Frisco, Tx. – A quartet of champions was crowned Saturday night at the Toyota Soccer Center as players from the youngest (U13) and oldest (U19) age groups celebrated their success.
North Carolina club CASL Academy Juniors avenged a 2-0 Group stage loss with a composed performance in a 2-1 win over Strikers FC in the Boys group.
CASL sandwiched goals from Jason Smith and Adam Armour around a Regan Wortman tally for Strikers and received some top notch goalkeeping from Robert Alpin to see off the Strikers.
On the Girls side of the draw, hometown Solar Chelsea scored twice in overtime to rally for a 3-1 win over Southern California side So Cal Blues Baker, setting off especially boisterous celebrations from the large home crowd.
The U19 games were the least competitive finals of the tournament with the So Cal Blues vets giving the club something to cheer about with a 5-0 victory over McLean Green from Virginia.
FC Golden State made it a Southern California sweep of the senior division when they beat FC Florida 3-1 to claim the McGuire Cup.
Golden State won the U18 title last year and had already topped Florida FC by this same score in group play, so it was no big surprise when FCGS built a three goal in the opening 35 minutes.
A late Florida goal gave the Sunshine Staters hope but the result was never in doubt.
The bulk of the silverware was handed out on Sunday with titles contested in 10 divisions.
In the scandal-plagued Girls U18 Division Tennessee SC saved the tournament some blushes, if that was possible, by beating both participants in Thursday’s contentious 0-0 draw between Ambassadors FC (OH-N) and Carlsbad Elite (CA-S).
Tennessee handled Ambassadors by a 2-0 score in Saturday’s semifinals before claiming the championship with a 3-0 victory over Carlsbad, who played much of the match with just 10 players.
Carlsbad’s U16 girls put the sins of their elders aside to annex the championship in its age bracket with a 1-0 win over the Pride of Utah LaRocca Premier.
PSG MI Gators (MI) won the 2015 Girls U13 title and came back this year to add the U14 title to its burgeoning trophy case. Virginia club BRYC Elite stood in the way but the Gators scored the lone goal of the game to claim the spoils.
YMS Premier Xplosion (PA-E) won a thriller in the U17 Girls Division, coming back from a 2-0 deficit to knock off Beach FC Academy (CA-S) on a Murphy Agnew goal in extra time.
In the final girl’s match of the US Youth Soccer National Championships Midwest United FC Royal (MI) made one goal stand up to earn a hard fought victory and claim the Kristine Lilly Cup by beating Cup Gold (OH-S).
There was plenty of drama on the male side of the bracket as well with two of Sunday’s finals decided by one goal, two more going to penalty kicks and just one decided by anything more comfortable.
Valparaiso United Futbol (AZ) won U14 honors in a relative canter outscoring Baltimore Darby (MD) 2-0. The Marylanders came in as defending champions, having won the U13 title in 2015 but Valparaiso was too much for the defenders to handle today.
Virginia side Loudoun was on both sides of one goal results today with the club’s U16 team edging the Dix Hills Hurricanes (NY-E) 1-0 while Loudoun fell 2-1 to Pipeline Black (MD) one age group up.
The victory capped a memorable week for Pipeline, the fifth-year club eliminated local rivals Celtic in the semifinals.
The first of the two pk battles on the male side of the ledger was another California showdown, featuring a pair of past champions in this age group.
Santa Barbara FC White emerged as champions in the U18 division today beating fellow Southern California club FC Golden State Platinum.
Today’s winners claimed this prize in 2014 while FC Golden State White walked away with the U18 crown one year ago in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
It took a shootout to separate the sides in the U15 Boys division too, and Virginia club McLean Green that came out on top in that battle over CFA Raiders (IL).
There was some fine soccer played this week in Frisco, Texas but unfortunately, the 2016 US Youth Soccer National Championships will be remembered for a game that US Youth Soccer condemned in language such as this- “the strategy of the coaches in this game failed their players, the competition and the principles of sportsmanship and fair play.”
The statement by the organization indicate that US Youth Soccer is taking this incident very seriously. We certainly hope that turns out to be the case.