Soccer showcase success for locals

United put out Phoenix's flame: Pierce Crawley, pictured here in action for United 1996 against GSA Phoenix of Georgia at the Collegiate Championship Soccer Showcase in Birmingham, Ala. at the weekend.

The area’s finest select soccer teams were among the nation’s best to descend on Birmingham, Ala. for the Collegiate Championship Soccer Showcase last weekend.

The senior event featured over 100 top U17 and U18 squads playing in 22 divisions and attracted the attention of over 100 college coaches. There was also a junior tournament, which featured 66 teams from U13-U16.

The showcase also doubled up as the venue for the first round of games in the US Youth Soccer National League, which Javanon ’94 are playing in for the second consecutive year.

The Louisville outfit went a very creditable 4-1-2 last year when it just missed out out on the National League Blue Division title to TSC of Oklahoma.

This time round, Javanon is playing in the U18 Red Division and finished four days of consecutive play with a 2-1-1 record to lie in second place going into the new year.

Jason Bell’s charges beat PSC Coppa of Philadelphia, Pa. and reigning Region IV champion Rush Nike Argonauts of New Mexico (4-1), tied with Dallas Texans (1-1), and lost 4-3 to Grand Rapids Crew of Michigan, who lead the way at the halfway stage with maximum points.

Javanon ’94 will play its final two games against Commack SC United of New York and Florida Rush Nike on February 18 and 19 respectively.

Meanwhile, it was a great weekend for the United 1996’s ’96 International side, who captured the U16 Alabama Power Champion Flight by beating Norman Youth Soccer’s Celtic ’96, hosts Vestavia Hill’s ’96 Steamers, and Central Florida Kraze, all by 1-0 scorelines.

In the U17 Showcase Red Division, United 1996’s ’95 Internationals won two games against FC Dallas (5-1) and GSA Phoenix (1-0), but lost their final game to Virginia Legacy Wizards, who came from behind to win 2-1.

Javanon ’95 Black registered a notable 5-2 win against Houston Dynamo affiliate Gulf Coast United, the top ranked team in Mississippi and eighth in the nation.

It also beat Blast ’95 of Alabama 4-1 on the final day. Also participating at the showcase were United 1996’s U15 Internationals ’97, who chalked up a 4-0 victory against Ohio elite, and ’94 Internationals, who played in the U18 Showcase Red Division.

The tournament coincided with the Men’s College Cup which was held in the Birmingham suburb of Hoover. The NCAA Division 1 crown was won by No. 1 North Carolina, who beat unranked Charlotte 1-0 in the final on Sunday. The Tar Heels overcame UCLA, conquerors of University of Louisville last week, in the semifinal on penalties.

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