Two North Texas Soccer teams advance to 2017 National Championships finals
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FRISCO, Texas (July 29, 2017) – After dramatic semifinals wins, Under-15 Boys Solar Chelsea Red 02 Stricker and Under-17 Boys FC Dallas 00 Premier will play in the finals of the 2017 US Youth Soccer National Championships held at Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco Texas.
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.
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 surrendered its first goal of the National Championships, and just the second total in the North Texas State Cup, Region III Championships and National Championships combined to St. Louis Scott Gallagher SC Elite (MO) in the 16th minute. However, the Region III Champions would respond just eight minutes later when Harvey Castro buried a shot from the left side of the goal to knot things up at 1-1.
Things looked to be headed into extra-time, until Ilean Castorena headed in a Castro cross from the right side with just two minutes left in regulation to give the North Texas State Cup champs a 2-1 win and ultimately a spot in the National Championship semifinals. Solar will play Region IV Champions Tuzos Academy 02 (AZ) in the finals tomorrow.
“We knew going in this team would be really good and hard to beat, and I’m so proud of the boys for grinding. We haven’t given up a goal in a long time, and I am so proud of the boys for showing some grit,” Solar head coach Chris Stricker said. “The journey has been incredible, and I am so excited to see all the hard work they have done in the summer pay off. We are excited to represent Solar and North Texas playing for a National Championship tomorrow.”
Not to be outdone, FC Dallas 00 Premier secured a spot in the finals in a match that went all the way to kicks from the mark. After a scoreless first half, Orlando Castro broke through for FC Dallas in the 47th minute when he received a pass from Fabian Cruz on the right side of the box before sliding his shot past the Michigan Jaguars (MI) keeper and into the back of the net. Jaguars would respond with a goal in the 55th minute, and the Region II Champions would gain the 2-1 advantage just a minute into extra time.
With only a minute remaining, Ricky Greenidge received a pass in the middle of the field before sending a laser from 25 yards out that found the back of the net to tie things up at 2-2. After six kicks from the mark on each side were scored. FC Dallas keeper Trevor Jackson came up with a diving save before Greenidge played the role of hero for a second time and converted his kick to send FC Dallas to the finals. FC Dallas will play Baltimore Celtic in the finals in a day two rematch.