LTSC advanced to the state championship match after defeating
the Chicago Fire 1-0 in the semi-final May 31. The two teams battled
each other in the same situation at U13, with the Fire edging out LTSC
a year ago to advance to the final.
LTSC's 2014 appearance in the State Cup final is a first in the club's 18-year history. The Illinois State Cup is the most prestigious tournament in Illinois and
the official state championship tournament of the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series.
The squad is now headed to Dayton, Ohio, June 20-25 to represent Illinois at the U.S. Youth Soccer Association Regionals. The team was invited to attend as a wild card after earning a berth in the IYSA State Cup finals.
The June 1 State Cup match was against Libertyville, a familiar opponent from Midwest Regional League play (the two tied 1-1 in the fall), who beat Trebol the day before to advance. The Lemont Raiders won the state title in 2013 but failed to advance from this year's final group of eight.
The State Cup match featured an outstanding first half of soccer by two evenly matched sides, with LTSC taking a 1-0 lead into the second half after scoring on a penalty kick. Lyons held Libertyville scoreless through most of the match, with some jaw-dropping saves by goalkeeper Matt Vear and field players, including a blocked PK, plus a header out of the goalmouth by defender Nick Jacobs.
With about 10 minutes remaining in the match, however, the determined,
skilled and quick Libertyville team broke through and scored, then scoring again, ultimately earning a 2-1 win.
Both teams exhibited great play and sportsmanship and are proud to advance to Regionals, where they will represent Illinois and may meet again.
The LTSC Boys U14 Showcase team is Sander Adriani, Ian Bales, Charlie Clarke, Sam DeBoer, Quinn Fraser, Tyler Guagenti, Charlie Hall, Nick Jacobs, Luke Lusson, Adam McGahay, Andrew Muravitsky, Philip Panoupoulos, Joe Reinhofer, Nate Rusk, Jack Richards, Tate Riordan and Matt Vear. The team is coached by Andrew Parry and assisted by Jo Hearn.
The 2014 US Youth Soccer Region II (Midwest) Championships are part of the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series, the country's oldest and most prestigious national youth soccer tournament. The games will take place at the John Ankeney Soccer Complex in Beavercreek, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton. The championships are expected to draw more than 3,500 players and an estimated 12,000 spectators.
The US Youth Soccer Region II Championships consist of US Youth Soccer State Champions from 14 state associations, including the host Ohio South Youth Soccer Association, US Youth Soccer Midwest Regional League Premier Division champions, as well as drawn wildcard entries.
Following individual state championship tournaments, the Regional Championships are the second leg of the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series.
The tournament will attract more than 212 boys and girls teams, ages Under-13 through Under-19, from the 14 Midwestern US Youth Soccer State Associations that make up US Youth Soccer Region II (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio South, Ohio North, South Dakota and Wisconsin). Regional winners of the Under-13 through Under-19 brackets earn a berth to the 2014 US Youth Soccer National Championships.