LAS VEGAS — US Youth Soccer National League Desert Conference teams in the 12U-19U boys and girls age groups competed this past weekend in Las Vegas. For some age groups, the 2018-19 season came to an exciting conclusion on Sunday, while others will continue playing in pursuit of potential berths to the 2019 US Youth Soccer Far West Regional Championships and qualification for the 2019-20 National League season.
Below are recaps for each age group and what lies ahead for those with matches still to play.
FBSL Tuzos 07 (AZ) wrapped up the 12U Boys age group without dropping any points in nine matches. Heading into the final competitive weekend, the group was still up for grabs, but FBSL Tuzos 07 quashed all hopes for other teams when they defeated Utah Rangers FC 07 (UT) on Friday and earned a draw against CCV Stars 07 (AZ) on Saturday.
Heading into this past weekend, both La Roca FC 06 (UT) and Phoenix Rising FC Youth Soccer 06 (AZ) were tied for the group lead with 15 points apiece. With both teams knowing they couldn't drop points in any match, they each went out and won all three matches finishing with 24 points. La Roca FC ended up as the group winners thanks to an earlier victory over Phoenix Rising FC Youth at the season’s first competitive weekend in Salt Lake City.
In another tight race, LVSA 05 (NV) edged out NM Rush SC (NM) by one point for the 14U Boys title. Both squads won all three matches this past weekend, however, an earlier loss for NM Rush SC doomed it in the end, as LVSA 05 did not drop any points in nine matches.
With a handful of matches remaining, Downtown LVSC 04 (NV) has a six-point lead over second-place SC del Sol 04 and the first tiebreaker thanks to a 3-1 victory on Friday (watch highlights from the match). SC del Sol 04 needs to win all three of its remaining matches, while Downtown LVSC 04 needs to win at least one of its two remaining matches to clinch the title.
Saturday's matchup between LVSA 03 (NV) and RSL AZ Southern 03 (AZ) had major implications on the group, as both teams entered the match on four-match winning streaks and with a significant lead over other teams in the group. LVSA wasted no time in asserting its dominance, scoring two goals in the first half and coasting through the second half (watch highlights from the match). This result, coupled with a victory on Sunday and a draw in RSL AZ Southern's match on Sunday, gave LVSA 03 the 16U Boys title.
This year marks the third league title in a row for the FBSL Tuzos 02 (AZ), who bounced back from an opening Desert Conference loss back in November. Since then, the Arizona side went on a roll to win five in a row while outscoring teams, 15-2. Tuzos won the 2018 Far West Regional Championship in Hawaii, and it will be looking to defend the title this year in Boise, Idaho.
Sparta United 01 (UT) clinched the group with a victory on Sunday. Even though teams still have matches left to play, Sparta has a four-point lead over second place LVSA 01 (NV), who have just one match to play.
Sparta United 00 (UT) had a chance to clinch the group entering the weekend. However, a draw on Friday and a loss on Sunday has kept the door open for just one team, Barca Academy 00 (AZ), which has one match remaining. This group is pretty simple going forward. Barca Academy 00 needs a win in its final match on April 6 to take the title. Anything less than that and Sparta United 00 wins the group.
With one match still to play, Wasatch SC 07 (UT) has a perfect record — winning all eight games played while scoring 24 goals and conceding zero. Even with this outstanding record, it still had to take care of business on Saturday when Wasatch faced second-place Phoenix Rising FC. In rainy conditions, Wasatch scored goals on either side of the half to clinch the group and punch its ticket to the 2019 Far West Regional Championships.
Albion SC Las Vegas 06 (NV) defended its title, even though things got a little dicey. On Friday, the Nevada side sustained a loss to La Roca FC FD (UT), but Albion benefited from a loss on that same day by La Roca 06 AB (UT), which entered the weekend two points back of the Nevada side. Albion bounced back and won its next two matches to clinch the group.
Broomfield SC 05 (CO) had two chances to wrap up the group this past weekend. While it missed the first chance, the Colorado side capitalized on the second. On Saturday, a win over Forza FC 05 (UT) would have given them the title but both sides played to a scoreless draw (watch highlights from the match). Heading into Sunday's matches, both Forza FC 05 and Albion SC Las Vegas 05 (NV) were trailing by two points and breathing down the necks of Broomfield SC 05, which needed all three points in its match. Broomfield SC 05 did not waste its chance to clinch a berth to the Far West Regional Championships, as it defeated Utah Celtic FC 05 (UT), 2-0.
With one match to play, the group has come down to two teams — LVSA 04 (NV) and 7 Elite Academy 04 (UT). Three points separate these two teams, who will square off against each other on April 6. LVSA 04 needs a draw to take care of business in April, but if 7 Elite Academy 04 wins, there will be a three-way tie between these two teams and Utah Celtic 04 (UT), who also has to win its final match (watch highlights from LVSA 04 vs Utah Celtic 04).
LVSA 03 (NV) earned plenty of success in the Desert Conference, as it gained points in every match while scoring 30 goals and conceding just one goal. The group was all but wrapped up for LVSA 03 on Friday when it defeated second-place Sparta United (UT), 4-0. After that, LVSA picked up seven more points to clinch the 17U Girls title.
With three teams — Utah Soccer Alliance 02 (UT), Pride SC Predators 02 (UT) and Sparta United 02 (UT) — all tied at 18 points, this group is far from over with three matches left for each side. All of these teams will square off against each other on April 6-7.
In another strong performance in Desert Conference action, La Roca FC 01 (UT) wrapped up the 18U Girls group with a 6-0-0 record — scoring 25 goals and conceding just one. Even though each team in this group still has a match to play, an earlier victory by La Roca FC 01 over second-place Utah Celtic 01 (UT) at their first competitive weekend has given La Roca the tiebreaker.
Saturday’s match between Utah Celtic FC 00 (UT) and FC Boulder 00 (CO) determined who would win this group, as Utah Celtic defeated FC Boulder, 5-0. In its six wins this season, Utah Celtic FC 00 has used an explosive offense to overpower its opponents.