2019 Great Lakes and Midwest Conferences Spring Showcase Kicks Off
The 2019 US Youth Soccer Great Lakes and Midwest Conferences Spring Showcase kicked off Friday at the Grand Park Athletic Complex in Westfield, Ind., as teams gathered to compete in some of the final games of their conferences’ spring seasons.
The showcase features Premier I and Premier II teams in the 15U through 19U age groups. More than 130 boys teams from both the Great Lakes Conference and Midwest Conference are competing, while nearly 50 girls sides from the Great Lakes Conference will be in action. Additional games featuring teams in the 13U-14U age groups, as well as First Division matches, are also being played at Grand Park.
The three days of play in Westfield present many teams with opportunities to climb their division standings in pursuit of top finishes. Conference play provides top Premier I Division teams with a chance to secure berths to the 2019 US Youth Soccer Midwest Regional Championships and spots in the US Youth Soccer National League (national tier) for the 2019-20 season.
The showcase weekend continues on Saturday and will conclude with matches on Sunday.
One of the many impactful conference matchups on Friday featured a pair of unbeaten Midwest Conference 15U Boys Premier I Division sides in JB Marine Gober (MO) and Addison United Select (IL).
The Missouri side came away with a 4-2 win to maintain its place atop the division standings — moving it closer to potential berths to the 2019 Midwest Regional Championships and the 2019-20 National League. JB Marine coach Matt Gober said the potential to qualify for those competitions adds to the conference.
“It’s huge because it gives the boys something to play for and something to train for,” Gober said.
“They look forward to these competitions because all the teams are very well coached, the one we just played in particular,” said Gober. “These boys feel like, ‘Hey, if we can compete with these groups, we’re doing something.’”
With more than 200 total teams from the Great Lakes and Midwest Conferences all converging at Grand Park this weekend, Gober said the showcase provides a great environment for the teams to display their talents and challenge themselves.
“It certainly gets the boys’ attitudes up. They’re excited about making the trip,” Gober said. “It’s what they’ve been talking about for the last month, and we’re ramping up toward our own State Cup in early June. This is a great litmus test to see where we’re at against the best teams around.”
Notes on 2019 Grand Park Conferences Showcase matches on Friday:
BOYS – GREAT LAKES CONFERENCE
- Nationals Union 04 Black (MI) inched closer to the top of the 15U Premier I Division, as it improved to 5-1-0 by earning a 2-1 win against Indy Premier 04 Elite I (IN).
- Nationals Union 03 Black (MI) tightened up the top of the 16U Premier I Division standings with a 3-1 win against current group leader OESA-KY 03 Academy (KY). The win pulled Nationals Union into third place and within just two points of OESA-KY.
- Beadling 2003 Boys – South Red (PA-W) now has 15 points from four wins and three draws in 16U Premier I Division action. The PA West side secured a 1-0 win on Friday against Lexington FC 2003 Boys White (KY).
- In the 16U Premier II Division, Nationals Union Red (MI) moved to 4-1-0 on the season with a 4-2 win over SKY Academy (KY). The win pulled the Michigan side within seven points of division leader Team Challenger FC 03 Black (OH-N).
BOYS – MIDWEST CONFERENCE
- In a matchup of unbeaten 15U Premier I Division sides, JB Marine Gober (MO) earned a 4-2 win over Addison United Select (IL) to maintain its place atop the division standings
- SLSG 2003 Elite (MO) secured a narrow victory over Libertyville FC 1974 Elite (IL) with a 2-1 result on Friday, allowing the Missouri side to maintain its lead on top of the 16U Premier I Division.
- In the 16U Premier II Division, FC United 2003 Pre Academy (IL) and Lou Fusz SC – Limpert (MO) (MO) each recorded clean sheet victories on Friday to remain tied at the top of the standings. The Lou Fusz win came against Indiana Elite FC 2003 Premier I Boys (IN), which is also currently level with the other two sides with 13 points.
- With a tight 2-1 win over SLSG 02 Elite (MO), Galaxy 2002 Boys Blue (IL) maintained its spot in first place in the 17U Premier I Division. Salvo SC / REV Academy (MN) also won on Friday and is level with Galaxy at 13 points, though Galaxy has played one less game on the season.
- Milwaukee Bavarians (WI) maintained their sizable lead in the 18U Premier II Division with a convincing win on Friday.
GIRLS – GREAT LAKES CONFERENCE
- After taking the lead on a first half penalty kick, Beadling 2004G South Red (PA-W) pulled away for a 4-0 win over Eclipse Select MN 04 Elite Black (MN). The PA West side moved to the top of the 15U Premier I Division standings with the victory.
- In a matchup of the top two teams in the 16U Premier II Division standings, Maplebrook Stosic (MN) secured a 3-1 win over Fort Wayne United FC 03G Academy (IN). The victory allowed Maplebrook to overtake Fort Wayne for the current lead in the division.
- In the 17U Premier I Division, Beadling North 02 Red (PA-W) moved to the top of the table with a 3-3 draw against Indy Premier 02G Elite I (IN) on Friday.
- ECU 00 G Maroon (IN) pulled out a 3-2 win against Beadling 2000 Girls South Red (PA-W) to move into a tie for second place in the 19U Premier I Division.
The Great Lakes Conference and Midwest Conference are part of a network of 13 conferences that comprise the multi-state tier of the US Youth Soccer Leagues program. Each conference provides high-level competition with opportunities for advancement to the US Youth Soccer Regional Championships and the US Youth Soccer National League.
The US Youth Soccer National League (national tier) provides an avenue for teams to play in meaningful matches against top competition from across the country for continued development.
In addition to recruiting opportunities, National League teams compete for the National League title and one of four slots from each gender age group to the annual US Youth Soccer National Championships.
Source: US Youth Soccer Press Release – 2019 GRAND PARK CONFERENCES SHOWCASE KICKS OFF IN WESTFIELD, IND.