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November 10, 2012
NPL Champions Cup announced

2012 NPL Champions Cup
US Club Soccer has announced that the 2013 NPL Champions Cup, the national championship event for the National Premier Leagues season, will take place July 18-22 at Aurora Soccer Complex in suburban Denver.

At the event, champions from NPLs throughout the country will compete against one another to be crowned NPL national champions in the U-13, U-14, U-15, U-16 and U-17/18 boys and girls age groups. The NPL Champions Cup is the culminating event of year-long, league-based competition and one of the most prestigious championships in the country.

“Teams compete in their respective NPL all year to have the opportunity to qualify for the NPL Champions Cup,” said NPL General Manager Chris Baer. “League-based competition is the best and most accurate way to determine the best teams in the country and when they all come together at the NPL Champions Cup, it is a special event.”

The Aurora Sports Complex is no stranger to national championship events, having hosted the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) National Championships in 2011.

"We are excited to be in Colorado next summer to build off the success of the inaugural NPL Champions Cup,” said Baer. “We've added new NPLs in several key markets for the 2012-13 season, including the Mountain Developmental League (Ariz., Colo., N.M.), Pacific Developmental League (Calif.), South Atlantic Premier League and Washington State Premier League, and we are looking forward to crowning the first girls NPL national titlists at the 2013 NPL Champions Cup."

The inaugural NPL Champions Cup was held July 27-31, 2012, at Waukegan Sports Park in Waukegan, Ill., where five boys teams were crowned NPL national champions. Both the Texas Pre-Academy League and the Midwest Developmental League boasted a pair of championship-winning teams at the event, which featured league champions from across the nation in the U-13 through U-17/18 boys age groups.

US Youth Soccer National League set to start
The schedule has been announced for the opening weekend of the 2012-2013 US Youth Soccer National League season when the boys gather Nov. 15-18 at Wilson Gillette Soccer Complex, Barton College and Fike High School in Wilson, N.C. National League Girls will kick off two weeks later, Nov. 29-Dec. 2. Games will be played in conjunction with the CASL Showcase, creating another significant opportunity for the nation's collegiate, professional and national team coaches to see National League players in an environment of meaningful play.

The National League features the top 128 teams in the Under-15 through Under-18 Boys and Girls age groups.

NSCAA High School Players of the Week
Junior forward Lucas Wartella from Monument Mountain Regional High School (Great Barrington, Mass.) and freshman forward Nicole McClain from Vero Beach High School (Vero Beach, Fla.) have been named NSCAA High School Players of the Week.

Wartella tallied five goals and an assist for 11 points to lead the Spartans to an impressive 13-2-2 final record. He scored twice in the team’s first 4-0 win against Taconic, and then followed up with one more goal in a 2-0 win against opponent Cathedral.

He then followed up with two goals and an assist against league rival Mt. Greylock to guide the Spartans to 4-1 win, avenging a 2-1 lost earlier in the season. Monument Mountain’s victory over Mt. Greylock was the team’s first win in six seasons and snapped the rival’s 67-game unbeaten streak against Berkshire county teams.

Wartella and the Monument Mountain High boys’ team are coached by Matthew Naventi.

The other boys nominees included Cesar Manjarres of Marist High School (N.J.), Michael Hatfield of Roseburg High School (Ore.) and Richard Grenier, Jr. of West Warwick (R.I.).

McClain had a stellar week, posting five goals and an assist in an 8-0 against Melbourne Central Catholic. She scored the team’s first goal in the 38th minute, and went on to knock in four second-half goals in the shutout. Two of those goals were on penalty kicks.

McClain and the Vero Beach High girls’ team are coached by Jose Louis Gibert.

U.S. Soccer Development Academy Roundup

Last weekend, the New England Revolution's three youth teams went unbeaten – with a combined record of 2-0-1 – against rivals FC Bolts Celtic (formerly FC Greater Boston) at Mount Ida College in Newton, Mass, on Sunday, Nov. 4. The U18s topped the Bolts, 3-1, while the U16s came away with a 1-1 draw and the U14s earned a convincing 7-1 victory.

D.C. United’s U-18 and U-16 Academy teams continued their winning ways by defeating VA Rush’s U-18 and U-16 squads 7-1 and 3-0, respectively, last Saturday at Long Bridge Park in Arlington, Va.

Braces from three players – Denis Najar (Alexandria, Va.), Patrick Foss (South Riding, Va.) and Timothy Wilson (Frederick, Md.) – helped the U-18’s cruise to a 7-1 win in which the squad notched the highest goals total in a single match this season. Michael Seaton (Hyattsville, Md.) tallied a goal in the 46th minute to add to the scoring as well.

Sharp one-touch and two-touch passing, quick attacks and strong defensive play guided the U-16’s to a 3-0 victory over the VA Rush U-16 squad. Julian Cummings (Fredericksburg, Va.) put the U-16’s ahead 1-0 off of a Christophe Koffi (Potomac, Md.) pass across the six-yard box. The two other goals also came in the first half, with Koffi and Gerson Umana (Lorton, Va.) setting each other up for one strike apiece.

Georgia United and Orlando City’s U-15/16 sides went head-to-head in a Southeast Division clash and both teams remained unbeaten in a 1-1 draw. Bryce Overbey put Orlando City on the board early in the fifth minute, but Jad Arslan leveled for Georgia United in the 34th minute.

LA Galaxy’s U-17/18 squad remained unbeaten after a 1-0 victory against Nomads SC. With several starters away on official college recruiting visits, Aaron Lombardi registered the game-winning goal, his second goal of the season, for the Galaxy early in the second half. The win keeps LA on top of the Southwest Division with a 5-0-1 record and 2.67 points per game, and extends the team’s unbeaten streak to six games.

The Portland Timbers Academy teams played Northwest Division foe Crossfire Premier over the weekend at the adidas Timbers Training Center. The Timbers U-18 Academy came away with a 3-1 win, while the Timbers U-16 Academy had their unbeaten streak snapped with a 3-1 loss.

The Timbers U-18s had three players each score their first goals to help the team earn its second victory of the season. After going down a goal, the Timbers U-18s responded with three unanswered tallies, starting with the equalizer by midfielder Kenton McGuire in the 30th minute. Forward Timur Zhividze scored the game-winning goal in the 85th minute, breaking the deadlock, and midfielder Antony Gonzalez added the insurance goal in second-half stoppage time to secure the 3-1 victory over Crossfire Premier.

With their first multiple-goal performance of the season, the Timbers U-18s improve to 2-3-2 (8pts). The team’s defense currently has the third-best goals-against average (1.57) in the Northwest Division.

The Timbers U-16s suffered their first loss of the season, ending their season-opening unbeaten streak at six matches. Crossfire Premier jumped out to a 2-0 lead by the 36th minute, but defender Peter Prescott was able to pull one back for the Timbers U-16s in the 67th minute to cut the deficit. Crossfire found the back of the net again in the 80th minute to seal the 3-1 win.

The Timbers U-16s are in a three-way tie for third in the Northwest Division for their age group with a 2-1-4 (10pts) record.

Sounders FC Academy hosted Cascadia rival Vancouver Whitecaps FC Academy on Saturday at Starfire Sports Complex, coming away with two wins and continuing a run of strong form. First, a Jordan Morris hat trick fueled the U18's in a 4-2 win and extended their unbeaten streak to five games (2-0-3), then the U16's got two goals from Elliot Havens and two assists from Denis Kalamar as they picked up their fourth straight win with a 4-0 result.

In a meeting of Chicagoland rivals, the Chicago Fire and Chicago Magic PSG tangled in both age groups in a Mid-America Division showdown. The Magic emerged victorious in both games for the weekend sweep, as the U-17/18 side maintained its lead atop the division with a 7-2-0 record and 2.33 points per game. The Magic U-17/18 has conceded just three goals in nine matches and blanked the Fire 2-0 for its seventh clean sheet of the season. Dzenan Nezirevic and Xavier Gomez scored in the win. In the U-15/16 age group, Abuchi Obinwa scored the game-winning goal four minutes from time to lift the Magic to a 1-0 win.

Vardar SC Freiburg U-15/16 remained one of only three unbeaten teams left in the Central Conference with a 2-1 win against Crew Soccer Academy. Nash Popovic scored the game-winning goal in the 79th minute as Vardar (7-0-3) rebounded from an early 1-0 deficit. FC Dallas (6-0-0) and Crew Soccer Academy Wolves (8-0-1) are the other unbeaten teams left in the Conference.

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