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Club notes: Five state teams set to kick off National League play

11/30/2016, 5:45pm CST
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The outdoor soccer season might be over for most Wisconsin teams, but five state sides are headed to Rocky Mount, N.C., over the next two weeks to open the 2016-17 season of the U.S. Youth Soccer National League.

The North Shore United Blue 17U team and the SC Waukesha Blue 18U team start the girls competition with four matches Thursday through Sunday. Boys play kicks off with four games from Dec. 8 to 11, and will feature the SC Waukesha Blue 15U side and the Elm Grove SC and Milwaukee Bavarians 18U teams.

The North Shore 17U girls are in the Red Division along with Indiana's FC Pride Elite and Dallas Kicks SC – FC Pride has advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships each of the past two years, while the Kicks have qualified for nationals three consecutive seasons.

Meanwhile, the SC Waukesha's 18U team, which includes at least 10 players who have verbally committed to NCAA Division I programs, is in the Blue Division with reigning national champion L.A. Galaxy San Diego Elite from California.

In the boys competition, SC Waukesha Blue 15U side is in the Red Division, which includes defending national champion Capital Area Soccer League Red from North Carolina. Elm Grove's 18U Black Division features two regional champions from 2016 in Ohio Premier Green (Region II) and California's Strikers FC North (Region IV), along with Region IV runner-up EC Real Pumas, while the Bavarians' Blue Division includes perennial national contender United Futbol Academy Premier from Georgia and reigning Blue Division champion La Roca South CS Premier from Utah.

The National League, which features boys and girls competitions from 15U through 19/20U, has expanded to 256 total teams this season. The top finishers in each of the four divisions in each age group earn spots in the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships, which are scheduled for July 24 to 30 in Frisco, Texas.

The state girls teams will wrap up National League group play Dec. 31 to Jan. 2 in Kissimmee, Fla., while the Wisconsin boys sides will play their final three matches March 10 to 12 in Las Vegas.

  • As you might have noticed above, U.S. Youth Soccer has changed the terminology of its age groups as a result of the birth-year age mandates issued by the U.S. Soccer Federation. Previous classifications were "under" a certain age; the new titles are the age and under. For example, a player born in 2004 would have been on an Under-13 team in the past; that team will now be known as 13-and-under.
  • The 2000 Region II team, including defenders Haley Johnson (Pleasant Prairie/SC Waukesha) and Bonnie Lacey (Sheboygan Falls/Lakeshore United), finished 1-1-1 at the U.S. Youth Soccer Girls ODP Thanksgiving Interregional last week in Boca Raton, Fla. Region's II victory was a 2-0 decision over the U.S. Under-14 national team, which included forward Aryssa Mahrt (Wauwatosa/FC Wisconsin Eclipse). Alyssa Bombacino, a midfielder from Naperville, Ill., who has verbally committed to Marquette along with Lacey for 2018, scored two of the three goals for Region II. The national team, made up of players born from 2002 to '04, finished 2-2-0 at the event.
  • Midfielder Matthew Roou (Germantown/Bavarian SC) led all scorers at the 2003 Boys ODP Thanksgiving Interregional in Casa Grande, Ariz. Roou had three goals, recording a hat trick in the team's 5-1 rout of Region III in Saturday's opener. Region II, which also included defender Timothy Browning (Middleton/Rush Wisconsin), lost to Region I and Region IV by identical 2-1 scorelines. Goalkeeper John Harms (Whitefish Bay/Bavarian SC) and Region II went 0-2-1 in the 2002 competition.
  • FC Wisconsin's Under-14 boys team won its division at the Disney Junior Soccer Showcase over the weekend in Kissimmee, Fla. The Nationals went 2-0-1 to win their group, then beat Florida's Weston FC Black 3-0 in the semifinals and Georgia's United Futbol Academy Premier 2-1 in the final. The club's Under-19 and Under-17 boys teams will play in the Disney Soccer Showcase from Dev. 27 to 30.
  • The 2018 Region II Championships will be played at Grand Park Sports Complex in Westfield, Ind., and the 2019 event will be held in Saginaw, Mich., U.S. Youth Soccer announced this week. Next year's event is June 23 to 28 at Yankton Trails Park in Sioux Falls, S.D.

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