The girls from LA Galaxy San Diego U16 Elite team landed at Lindbergh Field on Sunday evening, July 31, proudly wearing their national championship medals having won the GU16 USYS National Championships in Frisco, Texas, earlier that day.
It was a long, physically draining week for the young ladies, who played five games in six days in one hundred plus degree temperatures.
The journey to the National Championships itself was an enduring one for the team from Carlsbad, CA. They gained entry to the championships with an unbeaten record in the qualifying National League, playing four games in four days in Raleigh, North Carolina in December 2015, and three games in three days in Las Vegas, Nevada, this March.
Ironically, the team, who have been playing together since they were nine and ten years old, have not lost a game during the National League qualifiers in the past three years. On the opposite side of the spectrum, they had never won a game at the actual National Championships, until this year that is.
Defensively, the girls put on a master class in Frisco, conceding only once during the five game run to victory. In the finals, against a very tough La Roca team from Utah, the team highlighted this defensive resilience managing to hold on to a 1-0 lead for seventy-five minutes to claim the championship, after a very special goal from Jessica Wright.
“Everything seemed to fall into place for us this year. It just seemed like it was meant to be,” said LA Galaxy San Diego Director of Girls & team coach, Carl Higham. “This success did not just come about after a few good games. It has been years in the making. Previous failures and the will to learn from our mistakes, work hard, and improve has been key to our success. We have been utterly dedicated to this goal and I am so happy for the girls and their families that we have finally achieved it. I couldn’t be prouder.”
LA Galaxy San Diego Director of Operations, Michael Duggan, commented, “This is the second National Championship our club has won in consecutive years. I feel we are firmly putting Carlsbad and San Diego on the map as a national force in terms of girls youth soccer. Recently, we were one of only two San Diego County clubs to be accepted into the newly created U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy, which will kick off in the fall of 2017. These are exciting times for LA Galaxy San Diego.”
The club’s GU18 Elite team also competed in the 2016 USYS National Championships but unfortunately fell at the final hurdle to claim a very commendable second place.
LAGSD National Championships Medal List
GU16 Elite (1999), 2016
GU18 Elite (1997), 2015
GU18 Elite (1998), 2016
GU15 Elite (1998), 2013
GU17 Elite (1997), 2014
GU16 Elite (1998), 2014
GU17 Elite (1998), 2015