Frisco, Tx. – As the players, coaches, parents, and other interested parties enjoy a much-deserved break from the Texas heat, today’s off day seems like the perfect time to look back at the round robin portion of the 2016 US Youth Soccer National Championship Series, while also looking ahead to the thrilling weekend of playoff soccer to come.
With 96 teams contesting the National Championship Series in age groups from U13 all the way up to the U19 division, competition as expected, has been fierce but here in Frisco, Texas but as we head for the finals and semifinals seven teams have compiled 3-0-0 records, although just one has achieved perfection, so far.
Advancing through the Group stages without a loss or even a draw to tarnish your records is impressive, and congratulations are due to Girls U13 So Cal Blues 02 Baker (CA-S), U15 Girls side Cup Gold 00/01 (OH-S), and U19 Girls powerhouse So Cal Blues Dodge (CA-S). On the Boys side of the ledger four teams emerged from the cut and thrust of the opening round with a 0 in the L column, U15 team CFA Raiders (IL), OP Green (OH-S), U19’s FC Golden State (CA-S), and finally U13 Strikers FC Chingirian (CA-S).
You guessed it, the 13-year-old Southern California boys are the team chasing perfection having advanced through the first three games of the tournament not only with a perfect record of 3-0-0, the Strikers have achieved that mark without having surrendered even a single goal.
With fewer teams in the U13 and U19 brackets, the Strikers are straight through to tomorrow’s Championship match and a rematch with North Carolina champions 02 CASL Academy Juniors. The Strikers pitched a 2-0 shutout in that group game but CASL will be looking for revenge Saturday night (7pm, field 5).
That final will be the first of four to be played Saturday night at the Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco, Texas. Up next at 7:30 (Field 7), the U13 Girls title features a rematch between So Cal Blues and Solar Chelsea (TX-N) and it figures to be a good one after round one went to So Cal on Thursday in a 3-2 thriller.
The U19 Finals kick off at 7:15 on Field 6 when So Cal Blues Dodge tackle Virginians McLean 96 Green in the Girls competition before the Boys close out the day with FC Golden State (CA-S) facing FC Florida 96/97 Elite with the James P. McGuire Cup on the line at 8pm on Field 4.
On paper, at least, the Boys game looks fairly straightforward with Golden State solid favorites over the Florida crew, having topped the group with a 3-0-0 mark and handling their championship opponent 3-1 on Thursday.
So Cal Blues also grabbed all nine available points from the Group games, including a 1-0 win over McLean in Tuesday’s opener.
That Championship quartet will just be part of a full day of youth soccer with semifinals being contested in both boys and girls brackets from U14 through U18 age groups as the stage is set for the Championship Sunday in the National Championship Series.
For a look at the full schedule go to the tournament’s website: championships.usyouthsoccer.org