The lone club to win multiple championships at the events was Sockers FC, which claimed the U-15 NPL championship as well as the U-13 Girls and U-15 Boys Premier Groups in the National Cup. A full recap of the National Cup XI Finals can be found on the US Club Soccer website.
The inaugural NPL Champions Cup came to a close Tuesday at Waukegan Sports Park as five teams from three different leagues were crowned national champions, highlighted by a pair of winners from both the Texas Pre-Academy League and the Midwest Developmental League.
The NPL Champions Cup featured league champions from across the nation in the U-13 through U-17/18 boys age groups. The NPL has been created to provide a unified, league-based national developmental platform with the highest level of competition in given geographic areas, and to elevate and change the competitive youth soccer landscape based upon fundamental principles outlined in US Club Soccer’s 10-year vision.
Dallas Texans (U-13) and FC Dallas (U-14) each claimed NPL championships while representing the Texas Pre-Academy League while Midwest Developmental League champions Sockers FC (U-15) and St. Louis Scott Gallagher (U-16) earned NPL titles as well. Rounding out the list of NPL champions was Chicago Fire Academy from the Northern Illinois Soccer League (NISL), which was victorious in the U-17/18 division.
“Stepping on the pitch was nerve-racking since it’s a national tournament,” said Anthony Cetera, who scored the championship-winning goal for Chicago Fire Academy. “It’s every kid’s dream to score a goal in a national championship final and especially if it’s a game-winner. I’m never going to forget about this.”
Leading the way with three finalists was the Northeast Pre-Academy League, with all three of the league’s entrants in the NPL Champions Cup playing on the final day of the event. The New York Club Soccer League and New England Premier League each recorded one finalist, with Massapequa SC reaching the U-16 championship match and MPS Bulldogs playing in the U-17/18 final, respectively.