July 13, 2018
By DAN STICKRADT
Two Vardar teams hit a road block against the top ranked teams in the nation at the ECNL Nationals Group play at The Zone Soccer Complex near Seattle.
The Vardar U-17 ECNL squad finished 2-1-0 and second place in Group A of the Champions League National Tournament, while the Vardar U-14 ECNL side finished 1-1-1 and in second place in Group A in its age bracket.
“We just got beat by some very good teams. Both of our losses were to the No. 1 team in the nation in their age brackets,” noted Jimmy Stachura, an assistant coach to Demir Muftari on both squads.
The U-17 side, ranked ninth in the nation, defeated Philadelphia (Pa.) FC Bucks (6-0) and the Dublin Ohio-based Ohio Premier (3-1) but fell to the Los Angeles SoCal Blues (5-2).
Forward Lauren DeBeau (Utica Eisenhower) netted four goals in the Group stage of the tournament. Ellie Hate (Birmingham/Detroit Country Day) scored a goal and only played in one game, Kennedy Bearden (Troy/Detroit Country Day), Marianna Muskgrove (Warren Regina), Jaclyn Marra (Clarkston) and Lauren Miller (Troy) also had strong tournament showings.
Jansen Eichenlaub (Birmingham Marian), who is coming off back-to-back Division 2 state championships on the high school circuit and was recently named to the 11-member MHSSCA All-State Dream Team and the Gatorade Michigan Player of The Year, missed the tournament due to a re-aggravated hamstring injury.
“We did well considering we had the No. 1 team in the nation in our group and the fact that we we’re not 100 percent,” offered Stachura. “Not having Jansen out there and the fact that Elle Hartjie only played in the first game but had to leave for another commitment. That hurt. But we still played well except for one half against the SoCal Blues. They are in another league for this age group. I think full strength we might have been able to be more competitive with them.”
The U-14 side, which is made up of players heading into the ninth and eighth grade, opened up with a tough draw in group play, falling to top-ranked Los Angeles MVLA (4-0). Vardar defeated Santa Ana (Calif.) Slammers FC (2-1) and tied San Antonio (Tx.) Elite Classics (0-0) in its other matches.
Goalkeeper Sophie Homon (Rochester Hills) and forward Mia Iotona (Grosse Pointe) starred for Vardar.
“It’s unfortunate that both of these teams got placed in the same groups as the No. 1 team in the nation, but that’s the way it goes,” added Stachura. “We would have loved to advance to elimination stage (final eight), but we were just short.”
OTHER MICHIGAN-BASED CLUB TEAMS IN MIDWEST OR NATIONAL TOURNAMENTS
— U.S. Developmental Academy National Playoffs U16/U17
* Vardar started 0-1–1 in Group A, tying Atlanta United 0-0, while falling to Real Salt Lake 7-2.
* Crew SC Academy began 0-2-0 in Group D, falling to Sacramento Republic FC (1-0) and Colorado Rapids (3-2)
— U.S. Developmental Academy National Playoffs U18/U19
The Crew SC Academy Wolves posted a 0-1-1 ledger after the first couple of days, tying Pateadores Academy (3-3), while falling to the Vancouver Whitecaps FC (3-1)
— The 2018 US youth Soccer Midwest Regional Championships:
Blue Runner-up: Michigan Jaguars 04-Green, finished 5-1-1, outscored opponents, 15-4
Red Champion: Nationals Union 04-Black, finished 6-0-1 and held a 12-2 scoring edge.
Blue Champion: Nationals Union 04-Black finished 6-0-1 and outscored its foes, 14-4.ships
The aforementioned squads advanced to the US Soccer National Championships, July 23-29 at the Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco, Tx.
Red Champion: Midwest United FC 02-Royal, finished 5-0-1 and outscored its six opponents, 20-4.
The Nationals Union 03-Black finished sixth in the Red Division with a 2-4-0 mark, being outscored 14-11 and did not advance.
Nationals Union 01 Black finished fifth in the Red Division with a 2-1-3 record and an 8-4 goals differential, but did not qualify.
Michigan Jaguars 00-Green landed fourth in the Black Division, going 3-2-1 and outscoring the opposition 12-7, , but did not qualify.
Midwest United FC 00-Royal placed sixth in the Blue Division, going 2-5-0 and being outscored 17-6.
Midwest United FC 00-Royal landed eighth in the Red Division, going 0-6-1 and being outscored 17-6.
Michigan Jags 00 Green finished fifth in the White Division with a 3-3-1 record, being outscored 11-9.
National Union 01-Black placed sixth in the Black Division with a 2-4-1 record, holding a narrow 14-13 goals edge.
The Michigan Jaguars 01-Green finished fifth in the Red Division with a 2-2-3 record, being outscored 15-13.
The Nationals Union 01-Red tied for second in the White Division with a 5-1-1 record, holding a 7-4 goals edge.
The Michigan Hawks 02 finished seventh in the Black Division with a 0-4-3 record, being outscored 15-8.
Nationals Union 02 Black finished third in the Blue Division with a 3-1-3 record, outscoring the opposition 20-5.
Nationals Union 02 Red placed in seventh in the Red Division, being outscored 17-5.
The Nationals Union 03-Black finished fifth in the Blue Division with a 1-2-4 record, being outscored 8-5.
The Midwest United FC-Royal finished fourth in the Red Division, going 2-2-3 and being outscored 5-3.
Michigan Jaguars 04-Green finished 5-1-1 to place second in the Blue Division, holding a 15-4 scoring edge.
The Nationals Union 04-Black won the Red Division with a 6-0-1 ledger and a 12-2 scoring edge.