FRISCO, Texas (March 13, 2017) – As a result of finishing second in the US Youth Soccer National League Blue Division, Under-15 Boys Solar Chelsea 02 Red Stricker qualified to the 2017 US Youth Soccer National Championships in Frisco, Texas.
Solar entered the final National League weekend in Las Vegas in third place with the two teams above them having already completed their final seven matches. Solar knew at least two wins were likely necessary for the team to earn a top-two finish in its respective division and secure a spot in its first National Championships.
Solar began the weekend off strong with a 2-0 win over Michigan Jaguars 02 Green (MI) on Friday. North Texas Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP) player Riley O’Donnell scored his third and fourth goals of the tournament within the span of three minutes, and the Solar defense produced its first shutout to secure the 2-0 win.
On Saturday, Solar would ensure a spot in the top-two of the National League Blue Division, and ultimately become the first North Texas Soccer team to qualify to the 2017 National Championships, with a 3-1 win over Michigan Wolves 02 (MI), who were looking to return to the National Championships after placing third last year. Ilean Castorena began the scoring with his fourth goal of the tournament in the seventh minute. The Wolves would respond with Kevin Kapllaj’s goal just a minute later to level the score at 1-1. Grant McCarty would break the 1-1 stalemate with a goal in the 32nd minute, and Samuel Johnson would add an insurance goal late in the second half.
Solar entered Sunday with the opportunity to win the National League Blue Division outright, but the defending US Youth Soccer Southern Regional Premier League (SRPL) West and North Texas Soccer State Cup champions fell to a Boca Juniors 02 White (CA-S) team that needed the win in order to secure its own spot in the National Championships.
National League teams earn their place in the league based on a proven track record of success in US Youth Soccer regional and national competitions and are among the nation’s best. Competing for a league title and a spot in the US Youth Soccer National Championships, each and every game will play into who represents the National League this summer at Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco, Texas on July 25-30.