Three NorCal Sides Capture US Club Soccer National Titles at NPL Finals and National Cup
Thanks to strong play at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Colorado, three NorCal Premier Soccer teams became national champions of their respective divisions earlier in July at the US Club Soccer NPL Finals and National Cup.
The 2008 Stanislaus United Soccer Club Girls and 2006 1974 Newark FC Boys each lifted the trophy in Denver after winning NorCal’s National Premier League this spring and then advancing out of the NPL West Playoffs.
Both squads were dominant every step of the way – SUSC finished the fall and spring NPL seasons by claiming 64 of a possible 69 points, while 1974 Newark posted a goal differential of plus-71 in all NPL competitions.
SUSC finished as the top U14 girls squad of 27 teams in NorCal’s NPL; 1974 Newark were the best of 28 U16 boys NPL teams. From there, Stanislaus qualified directly for the NPL Finals, where they were one of 16 competing sides, while Newark earned a spot in the 16-team NPL West Playoffs, finished top of their group, and won a knockout game to qualify for the four-team NPL Finals.
In Colorado, both squads kept up their stellar play. En route to the final, Stanislaus defeated Coral Springs United 6-1, Minnesota Thunder Academy 8-1, Eastern Washington 3-1, and CDA Slammers Fullerton 4-0. Those victories set up a final match against Chicago Rush Bloomingdale FC, who SUSC thrashed 6-1 to capture the national title.
Meanwhile, 1974 Newark FC opened up their NPL Finals campaign with a 4-0 victory over West Pines before drawing against Total Futbol Academy in their second game. Newark returned to their winning ways on day three, beating Blast FC 3-0 to set up a final, where they’d again face TFA. In the championship match, Julio Martinez-Galvan, Chuy Lua Amaya, and Noel Cabrales each scored to power a 3-1 victory over TFA.
Following the NPL Finals, the next US Club Soccer national event on tap was the National Cup Finals also held in Denver, Colorado. The event saw NorCal side, Albion Merced 09 Boys, who qualified as NorCal State Cup Champions and California Cup Finalists, take home the National Championship with an impressive run. In the Group Stage, Albion Merced won each of their matches with wins over Aztec NPL (2-1), Oklahoma Celtic RL (7-1), and Cuyahoga Valley SA NPL (4-1). In the semifinals, Merced beat Grand FC Mustangs Elite 2-1 before winning the national title with a 2-1 win over Los Angeles SC.