96 US Youth Soccer Teams Kicked Off Their Quest For National Championships
After competing in their respective US Youth Soccer Regional Championships and winning, 96 teams have arrive in Tulsa, OK to participate in the final step of the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series. The tournament has teams in the U-13 through U-19 Boys and Girls age groups and the US Youth Soccer National League qualifiers in the U-14 through U-18 Boys and Girls age groups.
Everyone of the dedicated and talented athletes in Tulsa are looking to claim one of the 14 National titles. They will have the opportunity to showcase their skills to the nation’s top collegiate and professional coaches, who will be watching the matches and scouting the best players in the country.
Watch the action at the National Championships live.
Soccer News: Games kicked off Tuesday at the 2015 US Youth Soccer National Championships at the Mohawk Soccer Complex in Tulsa, Okla. Excitement filled the air as teams made their first push to earn one of the 14 National titles that will be awarded this weekend. The field of 96 teams is comprised of the nation’s top players in the Under-13 through Under-19 Boys and Girls age groups.
Teams are seeking positive results throughout group play, which concludes Thursday. Three points are awarded for a win, one point for a tie and zero points for a loss. The top two teams in the Under-13 and Under-19 age groups will advance to the National Championship final on Saturday, while the top two teams in each group in Under-14 through Under-18 play advance to their respective semifinals.
The event is estimated to bring more than $5 million to the local economy. In addition to the impact locally, the championships provide college coaches from around the country with a premier stage to evaluate future collegiate players, offering a tremendous impact to players and their families. Many college coaches and U.S. Soccer scouts lined the sidelines on Tuesday to watch the players make their first push for the 2015 National Championship.
All of the teams competing in Tulsa earned their place in the National Championships via success in the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series or the US Youth Soccer National League.
Highlights From Day One:
Tophat 19 Gold (GA) defeated Under-14 Girls CUP Gold 00/01 (OH-S) 1-0. After a competitive first half, the match went into halftime scoreless. Tophat’s Katie Scarborough found the back of the net in the 43rd minute, and the lone goal stood to give the Region III Champs the victory in Group A.
A pair of second half goals gave Under-15 Girls Penn Strikers (PA-E) a 2-0 win against Carlsbad Elite 99 (CA-S). After a scoreless first half, Avery Cotter broke the stalemate in the 48th minute for the Strikers. Teammate Brooke Schutter doubled the lead with a goal in the 50th minute. The win gives the Region I Champs three points to start the tournament.
Tophat 18 Gold (GA) and Albion SC White (CA-S) played to a 1-1 draw in their early morning Under-15 Girls matchup. National League qualifier Tophat Gold got the lead in the 19th minute after forward Rachel Jones found the back of the net. The advantage held on for almost the entire match, but just two minutes before the final whistle, Albion midfielder Malia Kaleiohi found the equalizer giving both teams a point each after their first match in Group A play.
Under-15 Girls Legends FC 99 (CA-S) kicked off Group B play with a fury of goals in their 5-0 shutout win against Futura Pink Panthers Elite (MO). Legends notched two goals within the first five minutes of play by Nia Harris and Denae Antoine. In the second half, Legends continued to dominate with a Bryanna Duckett tally in the 52nd minute. Forward Kaylee Ramirez added her name to the score sheet with a brace scoring in the 48th and 59th minutes.
Under-15 Girls La Roca Premier (UT) earned its first Nationals victory by defeating Solar Chelsea Elite 00 (TX-N) 6-1. La Roca forward Anna Escobedo shined with a hat trick, with goals in the 8th, 44th and 55th minutes. Olivia Wade and Macy Martinez scored first half goals in the 17th and 40th minutes to put La Roca up 3-0 at the half. Wade added her second goal for La Roca in the 50th minute. Messiah Bright put Solar Chelsea on the board with a late goal in the 75th minute, but La Roca walked away with the three points in Group B.
In a match with an explosive second half, KC Metro Dynamos (KS) defeated Under-18 Girls VSA Heat 96 Blue (VA) 3-1. Madison Holmes and Brooke Prondzinski put KC Metro up 2-0 with goals in the 48th and 61st minutes respectively. Madeline Watson found the back of the net for VSA in the 73rd minute, but Prondzinski found her second goal of the match late in stoppage time for the KC Metro win.
A quick start coupled with a strong finish helped Sporting KC Academy (KS) pull away for a 5-2 win over South Carolina United FC 99 Elite (SC) in Under-15 Boys Group A. Sporting received a pair of goals from Max Rugova to go up, 2-0, after a half-hour of play. Abdu Kikhia extended the lead to 3-0 before Grayson Barber and Thomas McLean pulled two goals back for South Carolina to bring their side within one. However, Kikhia added another tally and Roman Knox added a late goal to cap the 5-2 win for Sporting KC.
Elsewhere in Under-15 Group A, defending National Champion United FA 00 Premier (GA) used a stoppage time goal to slip past Surf Aguilar (CA-S) with a 2-1 win. Auston Rodriguez put United up with a 10th-minute goal, and the Georgia side maintained that advantage for much of the contest. That changed in the 66th minute when Joseph DaLuz netted an equalizer for Surf. But Nyger Hunter put United on top for good with a header at the back post to give the defending champions a win to start the tournament.
Baltimore Celtic (MD) began its week with a 2-0 win over SDFC Rangers (NJ) in Under-16 Boys Group A action. The Maryland side looked dangerous early in the game, and it broke through just before halftime when Nicolas Brown found the back of the net. Dominic Duncan doubled the lead with a 52nd minute strike, as Baltimore continued to apply pressure at the attacking end — evident by its 8-to-1 advantages in corner kicks. Celtic kept SDFC off the scoreboard to wrap up the 2-0 victory.
In Under-16 Group B, Penn Fusion 98 (PA-E) used a pair of second-half goals to pull away for a 2-0 win against Sporting St. Croix (MN). The first half ended with the teams in a scoreless tie, but a red card left sporting down a player. The Eastern Pennsylvania side took advantage in the second half, as Ryan Sholes gave Fusion a 60th-minute lead. Sporting’s 10 men pushed for an equalizer, but Jamison Dove added a late insurance goal for Penn Fusion to seal his team’s Day 1 win.
In Under-18 Boys action, 2014 National semifinalist CUP Gold 96/97 (OH-S) began its week with a decisive win against NASA 15 Elite (GA) in Group A. The Ohio side fell behind in the 28th minute after an own goal put NASA in front. However, CUP quickly responded with goals from William Cohen and Mohammed Elmardi to take a 2-1 lead into halftime. Cohen extended the advantage to 3-1 in the 63rd minute before Bryce Curran and Daniel Bundschuh each added insurance goals to cap CUP’s 5-1 win.
In a rematch of the 2014 National Championship final, FC Dallas 97 Premier (TX-N) used a stoppage time header to earn a 2-2 draw with defending champion Manhattan SC PSG 96 (NY-E). Despite early pressure from FC Dallas, Manhattan grabbed an 18th-minute lead on an Ousmane Dia strike. The New York side doubled its lead when Admir Nezaj struck his half-volley inside the right post, but Kevin Rodas immediately responded with a crucial goal for FC Dallas just before halftime. Manhattan nearly held on for the 2-1 win, but Dallas defender Matthew Rochowski connected on a late header to force the 2-2 draw.
Day 1 Results: Group Play Matches
Watch highlights from Day 1 as the athletes prepare for an exciting Day 2: