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Fuel Soccer Talk: 2019 US Youth Soccer National Championships special edition

29 State Associations represented in field of 104 National qualifiers

Games kicked off this past week at the 2019 US Youth Soccer National Championships at the Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex in Overland Park, Kan. The teams took the stage, making their first push to earn one of the 14 National titles that will be awarded this weekend. The field of 104 teams is comprised of the nation’s top players in the 13U through 19U Boys and Girls age groups.

“The first game is always important because it sets the tone for the rest of the week,” said 16U Boys LVSA Silver 03 head coach Manleo Miranda, whose team captured the national title in 2018. “The team knows that every team is coming for us. Having that golden patch on your right thigh is a trophy and is nice to us, but at the same time we have to protect it and play twice as hard as we did last year with every team coming for us.”

All the games are meaningful for youth development and there are no easy games­­ as teams vie for the US Youth Soccer National Championships crown.

Group play takes place over the course of three days and will conclude on Thursday. Three points are awarded for a win, one point for a tie and zero points for a loss. The top two teams in the 13U age group will advance to the National Championship final on Friday, while the top two teams in each group in 14U through 19U play advance to their respective semifinals.

In addition to the impact locally, the championships provide college coaches from around the country with a premier stage to evaluate future collegiate players, offering a tremendous impact to players and their families. Many college coaches and U.S. Soccer scouts lined the sidelines on Tuesday to watch the players make their first push for the 2019 National Championship.

All of the teams competing in Frisco earned their place in the National Championships via success in the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series or the US Youth Soccer National League.

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Group standings solidified at the 2019 US Youth Soccer National Championships

The 2019 US Youth Soccer National Championships, presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods, continued Thursday with the third and final day of group play at the Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex in Overland Park, Kan. The 13U final matchups are now set, while the final four teams in each of the 14U through 19U gender age groups will all be determined by the end of the night.

Following a rest day on Friday, the 14U through 19U teams will compete in semifinal games on Saturday morning, and the first champions will be crowned tomorrow night when the 13U sides take the field for their Championship finals.

“To be one of the teams remaining and playing this weekend, words can’t describe it,” 15U Girls SC Waukesha 04 Blue (WI) coach Giuliano Oliviero said following his team’s key win on Thursday. “I’m so happy for the team and the families — all the sacrifices and efforts they’ve put in over the season. Here we are in the final four. It’s anybody’s championship at this point.”

2019 US Youth Soccer National Championships

Friday Finals Schedule

Age Group Home Team Away Team Time Field
13U Girls Albion SC Whittaker CA-S Michigan Jaguars MI 7:00 PM Field 4
13U Boys Pipeline SC Pre-Academy MD Michigan Jaguars MI 6:30 PM Field 1

All of the teams competing in Overland Park earned their place in the National Championships via success in the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series or the US Youth Soccer National League.

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13U Girls: Albion defeats Jags to clinch final berth

The first two matches for 13U Girls Albion SC Academy Whittaker (CA-S) have included the expected tensions that come with playing on the national stage for the first time.

They’ve also featured two victories for the Cal South side.

Albion continued its strong start to the week with a 1-0 victory against Michigan Jaguars (MI) to move to six points in the standings and secure a spot in Friday’s championship final at the 2019 US Youth Soccer National Championships, presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods.

“They’re making lifelong memories here. This is something they’ll never forget,” Albion coach Michael Whittaker said. “The environment is massive. It was nervy yesterday for them in their first game in this environment. It’s been so great to see them come together.”

After some end-to-end action to begin the game, Albion began to take firm control of possession and generated pressure in the attacking half.

The Cal South side created an early reward for its attacking prowess with a breakthrough goal in the 14th minute. Ashley Mekitarian positioned herself well at the top of the box to take a squared pass and place a first-time shot just under the crossbar to give Albion the 1-0 lead.

The quick start in Wednesday’s match continued a strong start for Albion in the tournament, which the team anxiously awaited in the weeks prior to traveling to Overland Park, Kan.

“We were very excited and we still are,” Albion midfielder Ava Schall said. “During training, to be honest, we couldn’t stop about it. Being one of the few teams to get to come out here an experience this environment, it’s been really fun.”

FULL COVERAGE

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