The 2023 US Youth Soccer National Championships have officially come to a close at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. Six teams represented Tennessee at the national competition, with Pateadores 2008 Blue reaching the 15U Boys Semifinal and Germantown Lady Legends 08 Black advancing to the 15U Girls Final.
“Tennessee has had some major wins over the past year,” said Hans Hobson, TSSA Chief Operating Officer. “My top two favorites are that we had 6% increase in player numbers and that six teams qualified for the USYS National Championships. We continue to grow, and the quality of soccer in Tennessee continues to improve.”
Germantown Lady Legends 08 Black performed exceptionally well in Orlando, advancing all the way to the 15U Girls Final. The Lady Legends opened the tournament by winning their group, but they had to overcome some adversity to make that happen. After falling by a slim margin of 1-0 to STA-MUSC 2008G NL EDP in their opening game of group play, the Lady Legends rebounded with a 1-0 win over Keystone FC Premier 08G (EPA) and a 2-0 victory against MS Rush United 08G Premier (MS). By winning their bracket, the Lady Legends earned a spot in the semifinals, where they defeated FC Somers Lady Hammers (NYE) by a tally of 1-0. The Lady Legends then played Galaxy SC 2008 CvC (IL) in the championship game on Sunday morning, but they unfortunately came up just short in their quest for a national championship.
“I love the fact that every year our teams come to compete and represent their respective clubs and the state of Tennessee so well,” said Jeannie Louk, TSSA Director of Leagues and Programs. “These are exciting times, and I cannot wait to see what we do this coming season!”
Pateadores 2008 Blue (15U Boys) also won their group to book a ticket to the USYS National Championship Semifinals, where they recorded a pair of goals but suffered a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to SC Wave Cadence 08 (WI). Pateadores 2008 Blue arrived at the semifinals following an unbeaten run to win their group in the opening round of play. After an impressive 4-1 victory over Players SC 08 Elite Boys on Tuesday, Pateadores 2008 Blue played Brentwood SC (LIJSL) 2008 Premier Man City NL to a scoreless draw before topping KC Legends Billy Goat FC 08, 1-0.
Also representing Tennessee at the USYS National Championships were 2007 Lady Lobos Rush E64 (16U Girls), 2004/05 Lady Lobos Rush E64 (19U Girls), NUSA 06G Maroon (17U Girls) and Chattanooga Red Wolves 06G (17U Girls).
2007 Lady Lobos Rush E64 earned two victories against a single defeat in group play, finishing second in their bracket. 2004/05 Lady Lobos Rush E64 also had an incredible run at the USYS National Championships, going unbeaten in their group with two wins and a draw. St. Louis Development Academy 2004G Rangers (MO) finished with seven points in that bracket as well, but they received the bid to the semifinals on a slim goal differential.
Tennessee had two teams competing in the 17U Girls Division in NUSA 06G Maroon and Chattanooga Red Wolves 06G, with both sides representing the state at a high level. NUSA 06G Maroon recorded a win matched with two defeats, while Chattanooga Red Wolves 06G earned a pair of victories against a single loss in their group. The six points made them even with RUSA G2006 Gold (NJ) in that bracket, but RUSA advanced to the semifinals on a narrow goal differential.
The USYS National Championship Series is the country’s most prestigious national youth soccer tournament, providing winners from each state the opportunity to showcase their soccer skills against the best competition in the nation while emphasizing teamwork, discipline and fair play.