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 YMS Force Premier 04 (PA-E), which earned its Regionals berth through its performance in the US Youth Soccer National League EDP Mid Atlantic Conference.
Even though YMS Force Premier has been playing together for several years, it took a little while for the team to come into its own. That time has arrived, as the squad is headed to the US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional Championships for the first time.
“We’ve never been to Regionals before and we weren’t expecting to go,” Team Manager Cyril Tuohy remembered. “When we were informed that we qualified as a wild card entry, some parents thought we were off to an episode of Glee. We were that excited!”
Last year, YMS Force finished in the middle of the pack after going just 4-3-0 in National League EDP Conference play. This season, the team improved to 6-1-2 and ended up third on the table with 20 points, a mere three points away from being tied for first. Three of those victories were one-goal triumphs, which gave the squad plenty of confidence.
YMS Force also draws confidence from its solid tournament results. The team finished at or near the top of its bracket in almost every event it played this season.
“In November, we had a hard-fought duel with a team from North Carolina,” Tuohy recalled. “After the game, the opposing coach congratulated us and even let us know we were the better team.”
And now that team is bound for West Virginia looking to make some noise during its first trip to Regionals. Either way, though, it’ll be an experience the players will never forget.
“It’s all new to everyone,” Tuohy said. “The players are excited about the trip and looking forward to a good performance. But mostly, they just want to play their game and stay focused on the task at hand.”
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.