PHOENIX — The second event of the 2019-20 season for the US Youth Soccer National League Desert Conference is in the books. A few teams separated themselves from the pack, while several age groups feature tight standings that look to be going to down to the wire and won’t be decided until the Desert Conference’s final event of the season, Feb. 28 to March 1 in Las Vegas.
Below are recaps from the second event of the season.
It was another stellar weekend for Players SC 2008 Girls Elite (NV), who won all three matches while holding opponents scoreless. Just behind Players SC by three points are two Arizona clubs, Phoenix Rising FC Youth Soccer Scottsdale 08G and RSL-AZ North 08 Girls. While they are playing catchup to the group leaders, they'll need some help in the final conference weekend as Players SC previously defeated both Arizona clubs in September.
Last year's group winner, Wasatch SC 07G (UT), continued its excellent run in Desert Conference play with three victories, including an incredible come-from-behind victory over Rio Rapids SC 07G (NM). Just two points behind in RSL AZ North 07 Girls who earned scene points in three matches. These two teams will square off in a potential match that will determine the group winner at the final conference weekend event in Las Vegas.
Utah Soccer Alliance G06 (UT) kept their winning streak alive in Phoenix with two key victories. They now sit at the top of the group with a perfect 5-0-0 record and zero goals conceded. They also have a game-in-hand against Arsenal Colorado 06G (CO) and Broomfield Blast SC 06G (CO) who are both tied for second with 13 points.
Two teams sit perfect at the top as both Sparta United 05G (UT) and Rio Rapids SC 05 (NM) won all three matches this past weekend. Sparta United does have a slight edge thanks to a strong offensive attack that earned them 12 goals. Looking to keep pace with the group leaders at the next conference event weekend is Broomfield Blast SC 05 (CO) and FC Boulder Academy 05G (CO) who each won two matches while suffering a loss.
It's tight at the top with Utah Celtic FC 04 (UT) and Rio Rapids 04G (NM) finishing out the weekend with seven points each. However, trailing them by one point is AZ Inferno 04 Girls (AZ), who bounced back to earn victories on Saturday and Sunday after suffering an opening loss on Friday.
Last year's group winners, LVSA 03 Girls National League (NV), showed why they are the team to beat with one of the strongest performances on the weekend. They won all three matches while scoring 13 goals and conceding zero. However, last year's runner-up, Impact United MN (UT), also turned in a good weekend with victories in both matches. Another team to keep an eye on in this group is LVSA 03 Girls White (NV) who earned six points in three matches.
Only half of the six teams competed in Phoenix, and Players SC 02 Elite (NV) are currently at the top with six points.
The top two teams from last year both turned in great weekends in Phoenix. Defending champs, Utah Celtic FC (UT), coasted through their three matches with 13 goals scored and zero conceded while last year's runner-up, La Roca Futbol (UT), also breezed through their three matches as well. Trailing both clubs by two points is SC del Sol 02 Girls (AZ) who earned back-to-back victories after earning a draw on Friday.
In the always competitive 12U Boys group, La Roca South 08 (UT) sits at the top with another strong weekend where they earned seven points and conceded zero goals in three matches. Trailing La Roca South 08 by three points is SC del Sol 08 Boys (AZ) and by four points in Rangers FC Utah (UT). Things will get interesting at the final conference event in Las Vegas La Roca South have yet to play either team.
Two teams at the top have separated themselves from the pack as last year's champions, FBSL Tuzos (AZ), and La Roca FC (UT) have won all six matches played. They have also displayed an incredible goal-scoring acumen with 28 and 25 goals scored, respectively. While these two teams will square off in a potential group winner match, both teams will have to keep an eye out for Albion SCLV 2007 (NV) who have won five matches while suffering one loss. Some help, and Albion, who have yet to play Tuzos can make a run at the group title in Las Vegas.
La Roca s 06 (UT), defending championships, extended their group lead this weekend with three victories in three matches. They hold a five-point advantage over second place, SC del Sol 06 Boys (AZ) and Las Vegas Pros Futbol (NV) who have each won four matches while suffering a loss and a draw.
With four teams at the top separated by just a couple of points, things will for sure get interesting as the season plays on. Defending champions, LVSA 05 Boys (NV), and La Roca South (UT) both won all three matches this weekend. Trailing both sides by two points is Player SC 2005 Boys (NV) and Utah Soccer Alliance (UT) who both played each other to a draw on Friday before racking up victories on Saturday and Sunday.
Downtown LVSC 04 Gold (NV) showed the group why they are the defending champions with a strong weekend of play. They earned victories in all three matches and scored 16 goals. They are tied at the top with Forza FC 04 (UT) who also won all three matches. Last year's runner-up, SC del Sol 04 Boys (AZ), and Players SC 04 (NV) each picked up seven points.
One of the most accomplished teams competing in this year's Desert Conference is LVSA 03 Boys, who are the defending champions of the Desert Conference, Far West Regionals, and US Youth Soccer National Championships. With this pedigree, teams will be vying to show that they are capable of hanging with this talented squad, however, none were up to the task as LVSA won all three matches. Trailing LVSA by three points is RSL-AZ Southern 03 (AZ) and New Mexico Rush 03 (NM) who both suffered a loss to LVSA in Phoenix.
The oldest group in this year's Desert Conference also features another talented squad in FBSL Tuzos Academy 02 (AZ), who advanced to the semifinals at this past summer's Far West Regionals. They are also the defending champions and they showed why with victories in all three matches. Right on their heels is LVSA 02 Boys Red (NV) with seven points and both Sparta United B02 (UT) and Copper Mountain (UT) with six points.