FRISCO, Texas – The Championship matchups are all set here in Texas after an exciting morning of semifinal matches at the Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco, Texas.
A pair of defending champions headline tomorrow’s title chasers, U14 Boys Baltimore Darby 01/02 (MD) and U14 Girls PSG MI Gators 02 Orange (MI) will be looking to add to last year’s trophy haul and to repeat as the National Champions on Sunday.
Celtic won the U16 age group both last season and in 2014, so this group certainly came in with a well-established championship pedigree. Adding further spice to the matchup, the teams are coached by two cousins.
So, while Brandon Quaranta pulled the strings for Celtic his cousin Santino Quaranta was plotting his downfall on the Pipeline bench. DC United fans, in particular, will recognize Santino Quaranta from his days with DC United, and Quaranta was also capped 15 times by the U.S. MNT.
With such close ties between players and coaches alike it was, therefore, no surprise that a close match developed. Clear cut scoring chances were hard to come by in the opening half, although Celtic will think back on a stretch of four corner kicks in rapid succession near the end of that first half and regret not cashing in.
The second half seemed to be going Celtic’s way with Santino growing visibly frustrated with his charges as Celtic launched attack after attack. Again, clear chances were rare but as the second half went on a goal seemed far more likely for the veteran side than for the newcomers.
Then an end to end move by Pipeline resulted in the ultimate “against the run of play goal” with Thomas Walker providing the finish to put Celtic in a bind.
Things got worse for Celtic with 10 minutes to play when the match was halted for a serious looking injury to Jake Mazzei who went down hard in front of the Pipeline goal. Mazzei would require an ambulance to treat him and take him from the field, and we at GotSoccer wish the Celtic player only the best in his recovery.
When play resumed after a long break Celtic were quickly back on top but the equalizer just would not come, and so Pipeline move on to tomorrow’s Championship match versus Loudon 98 Red (VA) who advanced past Seattle United 98 Copa on penalty kicks.
After the match, Pipeline coach Santino Quaranta told GotSoccer that “it was an emotional game for both teams.” The coach thought “we were second best today but found a way to win the game,” something “good teams do,” according to Quaranta.
“We have a ton of respect for that group and that club (Celtic),” said Quaranta, framing the match as a big one for Baltimore. “It’s a mutual respect for the City of Baltimore,” is how he put it.
And how important is this win for the former pro? “I played in a game where we qualified for the World Cup with the national team in Columbus, Ohio,” Quaranta smiled, “and I wasn’t a stressed out as I was today on the sideline.”**
** It’s true. Quaranta came on in the 81st minute of a 2-0 U.S. victory over Mexico in Columbus. The win qualified the U.S. for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Here are the results of today’s semifinals direct from US Youth Soccer
BRYC 01 Elite VA 2 (PK) USA Stars 02 CA-N 1
Tennessee SC 20 TN 1 PSG MI Gators 02 Orange MI 2
LVSA 02 Red NV 2 Valparaiso United FC 02 JG AZ 3
Raiders City IL 1 Baltimore Darby 01/02 MD 2
CUP Gold 00/01 OH-S 3 Campton United Navy IL 1
Midwest United FC 01 Royal MI 2 FC Pride 01 Elite IN 1
CFA Raiders IL 2 United FA 01 Premier GA 1
Sparta 01 JK UT 0 McLean 00 Green VA 1
Carlsbad Elite 99 CA-S 1 Florida Krush Black FL 0
La Roca Premier PO UT 2 FCKC Pink Panthers Elite MO 0
United FA Premier GA 0 Dix Hills Hurricanes NY-E 1
OP Green OH-S 1 Loudoun Red VA 3
YMS Premier Xplosion 98 PA-E 1 CR S Burgundy Rapids NC 0
Beach FC 98 Academy CA-S 2 Beadling Bulldogs PA-W 1
Pipeline Black MD 1 Baltimore Celtic 98/99 MD 0
Loudoun 98 Red VA 2 (PK) Seattle United 98 Copa WA 1
Carlsbad Elite 97/98 CA-S 2 KHA Red OH-S 1
Tennessee SC 16 TN 2 Ambassadors FC OH-N 0
FC Golden State Platinum CA-S 3 Arlington Impact Red VA 0
Santa Barbara SC White CA-S 4 Lehigh Valley United 97 PA-E 1
2016 US Youth Soccer National Championships | Finals Schedule
Saturday, July 30
7:00 PM U13 Boys Strikers FC Chingirian CA-S 02 CASL Academy Juniors NC Field 5
7:15 PM U19 Girls So Cal Blues Dodge CA-S McLean 96 Green VA Field 6
7:30 PM U13 Girls So Cal Blues 02 Baker CA-S Solar Chelsea Red TX-N Field 7
8:00 PM U19 Boys FC Golden State CA-S FC Florida 96/97 Elite FL Field 4
Sunday, July 31
8:00 AM U14 Girls BRYC 01 Elite VA PSG MI Gators 02 Orange MI Field 5
8:15 AM U14 Boys Valparaiso United FC 02 JG AZ Baltimore Darby 01/02 MD Field 6
8:30 AM U16 Boys Dix Hills Hurricanes NY-E Loudoun Red VA Field 7
8:40 AM U17 Girls YMS Premier Xplosion 98 PA-E Beach FC 98 Academy CA-S Field 4
9:00 AM U18 Boys FC Golden State Platinum CA-S Santa Barbara SC White CA-S Field 8
9:40 AM U17 Boys Pipeline Black MD Loudoun 98 Red VA Field 5
9:50 AM U16 Girls Carlsbad Elite 99 CA-S La Roca Premier PO UT Field 6
10:20 AM U18 Girls Carlsbad Elite 97/98 CA-S Tennessee SC 16 TN Field 7
10:40 AM U15 Boys CFA Raiders IL McLean 00 Green VA Field 4
11:10 AM U15 Girls CUP Gold 00/01 OH-S Midwest United FC 01 Royal MI Field 8