UPDATE: The Juniors fell 1-0 in the final, conceding the match winner in the 90th minute. Heartbreaking for sure, but to be runners-up in the National Championship is a great achievement and great representation of the Wizards and their youth system. Congratulations to Solar 89 for their first National Championship and best of luck to all of these young men in their college careers.
Having been training together for less than a month as a team, the KC Wizards U19 Juniors won the Kansas State Cup in convincing fashion. They played one game, the championship, and they won 9-0, qualifying for the Region II Championships in Rockford, Illinois. There they went 4-0-1, defeating the Chicago Fire Juniors in the semifinal and perennial power Scott Gallagher from St. Louis in the Championship. Now at the US Youth Soccer National Championships in Little Rock, Arkansas, the Juniors are poised to play in Sunday’s championship match with a chance to become the 2nd ever Kansas team crowned national champions (shout out to the KC Dynamos who accomplished the feat in the 2001 U14 Girls division).
Their opponent will be Solar 89 from Dallas who return to the National Championship game for the third time in four years. The teams are ranked #1 and #2 respectively in the U19 Boys National Soccer Rankings. Solar boast several top freshman in college programs, none moreso than Corben Bone who was named ACC Freshman of the Year after helping Wake Forest win the National Championship last season with 5 goals and 8 assists. The award adds to a long list of recognitions for Bone, including 2006 NSCAA National Player of the Year. Notably, Bone missed Solar’s first two games of the tournament attending classes at Wake Forest.
While Bone was the #3 high school recruit in 2007, U20 teammate Cameron Brown was #2 on the list and chose North Carolina. At the time of this Rise Magazine article (May 2007) Bone had scored 127 goals and 241 assists in his Solar career to Brown’s 154 goals and 276 assists. Teammate Alex Chi, sophomore at Harvard, leads the U19 boys division with three goals scored. Other notables include Xavier’s Ryan Engelmann, St. Louis University’s Scott Wisniewski, Kentucky’s Miles McDougal, Tulsa’s Zach Nulisch and Chris Taylor, and Navy’s Chris Schneider.
The Juniors will certainly have their hands full, but the boys in blue have proved quite capable thus far. Kickoff is at 10:45 am and the Plano Star provides a great preview of the match. Check the KC Wizards Juniors blog for more info, video highlights, photos and match recaps. Good luck, Juniors!
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