Eleven teams clinched their position as division champions prior to the closing weekend of play March 15-17, in Las Vegas, where the final five division champions were named, along with 11 other qualifiers.
By way of their success in the 2012-2013 US Youth Soccer National League, the top two finishers in each division have earned a direct path to the final leg of the nation's most elite and prestigious competition, providing the opportunity to capture the National Championship title in their respective age group.
2012-2013 US Youth Soccer National League representatives for the 2013 National Championships
*Clinched division during final weekend in Las Vegas
By State: California-South (7), Georgia (4), Illinois (4), Maryland (3), New Jersey (3), Florida (2), Ohio-South (2), Virginia (2), Arizona (1), Eastern New York (1), Eastern Pennsylvania (1), Missouri (1) and Ohio-North (1)
Six teams are looking to repeat as US Youth Soccer National Champions, led by Fullerton Rangers 97 White (CA-S), who are looking to win the Under-16 Boys championship for their third consecutive national title. In total, 14 of the teams that qualified through National League are making a second straight appearance at the National Championships.
Under-15 Girls Blue Division champion MSC Coyotes Green (MD) are looking to defend their National Championship after going 5-1-1 this National League season. Meanwhile, Red Division winner Carlsbad Elite 97/98 (CA-S) will look to carry the momentum of a 6-0-1 National League campaign to Overland Park.
Legends FC (CA-S) allowed just one goal in this National League season to qualify as the runner-up in the Under-16 Girls Red Division. They took last year’s National Championship by holding opponents scoreless, including a 1-0 win in the final over Kings Hammer Academy (OH-S), who finished as the Blue Division runner-up this season.
Under-17 Girls Red champion BRYC 95 Elite (VA) are out to defend their National Championship after going undefeated with six wins and one tie in National League. Cleveland United White (OH-N) is making its second straight appearance at the National Championships after winning all three of its games in Las Vegas to take the Blue Division crown.
Under-18 Girls Team Chicago Academy Botafogo (IL) became just the third girls team in the six-year history of National League to finish 7-0, as it took the Red Division title. Defending National Champions VSA Heat Blue (VA) and national runner-up Legends FC (CA-S) qualified for the National Championships, setting up what should be a competitive division in July in Overland Park.
Like Chicago Botafogo, Under-15 Boys Sunrise Elite 97/98 (FL) also went 7-0 to take the Blue Division, making them the fourth boys team to run the table. Sunrise Elite will look to return to the National Championship final, where it lost, 1-0, last year. Bethesda Lions (MD) are also making a return trip to the National Championships after winning the Red Division by going 4-0-3.
While Fullerton Rangers are looking to make it three consecutive national titles, the rest of the Under-16 Boys qualifiers are making their first appearances at the National Championships. CCV Stars 97 Black (AZ) and GSA Phoenix 97 Red (GA) took the Blue and Red Division titles, respectively, while Concorde Fire Elite (GA) went undefeated in Orlando to wind up as the Blue Division runner-up.
In the Under-17 Boys age group, Lehigh Valley United 95 (E-PA) is making its third appearance at the National Championships in the last four years. Meanwhile, West Coast FC (CA-S) defeated defending National League title holder Scottsdale 96 Blackhawks (AZ) in the season’s final game to jump the Arizona side and finish as the Blue Division runner-up and earn a spot in Overland Park. West Coast narrowly missed out on Nationals in 2012 when it fell in the Region IV final.
The Under-18 Boys group will send three former National Champions and one finalist to Overland Park. Blue Division runner-up Galaxy 94/95 Blue (IL) defeated Red Division winner Raiders FC Premier (IL) in last year’s National Championship final. Meanwhile, Blue Division champion Concorde Fire Elite (GA) is looking to return to the top of podium after winning the National Championship in 2011, and West Coast FC (CA-S) will be doing the same as it returns to the National Championships for the first time since winning it all in 2009.
The League kicked off the five-weekend schedule in mid-November 2012 with the boys starting things off in Wilson, N.C. Girls play kicked off two weeks later at the same location. The boys and girls each played on separate dates in late December alongside the Disney Soccer Showcase in Orlando, Fla. The final weekend featured both boys and girls action, as the teams competed in Las Vegas along with the 2013 Player's Soccer Showcase. Each weekend of play provides key recruiting and scouting opportunities for college coaches seeking future impact players.
The National League is an extension of the highly successful US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues — US Youth Soccer Region I (East) Premier League, Midwest Regional League, Southern Premier League and Far West Regional League. The National League provides an avenue for teams to play in meaningful matches against top competition from across the country for continued development and opportunities for exposure at the next level.
Teams that earn their spot in the National League have a proven track record of success in US Youth Soccer regional and national competitions, and are among the nation's best. Hundreds of college scouts attend each National League weekend, creating another significant opportunity for the nations collegiate and National Team coaches to see National League players in an environment of meaningful play, citing the competitive level of each game as every team has to earn their spot in the competition, regardless of club affiliation or location.
The US Youth Soccer National Championships cap a yearlong series of competitions, US Youth Soccer National Championship Series, for boys and girls teams in multiple age groups as teams earn their way from the top teams in their state to the regional championship tournaments. US Youth Soccer State Champions and selected wildcard teams are eligible to compete in one of four US Youth Soccer Regional Championships. The champions in the Under-13 through Under-19 age groups from each regional event will converge in the finals with the National League teams. Click here
for the dates and locations of the Regional Championships.
The date and location for the 2013 National Championships:
US Youth Soccer National Championships | Overland Park, Kan.
Overland Park Soccer Complex
Player Luncheon: July 22
Round Robin: July 23-26
Finals: July 27-28
For more information on the US Youth Soccer National Championships, visit http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org,
the online home for the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series, providing the latest in news, information and more. Get all US Youth Soccer National Championship Series updates on Twitter