2017 US Youth Soccer Region IV Championships continue in Seattle
Preliminary Games, Day 2 of 3
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SEATTLE (June 20, 2017) — The 2017 US Youth Soccer Region IV (West) Championships continued Tuesday at the 60 Acres Soccer Complex in Redmond, Wash. More than 225 games have been completed, and tomorrow’s action will decide the 112 teams moving on to the quarterfinal round. Wednesday’s matches begin at 8 a.m. PT and continue throughout the day, with the final games kicking off at 4 p.m.
Seeking players for future roster spots, more than 150 college coaches have registered for the US Youth Soccer Region IV Championships, with more expected during the rest of the week. Year after year, the coaches enjoy the level of performance and urgency that comes when the teams play for advancement in the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series.
U.S. Soccer Youth National Team staff and Seattle Reign FC head coach Laura Harvey have also been in attendance during the first two days of play.
“The exposure has been fantastic,” LA Galaxy San Diego (CA-S) coach Courtney Drummond said. “It’s been great to be out here. It’s a great setting with all of the college coaches here. US Youth Soccer has put on a great show for them, and we’re fortunate to be a part of it. Today was a great turnout with two great teams.”
Drummond’s 16U Girls LAGSD team used a late goal on Tuesday to earn a 1-0 win over day one winner Celtic FC Premier SA (UT). As the game’s final minutes wound down, the LAGSD coaches urged on their players and made note of the importance of picking up three points with a win.
With previous teams at the club having enjoyed success at the regional and national levels, the 16U side has an idea of what it takes to finish on top at the Region IV Championships.
“This group has been on the outside looking in and watching our older teams getting to this level,” Drummond said. “Now they’ve got the opportunity, and they’ve taken it and are running with it.
“US Youth Soccer does a great job with the setup and the competition. Every game means something, and there’s not a lot of tournaments where every game means something.”
Regional winners of the 13U through 19/20U age groups earn a berth to the 2017 US Youth Soccer National Championships, which will be played July 24-30 at the Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco, Texas.
The US Youth Soccer National Championships will consist of US Youth Soccer Regional Champions in the 13U through 19/20U Boys and Girls age groups, as well as the US Youth Soccer National League qualifiers in the 15U through 19/20U Boys and Girls age groups to complete the field of 96 teams.
Here are a few recaps from the second day of group play…
La Roca PO 02 (UT) picked up its second win in Group A of the 15U Girls age group, as it came back to defeat Slammers FC Reserve G02 (CA-S), 2-1, on Tuesday. Jayla Land put the Cal South side in front shortly before halftime when she found the back of the net in the 36th minute. La Roca evened the score in the 54th minute on a Caroline Stringfellow strike, and Stringfellow provided a go-ahead goal 11 minutes later. The Utah side’s back line ensured that lead would stand up, as La Roca moved to six points in the standings and clinched a spot in the quarterfinals.
In a matchup of two 1-0 teams, LA Galaxy SD 01 Elite Drummond (CA-S) edged Celtic FC Premier SA (UT), 1-0. Little could separate the two sides, as neither managed to break through the opposing back line for more than an hour of game play. That changed in the 73rd minute, when Ashleigh Harris ran on to a ball just behind the last Celtic defender and slipped her shot through the keeper’s legs and into the far side netting. The ball that put Harris in behind the defense came from a punt by Galaxy goalkeeper Taylor Niendorf, who contributed double-digit saves to help the Cal South side come away with the clean sheet in the 1-0 victory.
Defending Region IV Champion FCSC 00G Nemesis Ellertson (OR) has earned its way back to the semifinal after recording two straight clean sheets to start its week. The Oregon side came away with a 3-0 win over Slammers FC (CA-S) on Tuesday to remain atop 17U Girls Group A. FCSC grabbed a 17th-minute lead on a MacKenzie Frimpong strike, and maintained that slight advantage until Isabella Lagunas Serrano netted a second goal in the 70th minute. Madison Goss added some breathing room when she found the back of the net six minutes later, and the Oregon side secured the victory to get a step closer to defending its regional title.
A wild second half allowed California Magic 99 (CA-N) to pull away for a 6-2 win against Boise Nationals Timbers 99 Blue (ID) in 18U Girls Group B action. It wasn’t until the 35th minute that Kierra Krawec provided the game’s first goal, when she put California up, 1-0. Krawec doubled the lead shortly after halftime, but Sierra Sanchez pulled Boise within a goal with a 67th-minute strike. That marked the first of four goals in four minutes, as Keeley Murphy and Krawec scored for California before Sanchez netted her second for the Idaho side. Murphy and Jasmine Safarians added a couple of late insurance goals to seal the Magic’s victory and a spot in the quarterfinals.
It took a late free kick to help salvage a point for local side Seattle United 03 Copa (WA), which played to a 2-2 tie with 14U Boys Group C leader Rush 03B (HI). The Rush took a 17th-minute lead on a Sebastian Horn goal, but Rowan Davis immediately responded for Seattle to level the score at 1-1. However, Nathan Daehler found the back of the net in the 24th minute to help Hawaii regain its advantage. That score line held until the 67th minute, when Kiernan Smith drove a free kick from 30 yards out that took a deflection and bounced inside the right post — providing the final goal in the 2-2 draw. Both teams enter Wednesday with four points in the standings but still have work to do with La Roca DC (UT) on their heels.
After playing defending National Champion Valparaiso United FC 01 JG (AZ) to a draw on Monday, 16U Boys Santa Clara Sporting 01B Green (CA-N) followed that up with a 2-1 win over FC Boulder 01 Elite (CO). Jesse Nieve gave Santa Clara a seventh-minute lead before Mark O'Neill responded for FC Boulder to send the game to halftime level at 1-1. Cesar Cornejo found the back of the net in 52nd minute for what proved to be the game-winner in Santa Clara’s 2-1 victory. With five sides in the six-team Group D with at least three points entering the final day of preliminary play, no team can take it easy in the hunt for a quarterfinal berth.
West Coast FC Armour 2000 (CA-S) earned a spot in the 17U Boys quarterfinals with a 3-1 win over Players SC 00 Elite (NV) on Tuesday. The Nevada side provided some early resistance when it took a lead on Felipe Lucero’s seventh-minute strike. However, West Coast equalized in the 25th minute, as Angel Morales-Montalvo controlled a low cross and quickly poked his shot inside the near post. Minutes later, the Nevada keeper got down to get a palm on a low drive, but Blake Bowen was in the right place to tap it in for a 2-1 West Coast lead. Morales-Montalvo added a late insurance goal to help cap the Cal South side’s second win of the week.
After both games ended in draws on Monday, 19/20U Boys Group C saw teams create some separation on the second day of play. South San Jose Indios (CA-N) was one of the sides picking up three points, as it won, 4-2, against La Roca TJ (UT). Angel Gil-Briseno and Fernando Menera Pino each scored first-half goals to give South San Jose a 2-0 lead at the break. Agustin Asensio pulled a goal back for La Roca in the 61st minute before the Cal North side extended its lead with a pair of goals from free kicks. Jose DeLaTorre Miranda first found the back of the net on a quick restart the caught La Roca off guard. Brian Alvarez then made it 4-1 when he hit a spectacular bicycle kick into the upper-90 — sending his team into a wild celebration in the corner of the field. Alec Groathouse scored a late goal for La Roca, but South San Jose held on for the 4-2 victory.
Daily reports and complete results from the US Youth Soccer Region IV Championships are available on http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org/regionIV/.
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