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News from USL

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    PDL News Release

    Tuesday, December 3, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. – The PDL is pleased to welcome the Montreal Impact U23 to the league for the 2014 season. The Impact become the fifth team from Major League Soccer to enter a team in the PDL, the top amateur development league in North America, joining the Chicago Fire, Portland Timbers, San Jose Earthquakes and Vancouver Whitecaps.

    “The addition of the Montreal Impact is another fantastic step forward for the PDL, following the recent announcement of the San Jose Earthquakes,” PDL Senior Director Ryan Brooks said. “More and more MLS and USL PRO teams are realizing that the PDL is an ideal platform for the development of their young talent.”

    Five members of the Impact’s Academy have previously signed professionally with the club’s MLS side, including recent Canadian National Team call-up Karl Ouimette. The PDL will offer a place for the club’s Academy graduates to continue their development, while maintaining college eligibility and Home Grown Player status.

    “The PDL will be a good level of competition for us this year,” Impact Academy director Philippe Eullaffroy said. “We will be able to better manage our roster between PDL games, the U18 competing in the USSDA and the MLS Reserve League games.”

    The PDL has been the destination league for young college players to continue their development toward the professional ranks, with clubs from across North America not only competing for a championship each summer, but also providing the opportunity for top-level competition for the best players in the college ranks.

    In addition to the five MLS teams that currently have teams competing in the PDL, three other clubs have formed affiliations with PDL sides, with the New England Revolution (Real Boston Rams), Philadelphia Union (Reading United AC) and Seattle Sounders FC (Sounders FC U23) having seen players from their academy systems compete in the PDL this past season.

    Among the Home Grown Players to recently star in the PDL were 2013 MLS Rookie of the Year finalist DeAndre Yedlin of the Seattle Sounders FC, who was a 2012 All-League Selection in the PDL for the Sounders FC U23. The LA Galaxy’s Gyasi Zardes was also an All-Western Conference selection for the Ventura County Fusion in 2012 before a standout rookie season placed him fourth in the Rookie of the Year voting.

    As a league, the PDL has been the home to the last three MLS Rookie of the Year selections, with former Austin Aztex midfielder Dillon Powers earning the 2013 award last week to follow 2011 winner C.J. Sapong of Reading United and 2012 winner Austin Berry of the Chicago Fire U-23.


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    Harrisburg City Islanders News Release -- www.cityislanders.com

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013

    HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Harrisburg City Islanders are pleased to announce that young entrepreneur and businessman, Tiago Lopes has been named the new Club President for the Harrisburg City Islanders Professional Soccer and Youth Academy.

    Club owner, Eric Pettis made the announcement today in a press conference held at Capital BlueCross.  Lopes joined the club on November 4, 2013.

     “Tiago epitomizes the perfect mix of soccer management experience and the strategic and creative new thinking that will be critical to moving Harrisburg City Islanders into the next 10 years," said Pettis. "He brings his own unique approach and vision to the Islanders. He's innovative, strategic and an experienced businessman in soccer management. He will make a terrific Club President and we look forward to a Harrisburg City Islanders Club under his leadership.”

    Lopes, born in Portugal, studied Football Business Industry and Sports Management at the University of Liverpool and Technical University of Lisbon. In 2006, Lopes completed a new project with Manchester United and executed a program with the United Soccer League (USL) as Associate Director of International Relations.

    Lopes’ project was also recognized by the President of Portugal for his significant social contribution in the development of grassroots soccer. His love for the game has led him to establish programs and partnerships all over the world.

    He founded Makesphere International, a consulting firm dedicated to aiding top club executives, players, coaches and sponsors in several countries in Asia, Australia, Europe and the United States. 

    “With the ownership vision, with the Philadelphia Union partnership, with the support of the community, our fans and partners, and with the will to work daily and improve, I believe it is only a matter of time before we start to see some great achievements,” said Lopes.  “My job, going forward, is to make this project so exciting, so useful, so fun, that every fan, every supporter and every youngster will be eager to belong to this family.”

    “We are pleased by the addition of Tiago Lopes to the Harrisburg City Islanders’ executive management team,” said USL President Tim Holt. “His wealth of experience in the business of the sport domestically and internationally will add value to a professional soccer club that has become a fixture in the Central Pennsylvania sports landscape. We look forward to once again having the opportunity to work with Tiago in his new role and to support his objective of even further elevating what is already one of USL PRO’s most respected organizations on and off the field.”

    The Islanders enter their 11th season this April 2014.  In addition to creating a strategic plan to raise the passion, business, and brand awareness of the Islanders, Lopes will be a facilitator in developing the growth with Philadelphia Union, the Islanders exclusive affiliate Major League Soccer (MLS) partner. The growth of this partnership grew greatly this year with the addition of four Union players on loan with the Isles all season, plus additional support on and off the field.

    “Tiago Lopes is an excellent addition to the Harrisburg City Islanders organization and we are excited to be working with him” said Philadelphia Union CEO and Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz. “He has worked at every level of professional soccer, including some time at the USL League office early in his career, and brings a breadth of expertise that helps the City Islanders to the next level.”

    As the next decade of the Harrisburg City Islanders begins, Lopes will be involved in the discussion to upgrade the Skyline Sports Complex Project.  The Islanders, who are partnering with Harristown and Delta Development group, expect the results of the Economic and Community Impact Assessment on the upgrade of the stadium to be announced by the end of the year.

    Lopes will reside in Harrisburg. For more information on the Harrisburg City Islanders visit the website at www.cityislanders.com or phone 717-441-4625.


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  • 12/04/13--17:17: SYL Finals Set To Kick Off
  • Super Y-League News Release

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. – The Super Y-League North American Finals, presented by Nike, kick off on Thursday morning at the world-class facilities of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida with some of the top young players and teams from throughout North America set to compete during the five-day event.

    The elite-level event will bring in scouts from United States youth national teams, professional clubs and top colleges from throughout the country, as 116 teams in 12 divisions compete for championships.

    “We are delighted by the number of colleges that will be present at IMG Academy, which last year in its inaugural season hosting the North American Finals proved an exceptional backdrop for the competition,” USL Youth Leagues & ODP Senior Director Natalie Akula said. “In the league’s 15th season, we are excited for the start of the tournament and for the elite-level players to have the opportunity to showcase their talents.”

    In addition to the U.S. Youth National Team scouts set to attend, Major League Soccer’s Sporting Kansas City will also be represented. They join coaches from 2013 NCAA Men’s Tournament teams such as the University of South Florida and Navy, and other schools including the University of Maine, University of New Hampshire, Colgate and Florida Atlantic University. More than 40 colleges will be represented at the event.

    Created in 1999 with 12 teams, the Super Y-League now includes nearly 80 clubs from throughout the United States and Canada with an average of 500 teams competing in the league every summer. Many of the clubs participating in the league are now affiliated with the top professional and amateur men’s and women’s sides of USL and Major League Soccer, providing a true pyramid of development that mirrors those in traditional soccer nations throughout the world.

    Six age groups in both the boys and girls divisions, ranging from U12 to U17, will begin three days of group play on Thursday. The semifinals will then take place on Sunday, with the tournament’s championship games set for Monday. Among the teams set to defend their titles at this year’s event are the Ironbound SC U15 Boys, who took a dramatic victory on penalty kicks at last year’s tournament, and the Long Island Rough Riders’ U14 Boys, who again include 2012 All-Tournament selection Matthew Sloan.

    IMG Academy, a division of IMG Worldwide, the global sports, fashion and media company, is the world’s largest and most advanced multi-sport training and education complex. IMG Academy hosted a myriad of soccer team training camps in 2012, including clubs such as the Seattle Sounders, D.C. United, Columbus Crew, Sweden’s Malmö FF, and the U.S. Women’s National Team preparing for the London Olympic Games.

    For more than 30 years, IMG Academy has helped countless youth, adult, collegiate and professional athletes reach their full potential in and out of sport, by providing world-class coaching, tailored programs and professional facilities within an energetic environment across a 450-acre campus.


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  • 12/04/13--14:24: Albuquerque Sol FC Joins PDL
  • PDL News Release

    Thursday, December 5, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. – The PDL is pleased to welcome the Albuquerque Sol FC to the league for the 2014 season. The Sol are led by club President Ron Patel and General Manager Larry Espinoza, while Chris Cartlidge has been named as head coach for the club’s inaugural season.

    “We are very pleased to continue the PDL’s expansion into the Southwest,” PDL Senior Director Ryan Brooks said. “New Mexico has been an emerging soccer market, particularly in youth and college soccer, and the Sol will provide the opportunity for the area’s top players to continue their development as they move toward the professional ranks.”

    Albuquerque is home to one of the top college soccer programs in the nation at the University of New Mexico. The Lobos consistently rank in the top ten in attendance, and this year claimed their third consecutive conference championship on the way to a No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

    Players such as Real Salt Lake’s Devon Sandoval, the Montreal Impact’s Blake Smith and the Rochester Rhinos’ Lance Rozeboom have been former members of the program. The Sol aim to bring the best the Lobos have to offer along with other top Division I players to build their roster both in 2014 and beyond.

    “It is great to welcome this team and PDL soccer to Albuquerque this coming summer,” Cartlidge, also the Director of Soccer at Rio Rapids Soccer Club, said. “Our soccer community continues to grow in size and quality and the addition of a PDL team is the next logical step for our players and supporters. The league will greatly enhance the opportunities for quality young players developed in our state to continue their development as they strive to join the professional ranks.

    “The success of the University of New Mexico Men’s Soccer Program and Devon Sandoval with Real Salt Lake highlight our readiness to join one of the premier soccer leagues in the country.”

    The PDL has been the destination league for young college players to continue their development toward the professional ranks, with clubs from across North America not only competing for a championship each summer, but also providing the opportunity for top-level competition for the best players in the college ranks.

    More than 150 PDL alumni have been selected in the last five MLS SuperDrafts, with the last two No. 1 selections, Andrew Farrell of the River City Rovers (2013) and Andrew Wenger of the Carolina Dynamo and Reading United (2012) having spent time in the league.

    As a league, the PDL has been the home to the last three MLS Rookie of the Year selections, with former Austin Aztex midfielder Dillon Powers earning the 2013 award last week to follow 2011 winner C.J. Sapong of Reading United and 2012 winner Austin Berry of the Chicago Fire U-23.


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    USL PRO News Release

    Thursday, December 5, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. – USL PRO announced today that an expansion franchise in Colorado Springs, Colorado will join the league for the 2015 season. Owned and operated by Martin Ragain and Ragain Sports, LLC, the franchise was officially unveiled at a news conference in Colorado Springs this afternoon.

    “The momentum continues to build for USL PRO with the addition of a franchise in Colorado Springs for 2015,” USL President Tim Holt said. “With Sacramento Republic FC and OKC Energy FC kicking off in 2014, this announcement continues to build the league’s western presence, with additional announcements expected soon.”

    In addition to Ragain Sports, Ragain is also an owner and founder of ME Engineers, a global mechanical and electrical engineering design firm, founded in 1981, whose portfolio includes some of the most recognized buildings in the world.  Ragain is also the broadcast lighting consultant for the Olympic Broadcast Systems, currently preparing for the upcoming Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Ragain is also an author in the FIFA Stadium Guidelines regarding stadium lighting.

    “It has been a life-long dream to own a professional sports franchise,” Ragain said. “We look forward to building a franchise that soccer fans throughout the Colorado Springs region can be proud to support.”

    Ragain Sports anticipates that the team will play its home games at Sand Creek Stadium adjacent to the Colorado Springs Sky Sox baseball facility. The team expects to announce a “Name the Team” contest in the coming weeks.

    USL PRO is the strongest, best operated and most experienced North American men’s professional soccer league below and in support of MLS, both on and off the field. Focused on franchise stability and longevity, USL PRO featured 13 teams in 2013 with more than half boasting a decade or more of operational experience, and the distinction of being the longest standing pro league affiliate member of the US Soccer Federation with more than two decades of successful operations.

    The addition of Colorado Springs continues USL PRO’s western expansion initiative, with expansion sides Sacramento Republic FC and OKC Energy FC slated to join for 2014. In addition to league play, USL PRO teams will continue to compete in the national Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and various domestic and international exhibitions.

    In 2013 USL PRO began a groundbreaking, multi-year partnership with MLS that has further elevated the quality and stature of USL PRO, strengthened the competition in both leagues, and established a solid foundation for future collaboration. MLS teams will choose to either field a reserve team in USL PRO or affiliate with an existing USL PRO franchise by 2015.

    Colorado Springs has a rich soccer history that has produced powerful youth clubs, numerous high school state soccer champions, strong college programs, a number of professional players, and was home to the U.S. Soccer Federation for many years.


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    Friday, December 6, 2013

    BRADENTON, Fla. – Seacoast United Sports Club Premier and Force Football Club Academy entered Friday’s matchup looking to take hold of their destiny in Group B. Unfortunately, neither could find the breakthrough in a well-played scoreless draw at IMG Academy.

    After both won their openers Thursday at the 2013 Super Y-League North American Finals, a winner today would likely have punched their ticket into Sunday’s semifinals. Now, goal differential could come into play with Seacoast sitting plus-4 and Force plus-2 entering Saturday’s final group games.

    Force FC had the better of the play in the opening half, with Elaina Eckert nearly finding the net three minutes in when her chip over the Seacoast keeper just cleared the bar. Force striker Lauren Alshab was able to cause havoc for much of the half, turning defenders well to create scoring opportunities.

    Seacoast settled down in the second half and gained more of the possession, with Dominique LaPanne nearly finding the payoff in the 52nd minute when her deflection of a corner kick nearly snuck in.

    Both defenses were the focus for much of the game, with Mia Dronchi and Victoria Lucido leading the way for Force FC, while center back Korynne Provenzano continually snuffed out scoring chances in the Seacoast defensive end.

    “I think it was a game of two halves, to be honest, with the conditions favoring the team with the wind behind them,” Seacoast Head Coach Iain Scott said. “Our plan for the first half was to try to keep it tight, and then try to open it up in the second half. It worked quite well and we had one or two chances in the second half, but it just wasn’t our day.”

    U15 Girls Results and Standings

     

    Lynx Hold Off Brooklyn’s Rally

    BRADENTON, Fla. – The Toronto Lynx moved into sole possession of first place in Group A of the U15 Boys Division after a 2-1 victory against the Brooklyn Knights at the 2013 Super Y-League North American Finals, presented by Nike. Antonio Downey and Rahim Thorpe each scored in the first half as the Lynx held off a strong second-half rally.

    Both sides had taken victory in their opening game, and both showed good energy in the early stages. Toronto took the lead in the 16th minute as Nicholas Gavira sent in a cross from the left that was headed to the top of the penalty area. Downey picked up possession, and fired a shot from the left corner of the penalty area that Brooklyn’s goalkeeper got a hand to, but couldn’t keep out.

    The Knights quickly tried to hit back, with Jesus Patino creating a chance three minutes later only to shoot wide of the left post. Brooklyn thought it had tied the game up in the 21st minute as it put the ball in the back of the net, only for the assistant referee’s flag to be up for offside.

    Toronto would take advantage of its reprieve and double its advantage in the 26th minute as Thorpe fired an excellent shot from the top of the penalty area into the left corner. The Lynx carried the lead to the halftime break, but then appeared to take their foot off the pedal as the second half began.

    Brooklyn got back on level terms nine minutes after the break as JC Obregon Jr. sent in a cross from the left that was headed home by Gustavo Fernandez. The Knights then appeared to have won a penalty, but the referee waved away their protests as the Lynx held onto their 2-1 lead.

    “At 2-0 I think our boys thought they’d won it, and from all of these years doing this it’s not that easy,” said Toronto coach Duncan Wilde. “Luckily we held on, because they gave us a good fight,” Wilde said. “Hopefully tomorrow we can clinch the group and move on.”

    The Lynx can clinch a place in Sunday’s semifinals with a draw against Nordic Soccer Club, which fell 2-1 to West Pines United in Friday’s other Group A contest. West Pines and Brooklyn both remain in contention for the runner-up wild card, with the winner of that game giving itself a chance to stay alive in the tournament.

    U15 Boys Results and Standings


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    Friday, December 6, 2013

    BRADENTON, Fla. – Ironbound SC’s Dylan Santos and Federico De Oliveira each scored twice as their side claimed a back-and-forth contest against the Cleveland Soccer Academy and take top spot in Group B of the Boys U17 Division at the 2013 Super Y-League North American Finals, presented by Nike, at IMG Academy.

    The game started evenly, with Cleveland going close to opening the scoring in the opening minute. It would be Ironbound that struck first, however, as Santos got on the end of a cross by De Oliveira to give his side the lead.

    Cleveland hit back in the 23rd minute after a good piece of individual play by Chad Bencina down the right allowed him to get past his defender and move into the penalty area. Bencina fired a low cross, which found Anthony Brockway for a low first-time finish from the left side of the penalty area.

    Santos quickly restored Ironbound’s lead, though, as he beat his defender to the near post four minutes later to drill home a low cross by Paulino Marques to make it 2-1. Cleveland had a good chance to tie the game up again in the 37th minute, only for Ethan Dunn to spoon his close-range effort high and leave Ironbound on top at the break.

    Three minutes into the second half, Cleveland would get back on even terms again as a good through-ball found Jake Lombardo moving into the right side of the penalty area. Lombardo then hit a blistering shot into the left side-netting, leaving the goalkeeper helpless. Cleveland then had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 55th minute as Prayag Jina took advantage of a defender’s slip to break in on goal, only for his effort to go straight at the goalkeeper.

    Ironbound would restore its lead three minutes later from the penalty spot after a handball in the area. De Oliveira stepped up, and while the goalkeeper got a hand to his powerful shot, he was unable to keep it out on the top-right corner of the net. Six minutes later, De Oliveira struck again as he flicked a header home off a corner for a 4-2 lead.

    Cleveland tried to rally, and was thrown a lifeline with 13 minutes to go when Matt Turklaj was able to find the back of the net to cut his side’s deficit in half. Then inside the final five minutes Colin Eedy’s flicked header went just wide of the left post, and Ironbound goalkeeper Cody Gross made a good save to keep his side on top. Ironbound was able to hold on, and set up a key final game in group play against Princeton on Saturday.

    U17 Boys Results and Standings

     

    Virginia Alliance Sprints Past St. Louis

    BRADENTON, Fla. – It took the St. Louis Lions more than 50 minutes to equalize their game against Virginia Alliance Friday, and it took less than a minute for Virginia to stomp out the comeback attempt. Emily Renkey’s 66th-minute goal proved to be the difference as Virginia Alliance opened U17 Girls play with a 3-1 victory against the Lions at the 2013 Super Y-League North American Finals, presented by Nike.

    After jumping ahead early on a Jessica Logue free kick goal in the 13th minute, Virginia Alliance fought hard to maintain the lead. The Lions, who opened with a 1-0 victory against Knoxville Soccer Academy Thursday, finally broke through in the 65th minute when Jessie Thayer set a perfect ball to Jamie Gilley running through the box, and Gilley calmly finished into the far corner.

    The momentum had swung in the Lions’ favor and they appeared poised for more when Virginia’s Caroline Fitzgerald beat a player wide off the ensuing kickoff and found Renkey at the far post for the back-breaker.

    “The response was immediate, which is what you want,” Alliance Coach German Peri said. “I think that took it out of [St. Louis] a little bit, because I think they had the momentum. For us to come right back, I think it brought us back to where we were. Otherwise it would have been an uphill battle the whole second half, because they were picking it up with the wind and they had some pacey players who were putting us under pressure.”

    Virginia Fergusson finished the scoring for Virginia Alliance in the 75th minute, taking a feed from Zoe Lunn and hitting a 20-yard drive into the upper 90 past the charging St. Louis keeper.

    St. Louis, which falls to 1-1-0 in the supergroup, will look to rebound against WAZA FC East on Saturday, while Virginia Alliance will try to move to 2-0-0 when it faces Knoxville Soccer Academy.

    U17 Girls Results and Standings


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    Sunday, December 8, 2013

    BRADENTON, Fla. – Super Nova FC advanced to Monday’s Finals at the 2013 Super Y-League North American Finals presented by Nike by outlasting Seacoast United Sports Club Premier in penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw through regulation and overtime.

    Super Nova FC goalkeeper Brooke Turnbaugh saved four consecutive attempts after the first Seacoast shooter hit the crossbar to give her side the 1-0 final advantage in kicks. Seacoast keeper Brooke Barrett made three saves of her own after Taylor Chapman converted on the first kick for Super Nova.

    It was a bit of redemption for Super Nova, which lost on PKs in the semifinals in 2012.

    “[Turnbaugh] is coming back from an ACL injury and she’s faster now than she was before,” Super Nova Coach Niki Nikolic said. “Last year we reached the semifinals and we lost on penalty kicks. This time we are on, and I love it. It’s a great team, and to be in the finals is even better.”

    Both teams used the first half to feel each other out, with the best chances coming in the ninth minute. Seacoast’s Claire Petersen got a header on frame off a corner kick that was cleared off the line by a defender, and Super Nova countered with Savannah Metz ultimately being stopped on a breakaway.

    Chapman was dangerous all game for Super Nova, nearly drawing a penalty kick in the 52nd minute. Chapman finally broke through in the 65th minute, getting free on the right side of the box and firing low to the left corner to break the deadlock.

    Seacoast was undaunted, however, as Anna-Maria Dagher tied it two minutes later when she kneed in a hard cross from Emily Zwierzchowski to force overtime.

    U15 Girls Results and Standings

     

    West Pines United Grabs Victory In Extra Time

     

    BRADENTON, Fla. – West Pines United was able to score twice in extra time to take a 2-1 victory against the Northern Virginia Royals in the semifinals of the Boys U15 Division at the 2013 Super Y-League North American Finals, presented by Nike, at IMG Academy. Ruben Morales had what proved to be the winning goal early in the second extra period.

    The game opened evenly, and Morales came close to opening the scoring in the 15th minute as he sent a header over the crossbar. Northern Virginia was quick to find an opportunity of its own as Edwin Jovel almost took advantage of United’s goalkeeper being out of his goal after a clearance, his shot looping just wide of the left post.

    The Royals began to take control of the game as the half went on, and Jose Ramos almost opened the scoring two minutes before the break. The forward was able to outmuscle his defender to get in on goal, but West Pines’ goalkeeper advanced to save well.

    Northern Virginia continued to have the better of the game in the second half, but was unable to put away any of its chances. Wiferdo Cedillo fired a good long-range effort in the 59th minute after a corner was only half-cleared, but it was comfortably saved as United’s defense held firm.

    West Pines almost grabbed the lead with nine minutes to go when Alex Alexis almost added to his hat trick on Saturday as his pace was too much for the Royals’ defense, but his finish was well saved. The Royals then went close twice in the final five minutes, as Lorenzo Bolanos and Ramos each had opportunities, but neither was able to grab victory for his side.

    The breakthrough finally came in extra time, in somewhat fortunate fashion for West Pines. After a short corner found Alexis on the left side, his cross into the penalty area was met by a Royals defender trying to clear, only for the ball to bounce into the left corner of the net. Morales then added a second two minutes into the second period of extra time with a fine strike from 23 yards out to make it 2-0 and seemingly put the game away.

    Morales’ goal would prove to be vital four minutes later as a looped through-ball by Chris Wolfe was misjudged by the West Pines goalkeeper, and the wind carried the ball over his head and into the back of the net. The Royals wouldn’t be able to find an equalizer to send the game to a penalty shootout, however, as West Pines claimed victory.

    West Pines United will face the Southern Soccer Academy in the final after SSA defeated the Toronto Lynx in a penalty shootout after the two teams played to a 1-1 draw through regulation and extra time.

    U15 Boys Results and Standings


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    Sunday, December 8, 2013

    BRADENTON, Fla. – Logan Podrebarec’s second-half penalty kick lifted the Toronto Lynx into the final of the Boys U17 Division as his side took a 2-1 victory against Cleveland Soccer Academy at the 2013 Super Y-League North American Finals, presented by Nike, at IMG Academy. Toronto will face Ironbound SC in Monday’s championship game.

    The Lynx took the lead with just under half-an-hour to play as they were awarded a penalty kick when Colin Edwards was brought down by a strong challenge in the right side of the penalty area. Podrebarec stepped up and sent Cleveland goalkeeper Matthew Markiewicz the wrong way, slotting his shot low into the right corner.

    Cleveland pushed numbers forward as the half wore on, but Toronto was solid in defense. CSA’s best chance to find an equalizer came with five minutes to go as a half-cleared corner came to Jacob Lombardo just inside the penalty area, but his shot through traffic was saved by Daniel Merkel as the Lynx saw out the win.

    The Lynx had initially taken the lead in the 14th minute after an even start between the two teams as Jacon DaCosta was played into the right side of the penalty area and drove home a low shot at the near post. Cleveland almost hit back immediately as speedy forward Joe Munaretto broke in on a ball over the Lynx’s back line, but his lifted finish past the advancing goalkeeper went just over the crossbar.

    Cleveland continued to push for an equalizer, and almost found it in the 20th minute as a good cross was headed toward the top-right corner, only for Toronto goalkeeper Peter Bonnaro to tip the effort over the crossbar. From the ensuing corner, however, CSA’s Ivan Matkovic emphatically headed home to level the game.

    Toronto’s Mike Pulford came close to restoring the Lynx’s lead in the 32nd minute with a fierce drive from 25 yards, but Markiewicz made an excellent save to tip the effort over the crossbar to keep the teams level at the halftime break. Munaretto also had a good chance to give CSA the lead eight minutes into the second half, only to drag his effort wide of the right post, and Toronto would regain the lead 10 minutes later from the spot to move into the final.

    Ironbound cruised into the final with a 3-0 victory against the F.A. Euro – New York Magic. The two teams will meet at 11:30 a.m. to conclude the tournament on Monday.

    U17 Boys Results and Standings


    Virginia Alliance Stay Alive

    BRADENTON, Fla. – Virginia Alliance captured a crucial 3-1 win against the Toronto Lynx Jrs. Sunday to stay alive in the U17 supergroup at the 2013 Super Y-League North American Finals, presented by Nike. Virginia (2-1-0) will face Waza FC East on Monday, with the winner claiming the championship.

    Trailing at the half against a determined Lynx Jrs. Squad, Virginia got a pair of goals from Caroline Fitzgerald and a penalty kick goal from Cari Best to break open the game.

    Toronto took the lead early when Lindsay Hummelbrunner deflected Rachel Rygus’ shot into the net off a corner kick. Best evened the score four minutes after the half after being taken down in the box.

    Toronto worked hard for the next 30 minutes to try to find the equalizer, but Virginia stayed dangerous with outside back Olivia Kobayaashi causing havoc down the left wing and coming close to adding to the lead on two occasions.

    Fitzgerald eventually added to the lead in the 83rd minute when she buried the rebound after Haley Roy hit the crossbar, and Fitzgerald struck again three minutes later – once again with the play created by Roy.

    “[Toronto] is a good team and the first half I thought they came out very organized,” Alliance Academy Head Coach German Peri said. “We saw a few weaknesses on the wings and we were able to exploit them. It was another strong performance after yesterday’s very physical game.

    “After yesterday I thought we’d come out a little beat up, and we did, but they responded and I’m very happy with their performance.”

    U17 Girls Results and Standings


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    Saturday, December 7, 2013

    BRADENTON, Fla. – The Kalamazoo Kingdom captured the second semifinal spot out of Group A following a convincing 4-0 win against the NJ Stallion Academy at the Super Y-League North American Finals presented by Nike.

    Four different players scored for the Kingdom, who finished group play at 2-1-1 and will face the Florida Fire Juniors Sunday in a semifinal. The MPS Lady Crusaders and Seacoast United Mariners will meet in the other semi. 

    Cassidy Conner got the Kingdom going early, running onto a free kick by Hannah Phommavongsa in the fourth minute to start the scoring. New Jersey fought hard to get back in the game and came close to tying the score twice, with Sara Foley’s attempt saved by keeper Shea Mulvaney in the 19th minute and Sally Campuzano hitting the crossbar in the 22nd minute.

    Kalamazoo was able to add to its lead in the 47th minute when Kathryn Nutter scored off a set piece, and Anyah Preston headed in a Libby VanderMolen free kick 10 minutes later to make it 3-0.

    Chani Warfield completed the scoring with two minutes remaining.

    “What we were looking for was a good team atmosphere and to play a good game and try to finish some goals, and I feel like that’s exactly what we accomplished today.” Kalamazoo Head Coach Chris Keenan said. “This is a long tournament and you need the team atmosphere to be lighthearted away from the pitch and competitive when you’re on it, but going out to have fun.

    “If that happens, that’s the team that can get through that hard semifinal  and be ready for the finals.”

    U16 Girls Results and Standings

     

    Benanma Leads Real Maryland Into Semis

    BRADENTON, Fla. – Donald Benanma had a pair of goals as Real Maryland Futures advanced to the semifinals of the Boys U16 Division with a 3-1 victory against the Toronto Lynx at the 2013 Super Y-League North American Final, presented by Nike, at IMG Academy.

    Toronto made a good start to the game, and came close to taking the lead in the fourth minute as Brandon Duarte was left unmarked in the penalty area. Real Maryland goalkeeper Nas Ebreahimnejad was on hand to make the save, however, and was solid throughout the contest.

    The game then became scrappier, with both sides playing physically for most of a contentious opening 20 minutes. It would be Real Maryland that would take the lead in the 22nd minute, though, as Kelly Marah took advantage of a giveaway in midfield by Toronto to race in on goal and fire into the left corner of the net.

    There then came a span of three goals in four minutes, the first coming for Real Maryland as Juwan Kearson was brought down in the penalty area in the 28th minute. Benanma stepped up and converted from the spot to give his side a 2-0 lead, but that would be short-lived as a minute later Toronto pulled a goal back through Jaren Pryce from a free kick.

    Benanma would strike again two minutes later as he found space in the right side of the penalty area and rifled home a finish to make the score 3-1 at the halftime break.

    The game continued at a solid pace in the second half, but neither side was able to find a decisive final pass or finish from distance as Toronto tried to get back into the game. The Lynx’s best chance after the break came with 14 minutes to play as Ewen Hendry was played in behind the defense, but his shot was well saved by Ebreahimnejad to keep the Lynx’s two-goal lead.

    Real Maryland would then see out the victory, and will now face Alliance Academy in Sunday’s semifinals. Despite the defeat, Toronto also advanced as the best second-placed side on goal difference, and they will face an all-Canada affair as the Lynx host the Ottawa Fury FC for a place in the final.

    U16 Boys Results and Standings


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    Saturday, December 7, 2013

    BRADENTON, Fla. – The Toronto Lynx got a pair of goals from Philip Merkinde as they swept to a 5-0 victory against Washington FC to claim a place in the semifinals of the Boys U17 Division at the 2013 Super Y-League North American Finals, presented by Nike, at IMG Academy.

    The Lynx surged out to a quick start, and had a two-goal lead within the opening 10 minutes. The first came five minutes in as a floated cross from the left found Jacob DaCosta alone at the far post, and he headed home just inside the right post. Five minutes later, Hitesh Joshi and Logan Podrebarac linked up cleverly at the top of the penalty area, and while the goalkeeper was able to parry Podrebarac’s initial shot, Joshi was on hand to put away the rebound.

    Washington FC’s first real chance came in the 17th minute from a free kick when Grant van Gorder’s flicked header went just wide of the left post. Eight minutes later the Lynx added to their lead as Podrebarac converted from the penalty spot after a foul in the penalty area.

    Merkinde got into the action in the 28th minute as he was able to take advantage of a poor defensive play near the halfway line to break in on goal and shoot low past the advancing goalkeeper for a 4-0 lead.

    The second half had fewer chances, although Washington’s Diego Aparicio had a pair of good long-range strikes that challenged Toronto goalkeeper Peter Bonano. The first came in the 53rd minute, with the Lynx goalkeeper being able to tip the shot over the crossbar and out for a corner.

    Aparicio’s second effort came with 10 minutes to go, as he drilled a shot from 25 yards out toward the right corner, only for Bonnano to make a good diving stop. Two minutes later, Merkinde added a fifth for the Lynx, scoring a beautiful individual goal that saw him first beat his man and then place a good chip over the advancing goalkeeper to cap Toronto’s performance.

    The Lynx’s victory moved them top of Group A in the division, and they will face Cleveland Soccer Academy in Sunday’s semifinals. The other semifinal will be contested by Ironbound SC, which won Group B, and the F.A. Euro - New York Magic, who advanced on goal difference ahead of Washington FC after a 3-0 win against Lightning SC.

    Boys U17 Results and Standings


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    Monday, December 9, 2013

    BRADENTON, Fla. – A lone goal by Juwan Kearson lifted Real Maryland Futures to a 1-0 victory against the Ottawa Fury to claim the Boys U16 Championship at the 2013 Super Y-League North American Finals, presented by Nike, at IMG Academy. The victory capped the path for a Real side looking for redemption after falling in extra time in last season’s U15 final.

    “It feels really good to be one team, together, that wanted to come back and win this,” Kearson said. “It means the world to us.”

    Kearson set up Real’s first big chance in the fifth minute as he made a good run down the right and sent in a low cross, only for Kelly Marah to send his close-range effort wide of the right post. Real continued to have the better of the first half, and in the 17th minute their pressure paid off as Marah was able to steal possession in the attacking third before he found Kearson in the right side of the penalty area. Kearson fired a low shot in at the near post for a 1-0 lead.

    “We all just press, and I get a man and we all work together as a team,” Kearson said. “I was just pressing with our other forward, Kelly, and he got the steal and I went in for the goal.”

    The goal appeared to spur Real on to find another, and Donald Benanma went close five minutes later as he cut into the left side of the penalty area, only for his shot to be saved at the near post. Benanma went close again a minute before the halftime break, but his shot went wide after he had taken on three defenders and created a space to shoot.

    Ottawa wasn’t able to find much success in the final third in the opening half, but came out with a renewed vigor to start the second half. They were able to challenge Real defensively, and after a pair of corners came to naught, the Fury believed they had tied the game, only for the assistant referee’s flag to be raised for offside.

    The pace of the game continued to rise as both teams pushed forward quickly when gaining possession. Real took a hit just over 10 minutes into the half as Benanma was substituted after sustaining what appeared to be a hamstring injury, but his teammates came to the fore as they tried to find an insurance goal.

    The Fury came close to an equalizer with nine minutes to go as a corner from the left was flicked on by Adam Cook at the near post, but no-one was able to get a touch to turn the ball on frame as it went through the six-yard area and out for a goal kick. Jacob Powell then had an effort from 25 yards in the 74th minute, but it bent away from the left post and behind. That would prove to be the last chance for the Fury as Real was able to see out the remaining time, and claim the championship.

    “Everyone on this team is great,” Kearson said. “We’re all a big family, and everybody did their part in this win today, even coming from the bench to our starters to our hurt players, they all did a good job, and the result tells it all.”

     

    Seacoast Turns Tables on Florida Fire

    BRADENTON, Fla. - The Seacoast United Mariners got revenge and earned a championship at the 2013 Super Y-League North American Finals, presented by Nike, defeating the Florida Fire 2-0 to capture the title. The Fire had defeated the Mariners by the same score two days earlier.

    "We won the Northeast Division last year and got all the way to the final and lost in the final, and the girls were devastated," Seacoast Head Coach James Blackwell said. "Seacoast has had a lot of success in Super Y, but we've never had a Maine team win it. We're the first team from Maine to ever win a national championship, so I couldn't be prouder of the girls.

    "I said to them before the game, 'every practice, every win, every loss, everything we've done, while the other girls are taking the summer off and we're still out in the heat, it's all led to today.' "

    You look at the clubs out here and you've got Atlanta, New Jersey, Florida, with a rich club soccer tradition. Maine is growing, and Seacoast came into the state a couple of years ago and merged a few smaller clubs to bring the best girls from the smaller clubs together. I said to them from Day 1 that my goal was to win a national championship, so to win it, it means the world."

    Elizabeth Lane, who was returning from an injury and had been held off the scoreboard in the tournament, started the scoring for Seacoast in the 22nd minute off an assist from Tori Daigle. Six minutes later Mikayla Marin doubled the lead, with Shannon Valente serving as provider.

    "We played Florida in the group stages and they're a tough team - all the credit to them - and we knew it was going to be tight, so we said 'we're not going to lose this game by not scoring,' " Blackwell said.


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    Monday, December 9, 2013

    BRADENTON, Fla. – Jason Neves had the only goal as Ironbound SC took a 1-0 victory against the Toronto Lynx to claim the Boys U17 Championship at the 2013 Super Y-League North American Finals, presented by Nike, at IMG Academy.

    “Jason’s been working hard all season long,” Ironbound coach Alex Neves said. “I took him out a couple of times in the past, got him back onto the field, and he’s a finisher for us, he’s been there all season long, but the best one happened today.”

    The game opened evenly, and Ironbound came close to taking the lead in the 21st minute as Federico De Oliveira turned his marker inside the penalty area, only to send his shot high and wide of the left post. Toronto had a chance of its own four minutes later as Colin Edwards broke in from the left, only for his near-post shot to be saved.

    The Lynx then began to take control of the game, and created a number of chances before the halftime break. MacKenzie Kropa went close with a header from a corner in the 35th minute, and four minutes later Philip Mankinde turned his defender well, only to blaze his shot over the crossbar. Mankinde had another good opportunity in the final minute, but his first shot was blocked by a defender, and the rebound saved by Ironbound goalkeeper Cody Gross.

    Jason Neves had a big chance to open the scoring for Ironbound in the opening minute of the second half, but Peter Bonnano came up big to make a pair of good saves to keep the game scoreless. Neves again went close with a header in the 62nd minute, but Toronto then began to apply pressure again with Edwards having a shot well saved, and Nathen Mesher shooting wide.

    As Toronto pushed forward to try and take the lead, however, they were caught short on the counter-attack as a two-on-two at the halfway line turned into a two-on-one after a defender slipped. De Oliveira walked in on goal, drawing Bonnano, and then slipped a pass to his left to Neves, who finished into an open goal.

    Toronto continued to push numbers forward, now in search of an equalizer, and Gross had to make a pair of good saves, the second from point-blank range on Logan Pedrebarac in stoppage time, to keep his side ahead. Moments after that save, however, the final whistle blew, and Ironbound claimed victory.

    “The club already has seven national championships, we’ve brought another one for the club, I feel amazing,” Alex Neves said. “We got through injuries, a lot of players played through them, as a unit, and it shows, we won the national championship.”

     

    Waza FC East completes perfect run

    BRADENTON, Fla. - Waza FC East finished a perfect 4-0-0 to capture the U17 Girls title at the 2013 Super Y-League North American Finals, presented by Nike. Waza entered its final match against Virginia Alliance needing a win or a tie, and took care of business with a clinical 2-0 victory.

    Waza finished with nine goals for and only two against to leave no doubts about the top team in the five-day event.

    "Five days and four 90-minute games, we said before we left that this was a 'soccer-first' trip, and the girls spent every night stretching, getting up early and stretching, warming up, and everybody just did their job," Waza Coach Daniel Mendonca said. "It didn't matter who was scoring the goals, everybody just did their job."

    The teams battled evenly in the first half, with Virginia coming close to taking the lead early when Haley Roy's corner kick brushed the crossbar. It took until the 65th minute for Waza to break the deadlock, with Nora Broderick scoring off an assist from Isabella Habuda.

    Habuda doubled the margin in the 77th minute, with Broderick this time serving as provider.

    "This team historically bends but never breaks and the counter attack is what we do, and today [Virginia] pushed knowing they needed to win, and we knew a tie or win would get us through. With the wind at their back in the first half we had to defend and did well, and we came out and scored when we had to in the second half and got the job done."


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    W-League Feature

    Tuesday, December 10, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. – UCLA claimed its first NCAA Division I Women’s Championship with a thrilling 1-0 overtime victory against Florida State on Sunday afternoon.

    With the victory, three of its key players earned their second championship of the year.

    Abby Dahlkemper, Sarah Killion and Caprice Dydasco played every minute for the Bruins, and in the process added to the W-League champions medals they earned this summer with the Pali Blues. A fourth Blues player, junior midfielder Sam Mewis, also played a key role, and was delighted to help bring the program its first championship, and the 110th overall in school history.

    “Women’s soccer at UCLA has never won a national championship, so we felt like we weren’t really a part of [it],” Mewis said of the Bruins’ championship history. “UCLA leads the country in most national championships and we wanted to contribute to that. After baseball won 109 in the spring, it was so cool to witness that and see how awesome it was for them – we know a lot of them – and we wanted to become a part of it and contribute to UCLA and this was our way of doing it. It’s unreal we won our 110th one. We’re so happy.”

    Sophomore forward Kodi Lavrusky scored the decisive goal in the 97th minute, making an excellent run to latch onto Megan Oyster’s through ball before clipping her finish past Florida State and former Colorado Rush goalkeeper Kelsey Wys.

    Another member of Pali’s 2013 squad, Rose White, had lifted the Bruins into the final on Friday night as she scored the decisive goal in a penalty shootout against No. 1-seed Virginia. After the game had ended in a 1-1 draw, Pali’s Makenzy Doniak having scored for the Cavaliers, Mewis and Killion both converted from the spot for the Bruins as they moved into the final.

    Then, thanks to Lavrusky’s finish, UCLA Coach Amanda Cromwell got to finish her first season in charge of the Bruins with a championship. After an arduous run that saw her side defeat the top-seeded Cavaliers, but also former champions North Carolina and Stanford, Cromwell was proud of her side’s achievement.

    “I mean this has to be, if you look at who we had to go through to get to this point to win a national championship,” Cromwell said. “The two past national champions and the overall number one seed in Virginia and a very good Florida State team, the ACC Tournament Champion. If you look through the history books and look at the RPI of the teams we had to play, even San Diego State and Kentucky. Those are very good teams that gave us some issues.

    “If you look back, it may be one of the best runs ever. It really might be. This team is phenomenal. The amount of talent we have and what we brought forth throughout that run: the mentality and the resolve. I think the toughness of those games brought us to this point, and I knew these girls were destined to win it.”

    For Florida State, the wait for the first women’s soccer championship is delayed another year. The Seminoles, who got a pair of goals from Pali’s Jamia Fields to defeat Virginia Tech 3-2 in the semifinals, were full of praise for Wys and Pali’s Kassy Kallman, who showed great leadership throughout their senior seasons.

    “We came into the season with a lot of uncertainty, but a couple of things that we knew for sure: Kassey Kallman and Kelsey Wys were two seasoned veterans,” Seminoles coach Mark Krikorian said. “They are outstanding leaders and great players and they were going to have to put this team on their back at times. I think we’re sitting here today and playing for a national championship, mostly because of their efforts.”

    For the Bruins, and in particular Killion, Dydasco and MAC Hermann Semifinalist Dahlkemper, the final game of the season could not have been any sweeter.

    “We knew [the Seminoles] were a team that always fights and scraps, and they’ve scored so many goals after the 80th minute, that was in my mind as they had a couple long throw-ins there,” Cromwell said. “This girl next to me [Katelyn Rowland] came out and snagged a few. These guys [Mewis and the back line] were winning head balls and second balls. It was a grind-it-out game. It really was. Kodi [Lavrusky’s] goal in overtime was phenomenal. The timing of the run and the ball, and the first-time finish. I couldn’t be happier.”


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    Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 News Release -- www.whitecapsfc.com

    Tuesday, December 10, 2013

    VANCOUVER, B.C. -- The Canadian Soccer Association announced today that Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency goalkeeper Marco Carducci has been named the 2013 Canadian U-17 Player of the Year.

    This is the second straight year Carducci has won the award, joining Whitecaps FC midfielders Bryce Alderson (2011 and 2010) and Russell Teibert (2009 and 2008) as two-time Canadian U-17 Players of the Year. A Whitecaps FC player has now won the award in six straight seasons.

    Carducci, 17, finished first in voting ahead of Hanson Boakai (FC Edmonton) and Jordan Hamilton (Toronto FC Academy). Fellow Residency players Marco Bustos and Jordan Haynes were also nominated for the award. Voting was conducted by national team coaches (50 per cent) and Canadian clubs and coaches (50 per cent).

    In 2013, Carducci won a bronze medal with Canada at the CONCACAF Men's Under-17 Championship, helping Canada qualify for the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Dubai. The Calgary native was Canada’s player of the match in a 2-2 draw with Austria in their World Cup opener.

    The Canadian skipper also stood tall in a 1-1 draw with Iran the following match, in which the Middle Eastern side launched 23 shots towards the goal and 12 on target. In total, Carducci made eight appearances with the Canadian men’s U-17 side this past season.

    At the club level, Carducci spent most of 2013 with Whitecaps FC’s U-16 Residency side. He started 19 matches and posted four clean sheets with the U-16s during their 2012-13 United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) campaign, before making the jump to Whitecaps FC’s U-18 squad this summer. Carducci also made three appearances for the Whitecaps U-23 PDL side this past summer, recording a 0.667 goals-against average and one shutout.

    On Wednesday, Canada Soccer will announce the 2013 Canadian U-20 Players of the Year. Whitecaps FC defender Sam Adekugbe and striker Caleb Clarke were both nominated, while Teibert was nominated for the 2013 BMO Canadian Player of the Year, which will be announced on Thursday.


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    W-League Feature

    Wednesday, December 11, 2013

    Toronto Lady Lynx star Kadeisha Buchanan has been named Canadian U-20 Player of the Year for the 2013 soccer season. Buchanan was honored in a vote shared by national-team coaches (50%) and Canadian clubs and coaches (50%).

    Buchanan, of West Virginia University, has been a member of Canada's national youth program since 2010, although she has been a regular with the national "A" squad throughout the 2013 season. She earned Canada's player-of-the-match honours in five international matches in 2013.

    A center back from Mississauga, Ontario, Buchanan finished first in voting ahead of a pair of 2013 Lady Lynx teammates - Ashley Lawrence (Toronto Lady Lynx & West Virginia University/Calendon East, Onatrio) and Kailen Sheridan (Toronto Lady Lynx & Clemson University/Whitby, Ontario).

    In the coming days, the Canadian Soccer Association will announce the 2013 BMO Canadian Players of the Year, with the two co-winners to be announced on Thursday (male) and Friday (female).

    Buchanan continues the tradition of U-20 Players of the Year with W-League backgrounds, with each of the winners since 2005 also having played in the league.

    CANADIAN WOMEN'S U-20 PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

    2013 - Kadeisha Buchanan (Toronto Lady Lynx)
    2012 - Sabrina D'Angelo (Toronto Lady Lynx)
    2011 – Amelia Pietrangelo (Laval Comets)
    2010 – Jonelle Filigno (Toronto Lady Lynx/Vancouver Whitecaps)
    2009 – Chelsea Stewart (Vancouver Whitecaps)
    2008 – Jonelle Filigno (Toronto Lady Lynx/Vancouver Whitecaps)
    2007 – Sophie Schmidt (Vancouver Whitecaps)
    2006 – Jodi-Ann Robinson (Vancouver Whitecaps)
    2005 – Kara Lang (Vancouver Whitecaps/Pali Blues)
     


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    Super Y-League News Release

    Tuesday, December 10, 2013

    BRADENTON, Fla. – After five days of competition involving 116 boys and girls teams from across the United States and Canada, Tuesday saw 12 champions crowned at the USL Super Y-League North American Finals, presented by Nike, at the world-class facilities of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

    New Jersey-based Ironbound SC’s U17 Boys side claimed the club’s fourth championship in the past four seasons as Jason Neves scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory against the Toronto Lynx. The Real Maryland Futures, who a season ago finished as runner-up in the Boys U15 Division, also needed only one goal to take victory in the Boys U16 against the Ottawa Fury as Juwan Kearson’s first-half finish lifted his side to the title.

    Both Seacoast United Mariners (Maine) and Mequon United (Wisconsin) claimed the first titles in their respective clubs’ histories in the U16 and U15 Girls Divisions, with the Mariners reversing a defeat to the Florida Fire Juniors in the group stage to take a 2-0 win in the final. The Maine club got goals from Elizabeth Lane and Mikayla Mann to claim victory. Mequon United, meanwhile, took a 3-0 victory in a penalty shootout against Super Nova FC (Pennsylvania) after the two teams had played to a scoreless draw through regulation and extra time.

    Waza FC East (Michigan) claimed the Girls U17 Championship as it finished with a perfect 4-0 record to finish top of the tournament’s Supergroup. Waza clinched the title with a 2-0 victory against Virginia Alliance as Nora Broderick had a goal and an assist. Waza FC East also claimed the Boys U12 championship with a 2-0 victory against Cedar Stars Academy (New Jersey).

    BW Gottschee (New York) also claimed a pair of championships, with both its Boys U14 and U13 sides earning victory. In the U14 final a late goal by Conor McGlynn proved the difference in a 1-0 win against the Long Island Rough Riders, while Daniel Zvi had two goals and an assist to lead his side back from an early deficit in the U13 final to a 3-1 victory against the Northern Virginia Royals.

    West Pines United (Florida) was the third club to take home two titles, as its U15 Boys side claimed a 4-2 victory against Southern Soccer Academy (Georgia) in the Boys U15 Championship. Stefan Asemota had a pair of goals for West Pines, while Alex Dixon scored what proved to be the game-winner after SSA had rallied back from an early two-goal deficit. West Pines also claimed the Girls U12 championship with a 1-0 win against FC America (Florida) as Lauren Lowe scored the only goal of the game.

    Other champions included Internationals Soccer Club (Ohio), which took the Girls U14 title in a penalty shootout against Seacoast United Premier (New Hampshire), and Alliance Academy Black (Michigan), which took the Girls U13 championship - also the first title in club history - with a decisive 4-0 win against Internationals Soccer Club.


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    PDL Feature

    Wednesday, December 11, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. – 2013 PDL Award winners Kris Tyrpak of the Austin Aztex and Pete Caringi III of the Baltimore Bohemians lead the group of 33 current and former players named among the 50 invitees to the 2014 MLS Combine announced on Wednesday. The combine is set to be held in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. from January 10-14, 2014.

    Tyrpak, the 2013 PDL Most Valuable Player, is one of three former members of the 2013 PDL Champions to be invited, with the Houston Baptist standout having recorded five goals and seven assists for the Huskies this fall after leading Austin with 19 points and nine goals during the summer. Robbie Derschang (Akron) and Michael Kafari (New Mexico) will also attend the combine with Tyrpak.

    Caringi, who claimed the 2013 PDL Golden Boot with 16 goals while leading Baltimore to its first playoff appearance during the summer, had a standout season for UMBC this fall. Caringi tied for ninth in the nation with 13 goals for the Retrievers, and was named America East’s Striker of the Year for the second consecutive season.

    Kafari is one of three former PDL players invited to the combine who will compete this weekend in the NCAA Division I College Cup, with former Real Colorado Foxes defender Kyle Venter a teammate of Kafari’s with New Mexico, and former New Orleans Jesters standout Patrick Mullins leading Maryland into the semifinals.

    Mullins, who is tied for the most goals in the nation with 16 for the Terrapins, had 12 goals and three assists in 21 games in two seasons for the Jesters, and hopes to lead Maryland to its first national championship since 2008 this weekend.

    Other players to watch in Fort Lauderdale include 2012 PDL Defender of the Year Kevin Cope of the Michigan Bucks, who completed a standout career with Michigan State last fall. Also invited is 2012 PDL All-League selection Mark Sherrod (Memphis) of the Portland Timbers U-23s, while other standouts include Reading United captain Steven Neumann (Georgetown) and defender Ben Sweat (South Florida), former Orange County Blue Star defender Steve Birnbaum (California), and the Ventura County Fusion’s JJ Koval (Stanford).


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    W-League News Release

    Wednesday, December 11, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. – The W-League has added to its presence in Colorado with the announcement that the Colorado Pride, based in Colorado Springs, will join the league beginning with the 2014 season.  The Pride will join the W-League’s Western Conference, which already includes the Colorado Rapids Women and Colorado Rush, as well as the 2013 champion Los Angeles Blues.

    The Colorado Pride will be operated by Pride Soccer Club, with former Rapids Women Head Coach Daniel Clitnovici serving in the same role.

    “Pride Soccer Club has long been one of the largest and strongest youth clubs in Colorado, cultivating a wealth of college talent and competing annually for national championships,” W-League Senior Director Amanda Duffy said. “It’s a natural progression for the club to provide its most talented players with an opportunity to play at the highest level in the U.S. below the NWSL, and we look forward to seeing the competitive team Daniel Clitnovici assembles for 2014.”

    Pride Soccer Club was first established in 1994 and has since provided a consistent program in specialized soccer training and development to the Colorado Springs community. Through the years, the Pride Soccer Club has produced many elite soccer players that have gone on to have successful college careers throughout the U.S.

    “We are thrilled to be adding a W-League team to our program” Pride Senior Girls DOC Sian Hudson said. “To be able to provide our returning collegiate players with such a high level of play during the summer has become a critical need and it affords our top youth players with a complete developmental progression.

    “To have a head coach of Daniel’s experience will give us a vital advantage this year as we build our team and adapt to the league.”

    “It’s an honor to be installed as the head coach of the Colorado Pride,” Clitnovici said. “The Colorado Springs area has an incredible passion and culture for the women’s soccer and I feel with the Pride SC youth club behind the team it’s going to be a successful venture for all involved, especially the young club players who dream of playing at the highest levels possible.”

     Featuring current, former international and professional stars, the W-League also provides elite amateurs the opportunity to compete while maintaining their eligibility as college student-athletes.

    The Colorado Pride will hold tryouts in Colorado Springs on December 21-22, with Clitnovici and his staff on hand to evaluate the potential W-League talent. Players interested in trying out will need to contact Sian Hudson at shudson@pridesoccer.com and stay updated via www.pridesoccer.com and www.facebook.com/pridesoccerclub.


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    W-League Feature

    Thursday, December 12, 2013

    CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla. – Seven members of the 2013 W-League Champion Pali Blues lead the current and former W-League standouts called into the U.S. U23 National Team training camp, set to open on Saturday in Sunrise, Fla., by Head Coach Steve Swanson.

    Recent NCAA College Cup champions Abby Dahlkemper, Sarah Killion, Sam Mewis and Jenna Richmond lead the septet, with fellow Blues Chioma Ubogagu (Stanford),  Kassey Kallman (Florida State) and Daphne Corboz (Georgetown) also selected.

    Eight members of the team previously played for Swanson on the U.S. U20 side that won the 2012 U20 World Cup in Japan. In addition to Killion and Mewis, former New Jersey Wildcats standout, and current MAC Hermann Trophy holder, Maya Hayes was selected for the camp after another standout season for North Carolina.

    Other players selected include former Colorado Rush goalkeeper Kelsey Wys, who helped Florida State reach the College Cup Final in her senior season, and the Seattle Sounders Women’s Jaelene Hinkle, who had two goals and one assist this past season in Seattle.

    Atlanta Silverbacks defender Emily Sonnett also earned selection after a standout season for NCAA Tournament No. 1-seed Virginia, while former Washington Spirit Reserves midfielder Christine Nairn was also named after a solid first professional season for the Spirit’s NWSL side. Also included was former W-20 standout Vanessa DiBernardo, who helped lead Illinois to the third round of the NCAA Tournament this past month.

    The squad is set to train alongside the current U.S. U20 squad in Florida, with the two teams set to scrimmage at the end of training camp.


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