SALT LAKE CITY (April 14, 2021) — The final event of the 2020-21 US Youth Soccer Desert Conference season featured games in the 14U-19U Girls and 15U-19U Boys age groups, as teams competed at the Regional Athletic Complex in Salt Lake City.
The weekend’s action saw six teams wrap up strong seasons by securing first-place finishes in their respective divisions. In addition to Desert Conference titles, the sides competing in Salt Lake City fought for berths to the 2021 USYS Far West Regional Championships and for automatic qualifying slots for the 2021-22 season of National League P.R.O.
The teams that secured Desert Conference titles during this past weekend include: 16U Boys Players 05 Elite (NV), 18U Boys LVSA 03 Silver (NV), 15U Girls Broomfield Blast SC 06 Prestige (CO), 16U Girls Avalanche 05 Black DW (UT), 17U Girls Utah Celtic FC 04 (UT) and 18U Girls Impact MN (UT).
In the 16U Girls age group, Avalanche 05 Black DW (UT) secured a first-place finish in a weekend that illustrated just how close the competition in National League Conferences can be. The Utah side won all four of its games in Salt Lake City, with each coming by a one-goal margin. Utah Avalanche executive director David Newman said the team has been focused on the Desert Conference and they were “thrilled” to be able to compete after a challenging year.
“Because the competition in our age group is super strong — to be able to win it, we feel is a real achievement,” Newman said. “To be able to return to Regionals again was a huge motivator for all of us. To have achieved this through the Desert Conference makes us all very happy, and we can focus on State Cup with one less pressure than we had before.
“Qualification to National League P.R.O. is a huge bonus. We have looked on with envy as a team and a club, and we are super excited to take our place next year. This gives a huge opportunity to our players to showcase themselves with many having East Coast college aspirations.”
The 16U Boys age group also featured a tight match that determined the Conference winner. Players 05 Elite Boys (NV) secured a 1-1 draw against Tuzos Academy 05 (AZ) in its lone game of the weekend to secure a first-place finish in the division. That result became necessary for the Nevada side after Tuzos won its first game of the weekend and could have overtaken Players with a victory in their matchup.
“It means a lot to the boys, especially winning the competition for the second time in row. I’m really proud of them, as they sacrificed a lot during these challenging times,” Players coach Boris Gujic said. “Qualifying for the Far West Regionals and National League P.R.O. is a great achievement that gives us a great opportunity to showcase our talent and compete against best in the region and at the national level. The boys are very excited about that.”
In addition to the teams that secured Desert Conference titles, four sides secured top-two finishes during the Salt Lake City weekend that allowed them to earn automatic qualification for the 2021-22 season of National League P.R.O. Those teams include 16U Boys Tuzos Academy 05 (AZ), 18U Boys USA Premier 03 - JP (UT), 17U Girls Select FC 04 (NV) and 18U Girls Wasatch SC 03 LD (UT).
For more information on the Desert Conference, including schedules, scores, and standings, click here.
For more information on all of the National League Conferences, the National League Showcase Series and the National League Playoffs, click here.