FRISCO, Texas (July 27, 2016) – Under-16 Boys OP Green (OH-S) defeated Concorde Fire 99/00 (GA) 2-0 to stay at the top of the division and secure a spot in the 2016 US Youth Soccer National Championships semifinals in Frisco, Texas.
2016 US Youth Soccer Region II champions OP Green (OH-S) stands alone at the top of Group B after defeating Dix Hills Hurricanes (NY-E) 2-1 on the first day of group play. OP’s victory over 2016 US Youth Soccer Region III champions Concorde avenged a 3-1 loss on the first day of play at the 2015-16 US Youth Soccer National League. Concorde and OP finished third and fourth respectively in the National League Red Division.
“Concorde is a great team. We were fortunate to get two goals early on, and that always makes it easier,” OP head coach Travis Wall said. “We were able have a solid second half, and the boys were resilient to come out with a win.”
Carter Patchett began the scoring early in the first half before Luke Kiley, who has twice led the Region II Championships and National League in scoring, broke through on the left slide before calmly sliding his shot past the Concorde keeper Russell Shealy, to put the Ohio side up 2-0. Wall, who is in the first season of coaching the Region II champions talked about the difference between the two team’s first match in National League and the match today.
“It was the first game I coached with this team, and I think our side has changed a lot in the last seventh months,” Wall said. “I [Concorde] has changed as well and are still a great team. With each day this team has gotten stronger and stronger, and it has culminated with a trip to the national semifinal.”
OP’s defense took over in the second half as OP’s back line thwarted Concorde’s efforts to find the back of the net, and OP keeper Bryan Pratt came up with some big saves to earn the clean sheet.
“We are in uncharted territory since this team has never been to nationals, and it doesn’t get much easier playing Fullerton tomorrow after playing on of the best teams we have seen this year yesterday in Dix Hills,” Wall said. “In this tournament any team could walk away with a win or a loss depending on how the day goes, but we are not just happy to be here. We are going for the trophy.”
OP will play its final game against Fullerton Rangers White (CA-S) in another National League rematch, while Concorde Fire will take on Dix Hills Hurricanes (NY-E).