The Club Ohio Under-16 Green 1 boys soccer team will look to cap a memorable season with a strong showing in the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships to be held July 24-29 in Frisco, Texas.
Club Ohio earned the berth by winning a title in the Midwest Regional Cup, which was played June 22-27 in Westfield, Indiana.
“We thought we had a chance (to qualify for nationals) just from the talent we have on the team,” coach Mike Lawrence said. “We knew we’d be a talented team. We were hoping to win our state cup and regionals, and we felt we had a good chance if things fell into place for us.”
Club Ohio will face a familiar foe in the opening game of the eight-team tournament, as it will take on Solar of Dallas in group B pool play July 24.
Club Ohio defeated Solar 2-1 in National League play during the regular season. Solar won the league title at 5-1 to earn an automatic national berth, while Club Ohio finished third at 3-2-1.
Solar is the defending national champion.
“It’s not going to be easy to beat a team twice of that caliber,” Lawrence said. “We’re pretty confident that we can do it. We’ve been training well and things have been going well, so we’re hoping we can find a way to get a result again.”
Trent McConaughey, a rising sophomore at Dublin Coffman High School, is the team’s lone goalkeeper.
“We want to make it through to (the) semifinals, finish first or second in our group play,” he said. “As long as we get through then just one step at a time, one game at a time and hopefully win it.”
Other players are Coffman’s Jack Bailey (midfielder), David Urrea Partida (midfielder) and Braden Shoaf (midfielder), Dublin Jerome’s Simon Cole (forward) and Young Mu Lee (midfielder/defender), Dublin Scioto’s Zachary Jasper (midfielder) and Jayden Tharp (midfielder/forward), Hilliard Darby’s Trevor Burke (defender), Hilliard Davidson’s Charlie Riddle (defender), Marietta’s Sean Fournier (defender), Marysville’s Ryan Walters (defender), New Albany’s Blaine Martin (midfielder/forward), Olentangy Orange’s Jason Stewart (midfielder), Cleveland St. Ignatius’ Kyle Folds (midfielder/forward) and Matthew McLaughlin (midfielder) and Worthington Kilbourne’s Chris Guerra (forward).