As the ECNL careens towards its second to last weekend of the regular season, the focus shifts to Northern New Jersey, for the PDA National Event – the final of its type for the weekend.
The focus on teams traveling for the event is regionally focused, with most of the club sides from the Northeast or Mid Atlantic region – though a handful of teams. It should also be noted that U14 and U18 teams are, for the most part, not playing this weekend.
Here’s a look at some of the schedules to watch over the three-day stretch:
Unbeaten in its last six matches in ECNL play, Bethesda SC plays a trio of tricky opponents at the PDA Soccer Complex – after a Saturday matchup with Continental FC Delco, the Maryland side takes on Connecticut FC and PDA.
Carmel United’s schedule of games sees them duke it out with the Albertson Fury, Continental FC and Connecticut FC. Forward Alexandra Rice leads the team with 12 goals on the season.
One of the premier matchups of the weekend will be the clash of hosts PDA against Michigan Hawks. The Michigan side is 13-2-1 in conference play, outscoring opponents 62-18. Madeline Lucas has 19 goals from 18 games and will look to impress against a high quality opponent.
Defending national champs Eclipse Select wraps up its regular season campaign in New Jersey. The Chicagoland side faces Charlotte Soccer Academy, Mustang SC and San Diego Surf.
Maryland United faces a variety of opponents from different corners of the country, with games against East Meadow SC, MVLA and Strikers. Kia Rankin and Sarah Osborne have been two of the consistent standouts for the side as the season winds down.
First place in the U16 Southwest Conference, San Diego Surf is making the cross-country flight for the Memorial Day weekend, and will face difficult matches with FC Stars of Massachusetts, FC Bucks and Eclipse Select.
Host PDA side faces a trio from each part of the country: Saturday sees the team open against Minnesota Thunder Academy, then take on Charlotte Soccer Academy on Sunday, before wrapping up the weekend with a game against Real So Cal.
California side Real So Cal, along with its matchup against PDA, gets games against East Meadow SC and Strikers FC.
Track star/speedster Maya Neal leads Eclipse Select SC into a tough opening matchup with host side PDA. From there, the Illinois side takes on Orlando City YS and Real So Cal, providing a sampling of different clubs form around the country.
Along with the opener against Eclipse SC, PDA gets a pair of California sides to deal with, taking on Slammers FC and San Diego Surf for the remainder of the weekend.
State rivals Match Fit Academy also begin the weekend with a compelling game, as it takes on Michigan Hawks, before duking it out against SC Del Sol and Charlotte Soccer Academy.
The Hawks, who are playing their final games of the season in New Jersey, will also get games against Strikers FC and the Albertson Fury over the holiday weekend.