ORLANDO, Fla. (March 21, 2021) — National League Orlando came to an exciting conclusion on Sunday, as the teams competed in third and final games of the US Youth Soccer National League Playoffs. Games took place at the ChampionsGate Sports Complex in ChampionsGate, Fla.
The weekend of action saw 22 teams earn advancement to the 2021 USYS National Championships through their performance in the Playoffs, as National League Orlando featured girls teams in the 14U and 16U-19U age groups, as well as boys teams in the 14U-18U age groups.
Utah had the most group winners of any state at National League Orlando, as seven different teams punched their ticket to the National Championships, including a pair from La Roca — the lone club to have two teams win their Playoffs groups in Orlando.
Cleveland FC 03 Royal (OH-N) was one of several teams’ whose group winner came down to the results of both matches played on Sunday. After the Ohio North side took care of its business in a 3-0 win, it watched as the result of the second game allowed it to clinch the 18U Girls Group B title.
“Winning the National League means everything. There so many good teams out here,” Cleveland FC coach Dave Sidloski said. “The technical part of these kids’ games that we’re seeing these days is just a testament to the coaches in the league. The types of players that we have in this league are at such a high level. To raise above all of that and be the top team in your bracket in a Playoff scenario — where it’s winner-takes-all and the stakes can be so costly at times — it’s amazing to see our kids raise our levels when they needed to.”
Like 21 other teams that competed at National League Orlando, Cleveland FC 03 Royal came away victorious and secured a berth to the 2021 National Championships. For the Ohio North side, that means another chance at a goal that it came so close to achieving a couple years ago.
“The girls wanted to get back to Nationals so much. It was in their hearts,” Sidloski said. “We, unfortunately, lost in double overtime three years ago in the National Championship finals. They’ve been so dedicated to getting back, and this opportunity is now in front of them, and we couldn’t be happier.”
2021 USYS National Championships | Qualifiers via the National League Playoffs*
Group A – Wasatch SC 07G ZB (UT)
Group A – 07 Lady Lobos Rush Premier (TN)
Group B – Albion SC GA 07 (CA-S)
Group B – Wake FC 07 Blue GA (NC)
Group C – Louisiana Fire Jrs. 05 Red (LA)
Group D – TFA G05 Elite (OH-S)
Group C – Utah Celtic FC 04 (UT)
Group D – Sparta FC 04G (TX-N)
Group C – Cleveland FC 03 Royal (OH-N)
Group D – Impact MN (UT)
Group C – USA Premier 02 PR (UT)
Group D – Team Boca-SABR 2002 Girls White (FL)
Group A – La Roca Milla (UT)
Group A – Allegiance FC 07 Black – Pedro (TX-N)
Group B – Weston FC 07 Elite (FL)
Group B – OC Surf North B07 Ruiz (CA-S)
Group A – SC Wave 06 (WI)
Group B – La Roca S A Bravo (UT)
Group A – Pennine Utd B05 White (OH-N)
Group B – DKSC 05 Carrillo (TX-N)
Group A – Sparta 04 JK (UT)
Group B – LVSA 03 Silver (NV)
*This list contains only the teams that qualified during National League Orlando. View previous qualifiers here.
Teams that qualified for the National Championships during this weekend’s Playoffs join the 26 teams who won their Playoff groups during the previous events in North Carolina to complete the field of 48 National League representatives who will compete this summer at Nationals.
A look back at Sunday’s action in the National League Playoffs…
Wasatch SC 07G ZB (UT) capped off a perfect weekend to finish first in Group A, while 07 Lady Lobos Rush Premier (TN) used a 1-0 win on Sunday to secure a second-place finish and a berth to Nationals.
In Group B, Albion SC GA 07 (CA-S) finished with two wins and a draw to take the top spot in the standings. Meanwhile, Wake FC 07 Blue GA (NC) used a last-minute goal to secure a 1-0 win against Nationals Union 07 Girls Black (MI) and secure the group’s second ticket to the National Championships.
With a 1-0 win on Sunday, Louisiana Fire Jrs. 05 Red (LA) managed to overtake Legends Temecula Valley FC 05 (CA-S) for the top spot in Group C. The Louisiana side finished with two wins and a draw to take first place.
TFA G05 Elite (OH-S) edged out Rio Rapids 05G (NM) by the narrowest of margins to take first place in Group D. The Ohio South side scored one more goal than Rio Rapids over the course of the weekend, which proved to be the difference in giving it the goal differential advantage.
A strong all-around weekend saw Utah Celtic FC 04 (UT) score eight goals while conceding none en route to the Group C title and a ticket to the National Championships.
In Group D, Sparta FC 04 (TX-N) narrowly finished in first place thanks to a tiebreaker against Team Boca-SABR 2004 White (FL) and SDA 04 Blasters (NY-W). The North Texas side finished with a plus-one goal differential amongst those three teams — who all finished with six points in the standings — which allowed it to finish in first place.
Cleveland FC 03 Royal (OH-N) used a 3-0 win on Sunday to win Group C and punch its ticket to Nationals. After securing its shutout, the Cleveland players watched as MIFC 2003 (FL) won the other group game to help the Ohio North side finish alone at the top of the group with seven points.
In Group D, Impact MN (UT) held on to first place in a very tight race with SC Wave Juniors 03 Junior Girls (WI). Both sides finished with seven points in the standings, but Impact’s one-goal advantage in goal differential allowed it to claim the top spot.
USA Premier 02 PR (UT) concluded its weekend with a 3-0 win on Sunday to secure a first-place finish in Group C — giving the Utah side a berth to the National Championships.
In Group D, Team Boca-SABR 2002 Girls White (FL) earned a 3-1 win against Covington FC Tammany Tigers 02 (LA) to hold off the Louisiana side clinch first place.
A 1-1 draw on Sunday was enough to give La Roca-J Milla (UT) a first-place finish in Group A. Meanwhile, Allegiance FC 07B Black – Pedro (TX-N) earned its first win of the event on Sunday, which allowed to move up from fourth to second and claim the group’s second berth to the National Championships.
In Group B, Weston FC 2007 Elite (FL) fought for a 3-2 win on Sunday to hold off the rest of the group and finish on top of the standings. The second berth to Nationals in the group went to OC Surf North B07 Ruiz (CA-S), which secured a big 4-1 win on Sunday to jump into the runner-up spot in Group B.
SC Wave 06 (WI) continued its high-scoring attacking style, as it put an exclamation point on a 3-0-0 weekend with a dominant final win. The Wisconsin side scored 14 times en route to the group title, as it punched its ticket to Nationals.
After securing the top spot in Group B on Saturday, La Roca S A Bravo (UT) finished its time in Orlando with a 2-2 draw against 3RSC B06 Black (WA) on Sunday.
Pennine Utd B05 White (OH-N needed just a tie on Sunday but left nothing to chance, as it secured a 4-0 win to finish in first place in Group A. The Ohio North side conceded no goals in Orlando while scoring 11.
Group B finished with one of the closest final standings of any group, and DKSC 05 Carrillo (TX-N) managed to finish on top with five points. DKSC used a 1-1 tie on Sunday to top the table, in which just two points separated first from fourth.
A well-played game between Sparta 04 JK (UT) and Midwest United FC 04 Academy (MI) saw the Utah side get the win it needed to jump to the top of the final standings. Sparta scored the only goal in a 1-0 game between the two, allowing it to finish with seven points to Midwest’s six.
Two-time National Champion LVSA 03 Boys Silver (NV) will get another chance to lift a trophy in July, as it finished in first place in Group B. All teams entered Sunday with a shot at the top spot, but LVSA showed its experience under pressure and earned a 3-0 win to finish with seven points.
The National League operates its primary league play across 13 Conferences that operate at a multi-state tier and provide high-level competition at a targeted local level, as well as a pathway for advancement into the regional and national stages of the USYS National Championship Series. The National League Showcase Series and National League Playoffs represent the national tier of the National League, providing a platform for teams to compete in unique matches against uncommon opponents.
For more information on the National League and each of its competitions, including the National League Playoffs, click here.