ORLANDO, Florida (July 23, 2023) – Fourteen teams etched their name in US Youth Soccer (USYS) history after being crowned national champions Sunday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. Two hundred teams converged upon the Sunshine State, competing at the 2023 National Championships from July 18-23.
Championship Sunday was the pinnacle of US Youth Soccer’s year-long journey that began last fall, with thousands of teams hoping to lift the storied trophies that Christen Press and Walker Zimmerman once did.
Nine US Youth Soccer State Associations had teams celebrate at the end of the week after clubs from Utah (4), Illinois (2), Ohio (2), Cal South (1), Colorado (1), Eastern New York (1), Hawaii (1), Minnesota (1), and South Dakota (1) were the last teams standing at the final whistles.
Look back on the final day of the 2023 National Championships…
Real Colorado 2010 Boys Academy (CO) used a high-scoring offense to propel itself to a US Youth Soccer National Championship. The Centennial State’s team scored at least three goals in all four games at Nationals, including the final match against Ponys FC 2010 (IL), a rematch from the two teams’ first game three days prior.
Columbus United G’10 Lions (OH) capped off a strong four-game stretch at Nationals with a 2-0 win over Solar SC Solar 11G Shephard (NTX) in the championship game. Both goals came in the second half and propelled the Ohio side to victory after the two teams played to a scoreless draw just the day before.
Friday marked the end of an incredible summer for Columbus United Soccer Club after they were victorious at USYS’ Midwest Regional Championships, National Presidents Cup, and, ultimately, the National Championships in the 13U Girls groups.
Lincoln Justice’s second half game-winner lifted Club Ohio 09B National (OH) over Sporting Columbus Boys 2009 Academy (OH) Sunday afternoon.
Club Ohio’s well-balanced play led them to the final game and a matchup against another team from the Buckeye State, where the two sides’ competitive matchup proved a thrilling and high-stakes watch for all spectators.
FC Hawaii 09G Red’s (HI) 3-1 triumph over Brandon Futbol Club RSC 2009 Girls Premier (MS) earned the Aloha State its second — and first girls — US Youth Soccer National Championship.
Kinsley Yearick put Brandon Futbol Club ahead just two minutes into the game, but Kylie Tang’s quick equalizer for the Hawaiians was the first of what would be three unanswered goals after Cara Gouvela and Emi Hugo added second half scores.
FC Hawaii’s clinical play led to seven goals in the knockout stage and guided them to the title.
Utah Celtic FC 08 Boys’ (UT) dominant win over SC Wave Cadence 08 (WI) was the mark of a true champion. Blake Stuart’s awe-inspiring four-goal performance was the stuff of legend, while teammate Brooks Barker added one of his own to cement one of the best team performances of the day.
Utah Celtic’s run to the title included five convincing wins over a quintet of the best teams in the country.
Galaxy SC 2008 CvC (IL) successfully defended its national championship with a shutout victory over Germantown Legends Lady Legends 08 Black (TN). Goals from Lily Radek and Gabrielle Smith gave the experienced Illinois side a lead they would not relinquish as they added more hardware to their ever-growing trophy chest.
Just weeks before making the trip to Florida, Galaxy was also triumphant at the 2023 USYS Midwest Regional Championships.
La Roca FC – J Milla’s (UT) narrow win over JB Marine Soccer Club Academy Baum 07B (MO) in an extremely competitive game proved a fitting championship matchup. Both teams advanced to the final on the heels of strong defenses, with each stifling their opponents during the first four games of Nationals.
La Roca’s first half goal was enough after the Utah side hunkered down and once again proved too difficult to break.
Defending champion Wasatch SC 07G ZB (UT) outlasted Utah Surf 07 BH (UT) in penalties to go back-to-back after the two teams gave spectators a competitive match that could have gone on all day.
Wasatch’s unblemished run to a second consecutive title included three shutout victories during group play and ended with a victory over its state counterpart.
Sparta United Elite 64 06B’s (UT) perfect summer ended after besting ASMBF Miami Breakers FC 2006 Black (FL) in a come-from-behind win. The Utah side left for Florida with hopes of completing the treble after having won a Far West Regional title and Elite 64 national title in the weeks prior, and saw their dream come to fruition after Lewis Knecht’s incredible solo goal in the 77th minute completed the comeback.
Dakota Alliance Soccer Club (DASC) 06G Black (SD) became the first team in South Dakota history to win a US Youth Soccer National Championship, finally earning the Mount Rushmore State a place on the wall of champions.
DASC cruised through its run to the final with three wins and a draw, yet the last match was anything but easy. In a come-from-behind win facing off against Solar SC South 06G Adames (NTX), Hailee Christensen’s game-tying goal for Dakota Alliance in the last seconds of regulation sent the final to extra time, where the two teams continued trading blows until DASC 06G Black came out on top in penalty kicks.
Miguel Garcia’s late game-winning goal for defending champion Greater Libertyville Soccer Association FC 1974 Elite-05 Boys (IL) put his team past Galaxy SC 2005 Boys CvC in a title-game rematch from last year. Garcia is no stranger to the spotlight, with his hat trick in yesterday’s thrilling semi-final victory over Raiders FC 2005 (IL) earning him a second consecutive USYS Golden Ball.
Libertyville has solidified itself as one of the best teams in US Youth Soccer history after winning a third national championship in just four years.
In a matchup of two Eastern New York teams, Quickstrike FC Patriots FC Girls 05/06’s (NYE) stifling defense once again proved impenetrable on its way to a shutout victory over its state counterpart. Goals from Leah Rifas and Micaela Ross proved too much for Middle Country SC SBMC 05 (NYE) to come back from, with the Patriots looking very much in control all game.
Throughout five games at the National Championships, Patriots FC let in just one goal to cement its place in US Youth Soccer history.
Inland Surf BU19’s (CA-S) come-from-behind win over Council Rock United FC Bucks DOMINION 2004 Boys (EPA) solidified its place in US Youth Soccer lore early Sunday morning.
The Cal-South side went down early after Seth Michalak’s seventh-minute goal for PA Dominion, but they never let up and equalized midway through the second half. Damian Espinoza’s lead pass to Mattheos Agapitos brought the teams level and led to Inland Surf hoisting the James P. McGuire Cup after Felipe Cobain converted a last-minute penalty.
Berit Parten’s two first half goals lifted North Oaks Soccer Club Blast 04 Girls (MN) over St. Louis Development Academy STLDA 2004G Rangers (MO) to earn the Gopher State’s first US Youth Soccer National Championship since 1992.
North Oaks’ dominant play led to 15 goals scored and just three against during a five-game stretch at Nationals, ending with the Minnesota side lifting the 19 and under girls Evelyn Gill/Kathy Zolad trophy.
Both 19U championships, as well as Friday’s 13U finales, were broadcast live on ESPNU. The first match garnered viewership with more than 100 countries worldwide.
About the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series
The US Youth Soccer (USYS) National Championship Series provides more than 10,000 teams from USYS’s 54 State Associations the opportunity to showcase their abilities against the best in the nation, while emphasizing teamwork, discipline, and fair play. The yearlong competition begins with over 185,000 players in the USYS State Championships. State champions, along with selected representatives from the USYS National League Conferences, advance to compete in one of four USYS Regional Championships. In each gender age group, the four USYS Regional Champions, along with 12 qualifiers from USYS National League P.R.O. in the 14U-19U age groups, compete for the ultimate crown at the USYS National Championships. Overall, the USYS National Championship Series provides the nation’s top collegiate coaches with the premier stage to identify and scout the most coveted players in the country. For more information, visit the National Championships page.
About the United States Youth Soccer Association (US Youth Soccer)
US Youth Soccer, the largest youth sport organization in the country, is on a mission to provide world-class support, resources, and leadership, helping every member fulfill their goals on and off the field of play. US Youth Soccer registers nearly 2.5 million players annually. Through its programming, resources and leadership, US Youth Soccer is advancing the game for its 54 Member State Associations, 10,000 clubs and leagues and nearly 1 million administrators, coaches, and volunteers. US Youth Soccer connects families and communities to the power of sports and its shared love of soccer. US Youth Soccer provides a path for every player, offering programs that provide a fun, safe and healthy environment for players at every level of the game.