It’s day three of preliminary games of the US Youth Soccer National Championships in Overland Park, KS as 88 U13-U19 boys and girls teams are working hard to collect points. Three points are rendered for a win, one for a tie and zero for a loss. The top two teams from the U13, U14 and U19 age groups and pool winners in the U15-U18 age groups will advance to compete in the National Championship on Saturday and Sunday.
Catiana Lychwek’s brace helped Liverpool Elite (TX-N) defeat the Michigan Hawks 00 (MI) 2-1 in a close match that saw both teams tied going into the second half looking to break the stalemate. The Hawks opened scoring with an early 8 minute goal from Alexa Spaanstra. Lychwek equalized in the 34th minute and added the winner in the 54th.
UFA 00 Elite (GA) and Raiders FC (IL) clashed in a battle that would end in a scoreless draw today. Both teams displayed great determination with back lines that wouldn’t budge, keeping players on their toes at all times. There’s still hope for both teams to nab a spot in the finals- tomorrow will be the deciding factor.
FC Golden State (CA-S) needed a tie breaker in the second half of their preliminary match with Concorde Fire Elite (GA), and Erick Villatoro supplied it in a dramatic finish that gave Golden State the 3-2 win in the 77th minute. It was a hard fought battle from the start. Concorde opened scoring with a goal from Jahmeil Curwen just 2 minutes in, but Yezid Lopez and Jonathan Hinojosa answered back with two Golden State goals to put them ahead. Concorde wouldn’t be held back that easily though, and Jose Perez equalized before the half. Just when it seemed like a draw was imminent, Villatoro stepped up with his heroic winner.
The GSA 97 Red (GA) and Alliance 97 Boys (MI) also had a thrilling match, ending in a 2-2 draw. It was back and forth- Emir Cengic opened scoring in the 13th minute to give AFC the lead, but they would produce an own goal in the 39th minute to give GSA an equalizer. They came back from the disappointing play with a late goal scored by Peter Supinski in the 77th minute, but they just couldn’t shake GSA, who caught up a minute later with a goal from Momodou Jallow.
Match Fit Chelsea Beat (NJ) defeated FRAM Premier (CA-S) 2-1, surging forward in the second half to claim the win. McKinsey Martinez put FRAM in the lead in the first half, but it wouldn’t last. Victoria Pantaleo supplied the anticipated equalizer in the 64th minute and Brianna Robinson cemented the win four minutes later.
Persistence paid off for OBGC Rangers (MD), broke through PDA McGeough’s (NJ) early 11th minute lead in the second half to take the 2-1 win. PDA’s Michael Feeney was the first to score, but Jeremy Ebobisse squashed their hope for a win with a stunning brace in the 47th and 56th minute.
“They have a couple kids that are really talented up front, and at the feet they were always to the ball quickly and they’ve got an excellent keeper. They knew our style of play and matched us play for play,” said team manager Karen Lee, whose son Karl Brown played today. “[The Rangers] play against themselves, they made the decision to win, they played well as a team and they got in there and got the job done.”
It was a bad day for TUSA 95 Gold (NC), who were shut out 0-6 by West Coast FC (CA-S) in prelims today. West Coast cleaned shop with first half goals scored by Esen Harris, Luis Silva and an own goal, while second half goals were scored by Ivan Canales, Dylan Struthers and Harris.
Legends FC 94 (CA-S) defeated defending champs VSA Heat Blue (VA) 2-1 in a close battle that was hard fought with goals produced in the final minutes of play. Victoria Burress openned scoring in the 88th minute but Meilessah Rangel equalized right after for Legends. Christina Tucker supplied the winning goal for Legends victory.
Leahi 95 Premier (HI) nabbed a big win against FC United Select (IL) 2-1. Dempsey Banks opened scoring in the 2nd minute to give Leahi an early lead, but United’s Allison Curry was quick to equalize. Julie Khil provided Leahi’s winning strike to move on to Friday’s games.
Team Boca (FL) was defeated by PDA Harkes (NJ) 2-0 today, with a brace scored by Andrew Leischner. He got PDA on the board in the 33rd minute, and added a security goal in the 84th to lead his team to victory. They will go up against last year’s finalist Raiders FC Premier (IL) on Friday.