The 2017 US Youth Soccer National Championships kick off July 25th at the Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco, Texas (home of FC Dallas). Representing Missouri at the tournament are a pair of St. Louis Scott Gallagher boys teams. I preview the U15 boys of SLSG Missouri 2002 Amlong here. Check out the 2004 PreAcademy boys HERE.
The teams will play preliminary matches Tuesday, July 25 through Thursday, July 27 to determine who will advance in the pursuit for the National Championship. Following a day of rest on Friday, July 28, the 15U through 19/20U teams will play semifinals on Saturday morning before crowning the National Champions on Sunday, July 30.
There will be a Live Stream of the team’s second game at the NCS – Wednesday at 9:00 am against ID Club Division 02 (TX-S).
All 15U Boys teams are newcomers to the US Youth Soccer National Championships, so there should be plenty of motivation and excitement once the teams kick off play in Frisco, Texas. Just one of two National League teams in its age group not to lose a game, St. Louis Scott Gallagher SC Elite (MO) picked up five wins and two draws to finish second in the Red Division. The Missouri side picked up 10 points from four games in its first week of play to put it in prime position to finish in the top two in its division. After a win and a tie to open its final weekend in Las Vegas, SLSG ended on a high note, as it handed Red Champion Midwest United FC 02 Royal (MI) its only loss of the season on the final day of play. SLSG showcased a balance of offensive prowess and stingy defense that should make it a tough team to deal with at Nationals.
For a preview of the eight teams (one from each Region in the USYSA along with four National League qualifiers) visit the National Championship website.
I’ve seen the boys compete several times this Spring after getting a first look at them as they came together in December in preparation for National League play. Effectively a new team due to the Calendar year change, the results they obtained in National League competition, summarized above, were a tribute to their competitive spirit.
Playing at these high levels is never easy however as the competition is relentless. After going 3-0 in their Group at the Missouri State Cup, scoring 12 and giving up 1, they got goals from Kyle Weinhold (43rd) and Devin Livingstone (72nd) for a 2-0 win over Lou Fusz Limpert in the semifinals. They got a stoppage time goal in the second overtime against Sporting JB Marine Mann to claim the State title, their first (post-game picture above).
Guaranteed a spot at the National Championships via their performance in National League, there had been some discussion of not competing but the opportunity for high quality games eventually convinced the team to participate. The team opened against SC Waukesha (WI), a team they beat 3-1 in National League, only to fall 1-2. That was followed by a 1-1 draw Team Challenger FC (OH-N) and an 0-2 loss to Ohio Premier (OH-S), ending their run in group play. Cole Hutson and Devin Livingstone scored the goals.
They enter the tournament looking to their earlier performances, outstanding when the pressure was on.
The schedule and rosters are also included below, as well as a quick look at the strengths that goalkeeper Evan Hofer brings to his position.
|Tue||7:00 am||Boca OC 02 White (CA-S) (NL-B1)|
|Wed||9:00 am||ID Club Division 02 (TX-S) (RIII-R)||LIVE STREAM|
|Thu||7:00 am||Tuzos Academy 02 (AZ) (RIV-C)|
Tim Kelly, Director of Goalkeeping at SLSG Missouri shared some background on Evan Hofer, the goalkeeper. Tim noted “I couldn’t be happier for Evan in this moment. The Club wishes Evan, his teammates and coaches nothing but the best in this exciting time and regardless of results, it is moments like this that can continue to push a player forward in the future years.” Here are his comments on the player.
Evan is a very strong keeper for his age. He is a player that just quietly works, allowing him to start as a freshman at MICDS. The exposure to older players has definitely complimented what we provide at SLSG. Evan is a great person who is a true training partner for the other goalkeepers in his training group. His work ethic that his parents have instilled has allowed him to flourish this year. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend South Dakota but from my reports Evan was very strong and played with a lot of confidence. As long as he stays hungry and humble, I expect nothing different out of him at Nationals. His voice in the box has really come to the fore this year, due in large part to Chris Hutson (previously a GK at Clemson) helping him with a lot of the game situations. That aspect is complimented by our technical development staff of Nick Collico and Kenny Cooper. With those three GK influences, team coaches and strong family values it has set up nicely for Evan to continue to grow as a player.
PHOTO GALLERY – Sporting JB Marine Mann vs SLSG Elite Amlong, Title Game
PHOTO GALLERY – SLSG Elite v Lou Fusz Limpert