MAPS Spring Challenge Preview – Boys Edition

The MAPS Spring Challenge U8-U19 kicks off this Saturday 3/12 at Pittsgrove and Cohansey Soccer Clubs.  Last week the girls were showcased, but now it is time for the boys to show what they are made of in this early season kickoff.  The warm weather this week will mean a lot of teams are set to ramp up their training regiments as skill, fitness, and focus will be tested in this preseason competition.

With 27 Flights across all age groups and over 170 teams in competition, there is bound to be some real quality soccer played this weekend.  I have gone through the contest and picked out some key teams, games, and flights to follow this weekend.  If I missed any, I am sorry, but that’s what the comment section is for at the bottom of this page!  I know the boys have to be itching to stretch their legs and play full-field again for the first time in months, so I look forward to keeping you updated on all the key events in this weekend’s competition.

Top NJ Teams Competing

  • U11B:  Middletown SC Lightning Red (GS7), TBAA Thunder (GS 17), Toms River FC Red Bulls (GS 19), Harrison SC Force (GS 15)
  • U12B:  Edison United SA Ajax (GS 18), Princeton SA Ajax 03/04 (GS 26)
  • U13B:  Manalapan SC Nitros (GS 3), Cherry Hill SC Scorpions (GS4), Stafford SC Gunners (GS 8), Jackson SC Red Bulls (GS  13)
  • U14B:  NJ Stallions Academy 01/02 (GS 5), NJSCA Bayern (GS 7), Marlboro SA Mavericks Blue (GS 20), Old Bridge SL Pilots (GS 24)
  • U15B:  Jersey United Soccer Spartans (GS 15)den of lions
  • U16B:  Den of Lions Mustangs (GS 1), Arsenal Maximus Rage (GS 18), Rancocas Valley SC Blaze (GS 23)
  • U17B:  Florence Township SA Wild (GS 31)
  • U18/19B:  Princeton FC United U19 (GS 8), Wall SC Red Devils U18 (GS 14), Harrison Elite Lightning U18 (GS 21), Medford Strikers Academy (GS 24)

Top Out-of-State Teams (I always love to see what NJ tournaments can draw)

  • U11B:  Hamden SC Ginga (CT, GS Rank 1), FCUSA Philadelphia Black (PAE, GS 13)
  • U12B:  SAC Premier Blue (MD, GS 3), DMS Pre Academy (NYW, GS 5), Henlopen Hammerheads (DE, GS 3)
  • U13B:  VE United Green Gunners (PAE, GS 3), Deep Run FC Bucks Union (PAE, GS 13)
  • U14B:  Baltimore Armour Pre-Academy (MD, GS 14), Milton Academy (Canada, always assume these teams can play), East Meadow SC United NPL (NYE, GS 12)
  • U15B:  World Class FC 00 (NYE, GS 13), Penn Legacy Black 00 (PAE, GS 10), FC Santos (MD, GS 13)
  • U16B:  Buckingham SC United (PAE, GS 14)
  • U18/19B:  SAC Premier White (MD, GS 9)

Key Matchups:

Saturday 8:25AM, Field #6 Cohansey, U11B 9v9 Middletown SC vs. Hamden Ginga (CT)

First game out this early in the AM is always a tough one.  Especially when you have two top teams competing and a win or loss can decide your fate for the entire tournament.  Middletown Lightning Red (GS 7) try to represent NJ and take on the GS #1 ranked Hamden SA Ginga which is a top tier and up and coming club from Connecticut.  Additionally right next door (on Cohansey #7 at 8:25AM) are the other two teams in this bracket TBAA Thunder vs. Toms River FC Red Bulls making the perfect chair placement on the endline a great way to take in all the action.

Saturday 8:25AM, Field # 13 Pittsgrove, U13B Stafford SC vs. Cherry Hill SC

The scheduler was cruel in this tournament as two top 10 teams in NJ meet in the early game that will definitely decided Sunday placement.  Coaches, I hope you have your team’s prepared.  Just after this 9:35AM kickoff on the same field Manalapan SC Nitro takes on Deep Run FC Bucks (top PAE team) in what is to be a great back to back set.  These are the games I would head to (maybe even if my child was playing) with a nice cup of AM coffee.

Saturday 12PM, Field #12 at Pittsgrove, U18/19B Princeton FC vs. Wall SC

If you are looking for collegiate level talent and a little bit of faster paced, more physical soccer, this is one to stop by.  Two top 15 teams in NJ battle in their first games of the tournament to prove they stayed fit through the winter break.

Sunday 10:50AM, Field #12 Pittsgrove, U16B Den of Lions Mustangs vs. Buckingham United SC (PAE)

This looks like one of those tournament deciding games to see who moves on.  If I wanted to get a look at the GS #1 ranked Den of Lions Mustangs this would be the game to see.  Although they may have a finals position wrapped up at this point… kids looking to impress College Coaches in attendance could definitely mean some fireworks.

Sunday 1:15PM, Pittsgrove #9, U13B MAPS Group Final

There are bound to be two top teams, in great early season form in this game after fighting off the competition to get here.

Bracket to Watch

There are two brackets to watch this weekend.  The U11B 9v9 MAPS and the U13B MAPS divisions.  The U11 Boys boast 5 – Top 20 GS ranked teams showcasing young New Jersey talent.  Although the U13 Boys might have the strongest group up and down with 3-Top 10 GS ranked teams and 2 highly ranked out-of-state teams.  It is clear that there will be a lot of great soccer on the pitch, and if you feel your team has been snubbed and deserves some recognition, please comment or email at



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