First Champions Crowned at US Youth Soccer Region III Championships
The first US Youth Soccer Region III Champions have been crowned as teams prepare to take their talents to nationals versus top teams from across the country.
The US Youth Soccer National Championships will consist of US Youth Soccer Regional Champions in the U13 through U19/20 Boys and Girls age groups, as well as the US Youth Soccer National League qualifiers in the U15 through U19/20 Boys and Girls age groups to complete the field of 96 teams.
Youth Soccer News: Celebrations were in order on Wednesday at BB&T Soccer Complex at Bryan Park in Greensboro, N.C., as two teams hoisted 2017 US Youth Soccer Region III Championships. By winning the title, the two clubs — U19/20 Girls 98 CR Academy (NC) and U19/20 Boys OFC 98 (OK) — have earned berths to the notable US Youth Soccer National Championships, which will be held July 24-30 in Frisco, Texas.
OFC 98 claimed the U19/20 Boys Region III Championships title on Wednesday with a win against NTH NASA 98 Elite (GA). Coach Jesse Faiy is proud of how hard his team has worked and commended their efforts throughout the event.
“Region III Championships are the only thing we haven’t won yet,” said Faiy. “All credit to the boys who worked very hard to get here, putting in 6 a.m. training sessions and 6 a.m. running sessions. It feels unbelievable.”
Faiy realizes what an honor it is to win a Regional Championship, given the tough competition OFC 98 had to face throughout the week.
“Playing against the top competition in the region gets my kids ready to play at the next level,” said Faiy. “We have several boys going Division I and Division II and just playing this competition for six days is going to give them the motivation, desire and drive to get to the next level and compete for a starting spot as freshmen.”
In a second-half surge, OFC 98 (OK) topped NTH NASA 98 Elite (GA), 4-0. The lone goal of the first half was scored by Dante Brigida. The next three tallies were scored in bunches in the 70th, 74th and 80th minutes. The first of the three goals came from Jaxon Pitt and four minutes later, Brigida added his second of the match. The final goal of the match came from Daryl Dike, who headed it into the back of the net to seal a spot for OFC 98 in the National Championships.
98 CR Academy (NC) overcame WSA 98 Red (OK), 2-0, in the final game of Region III Championships. It was a scoreless first 45 minutes, but 98 CR Academy had a heavy attacking presence in the second half of play. First to score for 98 CR Academy was Mia Thillet in the 63rd minute, and Emery Noll added a late goal in the 86th minute. Due to being a Red Division runner-up in the National League, 98 CR Academy has already earned a berth in the National Championships; therefore, WSA 98 Red (OK) earned a bid as well.
TSC Hurricane 04 Umelo (OK) edged VHSC Steamers 04 Black (AL) in a nail-biting 1-0 result. The only goal of the match was scored in the 16th minute by Angel Dimas. TSC Hurricane 04 Umelo will face Oklahoma FC 04 (OK) on Thursday for the final match of Region III Championships in the U13 Boys division.
Tennessee SC Showcase (TN) is headed to the Region III Championship finals after a 2-1 victory over SA/CFA Dalton 03 Elite (SC). Tennessee SC struck first in the game with a goal from Forrest Wells in the 22nd minute. Just one minute later, CFA’s Jaimie Mendiola found the back of the net to knot the score. In the 44th minute, the ultimate game-winning goal was notched by Tennessee SC’s Reid McAdams. The second half was scoreless and Tennessee SC’s defense held up a strong backline to prevent another CFA tally. With the win, Tennessee SC will go head to head with USA/MP 03 Premier (SC) in the final match of Region III Championships.
In the U14 Girls division, Florida Elite (FL) defeated Lonestar 03 Composite (TX-S), 1-0. Jordan Follenweider’s goal for Florida Elite was the difference in the game. Throughout Region III Championships, Florida Elite has only given up two goals. In the final match on Thursday, Florida Elite will face Tennessee SC Showcase (TN).
Solar Chelsea Red 02 Stricker (TX-N) advanced to the finals of Region III Championships with a win over Oklahoma FC 02 (OK). Solar Chelsea’s Harvey Castro scored in the 5th minute off an assist from Richard Garcia. In the 30th minute, Reefe Harrison found the back of the net to make the score 2-0 before halftime. The final goal of the game was scored by Harvey Castro – his second goal of the match – to seal the win for Solar Chelsea. Throughout the match, goalkeeper Chris Edwards made several great saves. Solar Chelsea will face off with ID Club Division 02 (TX-S) on Thursday. Solar Chelsea has already qualified for the 2017 National Championships through the National League, so both teams will advance to Frisco.
In a hard fought semifinal match, Tampa Bay United (FL) defeated 01 CASL Red North (NC), 2-1. All three goals in the game were scored within 11 minutes of each other, but first to strike was CASL’s Dylan Lane. The next goal came from Tampa Bay in the 20th minute, netted by Alejandro Rodriguez. Eight minutes later, Joshua Colledge scored the difference-maker in the 28th minute. With the result, Tampa Bay United will move on to the final match of Region III Championships, where they will meet Solar Chelsea 01 Elite (TX-N) to fight for a spot in the 2017 US Youth Soccer National Championships.
In the U16 Girls division, Florida Elite 2001 Elite (FL) edged 01 WHYFC White (NC), 2-1. Bella Kober found the back of the net for Florida Elite. For WHYFC White (NC), the lone goal was scored by Parker Ormsby. Florida Elite’s score was the result of an own goal. Florida Elite has already qualified for National Championships via National League. With that, Florida Elite’s upcoming opponent, SLSC Cosmos 01 Lawless, will advance to the National Championships ,as well. These teams will still battle for a Region III Championships final on Thursday.
In the U17 Girls division, 00 TFCA Alliance (NC) defeated Mandeville SC Lakers Elite 00 (LA), 1-0, for a spot in the final match of Region III Championships. The first half was scoreless for both teams until TFCA’s Austen Dellinger found the back of the net in the 73rd minute. TFCA lost their first game of Region III Championships, but in the last five games, they combined for 11 goals without giving up any.
UFA 99 Premier (GA) and FC Dallas 99 Premier Dymond (TX-N) had a game come down to kicks from the mark and UFA Premier came out victorious. The first goal of the match came in the opening minutes of the second half with a goal from FC Dallas’ Guy Esquivel. UFA’s Carlos Reyes tied the match up in the 61st minute with his netted goal. The game ended with kicks from the mark favoring UFA 99 Premier. With the result, UFA Premier is headed to the final match where they will battle the Arkansas Comets 99 Premier (AR) for a spot at the Region III Championships title.
Photo Credit: US Youth Soccer