US Youth National Team
George Bello of the Alpharetta Ambush received a U-15 national team call-up and started in a 3-1 friendly win over Weston FC. Marco Ceja scored a hat trick to lead the United States in the win. The camp, led by John Hackworth, was held in Sunrise, Florida.
The US Youth Soccer National League played the second of its three series for the 2015-2016 season, the Disney Showcase.
U-14: Concorde Fire Central Elite are currently tied for first place in the Red Division with a 4-0 record. They will be playing in the Spring Showcase in Las Vegas in March for a spot in the National Championship.
U-15: Gwinnett Soccer Association Premier started the showcase with a 2-0 win over FPYC Fury (Virginia). Natneal McDonald and Kendall Edwards scored second half goals in the victory. GSA followed that up with a 2-1 victory over Houstonians. Denilison Silva-Banda and Jesus Chairez both scored in the win. Gwinnett closed out the showcase with a 2-1 loss to Baltimore Celtic Dynasty, with Menkaseh Tokpa scoring their lone goal. GSA is currently in second place in the Red Division.
United FA Premier opened the showcase with a 1-0 loss to Tennessee SC. In their second match, they defeated Lou Fusz Soccer Club, 3-2, behind goals from Ethan Rose, Davis Eddleman, and Zeeshan Chaudhary. They finished the week and clinched a spot in the National Championship with a 2-1 win over McLean Hotspur Green (Virginia). Mario Ventura tied the match in the 33rd minute and McLean surrendered an own goal to hand the match to United FA.
Both Gwinnett and United are currently in position to advance to the US Youth Soccer National Championships, but Gwinnett will have to watch the results of the third showcase (taking place in March). Gwinnett is in second place in the Red Division, and United FA is in first place in the Blue Division.
U-16: United FA Premier started the showcase with a 1-0 loss to the Dix Hills Hurricanes (NY). They followed up the loss with a 8-0 stomping of the Chicago Fire Academy. Carlos Reyes and Dalton Seckinger scored a brace and Auston Rodriguez, John Crawley, Saul Tinoco, and Raul Tinoco added goals. They closed out National League play with an easy 4-0 win over South Carolina FC Elite. Rodriguez scored two goals and Reyes and Saul Tinoco contributed solo efforts. United FA is sitting in second place in the Red Division with a +16 goal differential. They will clinch a spot in the National Championship depending on how results go at the Spring Showcase.
The Concorde Fire won their first match over the Arlington Eagles, 1-0. Donnell Worthem scored the lone goal in the 39th minute. The Fire won their second match, 2-1, over Sporting Kansas City. Alejandro Valencia and Worthem scored in the victory. Concorde dropped their third and final match of the showcase, 3-1, to FC Dallas with Chris Schneider scoring in the 64th minute. The Fire are currently in second place in the Blue Division, but will need a lot of help to advance to the National Championship.
U-18: UFA-Norcross Fury Premier (2-0-2) are in fifth place in the Red Division. They play the three top teams in the division in March at the Spring Showcase in Las Vegas. Norcross have four players committed to play Division I soccer next fall: Josh Bronstorph (Georgia Southern), Nicky Kodua (Evansville), Diego Manrique (Navy), Ernando Manrique (Navy).
Cheaves wins Coach of the Year
Dalton High School boys soccer coach Matt Cheaves was named the Regional Coach of the year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Dalton has won three straight state championships and gone 65 matches without a loss.