Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Five things to follow at the National Championships
by Paul Kennedy, July 23rd, 2008 2:20AM
Subscribe to Youth Soccer Reporter

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

One of the most intriguing U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships kick off Wednesday in North Little Rock, Ark. The finals feature four defending champions, three teams with MLS ties, two Dallas girls powerhouses with a Texas-sized rivalry and a Minnesota boarding school aiming for a unique soccer-ice hockey double.

National Championships Schedule

DEFENDING CHAMPIONS.Four defending national champions return: Andromeda (U-18) and the Casa Mia Bays (U-15) defend their boys titles, while the Bloomfield Force (U-19) and So Cal Blues (U-16) look to repeat on the girls side.

Andromeda is the U-18 boys favorite after going unbeaten and untied in regional play, but Coach Oscar Borgarello is predicting a lot of close games at the nationals.

Casa Mia Bays coach Stephen Nichols goes for a hat trick. He has already won titles in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy (U-17/18) and U.S. Youth Soccer National League (U-15) and leads the Bays in their U-15 boys title defense.

Michigan doesn't sponsor a U-19 girls competition but allowed th Force to enter the regionals as it was the defending champion. Fourteen players return from last year's team. Stephanie Crawford (Michigan), Katie Walkerand Kellie Walker (both Western Kentucky) were invited from the archrival Michigan Hawks to join this year's team.

The So Cal Blues are coached by Tad Bobak, the U.S. under-15 girls national team whose 30-year coaching career dates back to a stint with the NASL Los Angeles Aztecs and has won both boys and girls national title.

TEXAS-SIZED RIVALRY.The U-18 Sting is not a repeat finalist, but it might as well be. Last year, the Dallas Texans Red finished second to the Eagles and after the season they defected to the Sting along with Coach Kenny Medina, who was named the Sting's director of coaching.

The Sting's stars include Notre Dame-bound Melissa Henderson, Texas A&M sophomore Rachel Shipley and Courtney Barg.

In the U-16 age group, both the Texans (the 2007 regional champions) and Sting Royal are entered. (The Texans qualified as the U.S. Youth Soccer National League champions.)

MLS TEAMS.The growing influence of MLS's local and extended youth programs is in evidence by the presence of the U-19 Kansas City Wizards Juniors, U-15 Chicago Fire Juniors Red and U-14 Grand Rapids Crew Juniors in the boys competition.

The Wizards' entrant in the McGuire Cup consists almost entirely of local collegians.

The Fire's U-15s (different from its U-15/16 academy team) had played in the last two regionals as the Naperville Lightning.

The Grand Rapids Crew Juniors -- part of a partnership between the Grand Rapids Soccer Club and Columbus Crew -- are the first team ever from West Michigan to qualify for the National Championships.

COLLEGIANS.Current collegians are eligible to return after the school year ends to play on youth clubs in the final stages of regional and national play.

The big name in this year's National Championships is 2007 Soccer America Freshman of the Year Corben Bone, who returns with Solar, a national finalist on three prior occasions.

SCHOOLBOYS.Shattuck-St. Mary, a Minnesota boarding school, is better known for its elite hockey program, but its soccer program is attracting top talent. notably Teal Bunbury, son of former Canada international Alex Bunbury.

It is aiming for a unique U-18 double. It won the USA Hockey 18 & Under Tier I division in the spring.




Ramos leads Gunners to National Championships.


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Youth Soccer Reporter
Mallory Pugh returns to U-20s    
Mallory Pugh, the 18-year-old attacker who played in three games at the Rio Olympics and scored ...
Roster: U.S. U-17 boys head to Mexico    
U.S. U-17 boys national team coach John Hackworth named a 20-player roster for the 2016 Torneo ...
U.S. Soccer hosts women's U-20 NTC Invitational in September    
The U.S. U-20 women's national team's preparation for the 2016 U-20 World Cup in November includes ...
U.S. U-15 girls reach Concacaf Championship semis    
The U.S. U-15 girls national team, coached by Mark Carr, beat Bermuda, 12-0, at 2016 Concacaf ...
Roster: U.S. U-17 boys convene in Utah    
A 24-player U.S. U-17 boys national team squad is training in Park City, Utah, in hopes ...
U.S. U-20s beat Red Bulls II    
The U.S. U-20 men's national team beat the USL's New York Red Bulls II, 4-3, during ...
U.S. Youth Soccer 2016 National Champions Best XI teams    
U.S. Youth Soccer has announced Best XI teams from the U-13 through U-19 National Championships for ...
Awards: U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships -- MVPs and top keepers    
US Youth Soccer has announced Golden Ball and Golden Glove winners from its 2016 National Championships, ...
After beating Spain, U.S. U-19s ousted by Bahrain    
The U.S. U-19 men's national team, after having upset host Spain, was eliminated from the Sub-20 ...
U-18 teams accused of collusion called 'disrespectful' by U.S. Youth Soccer    
After accusations that two girls U-18 teams colluded for a 0-0 result that would suit them ...
>> Youth Soccer Reporter Archives