These elite 48 teams will face one another to determine the top 12 youth soccer teams in the country. The match-ups spotlight boys and girls teams, two from each of U.S. Youth Soccer's four regions, in the U-14 through U-19 age groups. Chris Sawyer, goalkeeper and captain for the Colorado Rush Nike U-18 team, said that, "Everyone realizes that the competition at nationals is going to be incredible, it always is. Everyone knows how tough it is going to be."
Five teams that competed in the 2000 National Championships in Orlando, Fla., are returning to compete for the national title in Lawrence. Of these five teams, three claimed the National Championship title for their respective age group last year and will now move up one age group category in hopes of defending their title. The returning teams are the Southern California Blues (CA-S, U17G), D'Feeters '84 (N.TX, U17G), San Diego Surf (CA-S, U18G), FC Delco Black (E.PA, U19B), and Colorado Rush Nike (CO, U19G). Of those five teams, the Southern California Blues, San Diego Surf, and Colorado Rush Nike each return to Lawrence as reigning National Champions.
For more information and a complete schedule of the Snickers U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships, visit www.youthsoccer.org.