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Day 3 of the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series brought much needed relief from the heat, as well as a mixed bag of results for Loudoun Soccer.

The day started off with Loudoun 98 Girls Red looking to progress into the semifinals, needing only a win to seal their place, or a draw with the correct result in the other group game to go through. To overcast skies, a wet pitch, and a cool breeze, the match against Futura Academy (MO) got underway.

In the opening minutes Futura's left winger would create the first opportunity as she was fouled by Loudoun and given a free kick. The ball was lobbed in and cleared by the Lady Foxes, but that set the tone for much of the first half.

Loudoun was not without chances of their own. In the 8', Emma Kerns fed a pass down the right side which found Allyson Brown. Brown then beat her marker to get a clear look at goal in a 1v1 situation with the keeper, but her shot was saved. Three minutes later Blair Thompson would get a look on goal from distance, but her shot was claimed by Futura's keeper. In the 17', Brown found herself with the ball in acres of space, forcing the Futura keeper off her line to make a save. With the keeper caught out, Brown released a furious shot that pinged off the post and out.

That would be Loudoun's best chance for the rest of the half, as Futura grew into the game and began to control proceedings. Minutes after Brown's shot hit off the post, Futura would see their own shot do the very same. Futura's continued pressure amounted to nothing in the first half and at halftime the scoreline was 0-0.

The start of the second half would prove to be similar to the later end of the first, as Futura controlled the game from the beginning. Courtenay Kaplan had a stellar game in goal for Loudoun, making several key saves to keep the Lady Foxes in it the whole time. Around the 55', Loudoun found their feet for a bit and put together a strong series of play but couldn't punch through.

Ten minutes later in the 65' Fortuna broke through. They took a short corner kick, pushed past the lone Loudoun defender and released a shot from a tight angle for the goal. 1-0.

The goal changed the game, creating a clearer outlook for Loudoun on what was needed. The girls took over the game and in the 77' Thompson once again found herself in space. Her shot was somehow pawed away by the Fortuna keeper. A minute later a nasty tackle by Fortuna created a free kick opportunity for Loudoun wide to the right. The ball was well placed and headed down but eventually cleared. That would be the last real chance for Loudoun, and the whistle was blown for full time. A valiant effort that sadly wasn't enough to see them go through to the semis.

Four hours later on Field 4, the conditions remained about the same as the 98 Boys Red took the field. With circumstances equal to the girls - needing a win or a draw to go through - the match got underway against Lobos Rush (TN).

The boys took control the game from the start and never looked back. Dorion Dixon fired in a shot in the 10' that was scooped up by the Lobos keeper.

Eight minutes later Loudoun broke through for the first as Stephen Foss hit the back of the net with a back heel kick off a nice lob into the box. 1-0.

Loudoun would continue the pressure until halftime. In the 29', Giovani Vasquez beat his man to go 1v1 with the Lobos keeper, but his shot was parried away. In the 39', Dixon again took a crack at goal that was pushed to the side. Jacob Labovitz did well close to halftime as the ball was worked neatly down the right side. His shot was deflected wide but no Loudoun players were in the area to follow up. The score remained 1-0 at the half.

The first half proved to be a taste of things to come. Only a few minutes into the second Vasquez weaved around the Lobos box and converted his shot in a brilliant display of skill for a 2-0 lead. Four minutes later Dixon found Vasquez off a beautiful cross into the box, who side footed it in for the 3-0 lead. They didn't stop there.

The pressure continued and, around the 60' mark, Michael Zhang converted a well placed ball into the back of the net for a 4-0 lead.

Leading comfortably, Loudoun saw out the rest of the match handily and never stopped pressing. The win set up a second place finish in the group with 2 wins and 1 loss.

Coach Mark Ryan said after the game, "We came into this game knowing we needed a win to ensure that we go through. The boys delivered today and then some. We are very proud of their efforts against a tough opponent. The boys have gotten better after every game, and now we head into Saturday against a team we've played against before. United FC is a very tough opponent but we are confident going in that we can get a result."

The 98 Boys Red will face United FC (CA) in the semifinals on Saturday morning at 10 AM on Field 12. Admission is free.


What a difference a day can make.

Yesterday, the situation for both Loudoun teams looked bleak after the days results. Today, that was all turned on its head as both the 98 Boys and Girls won their games to grab a vital three points. Both teams sit in second place (out of four) in their group, with the top two heading to the semifinals on Saturday.

The day started hot, both off and on the pitch. The girls got things started in the morning with a very physical game against the Pride Predators from Colorado. The Pride struck first in the 40', right before the half time whistle. The Lady Foxes defense was caught out, and the Pride made no mistake in finishing the chance. 1-0 at halftime.

Despite being down, the girls were not out. They came roaring back after halftime and tied the game six minutes into the second half. Madeline Kelsey latched onto the end of a fantastic cross over the goal mouth by Emma Kerns to even the score. That was just the beginning.

With new energy, the Lady Foxes attacked relentlessly until, when in the 72' a Pride foul led to a golden opportunity for Loudoun outside the 18 yard box. Allyson Brown curled an absolute beauty into the top left corner of the goal, anchoring the Pride keeper to her spot. 2-1 Loudoun.

Eight minutes later as the game went into added time McKayla Beal struck again, this time punishing the goalie who was caught out of her goal. A dagger into the back of the net, and that sealed a 3-1 victory for Loudoun. Three vital points in the bag.

Coach Randy May said after the game, "We are very proud, very proud, of these girls. They showed great heart and courage to not give up after going down early. It was great to spread the goalscoring a little bit, which will make the other teams realize we don't just rely on one or two players. Now, it's all to play for tomorrow."

Four hours later, under the blistering sun and limited shade of Field 7, the 98 Boys Red took the field in a crucial match for their hopes of progressing to the semifinals. It didn't take long for them to find their way.

In the tenth minute, Dorion Dixon found space down the left side and fired a cross into the box. Michael Scully got on the end of it and put it in the back of the net for a 1-0 lead! The relief was palpable but short lived as the game continued. The first half carried on much in the way of Loudoun's favor, as the boys pushed offensively into the Michigan Wolves territory.

In the 36', however, a lucky break for Wolves found Loudoun with a tied game. A series of corners led to a scramble in the box, and a gentle Wolves kick rolled in ever so slowly off the fingertips of Colin Shutler for the goal. All tied at halftime.

Just like the ladies earlier, the lads came out of halftime firing on all cylinders. The pressure got to the Wolves players and the game became heated, with the referee sometimes struggling to keep control of the game. In the 51', Gio Vasquez was pulled down in the box but no call was given. A yellow was issued to a Wolves player in the 54'.

Then in the 74', Loudoun's Ryan Pyszka was given a straight red for a bad tackle near the Wolves bench. Down to ten men with little time left, Loudoun regrouped and again continued to find offensive space on the flanks. Oddly enough, the boys almost looked better with ten men than they did with eleven! In the 76' Dixon crossed the ball into the box looking for a Loudoun head. The Wolves keeper punched it away poorly, but fortunately for him no Loudoun players were anywhere nearby and the ball was cleared.

The end of the game drew near, and in added time Scully forced a Loudoun corner as a result of continued offensive presence. The ball was lobbed into the box and buried by Jacob Labovitz to give Loudoun the 2-1 victory and a massive three points!

Both teams continue play tomorrow as they look to seal their spot in the semifinals on Saturday. Points will be needed by both teams in order to do so. The girls play at 8 AM on Field 6 while the boys play at 2 PM on Field 4. Come out and join us! Admission is free!


Day 1 of the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series ended on a bit of a low for Loudoun Soccer.

Despite solid performances from both the 98 Girls Red and the 98 Boys Red, neither team could overcome two goal deficits in their respective games.

The first match took place bright and early at 8 AM on Field 5 to cool weather, cloud cover, and the threat of rain. For the spectator and player, it was a rather pleasant atmosphere. Still, tension was in the air for the 98 Girls Red as they took the field. The opposition was a late addition to the group, who three days prior had no idea they were even going to participate in the tournament. The original opposition, Tophat from Georgia, were ruled uneligible for unspecified reasons and forced out. Jacksonville FC took their place.

Nerves clung to faces as the opening whistle blew, yet Loudoun started off the match with a golden chance to put one in the net. The keeper from JFC had to come out strong to force the ball away off a clumsy back pass. Loudoun latched onto the ball and took a shot, but it was saved. The first ten minutes continued in this fashion, all Loudoun, but Jacksonville slowly grew into the match after that. On 17', a Jacksonville cross into the box found its (woman) for the simple finish into the back of the net.

Shortly thereafter, a Jacksonville corner was cleared by Loudoun to the top of the box. Jacksonville settled the ball, shot it, and the score became 2-0 in the 24'.

Thirty minutes in Loudoun was fouled just outside the eighteen yard box, which set up a good free kick opportunity. The kick was taken and sailed just over the crossbar. The effort was inches away, and that would be the last solid effort on goal for Loudoun until the second half.

After halftime, the 98's started the second period much as they did in the first, applying good pressure and creating chances. In the 68', Loudoun was brought down in the box for a penalty. With a chance to get back into the game, the subsequent spot kick was saved. Solid pressure by Loudoun continued, with no breakthrough. The match ended 2-0 to Jacksonville.

Loudoun 98 Boys Red went up against the toughest opponent in their group today as well - Pateadores from San Diego. There was definite home crowd advantage for boys in white as the Loudoun Soccer family came out in spectacular numbers to support the team.

Both teams started strong right from the whistle, but it was Pateadores who got on the score sheet first. After creating space down their right (our left), the ball was crossed into the box to the feet of a wide open Pats player who made the easy finish for the lead in the 12'.

Set pieces were a strong advantage for Loudoun, but luck was not on our side today. In the 22', a half bicycle kick missed the top right corner by inches. A wide open header in the 23' by our boys in white sailed over. In the 36', a beautiful curling effort from outside the box was barely saved by the Pats keeper. The half ended 1-0 in favor of the team from San Diego.

After the half, the boys came out strong - connecting passes, finding space, and creating chances as they were bolstered by the crowd. This continued for the entire second half, but it couldn't stop Pateadores from getting onto the scoresheet once again in the 69' to make it 2-0. Changes were made to bring on fresh legs, and they added energy to the side. Loudoun took control of the game and began to push forward with gusto.

With minutes left in the match, Loudoun scored a beautiful goal as Emin Karic nailed one into the top corner to cut the deficit in half. The team continued to charge but couldn't find the desired goal and the match ended 2-1 to Pateadores.

We would like to extend a special thank you to all those who joined us at both matches today. Your presence was felt and created a special atmosphere.

Games continue tomorrow as Day 2 gets underway with the girls playing the Pride Predators from Colorado on Field 9 at 8 AM. The boys face the Michigan Wolves on Field 7 at 2 PM.

National Championship Series Schedule


Both the Loudoun 98 Girls and Boys Red will represent Loudoun Soccer at the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series. We want YOU - the Loudoun Soccer family - to join us in supporting our teams at the National Championships. For the official Press Release, go HERE.

98 Girls Red

 7/22/14 - 8 AM
Tophat 17 Gold (GA)
Field 5
7/23/14 - 8 AM
Pride Predators 99 (CO)
Field 9
7/24/14 - 8 AM
Futura Academy Forte (MO)
Field 6

98 Boys Red

7/22/14 - 2 PM
Pateadores San Diego (CA)
Field 12
7/23/14 - 2 PM
Michigan Wolves 99 (MI)
Field 7
7/24/14 - 2 PM
99 Lobos Rush Premier (TN)
Field 4

Tournament is located at:

Maryland SoccerPlex & Discovery Sports Center

18031 Central Park Cir
Boyds, MD 20841

Make it a home team atmosphere! Wear your Loudoun Soccer gear, or red and black, and come out and support our teams! Admission is FREE. Bleacher seating is limited and chairs are allowed in designated areas.

Social Media: Follow along during the matches on Twitter for live, real time match updates. Scores and half time updates will be posted on Facebook. Match photos will be posted on all our social media avenues (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram). To join in the action, use the hashtag #RepTheRed and send us your good luck wishes, photos, and more!

See you there!!

Note: All matches will be live streamed on for free.