2016 US Youth Soccer National Champions Crowned in Texas
#ROADtoTX – US Youth Soccer – The remaining champions were crowned Sunday at the 2016 US Youth Soccer National Championships in Frisco, Texas. The country’s top teams in the Under-14 through Under-18 Boys and Girls age groups met to conclude the final stage of the 2016 US Youth Soccer National Championship Series. Sunday’s final matchups featured teams who earned the right to play for their respective National titles through success in group play and victories in their semifinal games.
Youth Soccer News: Another year has passed and the last champions were crowned this past weekend at the 2016 US Youth Soccer National Championships at the Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco, Texas.
The country’s top youth soccer teams in the U14 through U18 Boys and Girls age brackets competed in the final stage of the 2016 US Youth Soccer National Championship Series.
The National Champions emerged on top in the tournament, which featured US Youth Soccer Regional Champions in the U13 through U19 Boys and Girls age groups, as well as the US Youth Soccer National League qualifiers in the U14 through U18 Boys and Girls age groups to complete the field of 96 teams.
Sunday’s final matchups featured teams who earned the right to play for their respective National titles through success in group play and victories in their semifinal games. With a total of 14 National Youth Soccer Champions, 4 teams were from Cal South, 2 from Michigan and 2 from Virginia.
2016 US Youth Soccer National Champions
Under-13 Girls | Solar Chelsea Red (TX-N)
Under-13 Boys | 02 CASL Academy Juniors (NC)
Under-14 Girls | PSG MI Gators 02 Orange (MI)
Under-14 Boys | Valparaiso United FC 02 JG (AZ)
Under-15 Girls | Midwest United FC 01 Royal (MI)
Under-15 Boys | McLean 00 Green (VA)
Under-16 Girls | Carlsbad Elite 99 (CA-S)
Under-16 Boys | Loudoun Red (VA)
Under-17 Girls | YMS Premier Xplosion 98 (PA-E)
Under-17 Boys | Pipeline Black (MD)
Under-18 Girls | Tennessee SC 16 (TN)
Under-18 Boys | Santa Barbara SC White (CA-S)
Under-19 Girls | So Cal Blues Dodge (CA-S)
Under-19 Boys | FC Golden State (CA-S)
Among the returning National Champions, Under-14 Girls PSG MI Gators 02 Orange (MI) earned its second consecutive National Championship title when it defeated BRYC 01 Elite (VA), 1-0.
Under-18 Boys Santa Barbara SC White (CA-S) took home its third National Championship title since winning in 2012 and 2013. The title makes Santa Barbara the fifth team in US Youth Soccer history to win three National Championships.
“When it comes down to it, they showed they have the heart of a champion,” Santa Barbara head coach Rudy Ybarra said. “We went down 1-0, and they didn’t quit. It shows how much heart and determination we have. We are proud of them as a coaching staff, as parents and as a club. We are a small community and don’t have millions to choose from like the metropolitan areas. So player development and setting foundations is very important for us. Coaches don’t develop players. We set the foundation and they develop themselves through the love of the game.”
On the Under-17 Girls side, YMS Premier Xplosion 98 (PA-E) earned its first National Championship after taking Beach FC 98 Academy (CA-S) to double overtime to defeat the Southern California team, 3-2. YMS reached the National Championships finals for the fourth straight time and claimed its first national title on Sunday.
“It feels a little bit surreal right now,” YMS head coach John Greaves. “For a long period in that game we were second best. We corrected a few things during one water break and knew that if we could get one, we would have a go at coming back. I know the character of them and that proved to be right.”
A few highlights from Sunday’s final matches…
Under-14 Girls: BRYC 01 Elite (VA) 0-1 PSG MI Gators 02 Orange (MI)
PSG MI Gators 02 Orange (MI) earned their second consecutive National Championship title after defeating BRYC 01 Elite (VA), 1-0. BRYC and PSG led their bracket in the Under-14 Girls group play, and although PSG defeated BRYC, 1-0 on Thursday, BRYC took the first seed. In the championship match, PSG did not let the group standing affect them as a first half goal from U.S. Youth National Team player Emily Mathews gave them the win.
“It feels incredible,” PSG head coach Jeremy Harkins said. “I think some people don’t even realize how special it is to go back-to-back. Winning one is a dream come true, but two, I would have never imagined it. We felt that we had the experience to be able to play our game and to make other teams make adjustments to us and we did that today.”
The first half of the championship match featured calm play from both teams. As PSG maintained the majority of the possession, they also created more opportunities. After continuous pressure and a little patience, PSG got on the board when they capitalized on a free kick play from about 35 yard away from the goal. The kick was played down the sideline for Caitlin O’Malley to run onto and send across the goal, and Mathews ran through the ball into the net for the 1-0 lead.
In the second half, BRYC kicked their game up a notch and looked to go forward more. Their work was rewarded with a free kick right after the whistle, but Jaden Steele’s shot went slightly over the goal. PSG responded to the pressure with composure as they took back control of the game and strived for a second goal, but the match remained 1-0 in PSG’s favor.
Under-15 Girls: CUP Gold 00/01 (OH-S) 0-1 Midwest United FC 01 Royal (MI)
Midwest United FC 01 Royal (MI) claimed the Under-15 Girls National Championships after edging out CUP Gold 00/01 (OH-S), 1-0. The two teams recently faced each other in the semifinals of the Region II Championships as Midwest United defeated CUP Gold, 2-0 in the semifinals.
Midwest United dictated the pace of the game by maintaining possession for the majority of the first half, and after a few chances, they took the lead with a goal from Stephanie Currie. It all started when a ball was lobbed over the CUP Gold defense, and Currie outran her defender to volley a left-footed shot to the right side of the net. Midwest United continued to push forward, searching for a second goal, while CUP Gold tried to prevent any more from going in their own goal. Regan Berg from Midwest United nearly made it a 2-0 game when she took the ball toward the goal, but her shot went just wide of the left goal post.
In the second half, CUP Gold began to inch closer to goal with a few free kicks and corner kicks, but they were unable to finish their opportunities. Midwest United held onto the 1-0 lead and took home the overall victory for the National Championship title.
Under-16 Girls: Carlsbad Elite 99 (CA-S) 1-0 La Roca Premier PO (UT)
Carlsbad Elite 99 (CA-S) held on to a one-goal advantage for nearly the entirety of its matchup with La Roca Premier PO (UT) to earn a 1-0 victory on Sunday and claim the Under-16 Girls National Championship.
Carlsbad’s Jessica Wright gave her side a sixth-minute lead when she unleashed a right-footed blast from 20 yards that flew just inside the right post. The Cal South side held La Roca in check for the remainder of the half, as Carlsbad went into the break holding on to the 1-0 lead.
La Roca, the 2015 National finalist, nearly generated an equalizer midway through the second half. 2015 National Championships Best XI player Anna Escobedo made her way into the top of the Carlsbad penalty area and cut onto her right before sending a quick shot curling toward the upper-90. However, Carlsbad keeper Avrie Fox lunged to her left to push the La Roca forward’s attempt wide for a corner.
Fox and the Carlsbad back line proved to be vital to the Cal South side’s run to the title. Each of the side’s four wins in Frisco came by 1-0 score lines, as Carlsbad conceded just once throughout the entire week. Behind the strength of the defense and timely scoring, Carlsbad secured the victory to claim the club’s second National Championship in as many years.
Under-17 Girls: YMS Premier Xplosion 98 (PA-E) 3-2 (OT) Beach FC 98 Academy (CA-S)
YMS Premier Xplosion 98 (PA-E) won its first National Championship after a remarkable 3-2 comeback win over a tough Beach FC 98 Academy (CA-S) side.
Beach looked to be in total control of the match early on as it dominated possession and controlled the chances on net. Nadiyah Siqueiros stung the crossbar early and then a chance by Madison Kennel was pushed wide by the YMS keeper. Beach got on the board in the 19th minute when Whitney Davis calmly placed her chance by the keeper. Myah Baksh extended the Beach lead when a long punt bounded over the top of the YMS defense. A penalty-kick was called when a Beach player was pulled down in the box as players from both sides scrambled for the bouncing ball. Baksh stepped up and finished her opportunity to extend the lead to 2-0 going into halftime. After looking out of sorts in the first half, YMS stormed back in the second. Maddie Elwell cut the lead in half when she bent in her free kick to the back post for a goal.
Two-time Under-17 Girls Golden Ball winner Murphy Agnew then turned her game up a notch and leveled the score in the 85thminute with a free kick of her own from just outside the box. YMS had a couple of chances to grab the game-winner late but saw the chance go wide or sail over the bar. As the game grew closer to the possibility of kicks from the mark, Agnew struck again to give her side the 3-2 lead. YMS held off Beach and wound down the clock to become the Under-17 Girls US Youth Soccer National Championships.
“Muphy Agnew is a real game changer,” YMS head coach John Greaves said. “When she goes and scores goals like that for you, you know you’ve got a chance. This feels so fantastic. It seems like years of hard work all coming together. It is just so emotional.”
Under-18 Girls: Carlsbad Elite 97/98 (CA-S) 0-3 Tennessee SC 16 (TN)
After coming up short in the final as an Under-14 side in 2012, Tennessee SC 16 (TN) produced a memorable ending with a 3-0 victory over Carlsbad Elite 97/98 (CA-S) to win the Under-18 Girls National Championship.
A strong push at the end of the first half helped Tennessee grab an advantage. Peyton DePriest was taken down inside the Carlsbad box, resulting in a penalty kick for Tennessee and a red card for the Cal South side. The Carlsbad keeper guessed the right way on the ensuing penalty kick attempt and pushed the shot aside to keep the game scoreless. But just minutes later, U.S. Youth National Team midfielder Karlie Paschall slipped a pass to Juliette Garst, who slid her shot inside the left post to put Tennessee in front.
In the 60th minute, Paschall recorded her second assist when she sent a corner kick to the back post, where Callie McKinney headed it home. Tennessee sealed the victory in the 90th minute, as Mackenzie Firek finished a low cross right in front of goal to help Tennessee to the 3-0 victory.
“Starting with our State Cup, going into Regionals, going into Nationals — every game was a challenge,” Tennessee head coach Ronnie Woodard. “It’s a true credit to every team that we went up against. I’m incredibly proud of my girls and the effort and focus that they had throughout the entire tournament. For them to go out on top as a National Champion — I’m just at a loss for words.”
Under-14 Boys: Valparaiso United FC 02 JG (AZ) 2-0 Baltimore Darby 01/02 (MD)
A strong second-half performance helped Valparaiso United FC 02 JG (AZ) capture the Under-14 Boys National Championships with a 2-0 victory over defending champion Baltimore Darby 01/02 (MD).
Baltimore applied some early pressure and came inches from a breakthrough when Richard Nichols hit a blast from 20 yards out that hit the crossbar. The Maryland side controlled the run of play for much of the first half, but Valpo did well to deny any dangerous moments from Baltimore.
The Arizona side punched back in the second half and began to generate some offensive opportunities of its own. In the 62nd minute, Valpo took advantage of a series of corner kicks to produce a breakthrough goal. Valpo’s Hayden Noll headed a corner to the back post, where Baltimore keeper Grant Farley made a diving save. However, Paul Gindiri was in the right place and hit home the rebound to give Valpo the 1-0 advantage. Denis Conteh doubled the lead in the final minute of regulation, as he netted his third goal of the tournament — making him one of three Valpo players, along with Jarod Eaton and Paul Gindiri, to lead the team with three goals.
US Youth Soccer ODP goalkeeper Tyler Kirberg and the back line helped Valpo record the shutout, as the Arizona side claimed the National Championship.
“Working in the National League helped us bring the level up, and I think we demonstrated here that we can play,” Valpo coach Jorge Garre said. “I’m the proudest coach here. We lost one of our key players on defense just two weeks before coming here. Everyone stepped up, and I’m so proud of the boys.”
Under-15 Boys: CFA Raiders (IL) 1-2 (PK) McLean 00 Green (VA)
Kicks from the mark were needed to determine a winner in the Under-15 Boys age group between CFA Raiders (IL) and McLean 00 Green (VA), which ultimately saw McLean claim the national title. The match between two teams who qualified via the US Youth Soccer National League was also a rematch of the second day of group play, which resulted in a 2-1 CFA win.
CFA Raiders (IL) got on the board in the 51st minute when Fernando Barragan finished off a cross from the right side for the point-blank goal. However, just like in the group stage match between the two sides, McLean would respond when 2015 National Championships Best XI player Daniel-Diaz Bonilla’s near-post striker beat the keeper and found the back of the net to knot things up at one apiece.
Both sides would produce chances in the final minutes and extra time, but a goal was not in the cards. Things were still knotted up after the initial five kicks, and it took until the eighth set of kicks, when McLean keeper Nathan Paolozzi blocked Julio Acosta’s shot before Spencer Gregory buried his kick to give his side a national title.
Under-16 Boys: Dix Hills Hurricanes (NY-E) 0-1 Loudoun Red (VA)
Loudoun Red (VA) defeated Dix Hills Hurricanes (NY-E) 1-0 thanks to a goal from Evans Moyo to claim the Under-16 National Championships in a showdown of Region I teams.
Moyo broke the scoreless stalemate in the 25th minute when Loudoun forward Joao Splett took on two defenders on the right side of the box before sending a cross into the box, which Moyo headed into the near post to put the Virginia side up 1-0. Moyo’s goal moved into a tie for the most goals scored in the age group.
The 2016 Region I Champions would hold off 2015-16 National League Red Champions Dix Hills Hurricanes, which led all teams with eight goals scored in group play. Dix Hills’ pressure was especially potent in the final 15 minutes with the Easter New York side recording multiple chances, including having a goal called back for off-sides, but keeper Christian Andrande and the Loudoun back line would prevent a Dix Hills equalizer to record the clean sheet.
Under-17 Boys: Pipeline Black (MD) 2-1 Loudoun 98 Red (VA)
Pipeline Black (MD) defeated Loudoun 98 Red (VA) 2-1 in a rematch of the Region I Championship final to become the Under-17 Boys National Champions.
Loudoun started the scoring first when 2015 National Championships Golden Ball winner Giovanni Vasquez found Michael Scully in the box. Scully was tugged down in the box and a penalty kick was called. Ermin Karic made no mistake in his penalty kick effort shelfing his shot top right.
Pipeline leveled the score in the when Benjamin Alexander ran onto a long ball and hit a beautiful half volley from the right side of the box into the left side netting. Alexander scored the game winner in the 85thminute when another long ball over the top found his feet. Alexander poked his chance beyond the goal keeper and a scrambling Loudoun defender for the 2-1 lead. Pipeline held for the 2-1 victory and became the US Youth Soccer Under-17 Boys National Champions in its first trip to Nationals.
“I think that the overall experience was incredible,” said Pipeline head coach Santino Quaranta. “Being down 1-0 with 20 minutes to go and find a way back in was pretty special and it was kind of written in the history books for us. We felt we worked hard as we could all year and were rewarded for it, we felt it was meant to be.”
Under-18 Boys: FC Golden State Platinum (CA-S) 1-2 (PK) Santa Barbara SC White (CA-S)
Santa Barbara SC White (CA-S) defeated FC Golden State Platinum (CA-S) in kicks from the mark to claim a historic third national title in the Under-18 Boys National Championships finals in a rematch of the 2013 Region IV Championships, which was also decided in kicks from the mark.
FC Golden State began the scoring in the 64th minute when Eduardo Sanchez received a pass from Manuel Chavez on the left side before turning a defender and finding the back of the net. It looked as if FC Golden State was going to claim its second national title, but the two-time champions refused to go away, and Julian Arauo equalized for Santa Barbara minutes before the end of regulation with his goal in the near post to force extra time.
“When it comes down to it, they showed they have the heart of a champion. We went down 1-0, and they didn’t quit. It shows how much heart and determination we have,” Santa Barbara head coach Rudy Ybarra said. “We are proud of them as a coaching staff, as parents and as a club. We are a small community and don’t have millions to choose from like the metropolitan areas. So player development and setting foundations is very important for us. Coaches don’t develop players. We set the foundation and they develop themselves through the love of the game.”
Neither team would find a goal in extra time, so the champion would have to be decided via kicks from the mark. After both sides converted their first three kicks, Santa Barbara keeper and 2012 National Championships Golden Ball winner Edward Delgado came up with two huge saves to secure his team’s third national championship. Santa Barbara now joins Dallas Texans Red 88 (TX-N), Central Valley Mercury (CA-N), Arsenal FC (CA-S) and So Cal United (CA-S) as the only teams to win three National Championships.
2016 US Youth Soccer National Championships | Finals
|U14||Girls||BRYC 01 Elite||VA||0||PSG MI Gators 02 Orange||MI||1|
|U14||Boys||Valparaiso United FC 02 JG||AZ||2||Baltimore Darby 01/02||MD||0|
|U15||Girls||CUP Gold 00/01||OH-S||0||Midwest United FC 01 Royal||MI||1|
|U15||Boys||CFA Raiders||IL||1||McLean 00 Green||VA||2|
|U16||Girls||Carlsbad Elite 99||CA-S||1||La Roca Premier PO||UT||0|
|U16||Boys||Dix Hills Hurricanes||NY-E||0||Loudoun Red||VA||1|
|U17||Girls||YMS Premier Xplosion 98||PA-E||3||Beach FC 98 Academy||CA-S||2|
|U17||Boys||Pipeline Black||MD||2||Loudoun 98 Red||VA||1|
|U18||Girls||Carlsbad Elite 97/98||CA-S||0||Tennessee SC 16||TN||3|
|U18||Boys||FC Golden State Platinum||CA-S||1||Santa Barbara SC White||CA-S||2|
Highlights from Saturday’s final matches…
Under-13 Girls: So Cal Blues 02 Baker (CA-S) 1-3 Solar Chelsea Red (TX-N)
Solar Chelsea Red (TX-N) won the Under-13 Girls National Championship tonight 3-1 in extra time against So Cal Blues 02 Baker (CA-S).
Solar, playing in front of an enormous local crowd, used that energy to keep up a frenetic pace throughout the game. Solar had two chances early as Trinity Byars and Quinn Cornog combined but were denied both times with stellar goalkeeping by So Cal’s Reezyn Turk. So Cal had a great opportunity in the first half, as Simone Jackson ripped a shot to the bottom right corner but was saved by a diving Rachel Bump to keep the score at 0-0. So Cal took the lead in the 46th minute when Reilyn Turner got a ball and finished to the back post. Solar leveled the scoreline just five minutes later on a beautiful team play. Raigen Powell avoided defenders into the So Cal side of the field. Powell found Alexis Missimo who connected with a streaking Trinity Byars, who finished beautifully. Turk was called into action multiple times, making great saves keeping So Cal in the game as Solar controlled possession. As the game went into overtime, Byars gave her team the victory as a long ball into the box got knocked back across the face of goal by Missimo right to Bryars, who finished from close range. Quinn Cornog added an insurance goal for North Texas when she headed home a crossed ball into the upper left corner. The Blues couldn’t find any true offensive chances and time expired with Solar becoming the Under-13 Girls US Youth Soccer National Champions.
“A game like this is about heart,” said Chris Pulpaneck, head coach of Solar Chelsea. “It’s about who’s going to have some energy and that extra bit of fight in them and our girls dug deep and worked hard and got some goals in the end. It’s unbelievable to be National Champions.”
Under-13 Boys: Strikers FC Chingirian (CA-S) 1-2 02 CASL Academy Juniors (NC)
02 CASL Academy Juniors (NC) earned the National Championship title with a 2-1 win over Strikers FC Chingirian (CA-S), as the Under-13 Boys championship match started off with urgency from the first whistle, and the play never slowed down from there. Previously in group play, Strikers defeated CASL, 2-0, on Thursday, and the Cal South team had gone undefeated in the three games. CASL claimed the early lead in the fifth minute when Jason Smith stood on the back post during a corner kick and headed the ball into the net. Strikers immediately retaliated when a ball bounced over, catching the CASL defense off guard, for Reagan Wortmann to run on and slot into the goal. CASL stole the lead right back as Ian Holdaway took the ball down the sideline and found Adam Armour in the middle of the 18-yard box to slide his shot past the Strikers goalkeeper.
The second half featured gutsy performances from both teams as they each were hungry for a goal. Strikers nearly tied the match when they had a follow-up shot that was called back for offside, and CASL generated a few close opportunities right in front of the goal, which either hit the goal post or skimmed right over the crossbar. Although the Strikers applied high pressure in the final minutes of the match, CASL’s defense and goalkeeper Robert Alphin remained solid and made some crucial saves to hold the lead.
“I couldn’t be more blessed,” CASL head coach Mark Jonas said. “It was a blessing from God. I’ve had some of these boys since they were six or seven-years-old. It’s surreal at this moment. I’m so proud of them. It’s incredible. Time couldn’t have moved any slower, and the boys fought to the end.”
Under-19 Girls: So Cal Blues Dodge (CA-S) 5-0 McLean 96 Green (VA)
So Cal Blues Dodge (CA-S) defeated McLean 96 Green (VA) 5-0 to claim the Under-19 Girls US Youth Soccer National Championships. This marks the third time a So Cal Blues team has reached the Under-19 Girls National Championships since 2012, but the first time the club win the national title.
“It’s great. I’m so happy they created a memory they will remember for rest of their life,” So Cal Blues head coach Randy Dodge said. “This is a fantastic group. We had a great week and to finish it off with a national title is incredible.”
The 2016 Region IV Champions began the scoring just seven minutes in the game when University of Oregon player Marissa Everett got deep inside the McLean box before slipping a pass to Under-17 U.S. Youth National Team player Karina Rodriguez, who sent her shot into the open net for the 1-0 lead. Everett was it again the second half when her shot from 30 yards out went through the McLean keeper’s hands to give the Southern California side the 2-0 lead.
University of Southern California player Nicole Rosen gave So Cal Blues the 3-0 lead after receiving a cross from the top of the box before rifling her shot into the back of the net. Pacific University player Hannah Stammer gave Blues its fourth goal after sliding her shot past the oncoming keeper, and Anika Rodriguez score her third goal of the tournament off a free-kick in the final minutes. U.S. Under-19 Youth National Team player Ally Prisock and the So Cal Blues back line kept its third clean sheet of the tournament.The US Youth Soccer National Championship Series provides more than 10,000 teams from US Youth Soccer’s 55 State Associations the opportunity to showcase their abilities against the best in the nation while emphasizing teamwork, discipline and fair play.
Under-19 Boys: FC Golden State (CA-S) 3-1 FC Florida 96/97 Elite (FL)
In the Under-19 Boys final, FC Golden State (CA-S) used a big first half to come away with a 3-1 victory over FC Florida 96/97 Elite (FL) and lift the McGuire Cup trophy. The title marked Golden State’s second straight National Championship, as the Cal South side defended the title it earned as an Under-18 side a year ago.
Saturday’s game began with a very quick pace, as the teams exchanged moments of possession in their respective attacking halves. Golden State grabbed an advantage in the 20th minute when Pedro Fonseca buried his chance in front of goal, and Fonseca doubled the Cal South side’s lead shortly after by converting a penalty kick. Maicon Abreu pushed the lead to 3-0 in the 35th minute when he made a run to the near post and headed a corner past the Florida keeper.
FC Florida, which has proven to be a strong second half team this week, lived up to that billing on Saturday night. However, Golden State did well to absorb the pressure and maintain its three-goal lead for much of the game. It wasn’t until the 78th minute that John Schroeder broke through to put FC Florida on the board and cut the lead to 3-1. However, Golden State saw out the final 15 minutes of play and held on for its second straight National Championship.
“You never really think it’s going to happen,” FC Golden State coach Robert Friedland said. “So when you actually come to realization and know the boys have worked two years in a row and done what they’ve done, there can’t be a better feeling.”
RECAP OF EVENT: The yearlong competition begins with over 185,000 players in the US Youth Soccer State Championships. These champions and selected wildcard teams, through US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues, advance to compete in one of four US Youth Soccer Regional Championships. Champions (U-13 through U-19) from each regional event advance to the US Youth Soccer National Championships.
The Under-14 through Under-18 Boys and Girls age groups have four teams representing the US Youth Soccer National League, in which the top two teams in each gender age group division earn a direct path to the National Championships.
Overall, the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series provides the nation’s top collegiate coaches with the premier stage to identify and scout the most coveted players in the country.