Heading to Nationals - Part 1, Sisters
The US Youth Soccer National Championship Series is the country's most prestigious national youth soccer tournament, providing approximately 185,000 players on over 10,000 teams from US Youth Soccer State Associations the opportunity to showcase their soccer skills against the best competition in the nation while emphasizing teamwork, discipline and fair play.
The US Youth Soccer National Championships cap a yearlong series of competitions for boys and girls teams in multiple age brackets as teams earn their way from the top teams in their state to the regional championship tournaments. US Youth Soccer State Champions and selected wildcard teams through US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues in most age groups are eligible to compete in one of four US Youth Soccer Regional Championships. The champions in the 13U through 19/20U age brackets from each regional event will converge in July for the US Youth Soccer National Championships.
Annually the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series provides the nation's top collegiate coaches with the premier stage to identify and scout the most coveted players in the country. In 2016, over 600 coaches attended the US Youth Soccer Regional and National Championship events. (National Championship Series: http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/programs/NationalChampionshipSeries)
This year Sporting Omaha FC (SOFC) is sending two teams to Nationals: 2002 Girls Elite and 2000 Girls Elite. The teams will represent Nebraska in the race for the national title starting July 25th in Frisco, Texas.
This year making it to Nationals is extra special for two players. Baylee and Addy Seaman share a unique bond. They are sisters, SOFC soccer players, and now both get to compete in the 2017 National Tournament together. Baylee plays for the 2000 team and Addy plays for the 2002 team. This is the first time that the club has had sisters make it to Nationals together in two different age groups.
Baylee's thoughts: “Making it to the National Tournament has always been a goal of mine. Playing against the top teams in the nation is so exciting and I can't wait for the challenge! To make it to Nationals is amazing, but for the both of us to make it is surreal. The fact that I get to share this experience with my sister makes it even more special and memorable. We share lots of things: clothes, food and hanging out together. To be able to share this experience as well is something that the two of us will always remember.”
Addy's thoughts: “Making it to the National Tournament has been something that I have always wanted. Putting in so much hard work on the field and off over the years has paid off. I have been really lucky with all the coaches I have had including my dad. My parents driving me anywhere I needed to be. We are a close family so getting to have this opportunity with my sister is amazing and crazy! I can’t wait to get down there and show them what our team can do!”
Alex Mason, Girls Director of coaching: “What an exciting time for both players & teams. During Regionals you could see the bond between both the teams as they edged their way closer to this great achievement. The 2002 & 2000 teams train side by side with a large coaching staff. Neil Hope is head coach of our 2000 Girls Elite along with Addie Nokels as team assistant. Assisting me with the 2002 Girls Elite is Corey Smith. Daniel Galvis, our newest member of the SOFC staff, is the Director of Goalkeeping and works with our keepers. SOFC is very proud of all our players and staff for their dedication and hard work to make it to Nationals. We all understand the honor of representing the club at such a large stage and are ready to represent Nebraska.”
Credit to National Championship Series: http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/programs/NationalChampionshipSeries