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 Baltimore Celtic SC 2001 (MD), which earned its Regionals berth through its performance in the US Youth Soccer National League EDP South Atlantic Premier I Conference.
On May 22, Baltimore Celtic 2001 earned a 2-1 victory over OBGC Rangers Blue, the No. 1 team in the nation. That win avenged a loss in the Maryland Youth Soccer Association (MYSA) State Cup and set the team up for an unbeaten run through the US Youth Soccer National League EDP South Atlantic Premier I Conference.
“We had to go undefeated to win the league, and that required a tremendous amount of consistent focus against top competition,” Head Coach Brandon Quaranta said. “Each game forced a top performance from our team.”
Those top performances were turned in by a talented group that boasts many Division I-level prospects. Every senior on the roster will be playing collegiately next season, including left back Isaac Ngobu, who’s headed to the University of Maryland. Forward Luke Eberle is also bound for a Division I program—Liberty University. Dmitri Jordan, meanwhile, is the team’s leader along the back line.
Baltimore Celtic had a strong season in 2018, but was ultimately left unfulfilled with a loss in the State Cup semifinals. That disappointing finish only served to motivate the team, and it has led to even greater success this year.
“No doubt that disappointing conclusion propelled us along and acted as a springboard,” Quaranta recalled. “It clearly demonstrated the thin line between winning and losing and what it takes for a team to consistently win at the highest level.”
Winning at the highest level is exactly what Baltimore Celtic has done this season. The competition the team faced week-in and week-out prepared it well to make a deep run at the US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional Championships, where the opposition figures to be just as tough.
A deep run, however, is exactly what Baltimore Celtic expects.
“Our goal was to be in the conversation for a National Championship,” Quaranta noted. “We’re in a position to make that a possibility at Regionals.”
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.