close after a shot from 35 yards out almost found the back of the net.
This match was contested in the midfield for much of the first half, with both teams trying to find the right passes, and often coming close. Chavez got his goal, and the game's first, in the 24th minute, a stunning free kick that the South Texas keeper had no chance at saving. Imperial SC 09B didn’t let the deficit last long, though, and leveled the game seven minutes later. Sebastian Guerra, their main man up front, leveled the game after pouncing on a ball in the box, and this final went into the break tied.
Imperial SC 09B and Boca Orange County B09 gave viewers one of the most entertaining halves possible, with near goals happening every minute, but neither team could break the deadlock. Chavez almost won it for the South Texas side in regulation’s dying seconds, a shot from distance that bounced right in front of Ayden Patel, but the Boca County goalkeeper made the stop and pushed this one to extra time.
Boca County B09 came out of the gates swinging in the extra period and had multiple chances to find the winner. Isaac Ortiz Soto hit the post in the 74th minute, and some nice link-up play after a set piece almost proved clinical, but it looked like this match might head into penalty kicks until the 86th minute, when Westin Aryana scored and send his team into a frenzy.
Imperial SC 09B pushed forward for the remaining four minutes but ultimately couldn’t break down the tough Cal-South side’s defense.
David Arvizu, head coach of Boca Orange County B09, described what his team winning the National Championship meant to him.
“It’s indescribable,” Arvizu said. “I can’t even begin to describe what I’m feeling right now, and I’m blessed and honored to be where I’m at. I’m honored to be working with such a great group of boys and I’m at a loss for words. It’s been quite a journey, an amazing year for these boys, and it’s been unbelievable.”
About the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series
The US Youth Soccer (USYS) National Championship Series provides more than 10,000 teams from USYS’s 54 State Associations the opportunity to showcase their abilities against the best in the nation, while emphasizing teamwork, discipline, and fair play. The yearlong competition begins with over 185,000 players in the USYS State Championships. State champions, along with selected representatives from the USYS National League Conferences, advance to compete in one of four USYS Regional Championships. In each gender age group, the four USYS Regional Champions, along with 12 qualifiers from USYS National League P.R.O. in the 14U-19U age groups, compete for the ultimate crown at the USYS National Championships. Overall, the USYS National Championship Series provides the nation’s top collegiate coaches with the premier stage to identify and scout the most coveted players in the country. For more information, visit https://www.usyouthsoccer.org/national-championship-series/.
About the United States Youth Soccer Association (US Youth Soccer)
US Youth Soccer
, the largest youth sport organization in the country, is on a mission to provide world-class support, resources, and leadership, helping every member fulfill their goals on and off the field of play. US Youth Soccer registers nearly 2.5 million players annually. Through its programming, resources and leadership, US Youth Soccer is advancing the game for its 54 Member State Associations, 10,000 clubs and leagues and nearly 1 million administrators, coaches, and volunteers. US Youth Soccer connects families and communities to the power of sports and its shared love of soccer. US Youth Soccer provides a path for every player, offering programs that provide a fun, safe and healthy environment for players at every level of the game.