Albuquerque, N.M. (June 18, 2014) – Preliminary games at the 2014 US Youth Soccer Region IV Championships are complete with 112 teams qualifying for advancement to the quarterfinals on Friday, June 20, at New Mexico Tournament Soccer Complex in Albuquerque, N.M.
State champions, US Youth Soccer Far West Regional League champions and select wildcards make up the top 237 boys and girls teams from the 14 US Youth Soccer Region IV State Associations competing for the regional title. States represented including host, New Mexico, are Alaska, Arizona, California North, California South, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Of the eight defending Region IV Champions, Under 13 Boys FC Golden State 01 (CA-S), Under 15 Boys Pateadores San Diego (CA-S), Under 16 Boys Santa Barbara SC (CA-S), Under 14 Girls Legends FC 99 and Under 15 Girls Eastside FC 98 Red (WA) advanced to the quarterfinal round. In addition to the defending region champions, two former US Youth Soccer National Champions in Under 17 Boys Fullerton Rangers 96 White (CA-S) and Under 17 Girls Legends FC (CA-S) advanced to the quarterfinal round.
Local teams from Albuquerque, N.M. also left their footprint on the preliminary round with seven teams qualifying to the quarterfinal stage. Under 13 Boys Rio Rapids SC 01 (NM), Under 14 Girls New Mexico Rush SC 00 (NM) Under 16 Boys Classic FC Toros (NM) Under 17 Boys Rio Rapids SC 97 (NM), Under 18 Boys Rio Rapids SC Reds, will join Under 17 Girls, Rio Rapids SC 97 Zia (NM) and Under 18 Girls New Mexico Rush 96 (NM), who qualified yesterday, in the quarterfinal round. New Mexico Rush 95 (NM) qualified to the semifinals of the Under 19 Boys age group due to only eight teams being entered.
A few highlights from today's matches...
Under 16 Girls Boise Nationals SC Italia pulled off a surprise run to the finals last year at the 2013 Region IV Championships, despite a 1-1-1 group record. BNSC then advanced to the US Youth Soccer National Championships, despite falling to Carlsbad Elite 97/98 (CA-S) 3-0 in the finals, due to Carlsbad already qualifying via the US Youth Soccer National League. BNSC will look to make another deep run after guaranteeing their spot in the quarterfinals with a 3-0 win over Los Angeles Premier FC (CA-S). BNSC striker Sierra Smith leads all scorers at the Region IV Championships with 7 goals including two today against LAFC with Taylor McClellan adding the third in the 82nd minute.
Joining them in the Under 16 Girls quarterfinals will be Beach FC 97 Academy (CA-S), who finished off a dominating group stage with a 3-0 record while scoring 16 goals and not surrendering any. Today Beach defeated LV Neon 98 Academy (NV) 7-0.
There was no shortage of drama in the Under 17 Girls group, where a three-way tie in Pool D saw Juventus Avanza (CA-N) advance to the quarterfinals off a tie breaker leaving La Roca PO (UT) and Eastside FC 96 Red (WA) to determine who else will advance via penalty kicks. La Roca keeper, Nikki Pittman needed only one save as La Roca converted all five of its penalties including Baylee Roche’s final kick to send La Roca to the quarterfinals.
That was merely a warm-up as far as suspense goes as Under 17 Boys BNSC Milan (ID) and Pride Predators 97 (CO) also required penalty kicks to break the tie. After neither team could pull away in regulation, each team required 10 penalty kicks apiece before BNSC finally sealed the victory when Joshua Szuch converted his penalty kick before keeper Jack Strauss committed a quarterfinal-ticket-clinching save against Pride Predator’s David Mcdermed.
2013 Region IV Champions, FC Golden State White will not be defending its title in the Under 17 Boys age group after losing its first two games and tying Rio Rapids SC 97 1-1 today. Dylan Chant started things quickly for Rio with a goal in the 10th minute, but FC Golden State would equalize in the 67th minute thanks to a goal from Jose Heredia. However, FC Golden State will be making its second straight trip to the US Youth Soccer National Championship as a result of a first place finish in US Youth Soccer National League Blue Division.
Missoula Strikers Black PR’s (MT) hope of being the only Montana team to advance to the quarterfinals in the Under 18 Boys group was squandered by Sereno 96 White (AZ) by a score of 5-2. Cole Lenderink had a hat trick for Sereno in the first 24 minutes as it looked like Sereno was going to cruise to an easy victory. That is until David Feldmann and Adam Mickelson scored for Missoula in the 33rd and 42nd minutes respectively to bring Missoula within one. However David Shaw doubled Sereno’s lead in the 65th minute, and Scott Bankofier provided the dagger in the 75th minute to secure Sereno’s spot in the quarterfinals.
Under 19 Boys semifinal matchups have been set with New Mexico Rush and LVSA 95 Red (NV) advancing in Pool A with identical 2-0-1 records. Things were a little bit more dramatic in Pool B where 95 Valparaiso United (AZ) faced off against HG Eagles (CA-S) for the second advancing slot after Alum Rock PAC Tigres (CA-N) qualified yesterday. Valparaiso defeated HG Eagles 2-1 in a hard fought match to reach the semifinals.
Complete scores from today’s action… click HERE.
To see the pictures of our UYSA teams playing today... click HERE.