Youth Soccer: Far West takes eight of 12 titles at national championships

Far West teams dominated the U.S. Youth Soccer National, winning eight of 12 age-group titles at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, Md.

Region IV teams won all six girls finals and two boys finals. California-South produced six champions, with California-North and Colorado teams winning one title apiece.

The San Diego Surf (U-19 girls) won their second national championship in three years with a 7-2 win over their archrival Michigan Hawks. The Houston Texans were the only team to win back-to-back titles, beating the San Bernardino Blast, 4-1, in the U-19 boys final for the McGuire Cup.

The Texans and FC Delco of Pennsylvania had two teams in finals. FC Delco Arsenal beat the Texans, 5-1, in the U-18 boys final, but FC Delco Dynamo II's bid for a second straight national title fell short when it lost to the Atlanta Fire, 2-1, in the U-16 finals.

Here's a look at the finals:


Houston Texans 4 (Mupier 8, Gbandi 28, Rota 65, Storey 70) San Bernardino (Calif.) 1 Blast 1 (Gregorio 69).

They are the first Texas team to win the McGuire Cup. Among the goalscorers for the Texans was UAB-Bound Sandy Gbandi, brother of 2002 MLS SuperDraft No. 1 pick Chris Gbandi.


FC Delco Arsenal (Pa.) 5 (Chambers 11, Kozicki 17, Coleman 43, Larentowicz 49, Poplizio 69) Houston Texans 1 (Tenede 56).

FC Delco's title was its sixth national youth championship. In all, nine FC Delco players scored at least one goal during the tournament.


Irvine (Calif.) Strikers 5 (Long 32, Bornstein 43, 65, Basin 50, Salinas 75) Chicago Magic 0.

The Strikers preferred to talk about the shutout rather than the five goals. Last year, they gave up 11 goals in U-16 group play and didn't make the final. This year, they gave up only three goals in four games.


Atlanta Fire 2 (Howie 39, Leathers 76) FC Delco Dynamo II (Pa.) 1 (Raimo 53).

Jonathan Leathers hit a 16-yard strike with four minutes left to clinch the Niotis Cup and give Georgia its second boys title, following the U-18 Atlanta FC Lightning in 1998.


Rochester (N.Y.) Junior Rhinos Elite 1 (Loucks 11) Aiken (S.C.) Fire 0.

Rochester captured New York West's first youth title. Aiken was the first South Carolina boys team to play at the national championships.


La Jolla (Calif.) Nomads 2 (Bernstein 3, Leon 47) Maryland Bays 0.

The Nomads won the club's fifth youth title. They Bays had won all three games in the group stage by shutouts.


San Diego Surf 7 (Own goal 2, Mullen 5, 70, Greenberg 20, Sandza 61, Castellanos 83, 86) Michigan Hawks 2 (Lentz 16, Gusick 51).

Kim Castellanos scored twice to give her six in the tournament and nine in her national championship career. The seven goals were the most in a national final since 1998. The Surf finished with a 10-1-4 in four consecutive national championship appearances.


Colorado Girls Soccer Acad. 4 (Dalmy 22, Grandinetti 42, Swinehart 56, Steepleton 90) Atlanta Lightning 1 (Pendergrass 55).

CGSA won the club's first national title and Colorado's seventh girls title since 1998. CGSA had lost to Atlanta, 1-0, in group play.


Pleasanton (Calif.) Rage 2 (Estrada 59, Quane 67) Tsunami Sota (Minn.) 1 (Smith 18).

The Rage won California-North's first title since the Central Valley Mercury won a third consecutive title in 1998. Central Valley Central was trained by Philippe Blin, now the Pleasanton Rage club director. Kansas-bound Carolina Smith had eight goals for Tsunami Sota, a record since group play was introduced.


West Valley Samba (Calif.) 2 (Summers 18, 24) Busch (Mo.) 1 (Pistorious 44).

West Valley, out of Northridge, became the fourth Cal-South team to claim the under-16 title. Busch finished second for the second year in a row.


Laguna Hills (Calif.) Eclipse 3 (Bradshaw 30, Moore 40+, Bosio 70) Chantilly (Va.) Milan 0.

Laguna Hills reversed a loss to Chantilly on the last day of group play. It was the second straight year the Region I champ lost in the finals.


Newport Beach (Calif.) Slammers 2 (Bradshaw 23, Alexa Orand 34) Bethesda (Md.) Eclipse 1 (Bumbry 15).

The Slammers were the only team besides the U-17 Pleasanton Rage to win their national championship game with a comeback victory.

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