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National League | Standouts of 2010-2019

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With 2019 winding down, so is the first full calendar decade that featured National League competition from beginning to end. To highlight some of the most successful National League teams from 2010 to 2019, we have compiled a list of 10 teams for both the boys and girls. Each of the teams earned a place on the lists based on performance in the National League (division titles, undefeated seasons, perfect seasons) and for any US Youth Soccer National Championships won during years in which they played in the National League.

The Decade Best XI teams feature National League alumni who competed on teams that played in the league between 2010 and 2019. Players were chosen based on accomplishments at the college, professional and international levels — generating lists of players who transitioned from youth soccer to the next level with great success over the past decade.

Click on the sections below to take a look back at some of the US Youth Soccer National League's top teams and players from 2010 to 2019.

TOP GIRLS TEAMS

Please note: US Youth Soccer does not endorse or support team ranking systems that rank current teams against others in a single age group. This list is meant as a fun exercise to look back at some of the most successful teams across all gender age groups in the National League over the last decade.

BRYC 95 Elite (VA) – 2010-2014
BRYC is an example of a team with a focus on development that took the experience gained from a couple early struggles in the National League and used it to improve — resulting in back-to-back National League Red Division titles and a National Championship as a 16U side. The Virginia side’s breakthrough came in 2012 when it became a National Champion, and BRYC continued that success in the National League in both its 17U and 18U seasons. In those two National League campaigns, BRYC produced identical point totals while compiling 12 wins and two draws over the course of the two seasons. In its final season in the National League, BRYC showed its depth by having nine different players score, with eight of those recording multiple goals in that season. (Success score: 47)

Carlsbad1Carlsbad Elite 96/97 (CA-S) – 2012-2015
Over its last two National League seasons, Carlsbad Elite 96/97 did not lose a single game while winning back-to-back Red Division titles. Included in that unbeaten run is the Cal South side’s 17U National League season in which it won all seven of its games. In that perfect season, Carlsbad outscored opponents 20-to-1, which tied the then-record for fewest goals conceded in the league by a girls team. The following National League season saw Carlsbad earn four wins and three draws to defend its division title. The side went on to claim the 18U National Championship later that summer, as it capped off a two-year run of success on the national stage. (Success score: 50)

Carlsbad Elite 97/98 (CA-S) – 2012-2016
The fact Carlsbad Elite 97/98 registered the highest success score of any team in National League history, despite having no National Championship on its resume, indicates just how well it fared in league play. The Cal South side won four of a possible four National League division titles, with three of those first-place finishes coming during unbeaten seasons. In all, Carlsbad lost just once in 28 National League games — with that lone defeat coming to a National Champion team — and finished with an unbeaten streak of 18 games over the course of its 16U, 17U and 18U seasons. The Cal South side also became the first girls team to concede no goals in a season, as it accomplished that feat in its 17U season. With its complete play from front to back, Carlsbad compiled an overall goal differential of plus-54 during its four seasons competing in the National League. (Success score: 57)

DMCV Sharks Elite (CA-S) – 2012-2015
With multiple titles in the National League and at the National Championships, DMCV comes in with the second-highest score on the list. As a 16U side, DMCV finished undefeated in its first National League season — earning six wins and a draw to win the Blue Division. It carried that momentum into the summer, where it earned its first of two National Championships. The Sharks continued their good form during the following National League season, as they picked up 18 points to repeat as Blue Division winners. For a second straight year, the Cal South side finished the season by lifting a trophy at Nationals — becoming the only team to twice win both a National League division title and the National Championship in the same season. (Success score: 52)DMCV1

JFC Storm 98/99 (FL) – 2013-2015
JFC captured the 16U Girls Red Division title in 2014-15 — a National League triumph that was sandwiched between a pair of US Youth Soccer National Championships. During the division-winning campaign, JFC showed depth while having eight players contribute goals, as the Florida side went 6-0-1. JFC carried the momentum of its National League success into Nationals, where it defended its title to claim back-to-back National Championships. (Success score: 42)

Legends FC 99 (CA-S) – 2013-2017
In four seasons playing in the National League, Legends FC 99 earned a pair of a division titles and a runner-up finish. Legends FC 99’s first National League title came as a 15U side when it won the Red Division with a 5-0-2 record. The Cal South side went on to win the National Championship that season to complete a standout year of play. After finishing a point behind the first place side in a very tight National League group in 2015-16, Legends bounced back to claim the Red Division title as an 18U side with another unbeaten season. In all, Legends FC 99 earned a combined plus-35 goal differential during its four National League seasons. (Success score: 47)

Midwest United FC 01 Royal (MI) – 2015-2018
Midwest United secured a perfect 7-0-0 record as a 15U Girls team in its first National League season. The Michigan side outscored its Blue Division opponents by 22 goals over the course of that season, with 10 different players registering goals — including five with multiple tallies. A 2016 National Championship capped the strong year for Midwest United, and the side continued its success by repeating as National League Blue Division winners the following season. Over the course of those back-to-back National League division titles, Midwest United went 13-1-0, with the lone loss coming to a team that would also go on to win a National Championship in 2018. (Success score: 45)

Premier Navy 01 (MD) – 2017-2019
Premier Navy 01 (MD) earned back-to-back Black Division titles and a 2019 National Championship. The Maryland side won its first National League title as a 17U side, as it went unbeaten with six wins and a draw — finishing atop a group that featured that year’s eventual National Champion. Premier Navy followed that up in its 18U season with yet another 6-0-1 campaign to earn a second Black Division title while conceding just one goal in its seven games. In all, Premier Navy combined to defeat opponents by an average score of 4-to-1 over its two unbeaten National League seasons. That success, along with the 2019 National Championship, earned it a spot on the list. Several players still competing in the National League on Coppermine SC Premier 01 (MD) in 2019-20. (Success score: 47)

SJEB Rush 02 Academy Blue (NJ) – 2016-2019
A pair of back-to-back Red Division titles helped SJEB earn its way on to the list. After a mid-table finish in its first National League season, the New Jersey side went a combined 12-1-1 in its 16U and 17U years to earn two straight first-place finishes in the league. The 2017-18 season, in particular, saw SJEB outscore opponents, 24-to-2, in the National League while producing three players who scored at least five goals. The New Jersey side finished that strong season by earning the 2018 National Championship in the 16U Girls age group. (Success score: 42)

YMS1YMS Premier Xplosion 98 (PA-E) – 2013-2017
Over four straight seasons in the National League, YMS never finished lower than second place and topped its division each of its final two years. The Eastern Pennsylvania side finished second in its division in its 15U and 16U seasons, which included an unbeaten record in 2014-15. As a 17U side in 2015-16, YMS earned 18 points to win the Red Division. It followed that National League title by breaking through and capturing the 2016 National Championship — ending a string of three straight runner-up finishes at Nationals. YMS capped its run in the National League by repeating as Red Division champions in 2016-17, as it went unbeaten with six wins and a draw. In all, YMS had a goal differential of plus-40 over the course of its four National League seasons. (Success score: 47)
 

TOP BOYS TEAMS

Please note: US Youth Soccer does not endorse or support team ranking systems that rank current teams against others in a single age group. This list is meant as a fun exercise to look back at some of the most successful teams across all gender age groups in the National League over the last decade.

Arlington SA 2002 Red (VA) – 2017-2019
After a mid-table finish in the National League during its 16U season, Arlington founds its top form and captured a 2018 National Championship. That level of play carried over to the 2018-19 National League season, when Arlington secured an unbeaten season while winning the 17U Red Division. During that title-winning National League season, the Virginia side allowed just two goals while producing six different players with two or more goals scored. (Success score: 32)

BaltCeltic1Baltimore Celtic SC 00 (MD) – 2016-2019
With a National League division title, multiple unbeaten seasons and a pair of National Championships, Baltimore Celtic SC 00 has the highest success score of any boys team. The Maryland side went unbeaten in the Blue Division as a 17U side, but it came up a point short of first place in a very tight group. However, that year’s squad worked its way to Nationals and won a 2017 National title to conclude the season. The team regained that top form to begin its 18U year, as Celtic once again went unbeaten in the National League — this time finishing in first place in the Red Division. Later that summer, Baltimore defended its National Championship by taking the 2018 18U Boys crown. The Maryland side completed its run in the National League by qualifying for Nationals as the runner-up in the 19U Boys Red Division. At Nationals, it came up just short of a rare three-peat, as it fell in the championship game. Despite that, three years of sustained success allowed Baltimore Celtic to compile a resume worthy of one of the top teams of the 2010s. (Success score: 47)

Concorde Fire Elite 95 (GA) – 2010-2013
Over a span of three National League seasons, Concorde Fire produced two division titles and an unbeaten season. The first title came in its 16U season, when the Georgia side went 6-1-0 to win the Red Division. Concorde carried that momentum into the summer when it claimed a 2011 National Championship. The Georgia side came up short in its 17U National League season, as it conceded its division title to a side led by eventual U.S. Men’s National Team forward Jordan Morris. However, Concorde bounced back to win the Blue Division as an 18U side — earning four wins and three draws to win a tight division race. (Success score: 42)

Grand Rapids Crew Jrs. 94 (MI) – 2010-2012
Grand Rapids began a successful run of National League finishes in 2008 and opened this decade with two division titles in its first three years. As a 16U side, Grand Rapids won the Blue Division title with a 5-1-1 record while scoring the most goals in the age group and conceding the least. While it didn’t win its National League Division in 2011, the Michigan side hit its stride later that summer and captured the National Championship. The next season, Grand Rapids completed its run in the National League by winning the Red Division as an 18U side — going 6-0-0 while outscoring its opponents by 11 goals over the course of the season. (Success score: 42)

LVSA1LVSA 03 Silver (NV) – 2017-2019
A pair of back-to-back National Championships, coupled strong performances in the National League, helped LVSA earn one of the spots on the list. The Nevada side won the Blue Division as a 15U side, and it did so in a record-setting fashion. While winning all of its games, LVSA also tied the boys’ record for most team goals in a season and compiled the largest goal differential of any boys team in National League history. LVSA continued its dominant play later that summer and won the 2018 National Championship. Despite finishing one spot out of first place in its National League 16U division, LVSA worked its way back to Nationals and repeated as National Champions in 2019. (Success score: 42)

Nationals Union 04 Black (MI) – 2017-2019
Nationals Union 04 began its time in the National League as well as any team — earning back-to-back division titles in its 14U and 15U seasons. The Michigan side went 6-1-0 in its first year in the league, with five of its wins coming via shutouts. Nationals rode that momentum into the National Championships, where it won the 14U Boys National title in 2018. That standout season set the stage for another National League division title in 2018-19, as the Michigan side outscored opponents, 16-to-3, while shutting out three opponents and allowing no more than a single goal in any game. (Success score: 42)

PPA KSA 01 Pro-Profile (GA) – 2016-2019
Now entering its fourth National League season, KSA has finished in the top three in each of its first few seasons in the league. As an 18U side, KSA went unbeaten — winning five games and drawing one — to win the Blue Division. The Georgia side outscored opponents, 22-to-8, during that season and produced the age group’s leading goal scorer in Deedson Vixamar, who finished with 10 goals. The high-powered offensive attack continued at the National Championships, as KSA scored 20 goals in five matches to capture the 2019 National title. (Success score: 32)

Raiders FC 00 (IL) – 2015-2018
Raiders went 16 straight National League games without a loss, with two straight seasons featuring division titles and 7-0-0 records included in that streak. The Illinois side’s 2016-17 campaign saw it score 29 goals, which is the third-highest single-season total in league history. In all, Raiders compiled a plus-36 goal differential during its two National League title-winning campaigns. Without the advantage of having a National Championship on its resume, the Illinois side’s place on the list shows how successful it was in the National League. (Success score: 38)Raiders1

Real Jersey FC 04 (NJ) – 2017-2019
Real Jersey’s first year in the National League featured a promising mid-table finish with a few one-goal losses. In 2018-19, the New Jersey side put it all together to win the White Division — averaging three goals per game while conceding just two total. Real Jersey’s strong defense was accompanied by a balanced attack that saw five different players score multiple goals. The complete team effort carried over to the 2019 National Championships, where Real Jersey claimed the 15U boys title. (Success score: 32)

Santa Barbara SC 98 White (CA-S) – 2014-2016
In its two National League seasons, Santa Barbara finished in the top two of its division both times, including a first-place finish in the Red Division as an 18U side. In that title-winning season, Santa Barbara went unbeaten with six wins and a draw — outscoring opponents, 20-to-8, in the process. The Cal South side capped the 2016 season by winning the 18U Boys National Championship — which it added to a pair of National titles it had earned prior to competing in the National League. (Success score: 32)
 

GIRLS DECADE BEST XI TEAM

GOALKEEPER

Abby Smith – Dallas Texans (TX-N)
While competing at the University of Texas, Smith twice earned First-Team All-Big 12 honors and left as the school’s leader in career shutouts. She was selected by the Boston Breakers in the third round of the 2016 NWSL Draft, and Smith enjoyed a breakout season in 2017 when she finished second in the league in saves. In that same year, Smith received a call-up to the U.S. Women’s National Team. She currently plays for Utah Royals FC.

DEFENDERS

Emily Fox – HYS Freedom (VA)
Fox closed out the decade by competing in her junior season at the University of North Carolina, where she earned All-ACC honors for the second consecutive year. The young defender has already produced an impressive resume in the international game — starting with Best XI recognition while helping the United States win the 2015 CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship. She played in two FIFA Women’s U-20 World Cups before making her U.S. Women’s National Team debut in November 2018, when she earned consecutive starts.

Kaleigh Riehl – BRYC Elite (VA)
Riehl started all 101 matches of her college career at Penn State, passing Becky Sauerbrunn as NCAA Division I women’s soccer’s all-time leader in minutes played. As a freshman, she helped Penn State win the national championship and was named to the Women's College Cup All-Tournament Team. She finished her college career with several All-Big Ten accolades, including Big Ten Defender of the Year in 2018. Internationally, Riehl was a member of two FIFA Women’s Under-20 World Cup teams and was called in to the December 2019 U.S. Women’s National Team camp.

SonnettEmily Sonnett – NASA (GA)
While playing for the University of Virginia, Sonnett earned ACC Defensive Player of the Year and ESPNW National Player of the Year honors. During her senior season at Virginia, Sonnett earned her first cap for the U.S. Women’s National Team and has been a regular contributor since that time — winning the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup with the U.S. At the 2016 NWSL Draft, Portland Thorns FC selected Sonnett with the No. 1 overall pick, and she has been a regular starter during Portland’s run as one of the most successful teams in the NWSL.

Sam Staab – DMCV Sharks (CA-S)
Following a youth career that included two US Youth Soccer National Championships, Staab went on to play for four years at Clemson — earning All-ACC honors each season. Staab was selected with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 NWSL Draft by the Washington Spirit and made an immediate impact in her first season. She scored the winning goal in the Spirit’s opening match and went on to lead the team in minutes played in 2019. Her strong debut season led to Staab finishing as one of three NWSL Rookie of the Year finalists.

MIDFIELDERS

Morgan Brian – Ponte Vedra Storm (FL)
Brian starred at the University of Virginia, as she captured back-to-back MAC Hermann Trophies before being selected No. 1 overall by the Houston Dash in the 2015 NWSL Draft. Brian was a key part of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion U.S. Women’s National Team and the youngest member of the squad at just 22 years of age. She became a two-time World Cup champion while part of the winning U.S. team in 2019. Brian is approaching 100 total caps for the United States while still just 26 years of age.

LavelleRose Lavelle – Cincinnati United Premier (OH-S)
The skillful midfielder played collegiately at Wisconsin, where she earned Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors, was twice named Big Ten Midfielder of the Year and garnered First-Team All-American recognition. In 2014, she earned tournament MVP while helping the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team win the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship. The Boston Breakers selected Lavelle with the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NWSL Draft, and she earned her first cap with the U.S. Women’s National Team a couple months later. In 2019, Lavelle earned Bronze Ball honors while helping the U.S. win its second straight FIFA Women's World Cup.

Dani Weatherholt – So Cal Blues (CA-S)
While playing in every game during her four years at Santa Clara University, Weatherholt earned several All-WCC recognitions. She was selected by the Orlando Pride in the 2016 NWSL Draft and has been a regular contributor to the team in all four years of its existence — appearing in more games for the Pride than any other player in team history. She also played for one season with Melbourne Victory FC and helped the team claim the Australian W-League championship.

FORWARDS

Michaela Abam – Albion Hurricanes (TX-S)
After four years at West Virginia, Abam left as one of the program’s top all-time goal-scorers and point scorers. She helped the Mountaineers reach the 2016 NCAA Championship game with the lone goal in their College Cup semifinal. Sky Blue FC drafted Abam with the fourth pick of the 2018 NWSL Draft. She has since played in the top women’s divisions in France and Spain — where she is currently a member of Real Betis. Abam also competed for Cameroon at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

DorseyImani Dorsey – SAC United (MD)
While at Duke, Dorsey earned ACC Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2017 and finished as the Blue Devils’ fourth all-time leading goal scorer. The forward was selected by Sky Blue FC with the No. 5 pick in the 2018 NWSL Draft, and she made an immediate impact — earning the 2018 NWSL Rookie of the Year award. Dorsey has started nearly all of Sky Blue FC’s games in 2019 and has helped the team see a 10-point improvement in the standings from the previous season.

Cheyna Matthews – United FA (GA)
Matthews starred at Vanderbilt and Florida State during her college career. She earned both SEC and ACC First-Team honors between her time at the two universities, and she helped Florida State earn the 2014 NCAA Championship. Matthews was selected by the Washington Spirit with the seventh pick of the 2016 NWSL Draft and has been a regular part of the team’s front line in each of her active seasons. The forward also competed for Jamaica at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
 

BOYS DECADE BEST XI TEAM

GOALKEEPER

Jimmy Hague – Michigan Jaguars Green (MI)
After playing in three National League seasons at the start of the decade, Hague moved on to have a standout collegiate career at Michigan State. As a junior, he was named Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year and earned first-team All-Big Ten honors. Hague led the conference in save percentage during his senior year, while leading the Spartans to their first appearance in the College Cup semifinals in 50 years. Hague was selected by FC Cincinnati with the No. 30 overall pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft.

DEFENDERS

George Bello - Alpharetta Ambush Red (GA)
Despite being only 17 years old as 2019 comes to an end, Bello has already checked off some significant accomplishments early in his career. Bello signed with Atlanta United ahead of the 2018 MLS season, and he made his debut later that season. He earned his first start with the MLS club during the 2018 season as a 16-year-old, and he scored his first career MLS goal just two games later. In 2019, Bello overcame some injuries to earn a spot in the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team for the World Cup.

Chase Gasper – OBGC Rangers (MD)
After starting at UCLA, Gasper capped his collegiate career at Maryland and won the NCAA Championship in 2018. He played every minute of that tournament run in which the Terrapins recorded five straight shutouts. Gasper was drafted by Minnesota United FC with the No. 15 pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft, and the team went unbeaten in Gasper’s first nine career starts — with the defender going the full 90 minutes in each of those matches. He earned his first selection to a U.S. Men’s National Team camp in November 2019.

Keegan Rosenberry – Penn Fusion (PA-E)
Rosenberry played collegiately at Georgetown, where he made 90 appearances and twice earned Second-Team All-Big East Conference honors. Selected No. 3 overall by the Philadelphia Union in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, Rosenberry played every minute of all 34 matches in his first campaign while finishing second in MLS Rookie of the Year voting. He currently plays for the Colorado Rapids in MLS.Zimmerman

Walker Zimmerman – GSA (GA)
After a successful college career at Furman, Zimmerman has become a standout performer in MLS and for the U.S. Men’s National Team. The defender has helped FC Dallas and LAFC to top finishes in the MLS standings and earned an MLS All-Star selection in 2019. Zimmerman earned his first cap with the USMNT in 2017, and he has made several appearances since while netting a pair of goals for the U.S. Zimmerman was named an MLS All-Star and to the MLS Best XI in 2019.

MIDFIELDERS

Jack Harrison – Manhattan PSG (NY-E)
In his lone season at Wake Forest, Harrison starred as freshman and earned 2015 ACC Offensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year honors. His breakout year at Wake Forest led to Harrison being selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, where he was then traded to New York City FC. After two successful seasons in New York, Harrison moved to Manchester City FC in 2018.harrison

Ariel Lassiter - Albion White (CA-S)
Following three National League seasons early in the decade, Lassiter played one season at Cal Poly — when he was second on the team in points as a freshman and named to the Big West Conference All-Freshman Team. Shortly after beginning his professional career, Lassiter signed a first-team contract with the LA Galaxy in 2016. He made 25 appearances with the Galaxy over a few seasons — scoring once — and played in several more games with LA Galaxy II. Lassiter is currently playing in Costa Rica, and he made his first two appearances with the Costa Rican Men’s National Team in 2019.

Gedion Zelalem – OBGC Rangers (MD)
Standout play with OBGC helped Zelalem land a spot with Arsenal FC in London, England. As a 16-year-old, Zelalem made his debut with the Arsenal senior side as a substitute in a 4-0 FA Cup victory. He later saw action with Arsenal in a 4-1 win against Galatasaray in the UEFA Champions League. Zelalem currently plays for Sporting Kansas City in MLS.

FORWARDS

Jeremy Ebobisse – OBGC Rangers (MD)
Ebobisse played two years at Duke, where he captained the team as a sophomore and earned All-ACC Academic Team honors. The forward was taken No. 4 overall at the 2017 MLS SuperDraft by the Portland Timbers and has gone on to become a key part of the team. After starting all of Portland’s postseason games during its run to the 2018 MLS Cup final, Ebobisse became a regular starter in 2019 and registered double digit goals. He also earned his first cap for the U.S. Men’s National Team in 2019.

MorrisJordan Morris – Eastside FC (WA)
As a junior at Stanford, Morris won the MAC Hermann Trophy while helping the Cardinal to the National Championship. In 2014, Morris became the first college player in 19 years to earn a cap with the U.S. Men’s National Team and has since appeared more than 30 times for the U.S. Morris signed with Seattle Sounders FC prior to the 2016 season and went on to earn Rookie of the Year honors while helping Seattle win the 2016 MLS Cup. In 2019, he had a direct involvement in 11 goals (five scored, six assists) for the U.S. MNT — the most of any player.

Emmanuel Sabbi – Ohio Premier (OH-S)
Sabbi initially planned to play at Akron, but he signed a professional contract with Spanish La Liga side Las Palmas. The forward then moved to Hobro IK in the Danish Superlilga, where he has played the last three seasons — netting more than 10 goals across all competitions. Sabbi has represented the United States on multiple youth national teams, including the Under-20 side that competed at the 2017 FIFA Under-20 World Cup.
 


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