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ECNL playoffs up for grabs in Seattle

Article Written by Will Parchman
Published: June 20, 2014

 

The ECNL postseason arrives with the appropriate heraldry next week in Seattle. Dozens of teams, a heavy slate of superb matchups and crisp Pacific Northwest weather. While the U14 and U18 age brackets fight for national championships, the top U15-U17 teams in the nation enter Champions League play from June 26-29. From there, the cream of the crop move on to the ECNL Finals in Richmond next month.

As usual, the groups are a maelstrom of competitiveness. In the U15 bracket, PDA (Group A) and De Anza Force (Group B) are the big dogs. Those were the only two unbeaten teams in the regular season, and it’d be a shock to see them miss out on Richmond. De Anza Force in particular appears to be a leviathan after scoring 81 goals and surrendering just three in 14 games, all wins. Group A appears to be the group of death with a pair of conference winners in PDA and Crossfire and a second-place finisher in Charlotte SA. Other contenders appear to be FC Virginia (13-1-2), Michigan Hawks (13-2-1) and West Coast FC (19-1-2).

No team enters the U16 playoffs unbeaten, but there are still a handful of heavy favorites to advance out of the group phase without much issue. Slammers FC emerged the winner from the most hotly contested conference title race in the nation with San Diego Surf. Both sides won a nation’s best 18 games, and Slammers took the title by a mere point. The Surf (Group H) and Slammers (Group C) are heavy favorites. The same goes for Real Colorado, the Midwest Conference’s top team with 36 points. The home of U20 standout Mallory Pugh, RC features a bevy of talent like speedster Julie Mackin and prolific forward Tatum Barton. FC Virginia (14-1-1), Santa Rosa United (11-1-2) and Crossfire (10-1-1) are also teams to watch.

The U17 ranks are littered with heavy hitters. Led by Mia Hoen-Beck, McLean will be heavy favorites to win a Group B that features the 17-4-1 So Cal Blues. Meanwhile, GSA’s Jennifer Westendorf is fresh off a run to a high school state runner-up finish in Georgia in Class 6A, and she’s part of the force that’s tipped to best a solid Colorado Rush side for the Group D crown. Dallas Sting posted a massive plus-54 goal differential in the regular season, and one of the favorites to win next month’s national title got a good group draw without a fellow division or conference winner.

Here’s a glimpse at the group draw for the U15-U17 Champions League ranks for next week’s event. 

U15 

Group A
PDA
Crossfire
Charlotte SA
Slammers FC

Group B
De Anza Force
Colorado Storm
Connecticut FC
Bethesda SC

Group C
West Coast FC
Solar Chelsea
Match Fit
Carmel

Group D
Michigan Hawks
TSC Hurricane
Albertson Fury
Washington Premier

Group E
FC Virginia
So Cal Blues
Sockers FC
FC Stars of Massachusetts 

Group F
Dallas Texans
CESA
Real Colorado
CASL Chelsea

Group G
Concorde Fire
Eagles
Texas Rush
Eclipse Select 

Group H
San Diego Surf
Penn Fusion
Mustang SC
Colorado Rush 

U16

Group A
Crossfire
Eclipse Select
Penn Fusion
BUSA

Group B
FC Virginia
FC Dallas
Vardar
Strikers FC

Group C
Slammers FC
Santa Rosa
TSC Hurricane
Ohio Premier

Group D
PDA
MD United
Mustang SC
Atlanta Fire

Group E
Real Colorado
So Cal Blues
CESA
FC Stars of Massachusetts

Group F
Dallas Texans
Real So Cal
FC Bucks
NC Fusion

Group G
Concorde Fire
Dallas Sting
Michigan Hawks
East Meadow

Group H
San Diego Surf
Sporting BV
De Anza Force
Match Fit 

U17

Group A
Dallas Sting
Real Colorado
Crossfire
Penn Fusion

Group B
McLean
So Cal Blues
MVLA
Lonestar SC

Group C
West Coast FC
Match Fit
Ohio Elite
D’Feeters

Group D
GSA
Colorado Rush
Slammers FC
Connecticut FC 

Group E
Eclipse Select
VSI Flames
Carmel
TSC Hurricane 

Group F
PDA
Sereno SC
Vardar
Bethesda 

Group G
Washington Premier
San Diego Surf
Michigan Hawks
CASL Chelsea

Group H
Dallas Texans
FC Stars of Massachusetts
Mustang SC
Real So Cal

 
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