SALT LAKE CITY (Sept. 14, 2021) — The US Youth Soccer Desert Conference kicked off its 2021-22 season with an exciting weekend of action featuring boys and girls teams in the 12U-14U age groups. All games took place at the Regional Athletic Complex in Salt Lake City.
In addition to the Desert Conference games, the event featured the first games in the inaugural season of the USYS Northwest Club vs. Club Division, as a handful of Utah clubs faced off in a series of games.
National League Conference teams in the top-tier divisions of the 13U-19U age groups are competing this season to advance to their respective 2022 USYS Regional Championships, and teams in the 13U-18U age groups can earn automatic qualification into the 2022-23 season of National League P.R.O.
Notes from the Desert Conference action in Salt Lake City…
- In the 14U Girls Premier I Division, Las Vegas Surf 08 Select (NV) and Elevation FC 08G Summit (CO) left Salt Lake City with identical 3-1-0 records. Surf used its potent attack to pick up the nine points, as it outscored its opponents, 12-to-5. Meanwhile, Elevation’s strong defensive efforts fueled its early success — conceding just one goal in four games.
- Five teams are within three points of first place in the 13U Girls Premier I Division following four games for each team. Las Vegas Surf Select G09 (NV) leads the pack as the lone unbeaten team — picking up 10 points from three wins and a draw. Meanwhile, Wasatch SC 09G RL (UT) and USA Premier 09G PR (UT) each secured three wins and are just one point back of first place.
- In the 12U Girls Premier I Division, UCSC Blu Sox Premier G10 (UT) and Arsenal Colorado 10 Girls Academy (CO) each went 3-0-0 to begin the season — putting them level on nine points after three games each. La Roca FB 10G (UT) also has three wins but dropped a 2-1 decision to Arsenal Colorado in one of its four games played in Salt Lake City.
- The standings are tight in the 14U Boys Premier Division after the opening weekend of action, as every team picked up some positive results in Salt Lake City. La Roca KP 08 (UT) currently leads the group with three wins from four games, but Diversity FC 08 National League (NV) and Excel Soccer Academy 08 (AZ) are each just two points back. All teams are withing seven points of the top of the division with each having three or four games remaining.
- In the 13U Boys Premier I Division, Sparta B09 Premier JK (UT) dominated on both ends of the field en route to three straight shutout wins to begin the season. Its fourth game ended in a 1-1 draw against CASA FC INTER SANDOVAL 2009 (CO), which also picked up wins in its opening three games — leaving both teams tied on 10 points after four matches apiece.
- RSL Arizona 10 Boys West Espinoza (AZ) and Sparta B10 Premier NK (UT) each picked up four wins in the 12U Boys Premier I Division to leave the weekend tied for first place. The two sides were especially stout on defense, as RSL conceded just one goal and Sparta allowed two.
Notes from the Northwest Club vs. Club action in Salt Lake City…
- Utah Soccer Alliance (UT), Sparta United (UT) and La Roca (UT) each had at least one boys team in action in the first games of the Northwest Conference Club vs. Club Division.
- Sparta United Premier 08 MD (UT) picked up a pair of wins in the 14U Boys Club vs. Club Division, as it grabbed an early advantage in the standings.
- Utah Soccer Alliance and La Roca tied, 1-1, in the 13U Boys age group, while Utah Soccer Alliance managed to pick up a shutout win when the two clubs met in the 14U Boys age group.
What they’re saying…
Marco de Ruiter, Director of the Sparta United Soccer Club, stressed the importance of the Northwest Conference Club vs. Club Division to his club and its goals.
“From a developmental point of view, it is such an improvement,” he said. “Coaches can watch each other’s games, directors of coaching can evaluate the players and coaches during those events, and all the players of a club are able to compete at a top level.”
Additionally, de Ruiter said there is a quality group of like-minded clubs that share many of the same goals as Sparta.
“I like to play with Oregon and Washington, also La Roca and USA are great additions from Utah,” de Ruiter said. “There is a lot of respect between those clubs. We need to focus to develop the general level of soccer, better coaches, easier options for licensing. I have the privilege to work at Sparta with good level coaches who are able to develop players and make them better. Results are short term measure moments, but the long term development plan is much more important.”
Visit the homepages of the Desert Conference and the Northwest Conference for more information on each competition.
For more information on National League P.R.O., click here.