The 2022 US Youth Soccer National Championships will take place July 19-24 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla. The field of 200 teams competing at Nationals will include 182 sides from the USYS National League.
Continue reading to get some background on the teams and see how they have performed during the course of this youth soccer season.
WHERE THE TEAMS COME FROM
The National League teams competing at the National Championships represent 12 different National League Conferences and 35 different USYS State Associations. The below lists indicates the number of teams that come from each conference.
|48 – Midwest|
25 – Great Lakes
23 – Mid Atlantic
16 – North Atlantic
13 – Frontier
11 – Desert
|10 – Northwest|
10 – Sunshine
9 – Mid South
9 – South Atlantic
2 – New England
1 – Piedmont
- 177 of the 200 teams at the National Championships played in one of the 13 National League Conferences
- 37 of 56 Regional Champions (66%) played in one of the 13 National League Conferences
TEAMS BY CONFERENCE PERFORMANCE
National League Conference depth on display: Among all teams playing at Nationals that also competed in the National League Conferences, many finished their conference season in first place. But the numbers below will show that National Championship qualifiers can come from any position in the conference standings.
National League Conference Finishes
|76 – first place|
45 – second place
20 – third place
16 – fourth place
|8 – fifth place|
6 – sixth place
5 – seventh place
1 – 10th place
- USYS Regional Champions averaged a top-two finish (1.95) in their National League Conference standings
NATIONAL LEAGUE P.R.O. KEY STATS
- 160 teams from National League P.R.O. are competing the 14U-19U age groups at Nationals, making up 83% of teams in those age groups
- 54% of USYS Regional Championship reps at Nationals played in National League P.R.O.
- USYS Regional Champions who also played in National League P.R.O. averaged a 3rd place finish (3.31) in National League P.R.O.
- 30 teams that qualified for Nationals via National League P.R.O. also advanced to at least the semifinals of their respective Regional Championship.
- 10 teams that qualified for Nationals via National League P.R.O. also advanced to the finals of their respective Regional Championship
- Eight teams that qualified for Nationals via National League P.R.O. also won their respective Regional Championship
DEFENDING NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
Four of the attending National League teams are aiming to defend National Championships that they won in 2021*.
In the 19U Boys age group, Kingdom SC 03 Red (MI) will compete for the storied James P. McGuire Cup with a target on its back as the defending champion for the 03 Boys. It will be a role reversal for the Michigan side, as it acted as a challenger last year when it knocked off a two-time defending champion to secure the National title.
The first of three girls’ sides looking to repeat as National Champions is 14U Girls Team Boca 08 White (FL). The Florida side won the 13U Girls title last season — capping its title run with a dramatic PK shootout in the final. After winning the Sunshine Conference, National League P.R.O. group and the USYS Southern Regional Championships, Team Boca looks primed for another run at the National Championship.
In the 18U Girls age group, Penn FC Youth 2004 Lightning (PA-E) returns to Nationals looking to defend its title from last season. After several tight games in group play and the semifinals, Penn FC put in its best all-around performance to secure to 2-0 victory in the final to claim the 2021 National title. It will aim to repeat that endurance and high level of play this year in Orlando.
With several players that helped Impact MN (UT) to the National Championship last season, 19U Girls Utah Celtic G03 (UT) is looking to wrap up the youth soccer careers of its athletes by having many walk away as two-time champions. With first-place finishes in both the Desert Conference and National League P.R.O., Celtic has shown it has the experience and ability to finish on top in any competition.
*While each team’s club claimed titles in the specific age groups listed, player turnover from year to year may have resulted in this season’s teams having a differing roster compared to those teams that won in 2021.