The Spring 2021 season is nearing its conclusion, and teams in the US Youth Soccer East Region are looking to secure advancement to the 2021 USYS Eastern Regional Championships and qualification for the 2021-22 season of National League P.R.O.
With just a few weeks remaining, it’s the most crucial time of the season with so much to play for during upcoming State Cup matches and late-season league games.
Mid Atlantic Conference
The first division champion of the Mid Atlantic Conference came in the 17U Boys age group, where PA Dominion FC 04 Rangers finished the season with 6 wins and 1 loss to clinch their spot in the 2021 USYS Eastern Regional Championships and in 2021-2022 National League P.R.O. In 2019, the side won Regionals, and finished as runner-up at Nationals.
“Having a new coach come in during Covid, we were learning a new system and style of play during the fall season, not always getting the results we deserved,” PA Dominion player Seth Michalak said. “We have put in a great amount of work, things started to click, and results came during league play. We are ready to go out and win the National Championship.”
At 15U Boys, it is extremely tight at the top of the Premier I Red Division, with four teams separated by only 1 point. In addition to being near the top of the table, both Hunter SC and VE Kanoniere are also in the EPYSA State Cup semifinals.
In the 16U Girls Blue Division, Warrington United FC secured a decisive 5-2 win over FC Europa to put them in a tie with Philadelphia Coppa Rage at the top of the standings. Allison Sauers and Camryn Williams each had two goals and Megan Steinbach had one goal in the win. Warrington SC and PSC Coppa will battle it out next Sunday evening in the EPYSA State Cup semifinal.
At 18U Girls, SJEB Rush 03 NL has a 3-point advantage at the top of the table after a win this past weekend over 2019 Regional finalist FC Revolution Rowdies. SJEB Rush looks to close out its season in its final two games to remain at the top of the table, while also preparing for its NJYS State Cup semifinal match against local rival Millville SA, who is currently 5-0-0 in the Mid Atlantic Conference Premier II Division.
North Atlantic Conference
In one of the most competitive divisions in the nation, the 17U Boys Premier I Division is currently led by Westchester Flames Elite 04, who is 5-0-0 with nine goals for and one against. After a 1-0 win over LI Slammers and 2-1 win over perennial powerhouse South Shore FC Bulldogs United, the Flames have three games remaining to close out the season and remain on top.
“Under the guidance of Coach Sean Kenny and John Mulhare, the boys on our 04 Elite team are being taught to play the game the proper way,” said Troy Bilyeu, club manager for Westchester Flames. “In building from the back to proper spacing and one touch passing, it has been the goal of our coaches to create a Flames player that can successfully transition into any DI college program. This approach has paid off for the boys as they sit atop the table and in the multiple college interests from DI through DIII.”
At 15U Boys, Dix Hills Ultimatum are 3 points ahead of four squads, including Barca Academy PRO NY, who just advanced to the ENYYSA State Cup semifinals with a win over DUSC 2006 Blue, who is currently tied with Barca the standings.
At 16U Girls, Coliseum SC Inferno is led by midfielder Willa Pratt and is currently 4-0-0. The 2019 ENYYSA State Cup champions are looking to make their return to Regionals with three league games remaining and an ENYYSA State Cup quarterfinal match this weekend against New York Surf.
At 18U Girls, Massapequa SC Fury awaits its ENYYSA State Cup semi-final opponent and sits in first place in the Premier I Division with a record of 5-0-0. Massapequa has three league games remaining as it looks to make its third trip to Regionals as a team.
“I am happy for all the girls that were able to get their high school seasons played. Now the focus shifts toward club ball and the Massapequa Fury,” said Paul Bigilin, Director of Coaching for Massapequa SC. “The squad is training very hard to secure a bid to the 2021 USYS Regionals through league play and State Cup competition. There is extra motivation this year to secure a 18U Girls bid as the majority of the girls will be going off to college this fall, along with the Eastern Regionals being played in New Jersey, which is very close to home.”
New England Conference
The 19U Premier I South Division is a three-team race at the top of the table, as CT Rush Shoreline, Sporting CT and CFC North Regional all have 13 points. CT Rush Shoreline and and CFC North Regional are scheduled to face off in the last match of the season, which could have all to play for.
At 15U Boys Premier I North, Juventus Academy Boston EDS North sits ahead of Best FC after a big win in their match up over the weekend, and now gets ready for the impending match up with Western United Pioneers 06 Elite, who is 3 points back with a game in hand.
“We were prepared for the game and put in an excellent performance throughout,” said Matt Hardiman, Boys Director of Coaching for Juventus Academy Boston. “We are looking forward to our remaining league games and a continued push toward qualification for the regional event.”
At 15U Girls, Rhode Island Surf G2006 Elite tied Yankee United FC Attack over the weekend to stay at the top of the table, however with few games in hand, CT Rush Elite 06 Girls will look to make a run at the top spot in the division and return to Regionals where they finished as a finalist in 2019.
“The Conference schedule has been difficult, early on this spring, but our girls have battled hard to grab as many points as possible. Every game has been close and there’s been no room for error,” said Martin Yarumian, Director of Coaching for Rhode Island Surf. “While that’s been the case, we’ve found ways to win and we’ve even had a few come-from-behind victories to grab all 3 points, too. With all that said, we know there are still games to be played, so we will try and make it difficult and keep the pressure on by winning our final three league games.”
South Atlantic Conference
The 18U Boys have an exciting fight to the finish, with three of the East Region’s top teams still in contention. Baltimore Celtic Union, Bethesda SC Blue 03 and CASA 03 United are separated by only 3 points in the standings. Bethesda SC has already clinched its spot at Nationals by winning its group in the National League Playoffs, while CASA and Baltimore Celtic Union are out to see who can finish the season unbeaten.
In the 15U Boys Premier I Division, NLS Ajax 06 White has three games remaining as it looks to stay at the top of the table. Currently 1 point ahead of McLean, the upcoming match with third-place Total Futbol could ultimately decide the division winner.
“The team has worked hard to stay motivated through the pandemic, the Maryland high school distraction and few lengthy injuries,” said Rafik Kechrid, club director for NLS Ajax. “We are proud of the boys for working together and keeping high standards throughout these events. We hope to continue to get better for the future.”
In the 18U Girls Premier I Division, St. Mary’s Soccer and Keystone FC Premier are separated by just 3 points and will face off in the last match of the season. In their first matchup this season, St. Mary’s Soccer came away with a 1-0 win.
At 19U Girls, Alexandria SA are 7-0-0 and in first place with three games remaining. The next match is against second-place McLean YS and is likely to decide the division winner.