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Clubs: Fall State Cup in full swing

09/21/2012, 10:05pm CDT
By ERIC ANDERSON

Four girls divisions of the Wisconsin State Championships, better known as the State Cup, will be down to the finalists after matches this weekend at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee.

Group play wraps up in the Under-15 through Under-18 age groups Saturday, with the semifinals Sunday.

The four finals are next Saturday, Sept. 29, at Uihlein, with the winners earning berths in the 2013 U.S. Youth Soccer Region II Championships from June 22 to 26 in Des Moines, Iowa.

These four divisions are played in the fall because the WIAA prep girls season is in the spring.

U.S. Youth Soccer National League

North Shore United's Under-18 girls are the lone state representatives in the 128-team competition.

The seven-game season will start Nov. 29 to Dec. 2 at the CASL Showcase in Wilson, S.C., and conclude at the Player's College Showcase from March 15 to 17 in Las Vegas. One other event is still to be announced.

The top four finishers in each of the four 16-team age groups, Under-15 through Under-18, earn berths in the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships from July 22 to 28 in Overland Park, Kan.

Midwest Regional League

The North Shore Under-18 girls also are one of two state girls teams playing in MRL Premier Divisions this fall, joining the Sockers FC Wisconsin Premier Under-16 side in the top Region II competition for U.S. Youth Soccer.

Twenty-five state girls teams and three Under-14 boys sides are playing in the First Division in their respective age groups.

GIRLS
Under-14
First Divison West Blue: FC Milwaukee Blue, SC Waukesha Blue, Mequon United. First Division West Red: Madison 56ers Red, Sockers FC Wisconsin Premier.
Under-15
First Division Green: Mequon United, Rush Wisconsin Nike. First Division White: FC Milwaukee Blue, SC Waukesha Blue.
Under-16
Premier Division: Sockers FC Wisconsin Premier. First Division Green: Sockers FC Wisconsin Premier, FC Milwaukee Blue, Milwaukee Sport Club Maroon. First Division Red: SC Waukesha Blue, Rush Wisconsin Nike.
Under-17
First Division Green: Croatian Eagles Blue, FC Milwaukee Blue, North Shore United. First Division Red: SC Waukesha Blue. First Division White: Sockers FC Wisconsin Premier, Rush Wisconsin.
Under-18
Premier Division: North Shore United. First Division Red: Appleton Goal Getters, FC Green Bay Orange, Madison 56ers. First Division White: USA Stride Blue, FC Milwaukee Blue, Milwaukee Bavarians.

BOYS
Under-14
First Division West Red: United FC Red, Rush Wisconsin Nike, SC Waukesha Blue Devils.

New this season

There also are two new competitions this season involving more than 30 state clubs:

  • Wisconsin Development Academy: The Wisconsin Youth Soccer Association selected nine clubs for this program, which is based on the principles of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. Some of the priorities include quality training sessions and a higher training-to-game ratio, which is intended to create a better game experience for players from Under-11 to Under-18. WDA teams primarily will compete against one another, but are allowed to play in the MRL and in tournaments – including the Wisconsin State Championships – and also will have player identification and college showcase events. One point WYSA stresses about the program is the lack of relegation and promotion, which allows coaches to concentrate on developing players rather than focusing on winning to keep or earn a place in the top league. The inaugural WDA clubs are Bavarian SC, Elm Grove SC, FC Milwaukee, FC Green Bay, Madison 56ers, Cedarburg's North Shore United, Middleton's Rush Wisconsin, SC Waukesha and Kenosha's United FC.
  • Wisconsin Soccer League: Not to be confused with Wisconsin Soccer Leagues, the state's new adult soccer governing body, this league is managed by U.S. Club Soccer as a division of the Illinois-based Northern Independent Soccer League. It allows teams to play 10 games (five in the fall and five more in the spring) in addition to WYSA and MRL matches, and is very flexible in scheduling, rosters and involvement. At least 23 clubs have teams playing; some with teams in every age group and others with as few as one team. There are 12 divisions for the fall – Under-11 through Under-18 girls and Under-11 through Under-14 boys. By playing in a U.S. Club Soccer league, clubs have access to the U.S. Club National Cup series, the National Premier League, the Elite Clubs National League and the id2 player identification program.

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