02 Aug Inaugural NPL Champions Cup, National Cup XI Finals draw to a close
The National Premier Leagues (NPL) Champions Cup and National Cup XI Finals, US Club Soccer’s two national championship events, drew to a close Tuesday at Waukegan Sports Park in Waukegan, Ill. The pair of events, held July 27-31, included 168 of the top teams from across the United States.
The lone club to win multiple championships at the events was Sockers FC, which claimed the U-15 NPL championship as well as the U-13 Girls and U-15 Boys Premier Groups in the National Cup.
NPL Champions Cup:
The inaugural NPL Champions Cup came to a close Tuesday at Waukegan Sports Park as five teams from three different leagues were crowned national champions, highlighted by a pair of winners from both the Texas Pre-Academy League and the Midwest Developmental League.
The NPL Champions Cup featured league champions from across the nation in the U-13 through U-17/18 boys age groups. The NPL has been created to provide a unified, league-based national developmental platform with the highest level of competition in given geographic areas, and to elevate and change the competitive youth soccer landscape based upon fundamental principles outlined in US Club Soccer’s 10-year vision.
Dallas Texans (U-13) and FC Dallas (U-14) each claimed NPL championships while representing the Texas Pre-Academy League while Midwest Developmental League champions Sockers FC (U-15) and St. Louis Scott Gallagher (U-16) earned NPL titles as well. Rounding out the list of NPL champions was Chicago Fire Academy from the Northern Illinois Soccer League (NISL), which was victorious in the U-17/18 division.
“Stepping on the pitch was nerve-racking since it’s a national tournament,” said Anthony Cetera, who scored the championship-winning goal for Chicago Fire Academy. “It’s every kid’s dream to score a goal in a national championship final and especially if it’s a game-winner. I’m never going to forget about this.”
Leading the way with three finalists was the Northeast Pre-Academy League, with all three of the league’s entrants in the NPL Champions Cup playing on the final day of the event. The New York Club Soccer League and New England Premier League each recorded one finalist, with Massapequa SC reaching the U-16 championship match and MPS Bulldogs playing in the U-17/18 final, respectively.
Below are Tuesday’s NPL Champions Cup championship game results:
U-13: Dallas Texans (Texas)
Dallas Texans (Texas) 1, PDA (N.J.) 1 [Texans win on penalties]
U-14: FC Dallas (Texas)
FC Dallas (Texas) 1, New York Red Bulls (N.Y.) 0 [Extra time]
U-15: Sockers FC (Ill.)
Sockers FC (Ill.) 1, New York Cosmos (N.Y.) 0
U-16: St. Louis Scott Gallagher (Mo.)
St. Louis Scott Gallagher (Mo.) 1, Massapequa SC (N.Y.) 0
U-18: Chicago Fire Academy (Ill.)
Chicago Fire Academy (Ill.) 3, MPS Bulldogs (Mass.) 0
National Cup XI Finals:
A total of 22 teams from 21 clubs representing eight different states were crowned national champions on Monday as the National Cup XI Finals concluded. The event was the culmination of a two-month journey which included six Regionals held all across the United States.
Leading the way with a pair of National Cup championships was Sockers FC, which claimed the U-13 Girls and U-15 Boys Premier Groups. Sockers FC has now won four National Cup titles in its history, placing it in a tie for third on the all-time list along with California Odyssey SC, which notched its fourth National Cup crown in the U-16 Girls Premier Group.
“I’m very happy on behalf of our players, that they found the enthusiasm, passion, love, commitment and determination to get the result that they’re capable of,” said Internationals SC Director of Coaching Zdravko Popovic. Internationals SC ’95 Red claimed the U-16 Girls Super Group by defeating West Coast SC Kryptonite ’95, the defending National Cup champions in the age group.
Also among the winners was Merced Atlas Academy (I-17 Boys Super Group), which appeared in a championship game for the second straight year. After falling in the U-16 Super Group final last year, Merced Atlas was able to complete the journey this year with a 3-0 victory over Lake Grove United.
The National Cup XI Finals included U-13 through U-17 boys and girls champions in two competitive divisions from Regionals held across the country. National Cup XI Regionals ran from Memorial Day weekend through July 9 in advance of the Finals, with a total of 121 teams being crowned Regional champions.
Below are Monday’s National Cup XI championship game results:
U-13 Super Group: Pateadores SC (Calif.)
Pateadores SC (Calif.) 4, DMS11 Gold (Calif.) 0
U-13 Premier Group: South Suburban SA 98/99 (Ill.)
South Suburban SA 98/99 (Ill.) 2, RB United SC (Ill.) 1
U-14 Super Group: Manchester Academy (Calif.)
Manchester Academy (Calif.) 4, St. Louis Scott Gallagher-Metro (Ill.) 2
U-14 Premier Group: Pajaro Valley YSC United Red (Calif.)
Pajaro Valley YSC United Red (Calif.) 4, Eastern FC Reds (N.Y.) 2
U-15 Super Group: UFA NJ Strikers (N.J.)
UFA NJ Strikers (N.J.) 2, PFC (Ohio) 0
U-15 Premier Group: Sockers FC Blue (Ill.)
Sockers FC Blue (Ill.) 1, Hanz Soliz Soccer School Predators (N.J.) 0
U-16 Super Group: TSF Academy Ginga (N.J.)
TSF Academy Ginga (N.J.) 1, Raiders FC (Ill.) 0
U-16 Premier Group: CUP Crew Juniors Silver (Ohio)
CUP Crew Juniors Silver (Ohio) 2, Rochester FC (N.Y.) 1 [Extra time]
U-17 Super Group: Merced Atlas Academy (Calif.)
Merced Atlas Academy (Calif.) 3, Lake Grove United (N.Y.) 0
U-17 Premier Group: One7 Academy (N.C.)
One7 Academy (N.C.) 3, Tri Valley SC Real (Calif.) 0
U-13 Super Group: Jacksonville FC 98/99 Elite (Fla.)
Jacksonville FC 98/99 Elite (Fla.) 3, South Bay Force ’98 (Calif.) 1
U-13 Premier Group: Sockers FC White (Ill.)
Sockers FC White (Ill.) 2, Mississippi FC Fire (Miss.) 0
U-14 Super Group: Tampa Bay United SC Premier ’97 (Fla.)
Tampa Bay United SC Premier ’97 (Fla.) 1, West Coast SC Wild (Calif.) 0
U-14 Premier Group: Chicago Fire Juniors of MS ’98 Premier (Miss.)
Chicago Fire Juniors of MS ’98 Premier (Miss.) 0, Crossfire Premier ’97 James (Wash.) 0 [Chicago Fire Juniors of MS win on penalties]
U-15 Super Group: FCX North Black (Ill.)
FCX North Black (Ill.) 2, FC Portland Navy (Ore.) 1
U-15 Premier Group: Twin County SA Real Magic (N.J.)
Twin County SA Real Magic (N.J.) 2, Spokane SC Shadow ’96 (Wash.) 1
U-16 Super Group: Internationals SC ’95 Red (Ohio)
Internationals SC ’95 Red (Ohio) 2, West Coast SC Kryptonite ’95 (Calif.) 0
U-16 Premier Group: California Odyssey SC ’95 Red (Calif.)
California Odyssey SC ’95 Red (Calif.) 3, MPS Lady Knights (Mass.) 0
U-17 Super Group: FC Copa Real (N.J.)
FC Copa Real (N.J.) 1, Chicago Fire Juniors of MS ’95 Premier (Miss.) 0
U-17 Premier Group: Vancouver United Timbers ’94 (Wash.)
Vancouver United Timbers ’94 (Wash.) 5, EC Aris FC (Wis.) 1