U14 Boys Champions League Preview – 2019
After a long break winter break, league action is now back in Northern California as the NPL resumes with games all across the state this Spring for girls from the U14-U19 age groups. Culminating with the NPL Spring College Showcase at Davis Legacy Soccer Complex on May 18-19, the NPL features some of the highest level of play in the country. The top two teams for the U14-U17 age groups and the first place finisher in the U19 division on the boys side will qualify for US Club Soccer’s ENPL playoffs from June 28-July 2 in Rockford, Ill.
ATLETICO SANTA ROSA PUMAS
Head Coach: Shawn Rothrock
State Cup semifinalists just a year ago, Atletico Santa Rosa were one of the most exciting teams in the fall’s NPL 1 West, finishing as joint top scorers in the division. But Atletico qualified for the Champions League on the basis of that quality attack as their defense allowed the most goals for any CL team in the fall and finished with just a 5-3-0 record. PDP State Pool player Joseangel Contreres is a player to watch this Spring as he helps make Santa Rosa a tough out for anyone in the division.
CENCAL COSMOS GREY
Head Coach: Garret Markarian
Many of the teams in the Champions League feature prolific offenses that have helped them qualify for such a prestigious league, but the CenCal Cosmos put up video game numbers this fall in cruising to the NPL 1 East title. The Cosmos hit the back of the net a whopping 52 times in nine games while allowing just eight goals overall to go 8-0-1. That being said, CenCal will be without NPL 1 East leading goalscorer David Dutra for much of the season due to a broken leg, but the Cosmos have the depth to overcome the injury as the squad features a handful of PDP players like Diego Guerra, Maximus Ekk, Manuel Gomez, and Logan Elkington.
DAVIS LEGACY RED
Head Coach: Oliver Russell
While Davis Legacy didn’t exactly set the world alite in the fall season, it did manage to secure some crucial results against good teams in the NPL 1 East, qualifying for the Champions League by virtue of a 6-3-0 record and a third-place finish. The Legacy also finished third in goals scored with 22 as an attack led by Simon Vaca-Lorenzi proved to always be dangerous. At the back, Davis allowed 15 goals in nine games, good for the fourth-best record in their division.
FC SPORTING MUNICH
Head Coach: Anthony Fernandes
For a team that lost just one match all fall, FC Sporting Munich just missed out on the top spot in the NPL 1 East due to an otherworldly CenCal Cosmos squad. But Sporting feature top notch quality from front to back and showed that by finishing both second in goals scored and goals allowed in their division with 36 and 12, respectively. Led by a series of unselfish players, captain Kasey Arguello perhaps best personifies Sporting after having worked his way up from a reserve to the starting defensive midfield role for the squad that finished as the Cross Regional champions last year and finished as the runners up in State Cup in 2017.
MVLA PUMAS BLUE
Head Coach: Carlos Menjivar Jr.
Led by goalkeeper Omar Figueroa and center backs Lucas Arreguin and Kai Parker, MVLA completed a nearly perfect NPL 1 West season in the fall on the backbone of allowing just three goals all year. Finishing 7-1-0, MVLA also scored 17 goals, good for the third best mark in their division. By virtue of winning their division by five whole points, MVLA will come into the spring Champions League as one of the favorites.
SANTA CLARA SPORTING GREEN
Head Coach: Carlos Brasil
With a 5-2-1 record, Santa Clara Sporting comfortably qualified for the Champions League, but missed out on the top overall spot in the NPL 1 West by a full five points. Still, with an attack that led the NPL 1 West with 18 goals, Sporting were only a few results away from challenging MVLA for that top spot and will hope to do so in the spring should they keep banging in the goals.
SF GLENS EVOLUTION
Head Coach: Waldemar Roldan
In a division that was dominated by the CenCal Cosmos, SFGE Celtic Academy did well to qualify for the Champions League by virtue of a 5-3-1 record in the fall’s NPL 1 East. Celtic have a promising young side and were active in the goalscoring department, hitting the back of the net 22 times in just nine games while allowing just 14 goals. This squad will be led by center back Oscar Hernandez and attacker Shane Lonergan, who were both recently invited to Glasgow for training stints with their parent club.
STAR ACADEMY FC I
Head Coach: Daniel Zerabruk
Led by a strong midfield three of Altai “the magician” Ordubadi, Riley “the lynchpin” Ho, and Jose “the conductor” Argueta-Sanchez, Star Academy completed a strong fall season by dominating games in the middle third of the park. With a 5-2-1 record, Star finished in third place in the NPL 1 West and featured the second best defensive record in the division while also scoring 14 goals on the year. Looking to build out of the back, Star are a side that like to play good soccer while also garnering good results.