Play Begins at the 2013 US Youth Soccer National Championships in Overland Park, Kan.
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (July 23, 2013) — Games kicked off this morning for the 2013 US Youth Soccer National Championships, presented by the National Guard, at the Overland Park Soccer Complex in Overland Park, Kan. Excitement filled the air as teams made their first push to earn one of 14 national titles that will be awarded this weekend. The field of 88 teams is comprised of the nation’s top players and teams in the Under-13 through Under-19 age groups for boys and girls.
Tonight's games will feature the both gender divisions in the Under-17 and Under-18 age groups, with games set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. CT.
Teams are seeking positive results through preliminary round play, which concludes Friday. Three points are awarded for a win, one point for a tie and zero points for a loss. The top two teams in the U-13, U-14 and U-19 age groups, as well as the two pool winners in the U-15 through U-18 age groups, will advance to play for the National Championship this weekend.
The event is estimated to bring $4 million to the local economy. In addition to the impact locally, the championships provide college coaches with a premier stage to evaluate future collegiate players, offering a tremendous impact to players and their families.
NEFC of Massachusetts got a 2-1 win against Liverpool Elite of North Texas in the Under-13 Girls bracket. It was a match with an exciting start, as all three goals were scored in the first 10 minutes of play. MaryKate McGuire went one-on-one with the keeper and slid the ball in the back corner in just the 2nd minute. That quick start was followed up by a Taylor Krofton volley off of a corner kick to put NEFC up by 2, four minutes into the game. Sydney Simmons pulled her North Texas side within 1 when she flicked a cross into the net in the 10th minute. The NEFC defense was able to hold strong the rest of the match, and the game ended 2-1 in their favor.
The Under-13 Michigan Hawks (MI) got an opening day victory, defeating Legends FC (CA-S), 1-0. Nearly all 70 minutes of play went by with a 0-0 score line, until Michigan’s Madison Wolfbauer found the back of the net with only two minutes left on the clock.
Under-14 Girls YMS Xplosion (E-PA) began the tournament with a 2-1 win over Tophat 17 Gold (GA). Reagan Glisson put Tophat on the board, making it a 1-0 game through the break. YMS regained strength in the second half, and Brynn Skelly’s header off of a corner kick in the 64th minute gave the Eastern Pennsylvania side the confidence they needed. A rebound off of another set piece from Meredith Webber was all it took to wrap up the 2-1 win.
Eastside FC (WA) got an opening day victory, defeating Illinois’ NSA Rockets 2-0. Joanna Harbers’ pair of goals in the 28th and 40th minutes helped give her Washington side the win, and set them up to control their own destiny later in the week.
Ambassadors FC (OH-N) overcame a 2-0 deficit and defeated Carlsbad Elite (CA-S) 3-2 in their Under-15 Girls matchup. Although Carlsbad went into halftime with a 2-0 lead after a pair of goals from Sunny Dunphy, Ambassadors came back focused in the second half and ultimately got the win after a Sarah Krause hatrick. Krause gave her team the boost they needed in 46th minute when she beat the keeper and slid the ball into the back of the net. Ten minutes later, Krause sent the ball from outside the 18 yard box and over the California keeper's head to tie things up. A penalty kick in the 69th minute was all the Ohio North side needed to earn their opening day win.
First-time Idaho representative Boise Nationals got off on the right foot, defeating Tennessee SC 3-1 in their U-15 Girls matchup. Boise’s Karli Stone led her team with a hat trick, with goals in the 9th, 65th and 67th minute. Tennessee’s Karlie Paschall got a goal in the 36th minute of play, but Stone’s strong second half performance gave Boise the win.
After a back and forth game, Under-16 Girls DMCV Sharks Elite (CA-S) and NSA Jaguars (IL) ended deadlocked at 2-2. NSA struck first in the 17th minute from Lexi Pelafas, but Sharks equalized in the 66th thanks to Kirsten McBeain. NSA regained the lead eight minutes later through Erin Fitzgerald, but once again Sharks came back to level thanks to Samantha Staab’s strike with just a minute left to play.
In an action packed game which featured eight goals, Under-16 Girls Match Fit Colchesters (NJ)took a 5-3 victory over Louisiana Fire Navy (LA) to open the week. Hana Kerner led Match Fit with a hatrick, her first coming in the opening minutes before Fire equalized in the 33rd from Kassandra Ortega. Remy Borinsky put Match Fit back in front before halftime and Kerner’s second in the 50th made it 3-1. Fire refused to go away as Ortega grabbed her brace in the 63rd, but Kerner struck again in the 71st to regain the two goal lead. Once again, Fire pulled within one thanks to Alexandra Thomas, but Tanika Roach capped the scoring for Match Fit in the final minute for the 5-3 win.
NASA 12 Elite (GA) upended defending champs FC Pennsylvania Strikers (E-PA) 1-0 in the Under-19 Girls to kick off their campaign for the National Championship. After a scoreless first half, Elizabeth Johnson struck the game winner in the 78th as NASA emerged victorious in a rematch of past National League foes.
Attempting to claim the Under-19 Girls crown for the second consecutive year, So Cal Blues Dido (CA-S) twice had to rally to draw 2-2 with LSC EGA Bravo (NE). Bravo grabbed the lead in the 22nd from Chelsi Rohloff to head into the break with the lead, but Blues leveled just after the restart through Jessica White. The tie last just two minutes as Bravo regained the lead thanks to Alyssa Flannery, but once again Blues equalized through Kodi Lavrusky with six minutes to play.
Under-13 Boys Pateadores LA (CA-S) got off to a very quick start, as they scored in the opening minute against Raiders FC (IL). Jason Pacas notched the 1st-minute goal and added a second to double Pateadores’ lead in the 18th minute. Christian Crespo brought Raiders within one shortly after, but Bryan Perez and Kyle Holcumb responded for Pateadores to push their advantage to 4-1. Raiders’ Isaiah Nieves scored in the 39th minute, but two goals by Jake Arteaga and another by Holcumb capped Pateadores’ strong 7-2 victory.
FSA FC Navy (CT) came back from two goals down to earn a 2-2 tie in its Under-13 Boys game against United FA 00 Elite (GA). United got off to a promising start when Carlos Reyes scored in the 7th minute, and that lead doubled when Jose Arellano found the back of the net in the 32nd minute. However, two goals by FSA’s Anthony Melody, including an equalizer in the final minutes, helped FSA earn the 2-2 tie.
There was little separating Pateadores CM (CA-S) and Michigan Wolves 99 (MI) in their Under-14 Boys matchup on Tuesday. Neither offense could break through until Pateadores’ Santiago Galera opened the scoring in the 39th minute. The Pateadores defense made sure that goal held up, as the California side recorded a 1-0 shutout in its opening-day win.
Vardar 98 (MI) got off to a good start with a hard-fought 1-0 win against GSA 98 Phoenix Red (GA) in the Under-15 Boys group. After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, Jake Rosen broke through for Vardar to put the Michigan side up at halftime. Rosen’s early goal would hold through the second half to give Vardar the 1-0 win over GSA.
Under-15 Dix Hills Elite (NY-E) and Lehigh Valley United 97 (PA-E) couldn’t be separated during a scoreless first hour of play in their opening match. Dix Hills broke the tie in the 61st minute when Richie Mastrangelo found the back of the net. LVU couldn’t find an equalizer, and Dix Hills’ Christopher McAuliffe added a late insurance goal to take the 2-0 win.
Two-time defending national champions Fullerton Rangers 96 White (CA-S) hit the ground running in their opening game against NASA 15 Elite (GA) in Under-16 Boys action. Amirgy Pineda, Ricardo Ruiz and George Castro each registered first-half goals to give Rangers a commanding halftime lead. Their offense continued to attack the NASA defense, as Andres Lemus netted a pair of goals while Pineda and Castro each added their second in Rangers’ 7-0 win to send a clear message to the field.
Under-16 Boys Concorde Fire Elite (GA) put in a strong effort to earn a 3-0 win over Alliance 97 Black (MI). The National League Red Division runners-up got a goal from Channing Park in the 10th minute to take an early lead. Alliance held strong for much of the game before Concorde’s Jose Perez doubled his side’s advantage with a 68th-minute goal. Justin Greenfield added a third goal in the final minutes to cap Concorde’s 3-0 win.
Under-18 Boys action featured a clash of California South sides in Albion USA and West Coast FC. After a scoreless first half, Albion went ahead on an Ariel Lassiter goal in the 60th minute. Albion didn’t have much time to enjoy its lead, as West Coast responded three minutes later when Gage Zerboni beat the keeper. Neither side could find a goal to break the tie and the game would end 1-1.
The competition for the storied Under-19 Boys McGuire Cup kicked off with a 2-0 win for Lehigh Valley United 93 (PA-E) over Plantation Copa (FL). LVU went ahead in the 21st minute when defender Joseph Farrell beat the keeper, and that lead doubled in the second half on a Jared Martinelli strike. Sixteen-year-old goalkeeper Cameron Keys kept a clean sheet while filling in for his older brother, Logan, who was suspended for the match. With the win, LVU now sits on top of the Under-19 Boys group with two preliminary matches left to decide the finalists.
The second Under-19 Boys game featured some late drama, as Pateadores ANA (CA-S) needed a goal in the final seconds to earn a 1-1 tie with Chicago Fire Academy (IL). After a scoreless first half, the Fire took the lead on Daniel Lojek’s goal in the 52nd minute. It looked like that tally would be the difference, but Pateadores’ Andrew Sanders scored a critical equalizer in the 90th minute, and the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
The tournament consists of US Youth Soccer Regional Champions in the Under-13 through Under-19 Boys and Girls age groups as well as the US Youth Soccer National League qualifiers in the Under-15 through Under-18 Boys and Girls age groups to complete the field of 88 teams.
Each year brings about new challenges and highlights the motivation and commitment of these youth as they continue pursuing their dreams of being one of the best youth soccer teams in the United States. The National Championships are the final step of the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series and are open to any US Youth Soccer member. The U.S. Soccer Federation initiated the open youth championships with the James P. McGuire Cup (Under-19 Boys), the oldest trophy in youth sport in 1935. Since its creation in 1974, US Youth Soccer has added 13 divisions to the National Championship tournament, with the U-13 Boys and Girls divisions added this year to reach the current format.
The Under-19 Boys James P. McGuire Cup Championship will be broadcast live in HD on FOX Soccer this Saturday, July 27 with pregame coverage starting at 7 p.m. ET, leading into kickoff at 7:30 p.m. from the Overland Park Soccer Complex. The first time the game was broadcasted in HD was in 2010. Dean Linke and Charlie Slagle will be calling the action.
Daily reports and complete results from the tournament are available on http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org/
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