WESTFIELD, Ind. (May 16, 2023) — More than 120 teams competed May 12-14 in the Meet in the Middle Showcase at Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield, Ind. The event featured several unique showcase matchups, in addition to many teams from the Great Lakes Conference and Midwest Conference playing crucial end-of-season games.
In addition to competing for division titles, the National League teams playing in either Club vs. Club or Premier I Division matchups also took the field with potential berths to the USYS Midwest Regional Championships or next season’s National League Conference Playoffs on the line.
“There’s some good competition here, so to win all of our games and book a spot to Regionals is awesome,” said JB Marine 06B (MO) goalkeeper Alex Drexler following his team’s first-place finish in the Midwest 16U Boys Club vs. Club Division. “Winning here feels great for the confidence going into State Cup, Regionals and Nationals.”
Meanwhile, some Premier II Division teams had the opportunity to achieve promotion to Premier I for next year — earning the opportunity to advance further along the National League pathway.
“Finishing the [Premier II] season undefeated at 9-0, with getting promotion into Premier I, was an excellent accomplishment for the team,” said James Ortlip, coach of Ambassadors FC 08G (OH), which won its Great Lakes 15U Girls Premier II Division. “I think the European model is great, with promotion and relegation. You’ve got to earn your spot. We were put in the bottom division, and we had to earn our way to the top. It was worth it, and there’s definitely a sense of accomplishment for the players because it was something that was not just given — they had to earn it every single game of the season.”
All teams in the National League will have the opportunity to access a recently announced unified pathway that brings the best teams together at national events for a chance to qualify to the annual USYS National Championships.
Check out the top-tier division teams from the Great Lakes and Midwest Conferences that were able to clinch their division titles during the action at Grand Park.
GREAT LAKES CONFERENCE
- SCS United 2008 Boys Black (PA-W) won the 15U Boys Club vs. Club Division with a 7-0-0 record
- Arsenal FC of Pittsburgh 2006B Academy (PA-W) won the 17U Boys Club vs. Club Division with a 7-0-0 record
- Indiana Fire 2005B NL (IN) won the 18U Boys Premier I Division with an 8-0-0 record
- SCS United 2004 Boys Black (PA-W) won the 19U Boys Club vs. Club Division with a 6-0-0 record
- St. Croix 08 Girls Academy 1 (MN) won the 15U Girls Club vs. Club Division with a 5-0-1 record
- CUP 07G Gold (OH) won the 16U Girls Club vs. Club Division with a 5-0-1 record
- Club Ohio 06G National (OH) won the 17U Girls Club vs. Club Division via a goal differential tiebreaker with a 4-0-2 record
- BOREAL FC 2005 Green – Johnson (MN) won the 19U Girls Club vs. Club Division with a 6-0-0 record
- STLDA 2008B Academy Navy (MO) won the 15U Boys Club vs. Club Division with a 7-0-0 record
- JB Marine Academy Baum 07B (MO) won the 16U Boys Club vs. Club Division with a 6-1-0 record
- JB Marine Academy McKeon 2006B (MO) won the 17U Boys Club vs. Club Division with a 7-0-0 record
- STLDA 2005B Wipke (MO) won the 18U Boys Club vs. Club Division with a 6-0-1 record
- LFA Williams 2004B (MO) won the 19U Boys Club vs. Club Division with a 6-0-1 record