FRISCO, Texas (Dec. 11, 2017) – Six North Texas soccer teams combined for a 9-5-4 record on the first boys weekend of play at the 2017-18 US Youth Soccer National League. Play began Thursday, Dec. 8 and extended to Sunday, Dec. 11 in Wilson, N.C.
The National League is designed to reward teams for developing elite talent and earning success in US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues and Regional Championships, as the top finishing teams in these competitions directly qualify for the National League. Once in the National League, the top teams from each age group division qualify to the National Championships, and secure a spot to return to National League play the following season.
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Defending Southern Regional Championships and National Championships winners Solar 02 Stricker (TX-N) began its quest to add a National League title to its list of accomplishments in convincing fashion with a 3-1 win over Santa Clara Sporting 02 Green (CA-N) and a 5-1 win against Sporting JB Marine Mann (MO) on the first two days of play. Newcomer Johnathon Sauceda netted back-to-back goals against Santa Clara before captain Harvey Castro added a third for the four-time North Texas State Cup champs. 2017 National Championships Golden Ball winner Riley O’Donnell scored a brace in addition to goals from Jack Allison, Richard Garcia and Bleon Salihu to give Solar the 5-1 win against the Missouri squad. Solar ran into a roadblock in group leaders Club Ohio Green (OH-S), who defeated Solar 2-1 on the third day of play.
2016 US Youth Soccer Southern Regional Premier League (SRPL) West runners-up Odyssey 02 (TX-N) didn’t have an ideal National League debut, which resulted in a 3-0 defeat at the hands of group leaders Washington Premier 2002 (WA). Odyssey’s Brock Pope scored his sides first every National League goal against defending National Championships finalists Tuzos Academy (AZ), but Odyssey would ultimately fall 2-1 on the second day of play. The 2017 North Texas State Cup semifinalist earned its first National League points in a 3-3 draw against Michigan Jaguars 02 (MI) as Pope, John Lisenbee and Josue Rodriguez all scored for Odyssey. Both Solar and Odyssey will resume play later this month in Florida.
2017 Southern Regional Championship finalists Solar 01 Sawyer (TX-N) sits alone at the top of the National League Black division with a 3-0 record after the first weekend of play. Solar began its second National League season off in style with a 4-0 win against Seattle United 01 (WA) thanks to goals from Todd Fuller and William Hitchcock combined with a pair of Seattle own goals. Solar edged out a 3-2 win against SC del Sol (AZ) as Fuller, Alexander Wing and Brycen Drew all scored for the defending North Texas State Cup champions. Solar would then avenge last season’s 6-3 loss to defending Black Division champions Raiders FC (IL) 2-1 on the final day of National League play courtesy of goals from Hitchcock and Anthony Jimenez.
Not to be outdone, Solar 01 Stricker also went undefeated on the opening weekend as the 2017 Southern Regional Championship quarterfinalists won two games and drew a third to move to second place in the National League Blue Division. Solar began the weekend with a 1-0 win over Westside Timbers 01 Copa (OR) as Robert Pino netted the only goal of the game. Teren Tate would net a brace to go with Shay Adamson’s goal to give Solar a 3-0 win over 2016 National Champions Valparaiso United FC (AZ) on the second day of play. Tate would score his third goal of the weekend as Solar drew 2016-17 National League Blue Division champions CUP Gold 01 (OH-S) 1-1 to finish off the weekend. Solar Stricker only surrendered one goal in the first three games, which is currently tied for the least in the age group. Both Solar teams will look to earn division titles when play continues Dec. 28 in Florida.
Defending Southern Regional Champions and National Championships finalist FC Dallas 00 Premier (TX-N) drew Sparta 2-2 for the second time this year on the opening day of National League. 2017 National Championships Best XI player Marcos Puga and Garrett Baughman scored for FC Dallas as the two sides also drew 2-2 on the first day of 2017 National Championship play in July of this year. The next day FC Dallas won in convincing fashion with a 5-1 victory against Greater Seattle Surf (WA). Roman DeLeon netted a hat trick to go with goals from Puga and Emiliano Herrera. However, FC Dallas would fall 3-0 to National Union 00 Black (MI) on the final day of play this weekend.
FC Dallas Che (TX-N) entered the National League with the hope of improving on a second-place finish in its debut season a year ago. Eastside FC 00 Red put a temporary damper on those hopes with a 1-0 win over the North Texas Side on the first day, but the 2017 SRPL West champs responded on the second day with a 1-0 win against St. Louis Scott Gallagher (MO). FC Dallas and LMSC Rats (PA-E) played to an entertaining 3-3 draw as Angel Medel, Issomaila Dosso and Miguel Landeros scored for FC Dallas. Both FC Dallas sides will finish National League play later this month in Florida.