US SoccerUS Soccer

U-15/16 Finals Week Team Previews

Team Name: New York Red Bulls
Location: Secaucus, N.J.
Mid-Atlantic Division
East Conference
Overall Record: 21-4-7 (64 GF, 28 GA)
Playoff seed: No. 8
Playoff Results: 3-0-0 (8 GF, 1 GA)

June 26 New York Red Bulls U-15/16


IMG Soccer Academy U-15/16
June 27 FC Westchester U15/16


New York Red Bulls U-15/16
June 29 New York Red Bulls U-15/16


Chicago Fire U-15/16

Head Coach: Rob Eliott
Key Players: Forward Victor Manosalvas, defender Brian Gallego, goalkeeper Keith Cardona

How they got here:
With a back line supported by East Conference Starting XI honoree Keith Cardona in net, the New York Red Bulls rode strong defense to complete the season with a measly .87 goals against average. Fourteen different goal scorers found the back of the net this season, highlighting the emphasis on teamwork and chemistry over individual skill. Opening the season with a 16-game unbeaten streak that included ten wins in a row at one point, the Red Bulls seemed destined for Finals Week from the start.

Along with Keith Cardona, defender Brian Gallego and forward Victor Manosalvas (9 goals) represent New York on the East Conference Starting XI lineup. By winning its division and posting only four losses on the season, Rob Eliot’s team garnered a No. 8 seed in the Playoffs. They seized opportunity with both hands, scoring seven goals in their first two games to set up a winner-take-all showdown with the Chicago Fire. Though only scoring one goal, goalkeeper Travis Ives provided the shutout that put the Red Bulls into Finals Week.

Team Name: Chicago Magic AS Monaco

Location: Chicago, Ill.
Frontier Division
Central Conference
Overall Record: 23-4-6 (56 GF, 19 GA)
Playoff Seed: No. 4
Playoff Results: 3-0-0 (8 GF, 1 GA)

June 26 Chicago Magic AS Monaco U-15/16


Carmel United SC U-15/16
June 27 Texas SC U-15/16


Chicago Magic AS Monaco U-15/16
June 29 Chicago Magic AS Monaco U-15/16


LAFC Chelsea U-15/16

Head Coach: Zelimir Antonijevic
Key Players: Midfielders David Caban, Tyler Engel, Arturo Garza III, Jacob Bushue, defender Billy McGuinness

How they got here:
Posting one of the Academy’s lowest goals against averages on the season, the Chicago Magic continued to ride impressive team defense through the Playoffs. Forward Aaron Horton provided 13 tallies on the year for team lead, but with the midfield accounting for 25 goals the Magic clearly pose a multi-faceted attack. An eight-game win streak carried the Magic into the Playoffs, where they swept the group while scoring eight goals scored and conceding only one.

midfielder Jacob Bushue and defender Billy McGuinness represented the team in the Central Conference XI roster by accounting for 13 goals and missing only two games combined on the season.

Team Name: Derby County Wolves

Location: Livonia, Mich.
Great Lakes Division
Central Conference
Overall Record: 23-4-4 (83 GF, 27 GA)
Playoff seed: No. 1
U-15/16 Derby County Wolves
Playoff Results: 2-0-1 (6 GF, 0 GA)

June 26 Derby County Wolves U-15/16


Texas Rush AHFC AS Monaco U-15/16
June 27 BW Gottschee NYC U-15/16


Derby County Wolves U-15/16
June 29 Derby County Wolves U-15/16


Columbus Crew U-15/16

Head Coach: Lars Richters
Key Players: Forward Reed Losee, midfielders Dzenan Catic, Nathan Hicklin, TJ Van Slooten

How they got here:
Hailing from Livonia, Mich., the Derby County Wolves entered Academy Playoffs as the No. 1 seed. Among the team’s victories this season are three games where the team scored at least seven goals.

With an impressive 83 goals scored on the season, averaging nearly three goals per game, Derby County will undoubtedly pose problems for opposing defenses. The team defense will also be brimming with confidence after three consecutive shutouts in Greensboro.

Perhaps illustrating the all-around strength of this team, only one member is represented on the Conference Starting XI—forward Reed Losee, who scored 21 goals in only 24 matches. But behind him is a midfield that accounted for 47 goals on the year, ensuring that no matter who defenses key on to stop, goals will be scored.

Team Name: FC Dallas

Location: Frisco, Texas
Texas Division
Central Conference
Overall Record: 21-3-7 (77 GF, 35 GA)
Playoff Seed: No. 5
Playoff Results: 3-0-0 (9 GF, 2 GA)

June 26 FC Dallas U-15/16


Birmingham United U-15/16
June 27 Andromeda U-15/16


FC Dallas U-15/16
June 29 FC Dallas U-15/16


South Charlotte SA U-15/16

Head Coach: Chris Hayden
Key Players: Forward Ruben Luna, midfielder Bryan Leyva, defender Giovanni Gomez

How they got here:
Rounding out the toughest group in Finals Week (with all four teams seeded in the top ten during playoffs) is the other MLS club represented in the U-15/16s, FC Dallas. Possessing an unbelievable goals for/against ratio of better than 2 to 1, the Dallas club went undefeated in their division throughout the season. They continued that play in Greensboro by going 3-0 with nine goals scored and two conceded. Proving their strength on the other side of the ball as well, FC Dallas started the season with a 13-game unbeaten streak that contained seven shutouts.

Leading this offensive juggernaut is Conference XI representative Ruben Luna. The forward scored 37 goals in only 28 games throughout the season, representing 48 percent of the team’s goals. Also representing FC Dallas in the Conference XI is midfielder Bryan Leyva, who struck 13 goals on the year. In the back, defender Giovanni Gomez has played in all but one game in the entire season and was instrumental in earning ten shutouts on the year.

Team Name: Washington Premier

Location: Tacoma, Wash.
Northwest Division
West Conference
Overall Record: 19-4-7 (58 GF, 25 GA)
Playoff Seed: No. 7
Playoff Results: 2-0-1 (6 GF, 3 GA)

June 26 Washington Premier FC U-15/16


Match Fit Chelsea U-15/16
June 27 Vardar U-15/15


Washington Premier FC U-15/16
Jun 29 Washington Premier FC U-15/16


CASL Chelsea FC Academy U-15/16

Head Coach: James McCalister
Key Players: Forward Darwin Jones, midfielder Nico De la Cruz

How they got here: 
With a first place finish in their division, Washington Premier FC entered the playoffs with a #7 seed. They took advantage of their draw, going undefeated in playoffs with a 2-0-1 record. After opening the year with a six-game unbeaten streak, Washington put together several more unbeaten streaks of 3-5 games on their way to a 19-4-7 record.

Playoff goal production was consistent with their 2/1 goals for/goals against ratio, as they scored six and conceded three. Leading the team this season was forward Darwin Jones who scored 21 times in 28 appearances, but Washington’s lone representative on the Conference Starting XI is midfielder Nico De La Cruz, who scored only five goals in 26 games but was instrumental in running the middle of the park for the Tacoma club.

Team Name: PDA

Location: Zarephath, N.J.
Mid-Atlantic Division
East Conference
Overall Record: 17-8-7 (53 GF, 39 GA)
Playoff Seed: No. 19
Playoff Results: 2-0-1 (7 GF, 4 GA)

June 26 Real So Cal U-15/16


PDA U-15/16
June 27 PDA U-15/16


Sockers FC U-15/16
June 29 PDA U-15/16


North Meck SC U-15/16

Head Coach: Gerry McKeown
Key Players: Forward Brandon Allen, midfielders Scott Thomsen and Tommy Uttaro

How they got here:

As the only club to get both youth teams in Finals Week, PDA has clearly demonstrated an ability to develop players. Finishing second in their division, the New Jersey club surprised at playoffs by advancing with an undefeated 2-0-1 record. After an opening game draw against Real So Cal, PDA clinched advancement with a 2-0 victory in their final game against North Meck SC.

One of the lower scoring teams in the Academy, PDA has managed to get to Finals Week through a determination to win the close games, compiling a 9-3 record in games decided by a single goal. Their offense is paced by forward Brandon Allen (11 goals on the year) and Conference XI midfielder Scott Thomsen (5 goals). Along with midfielder Tommy Uttaro, the trio missed six goals between them all season while leading their team to Finals.

Team Name: Cal Odyssey
Location: Clovis, Calif.
Northwest Division
West Conference
Overall Record: 15-12-3 (46 GF, 37 GA)
Playoff Seed: No. 31
Playoff Results: 3-0-0 (9 GF, 1 GA)

June 26 Arsenal FC U-15/16


Cal Odyssey U15/16
June 27 Cal Odyssey U15/16


LA Galaxy U-15/16
June 29 FC DELCO U-15/16


Cal Odyssey U15/16

Head Coach: David Armstrong
Key Players: Forwards Gregory Antognoli and Jose Segura

How they got here:
Entering Academy Playoffs as the No. 31 seed, Cal Odyssey was no doubt the surprise qualifier for Finals Week. After an inconsistent season, David Armstrong’s squad won when it counted, upsetting No. 2 Arsenal 3-0 to kickoff its playoff campaign. Continuing its solid play and proving that the opener was no fluke, Cal Odyssey went on to beat the Los Angeles Galaxy 3-1 and FC DELCO 3-0 to win the group and advance to The Home Depot Center.

The lone California-based team at Finals Week is led by forward Gregory Antognoli who scored 17 goals on the year, and Jose Segura, who notched nine. The duo combined for eight of Cal’s nine goals in Playoffs, but with eight other players scoring throughout the regular season, Cal Odyssey will be looking to ride its overall team chemistry on their way through Finals Week.

Team Name: Greensboro Youth Soccer

Location: Greensboro, N.C.
Atlantic Division
South Conference
Overall Record: 21-6-4 (52 GF, 25 GA)
Playoff Seed: No. 6
Playoff Results: 2-0-1 (6 GF, 2 GA)

June 26 Greensboro Youth Soccer U-15/16


Miami FC Kendall U-15/16
June 27 Albertson U-15/16


Greensboro Youth Soccer U-15/16
June 29 Greensboro Youth Soccer U-15/16


Crossfire Premier U-15/16

Head Coach: Chris Little
Key Players: Forwards Mamadee Nyepon, Eduardo Alvarez, and Hassan Kouyateh, midfielders Matthew Mills and Hans Lohmeyer, defender Austin Dunker and goalkeeper Ryan Hanson

How they got here:
Qualifying for playoffs as the second place team in their division, Greensboro’s overall record and points per game average catapulted them into a No. 6 seed. Greensboro’s consistency across the season continued into Playoffs as the team scored two goals in each game on its way to a 2-0-1 record. Taking advantage of the hometown support, Chris Little and his team clinched advancement to Finals week with a 2-0 victory against Crossfire Premier.

With a reliable backline made up of goalkeeper Ryan Hanson and defender Austin Dunker, Greensboro allowed only 25 goals against all year. Forwards Mamadee Nyepon and Eduardo Alvarez accounted for 29 of the teams 52 goals.