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2013 McGuire Cup Preview | Lehigh Valley United 93 (PA-E)

LVU_93
 
 

Region I - Lehigh Valley United 93 (PA-E)

 
How they got to Nationals
 
Lehigh Valley United 93 (PA-E) has a collection of players with various club histories and college experience that have come together for a run at the McGuire Cup title.
 
A small group that began at LVU is joined by many players from the US Youth Soccer ODP 1994 Eastern Pennsylvania team that was led by current LVU head coach Greg Ramos. The squad also features players with National Championships experience as members of Penn Fusion Celtic in 2011 or PSC Coppa 93 in 2010.
 
Despite a majority of players on its roster already having NCAA Division I experience, the competition in the US Youth Soccer National Championships Series has made the road to Nationals difficult for LVU.
 
Ramos said the team’s most difficult game may have been its State Cup final, which LVU won in a penalty shootout against FC Delco. At the Region I Championships, it didn’t get much easier.
 
"The path through Regionals was unique in that three of the five games, we were down at points and had to claw back," Ramos said. "That was traumatic, stressful, exciting — all that into one. There was real good quality there."
 
LVU needed wins by penalty kick shootouts in the semifinal and final to take the Region I crown. The PKs in the championship match were made even more difficult when starting goalkeeper Logan Keys was shown a second yellow card for arguing after two of his penalty saves were called back by the referee. Center back Joseph Farrell stepped in and made two saves of his own to help LVU win the title and advance.
 
With Logan Keys suspended for the first game in Overland Park, LVU will turn to his younger brother, Cameron, to play keeper. Cameron, who has attended several youth National Team camps, and a third Keys brother, Garrett, are both U-16 players who were added to the team — allowing the three brothers to play together for the first time in their soccer careers.
 
With a good mixture of talented players, LVU will look to end its run of hard-fought, narrow victories with a championship in Overland Park.
 
"Becoming a McGuire Cup champion or a national champion in the National Championship Series, in youth soccer, it really is the most compelling and prestigious event and trophy you could win," Ramos said. "We’re aware of that and very excited about that."
 
Under-19 Boys, Lehigh Valley United 93 (PA-E)
 
Team Strength
Ramos said his team has a fighting spirit and is scrappy when on the field. "They’re very talented players with a very gritty attitude," he said. "That combination makes them a very good team, and very difficult team to play against."
 
Key Players
Ramos mentioned center back Joey Farrell as a player who holds the defense together (and he made the two saves in the shootout of the Region I final). There are also players like Colton Storm and Darius Madison with national team pool experience, and Melvin Snoh, who played in the College Cup final with Georgetown. Ramos said all of his players have high-end experience and the ability to change the game.
 
College Programs
Colton Amidon – George Mason
Shane Campbell – Penn State
Joseph Farrell – La Salle
Nicholas Hutchinson – Old Dominion
Christian Kaschak – Penn State
Logan Keys – LIU Brooklyn
Timothy Lazorko – Saint Joseph's
Darius Madison – Virginia
Jared Martinelli – Temple
Alexander Murphy – Pennsylvania
Colin Phillips – Stevens Institute of Technology
Gabriel Robinson – Cincinnati
Keegan Rosenberry – Georgetown
Matthew Ross – Arcadia
Thomas Shiiba – Navy
Melvin Snoh – Georgetown
Colton Storm – North Carolina
 
Coach Background – Greg Ramos
Playing experience
o   Muhlenberg College 99-02
o   University of Maryland Player, College Park 97-98
o   EPA ODP 92-97
o   Region I ODP 94-95
 
Coaching experience
o   USSF and UEFA ‘A’ Licenses
o   NSCAA Premier Coaching Diploma
o   2012 EPYSA Boys Competitive Coach of the Year
o   2009 NSCAA Regional Coach of the Year
o   Seven State Champion Titles
o   Head Coach Reading United PDL U20 (Philadelphia Union affiliate)
o   Eastern Pennsylvania ODP 94 Boys Coach
 
Lehigh Valley United 93 Schedule
Tuesday, July 23
7:30 a.m.
vs. Plantation Copa
Field 1
Wednesday, July 24
8:30 a.m.
vs. Pateadores ANA
Field 6
Friday, July 26
9:30 a.m.
vs. Chicago Fire Academy
Field 7
Saturday, July 27
6:30 p.m.
McGuire Cup Final
Field 1