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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 13, 2019) — National League action continued on Friday in Panama City Beach, Fla., and just one more day of play remains for the 17U-19U Boys teams. Meanwhile, the 15U and 16U Boys teams each have two games remaining in their first event of the 2019-20 US Youth Soccer National League season.
The third day of league play tends to separate the field as teams settle in after an anxious start to the season. While several 17U-19U teams have begun to make strides in the group standings, no division has a clear favorite to claim the title. Two points or less separate the top two teams in all 10 of the divisions in those age groups, and three of those divisions contain ties atop the standings.
Of the five defending National Champions competing in Panama City Beach, Fla., just two — 16U Real Jersey FC (NJ) and LVSA 03 Silver (NV) — have won all of their games to this point. LVSA 03 Silver, which has won the last two National Championships in its age group, knows it will be a challenge to win its National League division, despite a 3-0-0 start.
“The National League is extremely difficult, especially with us being a two-time National Champions,” LVSA coach Manleo Miranda said. “Everybody is aiming for us and giving us their best effort to beat us. We’ve got to come prepared because every team is very difficult out here in the National League.
“Obviously, we want to go back and play at Nationals again, but it’s going to be a tough road ahead of us in order to qualify directly through the National League.”
Following two days of play in the 15U & 16U Boys age groups, 12 teams have come away with perfect 2-0-0 records.
In addition to berths to the annual US Youth Soccer National Championships and recruiting opportunities, National League teams in the 14U-18U age groups are also competing for a chance to re-qualify for the National League’s 2020-21 season.
National League action will continue Saturday, Dec. 14, 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 Friday’s matches…
- Ten of the 16 games in the age group were decided by two goals or less on Friday.
- Three teams — Olympiacos FC B05 Academy (CA-S), Santa Clara Sporting 05B Green (CA-N) and Celtic Academy Harps (CA-S) — have yet to concede a goal through two games. Each of those sides are one of two teams with six points in their respective divisions.
- DKSC 05 Carrillo (TX-N) is the only team in the age group to have hit double digits in scoring, as it has netted 11 goals.
- Zsombor Onodi of Pennine United 05 (OH-N) recorded a hat trick on Friday. He is four players with three goals on the season, while Timothy Griffin and Trevor Walk lead the age group with four goals each.
- Defense keyed the victories for many of the 16U Boys teams on Friday, as 12 of the 16 victors secured shutout wins.
- The Black Division is the only one in the age group the features multiple 2-0-0 teams, as PPA KSA 04 Pro-Profile (GA) and 2004 PDA Hibernian Modric (NJ) lead with six points each.
- SLSG 2004 Elite (MO), Midwest United FC 04 Royal (MI) and Real Jersey FC (NJ) are each 2-0-0 and lead the Blue, Red and White Divisions, respectively.
- Michael Michalak of PA Dominion 04 (PA-E) netted a hat trick on Friday and now leads the age group with three goals through two days of play.
- Ten of the 16 games on Friday were decided by two goals or less.
- SLSG 2003 Elite (MO) is the lone team in the 17U Boys age group that has not yet conceded a goal — helping it to a 3-0-0 record.
- Trindon Turner of OK Energy FC Central 03 (OK) netted a hat trick on Friday.
- Zander Crooks of Kalamazoo Kingdom SC 03 Red (MI) and Jean Malilo of PPA KSA 03 Pro-Profile (GA) lead the age group with five goals each. Crooks scored twice in Friday, while Malilo netted one goal.
- Ten of 16 games in the age group were decided by two goals or less on Friday.
- NWUSA 02 River (OR) held off a late push from defending National Champion Solar 02 Castro (TX-N) to earn a 2-1 win — handing Solar its first loss of the season.
- Brausa 02 Blue (MD) leads a very tight White Division, where five teams are within three points of first place.
- Shion Soga of Michigan Jaguars 02 Green (MI) scored a hat trick on Friday to help his side to a win. He is now the leading goal scorer in the age group with six tallies through three games. Taylor Calheira of Brausa 02 Blue (MD) and Peter Schneider of OGFC Boys 02 Elite (OH-S) also netted hat tricks on Friday.
- Six of the eight games in the age group were decided by two goals or less on Friday.
- OC Surf Armour 2001 (CA-S) is the only team in the age group to start its season 3-0-0, and it holds a two-point lead in the 19U Blue Division.
- LVU-FPA 2001 Boys Black (PA-E) leads the age group with 15 goals scored, which has helped it take a lead in the Red Division with seven points through three games.
- Carter Houlihan of LVU-FPA 2001 Boys Black (PA-E) netted four goals on Friday and now leads the age group with five goals scored. Christian Kraus of SLSG Elite 01 (MO) scored three goals on Friday to help his team earn a thrilling 5-4 win.
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/