The US Youth Soccer National Championship Series Eastern Regional Championships will take place from June 27-July 2 in Barboursville, WV. Leading up to the event, EDP will be profiling several of the qualified teams and looking at their journey to this point. The next team featured in the “Road to Regionals” series is FCUSA Philadelphia 2003 Girls Black (PA-E), which earned its Regionals berth through its performance in the US Youth Soccer National League EDP Mid Atlantic Premier I Conference.
If there’s one attribute for which FCUSA Philadelphia 2003 Girls Black Head Coach Mike Welsh would credit his team’s success this season it would be “camaraderie.”
“Our group is our strength,” he said. “Although we have players from different schools and areas, they’re all good friends away from soccer and enjoy playing against each other for their high schools.”
Included among that group is Misa Kasparcova, who was recently called up to the Czech Republic’s U16 National Team. She started games against the United States, Ireland and Belgium and scored her first international goal against Belgium. Kasparcova is just one of the many key players who helped FCUSA post an 8-1-0 record in the National League Conference.
FCUSA also performed well in tournaments, going 14-1-3 in six events. In addition, the team reached the semifinals at the very competitive Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association (EPYSA) State Cup.
“The main goal was to give college exposure to my players,” Welsh noted. “That meant playing in top tournaments and being competitive. And we have done really well in tournaments this year.”
That success—in both league and tournament play—helped FCUSA clinch a return trip to Regionals, where the team looks to atone for its disappointing performance in 2018.
“We had a poor showing at Regionals last year,” Welsh remarked. “We went there with injuries to several top players and struggled with the heat and lack of subs. This year we expect to do much better.”
Founded in 1999, Elite Development Program Soccer (EDP) is one of the largest organizers of youth soccer leagues and tournaments in the U.S. EDP operates youth leagues for boys and girls ages 9-19, conducts a Futures program for players ages 7-11, and operates U20/23 men’s and women’s leagues. EDP also runs over 20 tournaments each year. One of the major priorities of EDP’s leagues and tournaments is to enable soccer players to reach their full potential, with an emphasis on attending college. More than 3,500 teams participate in EDP’s leagues and more than 170,000 players compete in EDP tournaments annually. For more information on EDP, visit www.edpsoccer.com.