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Fuel Soccer Talk: Many teams still alive in US Youth Soccer NL girls divisions; Columbia’s Amalya Johnson talks eating right; Celebrate “Fan Week”

US Youth Soccer National League 15U-19U Girls solidify spots ahead of Showcase

WILSON, N.C. — After four days of play, the US Youth Soccer National League 15U-19U Girls teams have solidified their spots in the standings until half of the field of teams meets again at the National League Winter Showcase in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.

The competition within each age group has been very close, and multiple teams are still very much alive for every division title. The first place team’s lead is three points or less in 17 of the 18 divisions, and five divisions have ties at the top of the standings. Meanwhile, just nine teams came away with a win in each of their four games.

Despite holding just a two-point lead atop the 18U White Division, North Shore United 2002 Blue (WI) put together a very strong week in North Carolina. The Wisconsin side won all four of its games while conceding no goals. North Shore United coach Sinisa Angelovski said it took a full team effort to come away from this week set up well to compete for a division title when the team finishes its league season in Florida.

“It’s always tough when you play the top-level teams, and this the highest competition in the nation,” Angelovski said. “The great thing about the girls this year is that we had a lot of players scoring goals — not just forwards, but midfielders and also some defenders. From the defensive end, they did a great job. The entire team defended as a unit.”

FULL STORY AND RESULTS

Vegan Serious: Columbia’s Amalya Johnson talks about “eating right”

Senior wingback Amalya Johnson recently finished an amazing career at Columbia. Head coach Tracey Bartholomew called Johnson, “one of the best players in the history of this program.” Read a terrific story on Johnson in the Columbia-Spectator – READ FULL STORY

Johnson, who started every game of her career for Columbia University and plans to continue her academic pursuits in graduate school to study material science engineering, has always been serious about taking care of her body and eating healthy. She’s “vegan serious.”

“I became vegan about a year ago,” she said, four years ago during her freshman season. “And I decided to do it because soccer is one of the most important things in my life and in order to be a good soccer player and a good athlete you have to eat right. So I thought the best way to eat right is to become a vegan.”

Vegans don’t eat any animal products such as meat, fish, eggs or dairy.  “It was a gradual transition for me,” she said. “I spent a year trying out different diets and plans. Through my research I decided that being vegan was the best way to conserve resources and it doesn’t feel restrictive at all to me. I find that I have more energy and just feel better overall.”

Johnson helped lead the N.J. Stallions Dynamite to the NPL U16 and U17 National Championships, and three-consecutive New Jersey State Cups. She also was called into the U18 U.S. National Team and participated in a week-long training camp in May 2016.

Celebrate with U.S. Soccer Fan Week (Dec. 9-13)

U.S. Soccer is proud to celebrate our passionate National Team fans with the third annual U.S. Soccer Fan Week. The week-long celebration from Monday, Dec. 9 through Friday, Dec. 13 showcases and thanks U.S. Soccer fans for their commitment and support of U.S. Soccer’s National Teams.

This year’s Fan Week officially kicks off on Monday, Dec. 9, with a special giveaway of a pair of ultimate fan tickets and a training ball from the USMNT’s Concacaf Gold Cup run signed by head coach Gregg Berhalter.

Fan week will continue through Friday, Dec. 13, with daily offers from the official U.S. Soccer Store as well as a suite of daily giveaways from U.S. Soccer and its participating partners Volkswagen, Visa, AT&T, Coca-Cola, Deloitte, Continental Tire, Cutter Insect Repellent, Headspace, Thorne, KT Tape and Kwik Goal. Additionally, there will be special messages from Women’s National Team players, exclusive content spotlighting some of U.S. Soccer’s biggest fans, and a fan vote on an all new Captain’s armband design.

FULL STORY AND EVENTS

Send story ideas and comments to Terry Jacoby at tajacoby@comcast.net