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National League Preview: Solar Chelsea Stricker looks to claim first National League title

Solar Stricker

Under-15 Boys Solar Chelsea Red 02 Stricker (TX-N) will head to Las Vegas this weekend with the opportunity to win its first US Youth Soccer National League title and secure a spot in the 2017 US Youth Soccer National Championships in Frisco, Texas.

Full Age Group Preview via US Youth Soccer

Solar currently sits in third place of the National League Blue Division with a 2-1-1 record with three games to play. All of the other teams in the top-five finished the remainder of their seven games at the end of 2016, leaving Solar with control of its own fate heading into the final weekend of play. Teams in the top two spots of each division in the Under-15 age group will qualify for the 2017 National Championships.

B15 Blue

Solar will bring a slew of North Texas Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP) players and two Region III US Youth Soccer ODP players in Mason Monroe and Ethan Orozco. Orozco also represented Region III at the 2016 US Youth Soccer ODP Interregionals. Ilean Castorena led Solar with three goals on the opening weekend of National League, with North Texas ODP players Grant McCarty and Riley O’Donnell adding two goals apiece. Solar has already claimed US Youth Soccer Southern Regional Premier League West and North Texas Soccer State Cup titles in the past 12 months and will look to add a National League championship to its list of accolades.

The Field

With every team in the age group still eligible to earn a spot in the National Championships, the final weekend will provide a heightened competitive atmosphere that will no doubt attract plenty of college coaches. Solar will take on a pair of Michigan teams to begin the weekend in Michigan Jaguars 02 Green (MI) and Michigan Wolves 02 (MI), before finishing the weekend against Boca Juniors OC 02 White (CA-S).

Solar could be involved in a defensive struggle in its first match, considering its opponents, Michigan Jaguars have only surrendered three goals in the National League season so far, which is tied for the least in the division. Solar will then take on 2016 Region II Champions Michigan Wolves, who will be hoping to return to its second-straight National Championships after finishing in third last year. Solar will finish the weekend against southern California side Boca Juniors. While Boca may lack National League and National Championship experience, Boca coach Jimmy Obleda has the experience of two National Championships to call upon.

Full National League Standings

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