Los Angeles Soccer: So Cal Blues
Fullerton Rangers' under-15 boys side, which won the national championship last year at the U-14 level, will shoot for two in a row after claiming a second successive Far West title over the weekend.
The Rangers 96 White claimed the U-15 title at the U.S. Youth Soccer Region IV Championships in Phoenix to advance to next month's national championships in Rock Hill, S.C. Nine other teams from Southern California -- two from Laguna Hills' West Coast FC -- also claimed regional titles.
Six of eight boys championships went to L.A.-area clubs.
Fullerton capped a 6-0-0 run through the weeklong competition with a 11-0 victory over Washington Premier FC's 96 Black, from Puyallup, Wash. The Rangers outscored foes, 16-1, with a 5-0 win over Washington Premier during group play.
West Coast won the boys U19 and girls U13 titles.
Four other Orange County teams also won championships: Pateadores (Mission Viejo, boys U12), United FC (San Juan Capistrano, boys U13), Legends Breakaway (Newport Beach, girls U17) and So Cal Blues (San Juan Capistrano, girls U19).
Long Beach's Beach FC 97 won the girls U14 tournament, Santa Barbara SC White captured the boys U14 title, and Temecula's Arsenal FC won in boys U16.
The Galaxy's academy claimed its first big prize Saturday, its under-16 team winning the championship of U.S. Soccer's Development Academy, the nation's premier youth-soccer competition.William Raygoza (South El Monte/South El Monte HS), Justin Dhillon (Rancho Santa Margarita/Tesoro HS) and Drew Murphy (Palos Verdes/Palos Verdes HS) scored goals in a 16-minute span midway through the second half, sending the Galaxy to a 4-1 romp over PA Classics, from Manheim, Pa., in the U-15/16 title game in Milwaukee.
Jack McBean (Newport Beach/Corona del Mar HS), already a pro with L.A.'s first team, set up the second-minute opener by Sean Dhillon (Rancho Santa Margarita/Tesoro HS) and nearly scored two himself as the Galaxy completed a Southern California sweep of the USSDA championships.
Mission Viejo's Pateadores won the U-17/18 final Friday.
The Galaxy outscored four opponents, 12-2, en route to the title, with the Dhillon brothers netting three goals apiece. Justin, the younger, has featured for L.A.'s MLS Reserve League side, as have teammates Grady Howe (Newport Beach/Corona del Mar HS) and Matt Tilley (Irvine/Irvine HS).
Woodland Hills-based Real So Cal lost on penalties, 8-7, to Real Salt Lake AZ after a 0-0 draw in the third-place game.
Another team from Real So Cal -- girls under-16 -- reached the Elite Clubs National League title game for its division in Aurora, Colo. CASL Chelsea FC of Raleigh, N.C. won, 4-1, in Saturday's match.
The U.S. Youth Soccer Association's national championships, which run July 27-31 in Phoenix, will feature four local clubs: Fullerton Rangers in the boys U-14 division, Alta Loma's Arsenal FC in girls U-14, Newport Beach-based Slammers FC in girls U-15 and San Juan Capistrano-based So Cal Blues in girls U-17.
Soccer America's annual survey of youth clubs is out, and some local clubs fared well. Orange County's So Cal Blues was ranked third among American girls clubs, and Pasadena's LAFC Cosmos is No. 3 among boys clubs.
In all, six Southern California girls clubs -- four in Orange County -- and three boys clubs made it into SA's top 30. Full lists can be found here for girls and boys, and the top clubs will be featured in SA's “The Best of American Soccer 2010” issue the will come out at the end of the month.
Dallas Texans and Eclipse Select, from Libertyville, Ill., were ranked 1-2 for girls, and Baltimore Bays and North Carolina's CASL were 1-2 for boys..
3. So Cal Blues (San Juan Capistrano)
8. Arsenal FC (Alta Loma)
10. San Diego Surf (San Diego)
17. Slammers FC (Newport Beach)
25. Laguna Hills Eclipse (Laguna Hills)
27. West Coast FC (Laguna Hills)
3. LAFC Cosmos (Pasadena)
14. Real So Cal (Agoura Hills/Woodland Hills)
27. West Coast FC (Laguna Hills)
The Bay Area-based group that will field professional women's teams in Orange County and the Bay Area next year, with plans to place an O.C. club in Women's Professional Soccer in 2012, hopes to have a greater impact than just competing for championships.
They'd like to help transform women's pro soccer in America.
That's part of what's behind the venture announced Monday, to compete next season in the Women's Premier Soccer League. The OC Sol and Bay Area Sol would be the first fully professional clubs in the WPSL, one of two national semiprofessional women's leagues in the U.S., and their ownership group envisions a stronger connection among the leagues and WPS.
That could have a profound impact on the future of pro soccer in this country.
“I do [believe WPS is viable], but I subscribe to the view that there should be layers of professionalism -- and of semiprofessionalism, if you wish ...,” said Paul Haley, a Bay Area business consultant and the face of Soccer Partners LLC, the Walnut Creek-based group behind the new Sol enterprise. “We're motivated to see more than one league or division for professionals to play in.”