If the USA unequivocally leads the soccer world in something, it's championships for kids.
The first youth soccer national championship in the USA was founded in 1935 and contested by U-19 boys. In 1975, it was named the McGuire Cup, in honor of James McGuire, who served as U.S. Soccer Federation president in 1952-54 and again in 1971 until his death in 1974.
U.S. Youth Soccer introduced a U-19 girls national championship in 1980 and by 2001 had national championships for six age groups for both boys and girls, from U-14 to U-19. U-13s were added in 2013, by which time other national championships had joined the scene.
In 2007, the USSF created the U.S. Soccer Development Academy for U-15/16 and U-17/18 boys.
In 2009 came the girls Elite Club National League (ECNL), sanctioned by U.S. Club Soccer, which also oversees a variety of other cups and championships.
The Development Academy has a U-13/14 division, but without standings and with a showcase designed for youth national team scouting rather than crowning a champion. All 88 U-13/14 teams played in the National Showcase that coincided with older age groups’ playoffs late last month in Westfield, Ind.
Development Academy Quarterfinals
U.S. Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) quarterfinalists emerged from June 22-26 playoffs in Westfield, Ind. Quarterfinal games are hosted by the higher seeded teams. Winners will advance to the Academy Championships in Carson, Calif., with semifinals on July 16 and championship games July 18.
USSDA U-17/18 quarterfinals (July 7)
Montreal Impact (1) vs. Real So Cal (8)
Real Salt Lake AZ (2) vs. Shattuck-St. Mary’s (7)
Houston Dynamo (3) vs. Chicago Fire (6)
San Jose Earthquakes (4) vs. Players Development Academy (5)
USSDA U-15/16 quarterfinals (July 8)
New York Red Bulls (1) vs. Chivas USA (8)
Philadelphia Union (2) vs. New England Revolution (7)
FC Dallas (3) vs. Beachside SC (6)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC (4) vs. Georgia United (5)
(77 teams compete in the USSDA in both the U-17/18 and U-15/16 age groups.)
ECNL National Finals
The girls Elite Club National League (ECNL) National Finals for U-15, U-16 and U-17 divisions will be held July 14-18 in Richmond, Va. U-14 and U-18 champions were crowned in Seattle in June.
Slammers FC 2 San Diego Surf 0
Crossfire Premier, Solar Chelsea, So Cal Blues, Real Colorado, D'Feeters Soccer Club, Michigan Hawks , West Coast FC , Colorado Storm.
De Anza Force, So Cal Blues, Match Fit Academy, FC Stars of Massachusetts, Lonestar SC, West Coast FC, Orlando City, Las Vegas Premier SA.
Eclipse Select, San Diego Surf, PDA, Slammers FC, Real Colorado, Crossfire Premier, Dallas Sting, Santa Rosa United.
Michigan Hawks 2 West Coast FC 0
(The eight finalists in each age group will be drawn into two four-team round-robin groups with winners advancing to the final.)
US Youth Soccer National Championships
The US Youth Soccer National Championships, held Tulsa, Okla., July 21-26, consist of USYS Regional Champions in the U-13 through U-19 boys and girls age groups as well as the US Youth Soccer National League qualifiers in the U-14 through U-18 boys and girls age groups for a field of 96 teams.
Champions in the four regions were crowned within the last two weeks: