Youth teams from Lower Merion and the Lehigh Valley will be representing our region at the U.S. Youth Soccer national championships in Frisco, Texas, at the end of the month.
Lower Merion SC’s Sabertooth Rats U15 boys team punched their ticket to nationals with a 2-0 win over the Mechanicsburg-based HMMS Eagle FC Titans in the Region 1 championships in West Virginia on Monday.
Andrew Markopoulous and Jared Dillon scored the goals for the Sabertooth Rats in the 12th and 53rd minutes of play in the decisive game and goalkeepers Luke Smith and Sebastian Connelly combined for the clean sheet.
LMSC defeated the Delaware-based Kirkwood Soccer Club 6-0, New York teams Doug Miller Soccer Academy 3-1 and Smithtown Chelsea 4-0 and STA Morris United from New Jersey in their run to the final.
Sabertooth Rats’ forward Philip Burckhardt was the top scorer for the U15 division with seven goals. He found the back of the net four times against Kirkwood and three more times in the semifinal match. Timothy O’Hare added four goals. As a team, LMSC outscored their opponents 18-2 over the weekend.
Already qualified Lehigh Valley add Region I title
Lehigh Valley United’s U18 boys team had already booked a spot at nationals with an automatic qualifier through the National League but added a Region I title to their trophy case with a 2-1 win over Dix Hills Elite out of New York.
LVU opened the weekend with an 8-0 win over local West Virginia club Xplosion, beat Maryland-based MSC Falcons 2-0, drew Connecticut club Brideport Premier FC 1-1 and then edged Baltimore Celtic 1-0 in the semifinal on a 60th minute goal from Steven Gaber.
Gaber and Evan Vare, the Gatorade High School Player of the Year for Pennsylvania, each led the team with three goals over the weekend. As a team, they outscored opponents 14-2.
The U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships will be held at the Toyota Soccer Complex in Frisco, Texas July 25-31.