North Texas Soccer teams continue play at 2017 National Championships
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FRISCO, Texas (July 26, 2017) – After an undefeated start, North Texas Soccer teams went 1-1-1 on the second day of group play at the 2017 US Youth Soccer National Championships held at Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco Texas. Under-15 Boys Solar Chelsea Red 02 Stricker became the first North Texas team to qualify for the semifinals after going 2-0 on the first two days.
Under-15 Girls Solar Chelsea 02 Grado, Under-15 Boys Solar Chelsea Red 02 Stricker and Under-17 Boys FC Dallas 00 Premier advanced to the National Championships after claiming 2017 US Youth Soccer Region III Championships titles last month in Greensboro, N.C.
Group play will conclude on July 27, semifinals will take place on July 29 and champions will be crowned on Sunday, July 30. Boys and girls teams in multiple age groups earn their way by competing against the top teams in their state and region. US Youth Soccer State Champions and selected wildcard teams are eligible to compete in one of four US Youth Soccer Regional Championships. The champions in the 13U through 19/20U age groups from each regional event will converge in the finals with the National League teams.
Solar Chelsea 02 Stricker (TX-N) secured a spot in the semifinals courtesy of a 2-0 win over BRYC 02 Elite (VA) on the second day of group play. Riley O’Donnell continued his streak this summer four minutes into the game, when the Region III Championships leading goal-scorer received a cross from Skyler Stricker on the right flank before taking two touches and burying a left-footed shot to the far post.
Solar keeper Christopher Edwards came up with a couple of huge saves to preserve the 1-0 lead, and O’Donnell would add his fourth goal in the tournament thanks in large part to Richard Garcia, who flew down the right flank before dribbling past two defenders and finding O’Donnell wide open in front of goal for the point-blank goal. The Solar defense would complete its second shutout in as many days. Solar will play Region II Champion NFC 02 Blue (NE) on the final day of group play.
Solar Chelsea 02 Grado fought back to earn its second draw in as many games 2-2 against Loudoun 02 Red (VA). Solar took the lead in the ninth minute thanks to strong solo run from Gabriella Lovkvist, who split two defenders before having her shot blocked by a third. Lovkvist would find the ball off the deflection and finish off her second opportunity to give her side the 1-0 lead.
Loudoun would find the back of the net twice at the beginning of the second half, but Solar would battle back when Irma Artunez’s corner-kick curved into the far post. Both sides would continue to earn opportunities, but both sides were unable to net a game-winner. Solar sits in second place of Group A, and will need a win over Nationals Union 02 Black (MI), which has already qualified to the semifinals round and features multiple players who are former National Champions, to guarantee a spot in the semifinals.
FC Dallas 00 Premier (TX-N) fell to Baltimore Celtic SC 2000 (MD) 3-1 on the second day of group play. Celtic earned a 3-0 lead with one goal early in the first half and two in the second half before Andrew Williams got FC Dallas on the board later in the second half. FC Dallas will need a win against Raiders FC (IL) on the final day of group play and some help in order to advance to the semifinals.