The US Youth Soccer National League kickoffs off the 2011-2012 season this weekend in Atlanta, Ga. 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-17 members:
Empire United Academy (N.Y.)
Coach: Liz Masterson
Key Players: MF Bella Mitrevski (Wake Forest), MF Kori Hughes (Buffalo), GK Brenna Mason, D Lauren Randaccio, F Cheyenne Hall (Mississippi).
Recent Team History: New York West State Cup Champions (2009, 2010, 2011) and Region I Colonial League Champions (2010), NEWSS Champions (2010).
Herndon Firecats (Va.)
Coach: Nadir Moumen
Key Players (college commitment): MF Kara DeGuisto, F Laila Gray, F Cassie Smith, F Niki Clark, F Kyndall Finch, MF Katelyn Hurlock, D Meghan DiPippa, MF Hanna Hannesdottir, Kaylee Hohein (Kentucky), Danielle Fitzgerald (Kentucky), Rachel Ivey (Virginia Commonwealth), Jamie Kator (Vanderbilt), Genevieve Grudy (Rice), Madison Smith, (Massachusetts).
Recent Team History: Virignia State Cup champion (2010 and 2011), State Cup finalist (2012), US Youth Soccer National Championship Series -- Bronze Medal. Several Championship/Finalist Events -- 2011 CASL Girls College Showcase -- Champions; 2011 Las Vegas College Showcase -- Champions; 2011 WAGS Tournament -- Champions; 2010 Bethesda Thanksgiving Tournament -- Finalist; 2010 OBGC Capital Cup -- Champions; 2010 Jefferson Cup – Finalist.
VSA Heat Blue (Va.)
Coach: Steve Smith
Key Players (college commitment): F Ashley Herndon (James Madison), GK Taylor Kerxton (Wake Forest), D Meghan Cox (James Madison), MF Alexa Wagoner, MF Ivana Szwejkowski, F Vanessa Kovar (South Carolina), Savannah Miller (Auburn), Haley Roberson (Auburn), Lindsay Egbers (Richmond), Caitlin Hite (East Carolina), Autumn Berry (Akron), Daniela Neves (West Virginia), Jordan Davis (Coastal Carolina).
New additions: Ivana Szwejkowski, Savannah Miller.
Recent Team History: Virginia state champion 2012 (won in Nov. 2011), Region I Premier League South Champions 2010-2011, Jefferson Cup Showcase Group Champion 2011.
Blast FC Red (Ohio-South)
Coach: Mohamood Razack
Key Players: MF Kari Weinland, F Ashlynn Jones, F Donavan Capehart, D Courtney Klosterman, D Brittany Maisano.
Recent Team History: State Cup champion and regional runner-up in 2010. State Cup finalist in 2011.
Chicago Fire Juniors (Ill.)
Coach: Steve Berry
Key Players (college commitment): F Ashley Handwork (Marquette), F Holly Gregory, F Madeline Kennedy, MF Taylor Bucaro, MF Rachel Zampa, MF Cora Climo, MF Morgan Manzke, MF Christa Szalach, MF Cathryn Sherman, MF Kyle Dennison, MF Natalie Jensen, D Ally Mastroianni, D Sara Stankoskey, D Sara Tumbas, D Ari Kowalski, D Sabrina Cisneros, D Angelica Dziedzic, D Veronica Ellis, GK Jenna DiTusa, GK Kathryn Pratt.
New Additions: D Sara Tumbas, MF Cora Climo, MF Christa Szalach, MF Morgan Manzke.
Recent Team History: 2011: US Club regional champions, Illinois State Cup finalist. ... 2010: Disney Soccer Showcase third place, Metro United Showcase finalist, MRL Premier Division, Region II third place, MFC Showcase finalist, Illinois State Cup champion. ... 2009: Midwest Regional League first division champion, Disney Soccer Showcase semifinalist, Metro United champion, Challenger Sports Invitational finalist, NSR Gold Cup champions.
Cincinnati United CUP Crew Jrs. Gold G94/95 (Ohio-South)
Coaches: Scott Rodgers, Woody Sherwood.
Key Players (college commitments): Haley Gribler (Lee University), Rose Lavelle (Wisconsin), Kelly Neeb (Auburn), Hannah Walker (Northern Kentucky), Erica Ytterbo (Ohio University).
Recent Team History: Four-time Ohio-South state semifinalist. Second place in the Midwest Regional League-Premier Division, 2011. … Finalist at the Disney Showcase and Blue Chip, semifinalist at Jefferson Cup.
Eclipse Select 94-95 (Ill.)
Coach: Mike Nesci
Key Players: D Cali Pyzdrowski, MF Katherine Treankler, MF Abi Gearing, MF Meghan Mannix, MF Katherine Morris.
Internationals 94 Red (Ohio-North)
Coach: Zdravko Popovic
Key Players (college commitment): F Maddie John (Xavier), MF/F Madison Kaser (Akron), D/MF Maria Libertin (Xavier), GK Katie Liston, MF/F Sarah Sivic.
Recent Team History: 2011 – Ohio North State Cup champion, Midwest Super Y first place, MRL Premier fourth place, KSA Turf Classic champion. 2010 – Super Y national finalist, MRL Division 1 champion, US Club regional finalist, Continental Cup champion, Pacesetters Memorial Cup champion, Blast Cup champion.
JB Marine-Wipke (Mo.)
Coach: Jim Wipke
Key Players (college commitment): Lexi Boshert (Rockhurst University), Mel Donaldson (Missouri), Bri Ebenroth (Drury), Haley Kavanaugh, Jade Klump (Kentucky), Hannah Leinert (Illinois State), Hali Long, Casey Maloney, Caroline Militello, Maddie Orf, Haley Porter (McKendree), Kori Quinn, Abby Rowan, Courtney Silberberg, Tristin Stuteville, Ali Wallner (Rockhurst University), Kayla Welch (Indiana State), Jamison Wipke (Rockhurst University), Kristin Wolff (Rockhurst University).
Michigan Football Club 95 (Mich.)
Coach: Kevin Garner
Key Players (college commitment): F Irene Young (Louisville), MF Elizabeth Abro (Western Michigan), D Chelsea Thompson (Toledo), D Jenna Andersen (Louisville), MF Lacey Zahn (Western Michigan), F/MF Rachel DeLuca (Oakland University), F/MF Chrisa Kouskoulas, MF Andrea Pesch, F/MF Ava Doetsch, GK Julie DeBus, GK Stephanie Heber, D/MF Leah Hill, MF Vija Veinbergs, D Gabby Mancini (Eastern Michigan), D Jennifer Thelen, D/F Caroline Eagan, MF Taylor Radel.
New Additions: Ava Doetsch, Stephanie Heber, Vija Veinbergs, Jennifer Thelen, Taylor Radel.
Recent Team History: 2012, 2011, 2010 Michigan State Cup Finalist, 2011 MRL Premier Fall Division second place (6-2-1), 2010 MRL Fall Division champions (8-0-1), 2011 Force Invitational champions-U18/19, 2011 Las Vegas College Showcase-Palazzo champions, 2010 Disney College Showcase-Showcase Division-3rd Place, 2010 MFC College Showcase champions, 2010 Force Invitational champions-U18 Gold, 2010 GR Crew Cup-Showcase Gold champions, 2010 Region 3 Invitational Showcase champions, 2009 NSR Cup champions, 2009 Force Invitational champions, 2009 CASL Showcase-Elite Predator Division finalist.
NASA U13 Elite II (Ga.)
Coach: Eric Ritter
Key Players (college commitment): Caroline Waters (Georgia), Monica Herrera (Kennesaw State).
Recent Team History: 2011 Atlanta Cup champions, 2009 Disney Showcase champions, 2009 Georgia State Cup champions, RPL - 2009, 2010, 2011
Albion SC GU17 White (Calif.-South)
Coach: Noah Gins
Key Players (college commitment): F Karly Zlatic (Harvard), F Geny Decker, MF/F Megan Guico, GK Andrea Leano, D Courtnie Marshall, Marie Laube (Kenyon College).
Recent Team History: Far West Region League Finals, CSL Premier Championship
Legends Breakaway (Calif.)
Key Players (college commitment): GK Savanna Vaughan (Loyola Marymount), D Sydney Raguse (Michigan), D Dominique Banks (Boise State), D Amanda Stephenson (George Mason), MF Meranda Salazar, MF Amanda Marinko, F Taylor Vargo (Pepperdine)
Recent Team History: Breakaway has been in the Cal South championship three of the last four years and a regional semifinalist all of those years. Breakaway won the 2009 Cal South state title.
Players Soccer Club (Nev.)
Coach: Saeed Bonabian
Key Players (college commitment): D Lauren Shadel (Missouri State), GK Kyla Salazar, F Taylor Lopez, MF MacKenzie Smith, D Katie Turner, D Sie'Yare Wells, MF Rachel Cooklin.
Recent Team History: Nevada State Cup champion, 2010-11 season.