8 Arizona Teams Qualify For 2017-18 National League
Eight Arizona teams will be competing in the upcoming 2017-18 National League equaling the previous high of eight teams from the 2013-14 National League season.
Two of the eight teams competed in National League last year and they are Scottsdale Blackhawks Taylor (U18 Girls), who won their group and earned qualification to the US Youth Soccer National Championships, and Valparaiso United Futbol 01 JG (U17 Boys), who finished second in their group.
The new six teams are FBSL Tuzos Academy 04 (U14 Boys), Excel Soccer Academy 02 (U16 Boys), Tuzos Academy 02 (U16 Boys), SC del Sol 01 (U17 Boys), CCV Stars 04 (U14 Girls), Arizona Arsenal 01 Premier Teal (U17 Girls).
“At SC del Sol, it is our intention to follow a competitive and balanced program providing the best possible platform for our players targeting the major events in the county. National League is #1 for us,” said Alan Lamb, SC del Sol 01 Boys coach. “It is an event that every player and coach wants to be a part of and it is the first event that is added to our competitive calendar. National league has the best youth players in the country. In every match, our players will be tested technically, tactically, mentally and physically which will ultimately benefit their development as young soccer players.”
The following is how each team qualified for this year’s National League:
FBSL Tuzos Academy 04 Boys – Qualified due to finishing at runner-up at the Far West Regional League Championships
Excel Soccer Academy 02 Boys - Qualified due to finishing at runner-up at the Far West Regional League Championships
Tuzos Academy 02 Boys - Won Far West Regional League Desert Premier Division and Far West Regional League Championships
SC del Sol 01 Boys – Won Far West Regional League Desert Premier Division
Valparaiso United 01 Boys – Qualified due to finishing 2nd in National League Red Division
Arizona Arsenal 01 Girls - Won Far West Regional League Desert Premier Division
CCV Stars 04 Girls – Won Far West Regional League Desert Premier Division
Scottsdale Blackhawks Taylor 00 Girls – Qualified due to winning National League group
The top two finishers from each of the two divisions in the U14 and U15 age groups, as well as the winners in each of the four divisions in the U16 through U18 age groups, will earn an automatic berth to the 2018 US Youth Soccer National Championships which will be held July 25-29 in Frisco, Texas.
“Following an amazing 2016-07 season, where the team (CCV Stars 04) won the DPL, Arizona State Cup, and other tournaments we are honored and excited to participate in the National league,” said George Okallo, Girls Director of Coaching at CCV. “I believe our CCV 04 Girls are ready for the next challenge and to showcase their ability in the National League. We have the quality and depth to be a contender.”
256 teams will compete this year and 40 of these teams will earn a direct path to the 2018 US Youth Soccer National Championships. Each team will play seven games that will begin with the National League Fall Showcase, as all 256 teams compete in Wilson/Rocky Mount, N.C. The girls will play their first Fall Showcase Nov. 30 – Dec. 3, and the boys will play Dec. 7-10.
Following this, half of the boy’s teams will participate in one of two other events, the first being in Orlando, Fla., alongside the Disney Soccer Showcase, Dec. 28-31. The rest of the boy’s teams, including all 14U sides, will compete in Las Vegas, alongside the Player’s College Showcase, March 9-11.
“We’re looking forward to a higher level of competition and a great challenge for the young ladies,” said Justin Harrison, head coach of CCV Stars 04. “It is always an incredible opportunity for any team to be invited to participate in the National League. The girls and parents are all buzzing with excitement as the new season is approaching us. I’m feeling extremely blessed to be coaching a group of young ladies that are so disciplined and committed to their team. We also have an incredible group of parents willing to make their own sacrifices and to do what they need to in order to enable the girls to be successful.”
Half of the girl’s teams will also participate in one of two events following the National League Fall Showcase. Teams will either compete Jan. 13-15 at the National League Winter Showcase at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., or in Las Vegas, alongside the Player’s College Showcase, March 16-18. All 14U sides will compete in Las Vegas.
“This league encompasses all the best youth teams from around the USA. These teams are all in the top tier of their respective regions,” said Tony Colavecchia, who coached the SC del Sol 01 boys’ team last season. “This makes for a very diverse league with teams having different playing styles due to different cultures and geographical locations. Without question, this is one of the best organized and well-run events in the county with the older age groups being scouted by college coaches from across the country.”
The complete 2017-18 National League schedule will be announced in the fall. For a full list of the competing teams please click here.