2016 US Youth Soccer Region III Championships

South Carolina: soccer, soccer, soccer!

Text: Fysa.com

FRISCO, Texas (June 14, 2016)

US Youth Soccer is excited to announce the schedule for the 2016 US Youth Soccer Region III (South) Championships, to be played June 24-30 at the meSA Soccer Complex in Greenville, S.C.

The US Youth Soccer Region III Championships, which will feature top teams in the Under-13 through Under-19 age groups, begin Thursday, June 23, with opening ceremonies at Heritage Park in Simpsonville, S.C. Group play games are Friday, June 24, through Sunday, June 26. Under-19 group play games take place at the Carolina FC Complex in Welford, S.C., while all remaining games take place at the meSA Soccer Complex.


The dates for the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals in each gender age division are listed below.


Monday, June 27 — Under-13 Boys, Under-14, Under-15 and Under-16
Tuesday, June 28 — Under-13 Girls, Under-17 and Under-18


Tuesday, June 28 — Under-19
Wednesday, June 29 — Under-13 through Under-18


Wednesday, June 29 — Under-19
Thursday, June 30 — Under-13 through Under-18
US Youth Soccer State Cup Champions and select runners-up from 12 US Youth Soccer State Associations in Region III, including host South Carolina Youth Soccer Association, will participate. The other State Associations represented are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Texas, Oklahoma, South Texas and Tennessee.

First step

Teams competing in the Regional Championships advanced through the first step of the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series, where more than 10,000 teams began their journey at the US Youth Soccer State Championships. State champions advance to the one of four US Youth Soccer Regional Championships, where nearly a thousand teams compete.

Regional winners of the Under-13 through Under-19 age groups earn a berth to the 2016 US Youth Soccer National Championships, July 25-31, at the Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco, Texas. One of the 14 national crowns awarded is the James P. McGuire Cup, the oldest trophy in youth sports, dating back to 1935 with the inaugural youth championships.

Ultimate destination

The US Youth Soccer National Championship Series is the country’s most prestigious national youth soccer tournament. The event provides more than 185,000 players from US Youth Soccer’s 55 state associations, the opportunity to showcase their soccer skills against the best competition in the nation while emphasizing teamwork, discipline and fair play. The Series is known as the ultimate destination for the country’s collegiate soccer coaches and the future of soccer.

1. 185,000 Players
from US Youth Soccer’s state association

2. 55 State Associations

3. 10,000 Teams
US Youth Soccer National Championship Series

The Best Team Mom

Enthusiastic, organized and a true leader: a team mom. We know coaches are important but a team mom is vital. Teams could not function without one. Most of the players and coaches consider her the queen of the team!


There are many responsibilities that come along with the title, and the team mom usually feels like the team’s success depends on her. There are so many things to do: attend practices and games, official rosters, tournament applications, scheduling meetings and the list goes on and on.

Here are some tips to be the best team mom:

Good use of technology. There are many smart phone apps that can make life easier. Some of them are dedicated to team management and do it all.

Keep registration information: Be sure to have a copy of the players information which contains their authorization for medical releases in case of an emergency.

Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks. Most of the parents are willing to help. Players, coaches and parents are responsible for the team’s achievements.

Keep extras in the car. Kids and parents are forgetful. It is important to keep extra socks, jerseys, sunscreen, bandages, pain reliever and other basics in the car.

Do not lose control. As a representative of your Club and team, other parents will look to you as an example of how to act when games get tense.

Generally speaking, the team mom’s duties and responsibilities are to do the administrative tasks for the team which will allow the coach to concentrate on coaching, the players and team development.

I try to (kindly) remind our parents about the paper they signed saying they won’t coach from the sidelines or act unruly at games.

Lori Lovell
A member of the 2016 Disney Parks Moms Panel.

U6-U12: New Rules to Improve Performance

Changes of soccer rules for the U6 to U12 are almost here, be prepared!

Almost a year ago, in August 2015, new standards for age groups and soccer field sizes were defined. This new step is oriented to strengthen soccer development over the long term in the United States.

Text: Carlos Echeverry

U.S. Soccer will standardize small-sided game participation and field size based on player age groups, while also aligning birth-year registration calendars with the start of the calendar year and run from January to December. The coaching initiatives, which will be mandated by August of 2017, are focused on advancing youth players’ individual skill and intelligence, and providing players with the best opportunity to improve.


The small-sided standards are focused at players from the U-6 to U-12 age groups. The field size is based on age groups, providing a more age appropriate environment that will allow players with a better opportunity to develop heightened soccer intelligence and on-the-ball skills. The field dimensions and number of players on the pitch will increase in size from 4v4 to 7v7 to 9v9 as players’ age, up until they reach the U-13 age group and begin to play full 11v11 matches.

“When you have young players in an 11v11 game there are only so many involved in any one play at a time. By taking numbers away and playing 4v4, 7v7, and 9v9, you are multiplying their chances on the ball, increasing their touches and making it overall more for them by making them an active participant at all times.” Ramos said


Birth-year registration calendars will now align with the start of the calendar year and run from January to December, rather than August to July as it had previously. For example, a U-15 player (players 15 years old or younger) would have a birth year of 2000 (Jan. 1 through Dec. 31) for the 2015 registration year. In 2016, U-15 players would be born in 2001 or earlier. Birth-year registration applies to all player age groups and not just players age 12 and younger. The initiative will align registration with the international standard, while simultaneously providing clearer information on player birth dates to combat ‘relative age effect’.

“It makes the process easier,” Ramos said of the birth-year registration initiative. This new calendar year system makes soccer easier. If you’re born in a certain year you belong in that certain age group. Simple. It also puts our players on the same age-playing calendar as the rest of the world so they will be used to competing in the right age group. That makes it much easier for us to scout for the National Teams and find players ready to compete internationally.”

The birth-year registration initiative will not cause the dissolution of age-group based teams that already play together, but will rather give players the opportunity to ‘play up’ with older age-groups.

“Our number one goal is to improve our players down the road and these initiatives will help us do that”

“With small-sided standards what we’re trying to do is to help players develop by putting them in an environment where they are constantly involved in the play and our changes in birth-year registration will make age groups easier to understand, while aligning our calendar with the international calendar.”

Tab Ramos
U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach and Youth Technical Director.


Relative age effect refers to the selection bias related to players that are more physically mature than their peers due to being born earlier in the year. U.S. Soccer seeks a balance of players that are born throughout the year so that all players, those born in the earlier months, and those born later have equal opportunity to grow and develop as soccer players.

Packaged Energy. Know the advantages and disadvantages of energy bars

By: Debra Wein MS, RD, LDN, CSSD, NSCA-CPT *D
Courtney Standish Hernandez, MS, RD, LDN

When you go to the supermarket you can see a lot of bars that promise more energy. But, is it really true what they promise? or they are actually pure junk food. After practice or going to the gym what’s better… an energy bar or natural food?


After a hard training session you can choose between a banana or an energy bar. Several studies show that natural food is the best choice as fuel for workout and recovery. Actually, nutrition bars have no nourishing advantage over real food. Bars provide mainly carbohydrates and/or protein, and some contain vitamins. But they don’t have nutrients that we find in real food. Furthermore, bars, almost always contain more fat than you would get by eating a piece of fruit, or a chicken breast.

Other advantages

By comparing their weight in grams, all natural foods are cheaper. However the bars’ great advantage is that you can take them anywhere and eat them anytime. When choosing a bar, select the one with the most amount of carbohydrates which shouldn’t come as sugar, low in fat and not too high in fiber. These characteristics are almost always present in very tasty bars, because they have great amounts of sugar and saturated fat. Nothing good for the body of a soccer player.


Before eating a bar you should read the label and choose one with 60% carbohydrates.

If you want a bar after workout, find one with a proportion of 3: 1 in carbohydrates; it’s protein to feed your body.

For recovery, the bar may have some fiber. You should drink enough water to help ease digestion of fiber and protein.

Remember to be careful with saturated fats and the total amount of calories of the bars, so that you don’t consume more than you need.


Energy bars should not replace a balanced meal, because they don’t have all the nutrients your body needs.


An energy bar can be carried in a gym bag, and be used as snack, before or after workout.


Some people make their own energy bars at home. They use cereals, such as oats, and different types of seeds.

The Ideal Central Defender

The art of stopping attackers, avoiding goals, and good clearance is as much science as art. For this, the defender must have speed, temperament and lots of anticipation skills.

It has become something regular: the best teams are assembled from the back to the front. And in a way, the new century soccer demands an approach in this regard. In the last years, the most successful teams or national teams have been worried about keeping an important and efficient attack, but obviously also a solid defense, that generates tranquility to the rest of the team.

Experience speaks

A couple of good central defenders are essential for the best teams in the world, and this time, we will talk about it. For better details, we spoke with Luis La Fuente, former soccer player of the national team of Peru, and central defender who shone at Boca Juniors in the seventies. About the position, Luis comments, “Now, children don’t have to be afraid because it’s a very beautiful job, hard but beautiful. Today’s soccer, and actually all the time, has been good for the attackers. Lionel Messi or Ronaldo can’t stop scoring, but if it wasn’t for people like Piqué or Ramos, they and the other ones would be more nervous and wouldn’t play calmly”, adds La Fuente.

The perfect defender

Lucho La Fuente gives some tips to become the perfect central defender.
“To be a good central defender, first you have to be mentally quick, you have to be smart and know how to read the game, and not get carried away by the forward’s moves, you have to be clever. And fast, of course, in order to cover holes left by the team, because there are always going to be holes. A strong personality is important. Do not let yourself down, perhaps you could be wrong, but to the opponent attacker, you must appear totally sure about what you’re doing”, he appointed.

Finally, La Fuente explains the importance for a central fullback to make a differentiated job. Training sessions on anticipation, set pieces, loose balls, and above all, training to complement the rest of the defense. A solid defense will always require defenders to know and complement each other.

Tips to be a great central defender
1. Be quick physically and mentally.
2. Do not fall before difficulties.
3. Be neat and a leader.
4. Diferenciated workouts and training sessions with the rest of the defense.
5. A strong personality.

“Be a central defender is a hard job, not anyone can do it. The most complicated positions and the ones that generate more risk are goalkeeper and defender. Why? Because you can’t fail”


1. Gerard Piqué (Barcelona)
2. Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
3. Diego Godín (Atlético de Madrid)

DORAL SC. Train hard and have fun


There is no age or gender for soccer passion: SoccerPlus proves this during its visit to Doral Soccer Club. The boys and girls showed their talent in the midfield, their ability to run behind the ball until score a goal, and above all, their desire to win.
Besides enjoying the game, these little kids know that they should stay hydrated because of Florida’s high temperatures. A look at Beymar Piraquive, Emilio Nadelman and a hard and satisfying training afternoon with their teams.



A top-level player Kaká, a player with a great story, recognized by Pelé and that is still shining.


His real name is Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, but everyone knows him by his nickname Kaká. He is one of the best players of recent times and now plays for Orlando City.

The start of a story
Kaká was born in Brasilia, when he was a child, he travelled with his family to San Pablo and there he took his first steps in soccer. He started in soccer at age 19 in the San Pablo club, and soon proved that he was clever and had a great talent. He scored 30 goals in the first two seasons and earned the recognition of his peers and people. Many big clubs in Europe noticed him immediately, but Milan had the pleasure of hiring him by paying 8 million dollars.

Sought-after player
In Italy, he made a great career and won a lot of accolades. But he wasn’t quite yet at the peak of his career. In 2009 the Real Madrid sought him out to join his team of Galactics, and signed Kaká for a great amount of money: 65 million euros, which was recorded as the third most expensive transfer fee in history, only exceeded by Cristiano Ronaldo and Zidane’s transfer fees.

Kaká is still relevant
At age 34, Kaka continues playing soccer, now with the Orlando City team. Brazil’s head coach, Dunga, said that Kaká is not in the national team for the Copa America because of the lack of rigorous training in the Orlando City team.



São Paulo (2001 – 2014)

A.C. Milan (2003 – 2014)

Real Madrid C.F. (2009 – 2013)

Orlando City (2015 – to present)


1. Nickname

Kaká is a nickname used in Brazil by men who are called Ricardo. Kaká earned that nickname when his younger brother Rodrigo was little and could not pronounce the word “Ricardo” and called him Kaká.

2. Awards

– Ballon d’Or (1): 2007
– Better World Player of Clubs (1): 2007
– FIFA World Player of the year (1): 2007
– Onze d’Or (1): 2007

3. Christ’s athlete
Kaka is also a man of great faith. At the age of 15, he made a faulty jump of a diving-board, suffered a vertebra fracture and it was not possible for him to continue playing soccer. But he made a full recovery. He attributed his recovery to the help of God, and from that moment became an Athlete of Christ.


Nombre: Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite
Date of birth: April/22/1982
Age: 34 years old
Placer of birth: Brasilia, Brazil
Number: 10
Position: Midfielder
Height: 6 feet 1 in
Weight: 172 pounds
Children: Luca Celico Leite, Isabella Celico Leite


For mi Kaká is the best player in the world, because he is the most complete. I rank him above Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Javier Carrillo. A successful man with new challenges

Javier Carrillo is widely known in the world of soccer
at youth level. The successes of his players with the powerful West Pines FC in the recent State Cup expose him to new challenges and opportunities. Socceplus presents him in body and soul.


On your road to the final of the State cup, what was the toughest situation that your team had to face?
The toughest situation was probably in quarter-finals. We were tied 0-0 against a strong opponent and early in the second half we went down a player. With discipline and tactical order, we managed to score the game winning goal from a set piece. Great lesson of courage and determination from the boys.

What did you do to help mentally prepare your players, and what did you tell your players right before the final match?
During the last two seasons, we have exposed ourselves to high quality matches facing positive and negative situations. This has allowed these boys to mature. Their maturity was evident after winning four of the five finals from different prestigious tournaments we played this season. An extra motivation was the fact that we all knew this team was going to split up next season due to the new US Soccer age matrix. Therefore, we were playing for more than a championship. We were playing to extend one more day the opportunity to play together. Now, we are on to Southern Regionals in late June.


1. “My vision to develop total “footballers” drives me to constantly educate and prepare myself. As soccer continues to evolve in America, it is vital to provide young players with innovative and creative learning methods”.

2. “As a coach, I understand that education is vital in order to develop competitive soccer players. Also, I have been fortunate to find the correct mentors who have helped me grow personally and professionally”.

3. “A player must build habits including training hard, eating well, resting, and most importantly studying. If we enjoy playing soccer, then these habits should not be a sacrifice”.

4. “The goal is to continue exposing myself to new challenges. Over the summer, I will be facing a new challenge as a Head Coach for Storm FC participating in the National Premier Soccer League (NSPL). I am looking forward to managing this professional team”.

5. ” I strongly believe in order to continue growing, one must constantly pursue new challenges”.

West Pines United offers a well-organized learning environment for the player to freely develop. Our goal is to develop competitive soccer players and productive citizens who respect themselves and others, and possess the knowledge and skills to accomplish diverse goals over a lifetime. After two years with this group, I am confident each of these boys have grown as players and most importantly, as young men. We have made great memories together but this chapter has ended


Full name: Javier Carrillo
Age: 29
Place of birth: Lima, Peru
Club you admire the most or are a fan of: Real Madrid
Professional coach you admire: Pep Guardiola
Favorite movie: Scarface
Favorite book: Herr Pep
Favorite music: House and Latina music
Favorite food: Peruvian Food
One word that defines you: Determined
What is one thing you really dislike: Excuses
Favorite place in the world: Next to my family

Little Haiti

Little Haiti in Miami, is not a place for tourists, nor a place with shopping malls or meeting places for celebrities or artists but is home of a group of children who are passionate about soccer who are determined to make their dreams come true : go to college or become professional players.


Every afternoon, under the watchful eye of Armand, Gomez, and Samuel, the group of three friends is what makes the club go round, more than 100 children of all ages train at the Little Haiti Soccer Park. With economic difficulties, but with a lot of heart and discipline, teams are divided into the field to work and develop a better technique, a greater ability to handle the ball.

“One of the team’s goals is to make kids go to college, they have great talent” says Gomez Laleau, current president of the Little Haiti FC club. Gomez was a tennis coach, and today already has 10 years coaching soccer in Little Haiti.


With the rigor of the big clubs in Florida, but without the basic necessary equipment, the team is working to be located under the “umbrella” of the Weston club. For Gomez, one of the major limitations is the lack of visibility of his team and players, because, in his words, “they haven’t had enough exposure to be seen by the Scouts, or Colleges”. It is also important to recognize the job of the District 5 Commissioner, Keon Hadesmon, who has provided all facilities to make Little Haiti Soccer Park home of the club.

Discipline and joy

The training session continues across the field. Boys and girls are challenging tightly for the ball at one end, while at the other side the youngest kids follow carefully – and without losing the smile- all instructions given by their coaches, meanwhile from the stands of the park parents follow closely the players’ movements.

Here in Little Haiti, uniforms are not a problem: everyone wears the shirt that likes, from a Disney Princess to SpongeBob, through the Minions and colorful prints and designs. Little Haiti is color, is life, is passion. What matters here is to play good soccer, grow, have values, make friends, study, be better people. And that is worth more than any championship.

“My goal is to send every boy and girl of the team to College”

Gomez Laleau
President Little Haiti FC

littlehaiti3Featured: Jean Armand, Gomez Laleau y Samuel Prunier.

Who is he?
Name: Gomez Laleau
Origin: St. Louis du Nord (Haiti)
Age: 41 years old
Favorite team: Brazil
Player he admires: Dunga
Music: Gospel
Food: Rice and beans
A word that defines him: Integrity
He dislikes: when someone’s value is diminished

Divisions in Little Haiti FC

U10 (2)
U14 (2)

From Weston to the U.S. National Team George Acosta talks through his goals

George Acosta welcomes us into his home. Quiet, focused, represents a new generation of players who will give plenty to talk about in the immediate future of soccer in the United States.

Text: Carlos Echeverri & Linda Gutiérrez

At 16 years old George Acosta, is glimpsed as a big soccer star. He’s part of the U.S U-17 Boys National Team, where he plays as a midfielder with the number 10, and stands out as one of the scorers of the team. Although there are several teams from different countries interested in him for his talent with the ball, George takes it in stride. He’s a quiet, friendly and serious boy who enjoys above all being at home with his family, and for whom friendship is a great value.

SoccerPlus was with George at his home in Cooper City. There, surrounded by Arturo his father, and his mother Wendy, he openly answered the questions…

How old were you when you started playing soccer and in what team?
Two and half years old in the Miami Lakes zone.

What has been your happiest moment as soccer player?
Last March, we played in France the “44th Mondial Football Montaigu Tournament”. We were champions and we beat the French team 3-2. I played during the whole match, and scored two goals.

Were you the top scorer at the Montaigu tournament?
Yes, I scored 6 goals in 3 matches. The two goals of the last
match against France, in the final, were especially important.

Your saddest moment?
A camp we went in Buenos Aires, Argentina, we didn’t do very well. We played against Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.
How is a day in your normal life?
I get up early, I eat eggs and sausages and orange juice for breakfast. Later, I go to training, for two hours and a half. And then I go to school.

And how is the routine in a competitive team as the U.S. U-17 MNT?
It’s hard and tiring. The day starts with a urine test to determine the level of hydration you have, because if you’re not hydrated after the matches of the day before, they won’t let you play. If you pass the test, they take you to the pitches to train for an hour and a half to two hours.

Is there any psychological training?
Yes, every two weeks we have a class. I like them a lot, because they teach us about leadership and work team.

What’s the most important thing about being with the U.S. National Team?
You can never take lightly being part of the National Team. It’s very competitive and if you lower your performance, they can replace you by another. There are 30 young people fighting for a place.

Who are your best teammates?
Christopher Goslin, his origin is from Jamaica and Justin Garces, with family from Venezuela.

What’s your experience of the recent tournament in India, where you ranked second?
A difficult experience. We were 15 days in India. It was very hot, the food wasn’t very good. The journey was of 25 hours. The cultural changes affected all of us.

And, now what’s next for the summer?
Well, we are on vacation now. I keep training by myself or with my Weston club. Right now I’m going to rest for three weeks. Later, I would travel to Germany to do some tests with the Red Bull Leipzig team. And I might travel to Argentina because the Banfield team from Buenos Aires wants to see me play. Another interested team is the Seattle Souders FC of the MLS.

What would you say to the boys who want to succeed like you?
You will have ups and downs. But you have to keep working and striving to achieve what you want.

Do you plan to continue in soccer to become professional?
Yes, I want to continue in soccer and be a professional player.


Name: George Acosta
Origin: United States of America
Birthday: January 6, 2000
Team: Weston FC
Position: Number 10, midfielder.
Favorite international team: Borussia Dortmund
Favorite international player: Isco, Real Madrid
Favorite food: Rice and chicken.
Movie: I’m Legend, with Will Smith.
Song: Santeria, by Sublime.
A place you like a lot: My home.
Something you dislike: Lies.
A word that defines you: Friendship.
What class do you like?: History
Family: Arturo his father, Wendy his mother and his two sisters Alexis and Cinthia.
¿Messi or Ronaldo?: Messi, he’s better.
Who do you think will win the Copa America? I think Argentina will win.
“He can assist, he can score, and he can do it in so many different ways. He can dribble through people, he can combine, he can hit it with the right, with the left, he can head it in. … He’s naturally right-footed, but he’s player who when we told players to work on their left foot, he did it. In a lot of scrimmages and small-sided games, he always used his left and had fun with it.”

Víctor Pastora
Weston’s Assistant Technical Director