US Youth Soccer League Championship was set up to provide teams an additional pathway to USYS Nationals and over the past three years, many LIJSL teams have made that a successful route.
“League Championship has been great for LIJSL teams over the past three years,” LIJSL Technical Director Ronan Wiseman said. “ENY has some very competitive and talented age groups and teams so giving them an extra opportunity to get to USYS Nationals has proved to be very valuable.
This year, Middle Country SC SBMC 05 (GU18) reached Regionals via winning League Championship and recently earned a title to compete at Nationals held later this month. Overall, four teams won League Championship to compete at Regionals in 2023. Along with Middle Country, Stony Brook LGN Energy (GU13), Cold Spring Harbor Huntington BWG (BU16), Stony Brook LGN United (BU18) competed in Virginia in June. Several other teams competed in League Championship this year and went on to play at Regionals, including Massapequa Boltz (BU17), Stony Brook LGN Thunder (GU15), and Stony Brook LGN Rush (GU16).
In 2022, the first LIJSL club won League Championship and Regionals to reach the National Championship. Stony Brook/Lake Grove Newfield Wildlings Blue (BU14) was the first to complete that feat. Five other teams progressed through to Eastern Regionals which were, Cold Spring Harbor Gottschee East (BU15), Smithtown Kickers Maroon (GU13), Stony Brook/Lake Grove Newfield Athletico (GU15), Stony Brook/Lake Grove Newfield Arsenal (GU17), and Massapequa Ladies Select (GU19).
The first year of the competition kicked off in 2021 Two LIJSL teams headed to Eastern Regionals that year – Massapequa Fury (GU18) and Massapequa Warriors (BU18) – but were unable to qualify for Nationals.
“We see it all the time, two of the best teams meeting in the early rounds of the State Cup and one team has a bad day, who would be a great representative at the Eastern Regionals, and they go out of the competition,” Wiseman said. “That scenario is the reason League Championship was started, to give those talented teams that opportunity to go as far into the National Championship Series as their talents can take them.”