After four days of play, champion teams were decided Sunday at the 2018 US Youth Soccer National Presidents Cup finals in Westfield, Ind.
2018 US Youth Soccer National Presidents Cup Champions
||Soltilo FC (CA-S)
||FC Nova Elite 05 (ID)
||Central California Aztecs 04 (CA-S)
||LVSA 04 White (NV)
||03 Sporting Wichita Elite (KS)
||IP Aces Blue (IL)
||VE Green Gunners (PA-E)
||Mutiny FC 02 White (TX-N)
||7 Elite Academy 01 South (UT)
||Chicago Rush Select (IL)
||Iowa Rush (IA)
||Green White SC (IL)
The winning teams were among 48 participating US Youth Soccer Boys and Girls teams in the 13U through 18U age groups that came from all over the country to compete for a national title.
Nine different State Associations were represented among the champions. The West Region teams took home five titles with two winners from Cal South and one each from Idaho, Nevada and Utah. The Midwest Region was also represented by five champions with three from Illinois and one each from Kansas as well as Iowa. The East Region had one champion from Eastern Pennsylvania, and the South Region also had one from North Texas.
Final Match Highlights:
Soltilo FC (CA-S) became 13U Boys National Presidents Cup champions after defeating SCCSA Dragons 05 (PA-E), 2-1, in overtime. Dragons went up 1-0 in the 20th minute when Ryan Beley put the ball in the back of the net. In the middle of the second half, Soltilo tied up the match as Yahir Salazar netted a goal. With an even score after regulation, the two teams headed to overtime, and it took the full 20 minutes for a winner to emerge. JC Alarcon-Estrada scored the game winner in the final minute of overtime, allowing Soltilo to claim the crown.
FC Nova Elite 05 (ID) earned a 5-1 victory over DASC 2005 (SD) to become 13U Girls National Presidents Cup champions. After a 1-1 draw on Saturday, FC Nova went on a scoring spree to avoid any overtime or kicks from the mark. It only took five minutes for FC Nova to score as the ball worked its way down the middle of the field and Samantha Smith ran onto it to send the ball to the far post. FC Nova applied constant pressure and scored back-to-back goals with the help of McKenna Doremus and Sophia Avalos. DASC cut into FC Nova’s lead early in the second half as Mia Mullenmeister netted a goal, but the Idaho side continued to push forward and Alondra Osuna as well as Samantha Smith completed the score.
Central California Aztecs 04 (CA-S) took the 14U Boys National Presidents Cup title with a 3-1 win over ASA PGSA REAL BARZA 04 (MD). After a scoreless first half, ASA notched a goal thanks to Giovanni Marquina. However, Aztecs turned the game around when the team earned a free kick deep in the left corner. The ball bounced around before Jose Lopez settled the ball and shot it into the net. Just two minutes later, Dylan Lynch stole the lead for Aztecs with his goal, and the Cal South side increased its lead with Lopez’s fourth goal of the event. All three of Aztecs’ goals took place within a six-minute time period.
With its third shutout of the week, LVSA 04 White (NV) defeated Iowa Rush (IA), 1-0, to win the 14U Girls title. Each of the Iowa side’s previous three games ended with 1-0 score lines, so it was no surprise that the final proved to be a defensive battle. With the game scoreless in the 47th minute, LVSA’s Alysia Aspiazu found the back of the net for the second time in the tournament to give her side a 1-0 lead. That proved to be the difference in the match, as LVSA held Iowa off the scoreboard to earn the shutout victory.
03 Sporting Wichita Elite (KS) defeated Heat FC 02 AS (NV) in kicks from the mark to claim the 15U Boys National Presidents Cup title. Before the shootout, both sides had scored three goals each. Sporting Wichita opened up the scoring in the 13th minute as a corner kick led to a volley from Muntader Almaliky, but Heat FC retaliated immediately with a goal from Alan Lopez two minutes later. Sporting Wichita went into halftime with a 2-1 lead as Almaliky scored his third goal of the event. Seven minutes into the second half, Jair Coronel leveled the game and Omar Coronel stole the lead for Heat FC with his goal shortly after. Just as the game was about to end in Heat FC’s favor, Sporting Wichita’s Jackson Heckart tied up the match for the third time, taking the two teams to overtime. In kicks from the mark, Jonathan Perez came up big with the last save, allowing Sporting Wichita to claim the win.
IP Aces Blue (IL) followed up a big win on Saturday that earned it a spot in the final with a 1-0 victory against HFC Ready 03 (PA-E) in the 15U Girls championship game. Neither side managed to generate a breakthrough goal as the game entered its final minutes. With overtime looming, Josie Bieda found the back of the net in the 73rd minute to give IP Aces a late lead. The Illinois side, which dropped a tight decision to HFC to open the tournament, held on in the final moments of the match to earn the 1-0 win.
VE Green Gunners (PA-E) came back from an early deficit to earn a 2-1 win against Heat FC 02 GR (NV) in the 16U Boys final. The group’s leading scorer, Sebastian Ramirez, needed just four minutes to give Heat FC a lead, but Shane Collier provided a quick response for the Gunners to equalize the score in the 11th minute. Each side managed to generate some threatening build-ups, and the Eastern Pennsylvania side took advantage of one of its chances midway through the second half — receiving a goal from Sean McCartney. The Gunners held on to that narrow advantage to pick up the 2-1 victory and claim the title.
Mutiny FC 02 White (TX-N) bounced back from a 1-0 loss against LVPSA 02 Red (NV) took home the 16U Girls National Presidents Cup crown with a 2-1 win over the Nevada side. It was Mutiny FC who struck first when Ashley Vensel launched a free kick that hit the underside of the crossbar and into the goal. LVPSA earned the equalizer in the 43rd minute with a goal from Amelia McManus, but 10 minutes later, Evelyn Slaughter scored her third goal of the event to give Mutiny FC the win.
After giving up a lead in their opening day matchup, 7 Elite Academy 01 South (UT) earned some redemption by defeating Brownsville Galaxy (TX-S), 2-0, to win the 17U Boys title. Following a scoreless first half, Elite broke through in the 55th minute thanks to a corner kick. The initial attempt hit the post, but Ben Simister hit home a bouncing ball to give the Utah side the lead. Simister doubled the lead in similar fashion 10 minutes later, as an Elite shot hit the crossbar before Simister smashed a follow-up attempt inside the near post. On Thursday, the Galaxy managed to battle back from a 2-0 deficit to Elite, but Sunday provided a different story. The Utah side managed to hold on to its two-goal advantage in the final and earned the shutout victory.
Chicago Rush Select (IL) played in a hard-fought 1-0 game against NUSA Maroon (TN), taking the 17U Girls National Presidents Cup championship. After a scoreless first half, the 17U Girls leading scorer, Brooke Brodzinski scored her sixth goal of the event in the 49th minute. Similar to Friday’s matchup between the two teams, one point separated the two teams, and Brodzinski was the one to put away the game winner. Despite NUSA putting Chicago Rush under pressure for the remainder of the half, the Tennessee side couldn’t get the equalizer, and Chicago Rush became National Presidents Cup champions.
Thanks to one of the event’s most potent offenses, Iowa Rush (IA) claimed the 18U Boys title following a 5-1 win against Barcelona AZ 00 (AZ). Charles Pritchard III opened the scoring for Iowa, and Nicholas Ashton found the back of the net twice to help Rush build a 3-0 lead after 28 minutes of play. Arizona’s Alberto Castaneda Bobadilla cut into the lead just before halftime, as he cut into the top of the box and sent a low drive past the keeper. Barcelona couldn’t carry the momentum of that goal into the second half, as Rush held it off the scoreboard in the final 45 minutes. William Overberg and Jaeger Erickson each added late goals to cap the 5-1 Iowa win.
Green White SC (IL) bounced back from a day three defeat to Sting Timbers 00/01 (ID) to win the rematch, 1-0, and earn the 18U Girls title. In the 68th minute, Dylan Van Fleet scored her third goal of the tournament to give Green White SC a key opening goal. The Timbers pushed for an equalizer in the last 20 minutes of the game, as it pushed up players and played several balls into the Illinois side’s penalty area. However, Green White SC’s defense did not allow any clean looks at goal, as it held on for the 1-0 victory.
Note: The US Youth Soccer Presidents Cup is a separate series of events from the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series. For more information on the US Youth Soccer Presidents Cup, visit www.usyouthsoccer.org/presidents-cup.