The US Youth Soccer National League kickoffs off the 2011-2012 season this weekend in Vestavia, Ala. ESPNHS will break down one age group per day leading up to the event, highlighting the teams and key players who will be in search of earning automatic bids to next summer's US Youth Soccer National Championships.
Today, ESPNHS sizes up the National League Under-18 members:
Annandale United FC (Va.)
Coach: Bo Amato
Key Players (college commitment): F Eric Schmidt (James Madison), F/MF/D Tyler Durbin (James Madison), D Rhys Howard (James Madison), F Connor Coward (James Madison), MF Ross Higgins (George Washington), D Glen Sousa (George Washington), MF Parker Patterson (Richmond), MF Sergio Arzubiaga (Radford), MF Patrick McLaughlin (Radford), MF Sam Yardley (Longwood), EK Korvah (Army), GK Marc Greenberg (Occidental College), GK Ryon Huddleston, MF Oliver DeThier, D Damaro Dacosta.
Recent Team History: 2011: Bethesda Thanksgiving Tournament champion, OBGC Capital Cup champion. 2010: Disney Showcase champion, Region I Premier League champion, National League fourth-place. Virginia State Cup champion at under-16 and under-17.
Penn Fusion 93 Celtic (Pa.)
Coach: Sean McCafferty
Key Players: MF Keegan Rosenberry (Georgetown), F Thomas Shiiba (Navy), F Chad Craig (Elon), MF Alex Murphy (Penn), MF/D Stefan Dasbach, MF Alex Murphy (Penn), GK Sam Frymier (Duquesne), D Kenny DeStefano (Johns Hopkins), GK Kyle Morton (James Madison), MF Dan Matthews (Colgate), D Mike Manta (Lehigh), D Benji Kennel (Messiah).
New Additions: F Caleb Cole, MF Andrew McGinley, MF Matt Deitrick.
Recent Team History: 2011: US Youth Soccer National Championship runner-up, Region I champion, Eastern-Pennsylvania State Cup champion.
Javanon 94 (Ky.)
Coach: Jason Bell
Key Players (college commitment): F Neil Henley (Xavier), MF Lindo Mfeka, F Jacob Scearce (Kentucky), GK Vince Shaw (Xavier), F John Manga (Cincinnati), Chris Moore (Xavier), Danny Belza (Massachusetts), Mitchell Metzger (Eckerd College).
Recent Team History: 2011: National League runner-up, US Youth Soccer Region II runner-up, Kentucky State Cup champion. 2010: Kentucky State Cup champion, Midwest Regional League Premier champion.
Lou Fusz Gold (Mo.)
Coaches: Tim Abeln
Key Players (college commitment): MF Kyle Martin (Xavier), MF Pat Conroy (St. Louis), D Nick Cherry (SIU-Edwardsville), F Drew Dempsey (De Paul), D Robbie Adams, MF Lucas Hake (Nebraska-Omaha), D Andy Kopfensteiner, MF Joe Brinkworth (De Paul), D Ryan Lawhead, MF Sean Badock, F Robert O'Keefe, F Andrew Rhodes, F Aaron Jezik.
Recent Team History: Three-time Missouri State Cup champion, 2010 and 2011 Region II runner-up, 2011 Midwest Regional League champion, 2011 National League record of 4-1-2, Disney Showcase champion.
WAZA FC East Black (Mich.)
Coach: Peter Langens
Key Players: MF/D Nick Sobczynski, MF Alex Serwatka, MF Brian Alumbaugh, D Joey Serra, F Alex Podolski, GK Shane Beaton.
Recent Team History: 2010: US Youth Soccer National Championships third-place finish, Region II second-place finish, Michigan State Cup champion.
CESA 93 Premier (S.C.)
Coach: Nick Finotti
Key Players (college commitment): John Cajka (Clemson), Kevin Fielden (Pittsburgh), Matthew Freeman (Clemson), Kyle Fisher (Clemson), Reid Grayson (Navy), Grayson Holliday (Erskine College), Cole Seiler (Georgetown), Will Puckett (Wofford).
Recent Team History: 2011: Region III Premier League second-place finish, Region III semifinalist. 2010: US Youth Soccer Region III quarterfinalist, South Carolina State Cup champion.
Dallas Texans Red (Texas)
Coach: Clint Craft
Key Players: GK Kevin Lieb, F Parker Tikson, MF Ty Craft, MF Corey Barahona, F Alex Powers.
New Additions: MF Alberto Medrano, D Tyler Stevens, F Kevin Lopez.
Recent Team History: 2011: National League champion, US Youth Soccer National Championships third-place finish, Dallas Classic League champion, Premier League runner-up, Dana Cup (Denmark) semifinalist, Gothia Cup (Sweden) round of 16. 2010: Premier League runner-up. 2009: Helsinki Cup (Finland) runner-up, Disney Cup champion in Showcase bracket, Gothia Cup round of 16.
Florida Rush Nike (Fla.)
Coach: Nate Omodt
Key Players (college commitment): MF Nicholas Melo, F/MF Felipe Oliveria, F Jean Rivaroli, D/MF Andrew Spragg (North Florida), MF Adam Tran, MF Conner Willings, MF Bryce Ciambrella, F/MF Steven Taylor.
Recent Team History: 2011: Florida State Cup champion, US Youth Soccer Region III champion, US Youth Soccer National Championships fifth-place finish, Region III Premier League champion. 2010: Region III Premier League second-place finish, 2010 Disney Showcase champion.
NM Rush Nike Argonauts (N.M.)
Coach: Greg Heileman
Key Players (college commitment): Israel Aragon, Ben Brennan, Brad Carabajal, Deven Mason (Virginia Tech), Isaiah Madrid, Tyler Miller (Washington), Justin Schmidt (Washington).
Recent Team History: 2011: National League fourth-place finish, WCDA Championships runner-up, US Youth Soccer Region IV champion, US Youth Soccer National Championships participant, Far West Regional League third-place finish. New Mexico State Cup champion 2005-08, 2010.