As part of this week’s U.S. Club Soccer national finals in Aurora, Colorado, the Boys NPL and ECNL seasons are set to come to an end with the ENPL finals.
A total of 16 teams from the ECNL and NPL have been drawn together across four different age groups, with the semifinals and finals scheduled for July 13-14.
Below is a quick look at what to keep an eye on this week.
GPS Florida West (Florida NPL) vs. Phoenix Rising FC (Boys ECNL Southwest Conference)
Valeo FC (NEP - NPL Division) vs. TSC Hurricane (Boys ECNL Texas Conference)
The USL affiliated side from Phoenix Rising sends its youngest age group to Colorado, where it faces NPL side GPS Florida. This age group features a trio of players that made the id2 trip earlier this year: Tatenda Chigede (TSC Hurricane), Niall Dunn and Kevin Mearse (Phoenix Rising FC).
Napa Soccer Academy (NorCal NPL) vs. Tennessee SC (Boys ECNL Southeast Conference)
Phoenix Rising FC (Boys ECNL Southwest Conference) vs. SAC Showcase Premier (EDP - NPL Division)
A second side from Phoenix Rising – which was formed in partnership with Scottsdale Soccer – looks to claim the U15 crown. Their opening matchup comes against SAC (the Soccer Association of Columbia) a Maryland-based team.
The other side of the bracket lines up a Northern California outfit against Tennessee, a highly-established side in the ECNL’s Southeast. Rasheed Sarieh and Eli Stein both picked up postseason Boys ECNL honors for their conference.
GPS MA Elite (NEP - NPL Division) vs. San Diego Surf (NPL West)
Penn Fusion SA (Boys ECNL Northeast Conference) vs. Texans Houston (USC - NPL Division)
Two NPL sides were drawn against each other in the U16 age group, as Global Premier Soccer takes the field against the Surf – an indication of the former’s depth as they already field a Development Academy side.
Penn Fusion’s enjoyed success on the U.S. Youth Soccer circuit, so to see at least one of their teams make it to this point should come as no surprise. Midfielder Drew Blackwell earned the Northeast Conference Player of the Year for this age group, and he will be a key player against a Texans Houston side that is sure to be talented.
Brentwood SC (NYCSL - NPL Division) vs. Classics Elite (Boys ECNL Texas Conference)
Tampa Bay United (Boys ECNL Southeast Conference) vs. Slammers FC (Boys ECNL Southwest Conference)
Jose Gallegos and Paco Sugura are two of the most important players on Classics Elite, which begin the two-day event against Brentwood SC. Forward Brennan Breuer leads the line for Tampa Bay United, and it should be an enticing semifinal against Slammers FC. Diego Useda’s stood out for the California side, while Diego Anaya is also a key player.