Albuquerque, N.M. (June 22, 2014) – Winners were crowned 2014 US Youth Soccer Region IV Champions today and the Under-13 through Under-19 champions have earned a berth to the US Youth Soccer National Championships, presented by the National Guard, July 22-27 at Maryland Soccerplex in Germantown, Md.
California South was the big winner on the day, taking 11 of the 16 region titles. Legends FC took home three titles while both FC Golden State and Santa Barbara SC grabbed two more. Five 2013 Region IV Champions repeated with Santa Barbara SC (CA-S) winning their third straight region title.
As hosts, New Mexico played for two titles, but was unable to claim either crown as both Under 19 Boys and Girls NM Rush 95 (NM) teams fell in the finals.
Three teams not only defended their region title, but now have the opportunity to defend their national title as well. Under 14 Girls Legends FC 99 (CA-S) already secured its spot in the 2014 US Youth Soccer National Championships via the National League, but both Pateadores San Diego (CA-S) and Santa Barbara SC (CA-S) needed Region IV Championships to secure an opportunity to defend their respective national titles with Santa Barbara being a two-time defending national champion.
2014 US Youth Soccer Region IV Champions
U-12: So Cal Blues Baker (CA-S)
U-13: Surf Academy (CA-S)
U-14: Legends FC 99 (CA-S)
U-15: Pride Predators 99 (CO)
U-16: Beach FC 97 Academy (CA-S)
U-17: Legends FC 96 (CA-S)
U-18: Players SC 96 Elite (NV)
U-19: Legends FC (CA-S)
U-12: FC Golden State PDA 02 (CA-S)
U-13: FC Golden State PDA 01(CA-S)
U-14: Real Colorado National 99/00 (CO)
U-15: Pateadores San Diego (CA-S)
U-16: Santa Barbara SC (CA-S)
U-17: LVSA 97 Red (NV)
U-18: Santa Barbara FC White (CA-S)
U-19: Alum Rock PAC Tigres (CA-N)
Notes from today’s matches…
After a scoreless regulation and overtime, penalty kicks were required to determine a winner between So Cal Blues Baker (CA-S) and Washington Premier FC 01 Black (WA). It took seven kickers on each side to finally determine a winner as So Cal keeper, Ryan Campbell came up huge with the final save to ultimately give So Cal the region title.
Surf Academy (CA-S) defeated Heat FC 01 RM (NV) 2-1 to wrap up the Under 13 Girls group. Mia Fishel set the tone early for Surf when her first goal came in the fourth minute, and her second came just eight minutes after that. Fishel finished with four goals in the tournament, which was good enough to tie for first along with teammate Madison Mercado among others. Heat got back in the match in the 66th minute thanks to a goal from Alysa Caso, but it wasn’t enough, as Surf was able to hold off the comeback attempt and secure a trip to the National Championships.
2013 Region IV and National Champions Legends FC came from behind for the 2-1 victory against La Roca thanks to a pair of goals from Emily Knous. Olivia Wade struck first in the 35th minute with her seventh goal of the tournament for La Roca. Knous equalized in the 58th minute and gave Legends the lead for good in the 70th minute. Both teams will head to nationals due to Legends finishing in second place in the US Youth Soccer National League Blue Division. La Roca heads to nationals as the Region IV Representative.
Pride Predators 99 (CO) had already punched their ticked to the National Championships thanks to a first place finish in the National League Red Division. Pride Predators added a Region IV Championships to their list of accolades after defeating Legends FC Sanchez (CA-S) 2-0. Pride Predators broke the stalemate in the 14th minute courtesy of Athena Kuehn, and doubled their lead in the 35th minute on Hannah Burgo’s goal. Legends FC will still advance to the National Championships as a Region IV Representative.
Beach FC 97 Academy (CA-S) finished off an impressive run scoring 27 goals and failing to concede any over seven games. All of this culminated with a 5-0 victory over PacNW 97 Maroon (WA) in the finals. Daria Patredes, Logan Karam, Rocio Rodriguez, Carley Brown and Savannah DeMelo all scored for Beach. DeMelo’s goal in the 66th minute was her eighth of the tournament, giving her the most in the group.
Defending Region IV, and 2012 National Champions Legends FC (CA-S) defeated Pride Predators 97 (CO) in the second match of the day between these two clubs, 2-0. Desarae Felix scored in the 55th minute to put Legends up 1-0, and Dayna Garcia sealed the deal in the 85th minute for the 2-0 victory. This marks the third straight trip to nationals for Legends, but the first time they were required to win the region title after failing to qualify via the national league.
Players SC 96 Elite (NV) defeated Albion SC White (CA-S) 2-0 to become the second Nevada team to claim a Region IV Championship. Sydney Sladek was the hero for Players with two goals in the span of four minutes. Her second goal saw her dribble through the entire Albion defense before finally burying her shot into the back of the net to secure a win, and a berth into the national championship.
Legends FC (CA-S) will return to the national championships for a third straight year after defeating NM Rush 95 (NM) 6-2 in the final. Danielle Lopez scored a brace in the first nine minutes while Mckennah Spagnola added a pair of her own in the 22nd and 41st minutes. Samantha Koemans and Kirsten Martin also scored for Legends while Sidney Otto was the only goal scorer for NM Rush. Legends went 4-0 in pool play, which included a 3-1 victory over NM Rush on Thursday, June 19. Victoria Barba and Otto ended up tied for the lead in goals scored for the age group with five. Legends will be seeking their first national title after reaching the finals in 2012.
FC Golden State PDA 02 (CA-S) won the first of two regional titles for the club against fellow California South team, Surf Boys Academy (CA-S) 2-0. Emiliano Gutierrez got FC Golden State off to a quick start in the eighth minute, and Kijana Banks squandered any Surf attempt to equalize in the 60th minute to give the club its second straight Under 12 Boys Championship.
FC Golden State PDA 01 (CA-S) defended their 2013 Region IV Championship against SJ Earthquakes 01 Pre-Academy (CA-N) 3-1. SJ Earthquakes began the scoring in the opening minute with Fabian Rodriguez finding the back of the net, but seven minutes later it was Erik Celestino equalizing. Alan Piceno gave FC Golden State the lead in the 27th minute, and Matthew Hoppe added an insurance goal in the 65th minute. FC Golden State will head to its first National Championship after winning the Under 12 Boys regional title last year.
Real Colorado National 99/00 defeated Grande Sports Academy (AZ) 2-1 to be the second Colorado team to capture a Region IV Championship. Liam Johnson started things off for Real Colorado in the 12th minute, and Ben Shepherd added another goal in the 32nd minute. Garrett Murray cut Real Colorado’s lead in half, but Grande Sports Academy was unable to net the equalizer.
Pateadores San Diego became the third straight team to defend their Region IV Championship in the Under 15 Boys group after Santa Barbara SC (CA-S) and Fullerton Rangers 96 White did the same in 2013 and 2012 respectively. Brian Melchor broke the scoreless stalemate in the 19th minute, and Christopher DePetro scored his group-leading ninth goal of the tournament in the 80th minute. Pateadores would like to follow in the footsteps of Santa Barbara and Fullerton at nationals too, as both teams would go on to win their second straight national championships in the Under 15 Boys group.
Two-time defending national and regional champs, Santa Barbara SC (CA-S) defeated SC del Sol 98 Colavecchia (AZ) 2-1. Francisco Arroyo set the tone for Santa Barbara early in the fourth minute, only for John Rea of SC del Sol to equalize 10 minutes later. It was Sahid Conteh who scored the game winner in the 37thminute that allowed Santa Barbara to capture its fourth Region IV Championship in five years. While one title defense has been completed, one still remains. Central Valley Mercury (CA-N), Arsenal FC (CA-S), Dallas Texans Red 88 (N-TX) and Real So Cal (So Cal United) are the only four teams to win three consecutive US Youth Soccer National Championships. Santa Barbara will look to join that prestigious company in Germantown, Md.
After losing in the finals in 2010, the last time the Region IV Championships were held in Albuquerque, N.M., LVSA 97 Red (NV) defeated Valparaiso United FC 97 (AZ) 5-1 to punch their ticked to the national championships. After going down 1-0, thanks to a goal from Valparaiso’s Josias Ortiz Cruz, LVSA scored five unanswered goals to claim the region title. Four of those goals came from Miles Mcrae in the 26th, 68th, 77thand 90th minutes with Jackson Dietrich adding another in the 47th minute. Today’s performance gives Mcrae eight goals in the tournament, and the top four scorers in the Under 17 Boys group were from LVSA with Dietrich, Tristian Blackmon and Elijah Ruffer joining Mcrae.
After going down 2-0 in the first seven minutes to Fram Premier (CA-S) thanks to goals from Tx Tario and Grant Sampson, Miguel Padron scored four straight goals for Santa Barbara FC White (CA-S) in the 30th, 47, 48th and 85th minute to give Santa Barbara a 4-2 lead. Sampson scored his second in the 85th minute as well, but Geoffrey Acheampong scored his sixth goal of the tournament in extra time to shut to door on a Fram comeback with a 5-3 victory and join U16B Santa Barbara SC at the national championship.
NM Rush 95 (NM) had high hopes of becoming the only Albuquerque, N.M. team to win a Region IV Championship after leading 2-1 at halftime with goals coming from Jermey Klepac and Luke Lawrence, while Alum Rock PAC Tigres’ (CA-N) goal was scored by Cesar Garcia. However, Alum Rock (CA-N) reeled off four unanswered goals as both Andoni Trejo and Edwin Luna each scored a pair to ultimately win 5-2. Alum Rock will move on to play for the storied James P. McGuire Cup, the oldest trophy in youth sports, after a comeback victory.
The US Youth Soccer National Championships will consist of US Youth Soccer Regional Champions in the Under-13 through Under-19 Boys and Girls age groups as well as the US Youth Soccer National League qualifiers in the Under-15 through Under-18 Boys and Girls age groups to complete the field of 96 teams.
Daily reports and complete results from the tournament are available on http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org. Follow the moments from the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series on Twitter and share the moments with us on Facebook.