[NATIONAL LEAGUE]Sunrise Elite's U-15s became the first team to punch a ticket to next summer's U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships after beating Tennessee SC 16, 2-1, on goals from Donald Emersonand Frederick Gilto move to 5-0-0 and clinch at least a second-place finish in the U.S. Youth Soccer National League's Blue Division. Penn Fusion and GSA Phoenix Red played an epic game in the Red Division with five lead changes that ended with a stoppage-time goal to give Penn Fusion a 6-5 win at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Florida.
Sunrise Elite earned four of the five victories by a single goal to secure a return ticker to National Championships.
CUP Crew Jrs. and Concorde Fire Elite played to a 1-1 draw as CUP sits in second place and Concorde in third. CUP still control its own destiny as two victories in its last two games will guarantee its a top two spot in the division.
“We’re so hungry to go back,” said Sunrise Elite coach Jorge Alvarez. “We want to be National League and National Champions. We’ve won a lot of tournaments, but we wanted to get back to the National Championships. Last year, it was very disappointing to lose in penalty kicks, but we’re hungry now and we’re ready to go back.”
Defending Region I champion Bethesda SC Lions scored a stoppage time goal to defeat Pinecrest Premier Blue, 2-1, and stay atop the U-15 Red Division.
Battling for the second spot, Penn Fusion and GSA Phoenix Red played an epic game with five lead changes that ended with a stoppage-time goal to give Penn Fusion a 6-5 win. Cody Waxand Christopher Schlegel each scored twice in the game for Penn Fusion, leaving Wax atop the scoring charts and Schlegel tied for second best.
OBGC Rangers' U-17s need at least one point from their next two games to lock up their first trip to the National Championships after twice coming up a point short in National League and falling in the Region I championship final and semifinal the past two years.
OBGC ran off four second-half goals after leading National Championship finalist CESA Premier 1-0 at halftime to win 5-1. OBGC looks poised to break its own record of goals scored in a National League season with 22 last year, and its also third on the list with 19 goals in 10-11. With two goals today, Jeremy Ebobisse took over as the top scorer in the group with six goals this season. Ebobisse has claimed National League top scorer honors in each of the last two years with seven and eight respectively.
Under-17 defending Region I champion Lehigh Valley United and CESA can also lock up a trip to the National Championships this weekend with the right results, as can CUP Crew Jrs Gold in the Blue Division.
Concorde Fire Elite, defending national champion Galaxy SC Blue and FC Frederick occupy the top three spots of the Under-18 Blue Division, and at least one is assured a ticket to the National Championships after this weekend.