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Players to Watch: Jefferson Cup 2024 Boys Showcase Weekend

March 17th, 2024, | Courtesy of www.soccerwire.com




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Championship Division Previews:Boys: U15 | U16 | U17 | U19


The Jefferson Cup will wrap up the 2024 edition with the Boys U15-U19 Showcase in Richmond, Virginia from March 22-24. (College Coaches)


A total of 475 teams from across the American youth soccer landscape will do battle on the pitch in the Old Dominion State across 40 divisions. U15 teams will compete in a tournament style format for top honors, while U16-U19 teams will play in a showcase-style competition (Schedule)


You can nominate a player who has stood out this season that will be attending the event through the following link.


2027

Jaxson Weber | Midfielder-DefenderSUSA Academy ECNL 09 (NY)


Recently invited to the USYNT U-15 Talent ID Center event in January, Weber provides a high level of organization and support in the midfield for SUSA. His steady defensive work and ability to retain possession for long periods of time helps his team maintain their organization and gives them structure as they switch into the attack.


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Cole Niland |DefenderBeach FC ECNL 09 (VA)


Anchors a Beach defense that has earned six shutouts across all ECNL competitions this season. The recent USYNT ID Center invitee can make the difficult track backs to halt attackers advances towards goal. He is also highly effective at boxing out opponents, either forcing them out towards the flanks or cleanly stripping them of the ball. Thanks to his efforts in the defensive third, Beach earned a 10-2-1 record on 31 points in Mid-Atlantic Conference play this season.


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Dylan Mazzarella |Midfielder-ForwardSTA ECNL 09 (NJ)


Coming off of a strong 2023 season which saw him selected to the USYNT U15 Talent ID Center event in August and US Club Soccer’s iD2 international trip in England, Mozzarella is looking to continue to provide high-energy work for STA. STA earned their first ECNL Conference win of the season, a 7-1 defeat of East Meadow SC, with Mazzarella playing a key role in creating goal-scoring opportunities. In addition to his work in the ECNL, he helped STA win the 2023 US Club Soccer National Championship and made Delbarton High School’s varsity roster as a freshman.


2026


Kyle Harvey |Defender Match Fit Academy ECNL 08 (NJ)


Alongside his defensive linemates, Harvey held opponents to just one goal at the recent ECNL Florida Showcase earning an undefeated record (2-0-1, 7 points). Harvey can play at either outside back position or as a center-back, giving him a level of understanding of what his teammates need and how he can help support them in their efforts. The 2023 ECNL Northeast All-Conference First Team member remains calm and cool under pressure and can deliver timely clearances during crunch time.


Malachi ‘MJ’ Winn |MidfielderMaryland United ECNL 08 (MD)


Whether orchestrating the attack from the attacking midfield position or blazing down the wing, MJ injects every game with an electrifying blend of energy, pace, and goal-scoring prowess. Over United’s last three Showcases (ECNL South Carolina, ECNL Florida, and Maryland United Showcase) Winn has led the attacking charge, scoring six goals and tallying two assists. Look for Winn and the club to use the Jefferson Cup Showcase as preparation for the bulk of their ECNL Northeast Conference play.


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Israel Saccoh | GoalkeeperNorthern Virginia Alliance ECNL 08 (VA)


Earned seven shutouts across all ECNL competitions, including back-to-back shutouts against the Wilmington Hammerheads (4-0) and NCFC Youth (3-0). He has also more than showed that he can handle the pressure of playing inside the eighteen at Showcase events, shutting out Potomac Soccer 1-0 at the recent Loudoun Soccer Showcase. Saccoh is adept at finding space on all sides of the pitch to open up play and can deliver passes and punts at a variety of speeds.


2025


Aidan Cullinane | Midfielder Defender Boston Bolts NAL 07 (MA)


Anchors a Bolts defense that has allowed just three goals in National Academy League play this season. His timely clearances and ability to slow down attackers in one-on-one situations makes him highly difficult to break down. At 6’1″ he is also an asset in the air, able to head away dangerous crosses. In addition to his exploits for the Bolts, he is coming off of a standout season for the Milton Academy earning Boston Globe Southeast Conference honors.


Zachariah Lounes | GoalkeeperSYC MLS NEXT 07 (VA)


Earned multiple clean sheets throughout the MLS NEXT including shutouts over Bethesda SC (1-0), TSF Academy (1-0), and FC DELCO (3-0) to lead SYC to a 3-0-1 record in Mid-Atlantic Division play. In tight spaces, Lounes thrives using his strength to maintain control inside of the box. He can also lead the counterattack with a quick, long throw to the outside or a booming punt.


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Marcus Cortes | Midfielder-Forward Arlington SA ECNL 07 (VA)


Slotting in at either the midfield or forward position, Cortes is a creative force for Arlington’s attack. The ODP National Team member provided three goals for Arlington at the ECNL South Carolina event last fall and added another at the Florida event in February. His ability to find his teammates in open space and then immediately slip past defenders to give them options makes him highly difficult to mark.


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Matthew Quinones | Forward Richmond United ECNL 07 (VA)


Leads a high-pressing, high-scoring United attacked that have buried 46 goals this season, second most among all ECNL Mid-Atlantic Conference teams. Serving as Richmond’s number nine, Quinones can create goal-scoring opportunities with multiple defenders on him and with open space. He’s equally dangerous with either foot, able to make defenders miss with the slightest of touches.


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Nicolas Chinchilla | Midfielder-DefenderMaryland United ECNL 06/05 (MD)


Sparked Maryland’s attack through the midfield, providing ample opportunities for United to capitalize. Thanks to his darting runs and crisp passing United have scored 14 goals across 8 ECNL matches this season. A Guatemalan youth international, he is coming off of a superb high school campaign for North County high school, earning All-State First Team and Washington Post All-Met Honorable Mention honors.


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Blake Lloyd |MidfielderPipeline SC ECNL 06/05 (MD)


Pulling the strings in the midfield, Lloyd has helped Pipeline get out to a fast start in ECNL Northeast Conference play (2-0-0, 6 points). His willingness to take on multiple defenders and ability to always break past them gives his teammates plenty of flexibility in finding openings to take advantage of. He can also make late runs into an opponent’s eighteen yard box with minimal detection, a skill that can be difficult for player’s to master. That knack for scoring in big moments was on full display at the ECNL Florida National Selection Game, where he slid home a critical goal.


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Dan Klink | MidfielderPipeline SC ECNL 06/05 (MD)


A 2023 United Soccer Coaches All-American and North Carolina commit, Klink is one of the top midfielders in the country at his age group and a leader for Pipeline. In the fall, he led Loyola Blakefield to the MIAA Conference Championship and an undefeated record in all competitions. With Klink and Lloyd at the helm, Pipelines 06/05s will be looking to use the Jefferson Cup Showcase to help prepare for another run in the ECNL National Playoffs.


2024


Hunter Marsden | MidfielderBaltimore Celtic ECNL 05/06 (MD)


Named to the Best Of Cup Uncommitted All-Star Game, Marsden led Celtic to an undefeated record in ECNL Phoenix play. In open space, Marsden can penetrate defenses with relative ease using his speed and pace to break through defenses. They enter the Jefferson Cup, coming off of their first win in Conference play defeating Potomac Soccer 5-1. For South River High School he received All-State honors.


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Julian Ramirez | DefenderCharlotte SA Academy ECNL 06/05 (NC)

Limited opponents to just one goal in the past four ECNL Mid-Atlantic Conference games, earning CSA four consecutive wins. When under pressure, CSA thrives making key clearances and timely tackles to disrupt attacking sequences. For his efforts this season, Ramirez was selected to participate in the ECNL National Selection Game in South Carolina.


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