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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 11, 2019) — Some of the top teams in the country showcased their talent on Wednesday, as several energetic matchups marked the beginning of the US Youth Soccer National League season for all 17U-19U Boys teams.
The opening event of the National League Boys season will continue on Thursday, when the 15U and 16U Boys teams will join the older age groups in taking to the fields in Panama City Beach, Fla. All teams competing this week will play the first four games of their National League season.
National League teams earn their place in the league based on a proven track record of success in US Youth Soccer’s top competitive programs and are among the nation's best. Competing for a league title and a spot in the US Youth Soccer National Championships, each and every game will play into who represents the National League this coming summer in Overland Park, Kan.
More than 100 college coaches lined the sidelines on Wednesday and more are expected to attend this National League event to scout some of the top teams and players in the country. The competitive level of each game adds to player evaluation, as every team has to earn its place in the league, regardless of location or club affiliation.
“The National League is a great platform for our guys,” said Kalamazoo Kingdom SC 03 Red (MI) coach Chad Wiseman following his team’s 1-1 draw against Lake Grove Newfield Dynamite 2003 (NY-E).
“We get to play against other clubs from different regions that have different styles and come from different climates — essentially, challenge ourselves against some of the best club players in the United States. That’s a great opportunity for our guys.”
The 14U Boys teams will play their first games Dec. 27-30 in Tampa, Fla. All National League Girls teams previously played their first four games of the season in November or early December.
National League action will continue Thursday, Dec. 12, with the 15U-19U Boys teams in action. 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 notes from Wednesday’s matches…
- Ten of the 16 games in the 17U Boys age group were decided by two goals or less.
- Two teams coming off division titles last season — SLSG 2003 Elite (MO) and Baltimore Celtic Premier (MD) — earned shutout wins on Wednesday. Just one other team, Solar 03B De Leon (TX-N), secured a clean sheet victory.
- Jean Malilo of PPA KSA 03 Pro-Profile (GA) netted four goals in the second half on Wednesday to help his team pull away for a win. He currently leads the age group in scoring.
- Christopher Hackley of Phila. Ukrainian Nationals 03 Black (PA-E) netted a hat trick on Wednesday to help his side to a 3-3 draw against last year’s White Division winner, Beadling 2003 Boys Showcase (PA-W).
- Twelve of the 16 games in the 18U Boys age group were decided by two goals or less.
- Two of the four defending National League division winners — Arlington SA 2002 Red (VA) and Solar 02 Castro (TX-N) — came away with wins on Wednesday.
- No players netted a hat trick on the opening day of the season, but 10 different players recorded two goals each.
- Six of the eight games in the 19U Boys age group were decided by two goals for less.
- Four of the seven victors used strong defensive efforts to secure shutout victories.
- Carl Henry Desir of PPA KSA 01 Pro-Profile (GA) and Dane Harmaty of LVU-FPA 2001 Boys Black (PA-E) were the only players to record two goals in the age group, as each helped their teams to wins.
- PPA KSA 01 Pro-Profile (GA) was the only one of the four National League division winners from last year to come away with a win on Wednesday.
Keep up with the National League all season:
National League Home: USYouthSoccer.org/National_League
Schedule and results: https://www.usyouthsoccer.org/tournaments/2019-20-national-league/