The following is sponsored by Utah Youth Soccer Association.
We are through the Quarterfinals at the 2017 Fall State Cup. Fall State Cup while not the largest with 53 teams, is action packed as all 53 of those teams are older boys age groups, specifically the 16U-19U brackets. For some of these boys, this is their last chance at youth soccer glory and advancing onto Regionals in Hawaii, and hopefully Nationals in Texas next Summer.
Each age bracket was broken up into 4 groups of teams which then had intragroup games with the top two teams in each group advancing onto the quarterfinals which were played on Saturday 10/21/2017.
Group Stage went about as expected with most higher seeded teams winning their groups or at least advancing to the knockout rounds. The tournament started off featuring teams from 18 clubs around the state, from Brigham City to St. George and everything in between. After 3 days of group stage games, 15 clubs still had teams alive and playing in the quarterfinals.
Leading the way was a trio of clubs in AFC Apex, La Roca and Sparta with 5 teams a piece making it to the quarterfinals of their respective age groups.
Saturday was knockout day, and where the drama truly began. The pressure of the knockout rounds is where the real stories begin. This year with the RSL Academy coming to town, and many top players receiving the extraordinary chance to play there, teams that previously looked untouchable appeared to be human. Nowhere was that more evident than in the 16U age bracket as multiple State Cup Champion La Roca TJ found itself on the wrong end of a last-minute overtime winner and was bounced from the tournament.
The other 3 defending champions are still alive after victories, although none were as easy as I am sure they had hoped. With one Champion down, which other Cinderella’s will rise?
The VKCOBRAS 2002 Zapata team will look to capitalize on the La Roca’s fall as they continue their extraordinary year that included a Regional Presidents Cup Championship and a Finalist result from National Presidents Cup.
Elsewhere, in the 17U Bracket, Blue Knights 01 Premier (MV) will look to keep Cinderella dancing as despite a last place finish in the regular season, they are in the semi-finals against defending champion Sparta 01 Premier JK.
In the 18U, most people have one eye on a potential final matchup between AFC Apex 00 College Prep and Sparta 00 Premier JK, don’t forget about UDA 00B Blue, who with a victory on a rescheduled game next Saturday, would become regular season champions. They play the aforementioned AFC Apex.
Finally, the 19U, its defending State Cup champion vs regular season champion as Utah Rangers FC 99 take on Forza FC 99 RP. Utah Rangers FC are the defending champions and won the regular season matchup so that semi-final will have everything on the line for both teams.
All in all, 10 clubs still have teams alive, with Sparta, La Roca, Utah Rangers, and AFC Apex having multiple chances at winning a title.
For the full schedule, go to utahyouthsoccer.net. Semi-Finals kickoff Monday, 10/23 at 5:00pm and 7:00pm with the Finals taking place Tuesday, 10/24 at 4:00, 4:30, 6:00, and 6:30pm.
More info: http://www.utahyouthsoccer.net/