2022 National Presidents Cup: Day 4 (Finals) Recap
Champions were crowned on Sunday at US Youth Soccer’s 14th annual National Presidents Cup at Bryan Park in Greensboro, N.C. This marked the first year in the competition’s history that 19U’s competed for the title.
|Boys 13U – NESA 2009 Boys Elite (NJ)||Girls 13U – Valley United 09G Green (VA)|
|Boys 14U – AVFC Boys 2008 (CA-S)||Girls 14U – FC-1 Academy Girls 2008 Elite Blue (IL)|
|Boys 15U – Roadrunners FC B07 (CA-S)||Girls 15U – DASC 07G Legends 1 (SD)|
|Boys 16U – Princeton FC Barcelona (NJ)||Girls 16U – NUU 06F Wave (EPA)|
|Boys 17U – NJ Surf South Marlton 05B (NJ)||Girls 17U – JB Marine Miller 2005G (MO)|
|Boys 18U – ECU 2004 B Maroon (IN)||Girls 18U – Iron Valley United Thorns ’04 (EPA)|
|Boys 19U – RSL-AZ Yuma 03 Boys Quintana (AZ)||Girls 19U – Lakeshore United FC G U-19 Navy 03 (WI)|
New Jersey led the field with three teams claiming the cup, while Cal South (2), Eastern Pennsylvania (2), Arizona (1), Illinois (1), Indiana (1), Missouri (1), South Dakota (1), Virginia (1), and Wisconsin (1) had champions as well.
US Youth Soccer’s East Region had the most teams crowned (6), with the Midwest (5) and Far West (3) following.
19U Girls: Lakeshore United FC G U-19 Navy 03 (WI) 2-1 ALBION SC Central Cal SM G03 Academy (CA-S)
ALBION struck first in this one, going ahead on a Jennifer Vera goal in the 14th minute. Both sides were in attack mode from that point on but couldn’t muster up enough to add to the scoresheet and went into the half with the Cal South side up one.
Lakeshore United came close to tying it up when Ashley Ternes put in a promising ball off of a free kick, but the connection just missed, and the opportunity fizzled out. Rylee Brotz and Alayna Lloyd also had near-misses, with it seeming like it wasn’t going to be the Wisconsin side’s day.
There was a change in the tide midway through the second half, as ALBION’s Annette Vargas was sent off after receiving a second yellow, and Lakeshore United had new life. The Cal South side did its best to see this one out, but Meghan Zwicker brought her side back from the dead with the last kick of regulation. She converted after the ALBION defense couldn’t clear a corner and sent this final to extra time.
ALBION had a difficult task ahead and did an admirable job. Alexis Acosta made a fantastic diving save to keep the game level early in the first period, but Ternes gave the Wisconsin side the lead in the 104th minute — a perfectly connected volley.
Lakeshore United held on, even though ALBION gave them everything they had in the last minutes.
18U Boys: Bethesda Green (MD) 2(5)-2(6) PK ECU 2004 B Maroon (IN)
Bethesda and ECU traded chances early in this one, but the Maryland side went ahead first. Edwin Torres was able to capitalize after a free kick wasn’t cleared, opening the scoring in the 26th minute.
Andy Palma Villegas doubled his side’s lead seven minutes later, and Kadin Nuri had a shot hit the post not long after that, making it seem like they might run away with it. Bethesda couldn’t add to the lead, though, and went into the half up two.
ECU, led by some tactical changes and a passionate team talk, came out of the intermission swinging. Ivan Turcios quickly trimmed his side’s deficit to one after pouncing on a loose ball inside the area. The Indiana side kept up the pressure and finally found an equalizer in the 80th minute. Andrew Place was the scorer, sending another riveting final to extra time.
Both teams committed to going for the win, but no separation could be found between them. Bethesda had to endure some nervy moments in the extra periods after going down a man but held on to see this one decided from the spot.
In one of the more thrilling shootouts, ECU came out on top, 6-5, and claimed the cup.
19U Boys: Synergy 2003/2004 Boys Premier (IL) 0-4 RSL-AZ Yuma 03 Boys Quintana (AZ)
RSL-AZ Yuma imposed its will from start to finish, with Hector Gutierrez opening the scoring for the Arizona side in the 12th minute.
Synergy had chances to level the game but found themselves down two heading into the break after Erick Mejia Chabolla connected on a shot from outside of the box in the last minute of the half.
Nikolas Jurgovan almost brought one back for the Illinois side, but RSL-AZ Yuma’s Jesus Torres put his body on the line and threw himself in front of the shot. Cameron Baker and Will McNulty almost connected after some passing, too, but it wasn’t to be for Synergy.
Mejia Chabolla put this one on ice in the 63rd minute, scoring his second, and then added his third — and the team’s fourth — for good measure in stoppage time.
17U Boys: Deer Park Soccer FC Maroon 05B DDL (STX) 1-2 NJ Surf South Marlton 05B (NJ)
Deer Park and NJ Surf drew in their meeting one day earlier, the last group stage game for both teams, which was a sign of how even they were.
Both teams traded blows early, with Deer Park looking to play through Sebastian Farias, its talented forward. NJ Surf proved difficult to break down and found themselves in front after a goal by Andrew Hummel in the 35th minute.
It was a similarly-played second half, with Farias finding room to operate, but the Surf defense threw multiple defenders his way to stifle any chances. The South Texas side finally got its opportunity in the 70th minute after Juan Rodriguez drew a penalty kick and Nathan Martinez slotted it home. Deer Park thought they found the go-ahead goal ten minutes later, but the ball never crossed the line, and these two sides were tied after regulation.
There were chances aplenty in the extra period, but tired legs made it seem that this one was going into a shootout. The New Jersey side kept pressing, though, and Hummel found the winner for NJ Surf in the 115th minute.