This is an early peak at the US Club – NJ Cup Boys brackets, specifically the 2003 boys groups. If you haven’t been following, the purpose of this series of write ups is to preview the first round of the event to create a buzz around the tournament. This is NJ’s March Madness and we are highlighting top teams and early games that caught our eye. We want the NJ soccer community’s input though, so please feel free to comment in the reply section on the bottom of the page. If you want to keep up with the tournament all season long follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or WordPress.
NJ Cup – Early Analysis – U14B Brackets 2003
There are two groups at this age group, the premier and super groups with different deadlines, but we are highlighting the first round games in each. The deadline for round 1 in the Premier Group is March 20th and the Super Group is April 3rd. So this is what we are referring to as “first round”games.
Super Group Premier Group
TSF Academy 2003 Blue Bridgewater SA Hotspurs
Mercer FC Celtic 2003 Hand Soliz Tigres
FC Copa Academy 03 Black Princeton SA NPL
NASA United Man United Real Jersey 03 Red Devils
1st Round Matchups To Watch
- Mt Olive Premier Liverpool vs. Ironbound SC Red Internationals – This is a Super Group battle to watch to be played on April Fool’s Day. Mt Olive is fortunate to get a home game and not have to go into Newark where Ironbound almost always plays favorite. The winner of this game gets a trip to #1 seed TSF with is a reward in its own. Mt. Olive is seeking to prove it belongs with the big boys, and probably made the decision to go after the Super Group with a win in a very difficult Lou Ramos Classic in the Fall. However, they will be meeting an EDP NPL flight team in Ironbound that finished its Fall with a big win at the EDP Winter Classic in the aptly named “snowstorm flight.” This is a tough 1st round draw for both teams, but it makes for a contest any youth soccer fan would want to attend.
- PDA Shore Ozil vs. Lakehurst Manchester Blue Dragons – This is one of the best matchups in the 1st round of the Premier Group. It is intriguing because PDA is coming from U12 last Spring and Lakehurst is coming from U13 which could hint at Lakehurst being a little older, bigger, and stronger. Although, that is a total guess due to the birth year mandates changed everything. This game could easily have been put in the Local Rivalry section, as the clubs are separated by under 10 miles, so I wonder if there is any familiarity between the teams. Lakehurst will be experienced (8 GS recognized Fall events) and actually host the game despite PDA being the higher seed. Shore will be used to this level of game though having competed in one of the toughest EDP brackets in their Fall campaign. This one is anybody’s guess.
- Westfield Premier Zurich vs. Americas United Manchester – Back to the Super Group here with 2 – teams from the same EDP Flight a season ago. When these teams met on November 20th they had a 9 goal brawl that ended up 5-4 in favor of Westfield which ended their league play. That game has to sit in the back of the mind of coaches, players, parents, and spectators, and we would love to hear about it! As that is not enough to highlight this game – Americas United scores about 4 goals a game on average – which means this game will again come down to who scores more. Westfield will be wary of this though, and try to show it’s structure and class that led to a 2nd place finish to Americas 5th in EDP Premier Central 1.
Game Played – 1 Game is already in the books in this bracket, and the youtube clip above is NOT from that game, but a highlight I found online from the Panthers in action. The Jersey Crew Panthers beat Jersey United Spartans 4-2 in Morristown and await the winner of the Maroons Grey and Scotch Plains game.
FC Copa Academy Red 03 vs. Valencia 03 – The game is at Rutgers University in New Brunswick which is just a 5 mile drive down Rt. 27 from the Metuchen Sports Center which Valencia Soccer occupies. Copa’s home office is actually in the center of Metuchen, right next to the train station, so a new club and team like Valencia is looking to make their mark here. This is essentially a home game for both teams, and I am sure the club directors will be taking a close look at this outcome. 10AM kickoff on Saturday 3/11 looks like an awfully cold event, but I am sure things will heat up quickly.
- There is a stacked bracket of 23 teams competing in the Super Group
- It is a true March Madness style Bracket in the Premier Group with 64 teams competing.
- Mt. Olive has 2 teams competing in either side of the Super Group Bracket – that must be a strong group of 2003’s for a township club and one to keep an eye on in the future.
- 18 Games are scheduled for this weekend – do you guys not look at forecasts? Snow Friday, high of 29 Saturday, and 33 on Sunday. I know teams have deadlines to reach, but soccer in freezing temperatures is not fun.
- Team name of the tournament thus far – Cherry Hill FC Sharknadoes – you just don’t see many classics like that any more. I wouldn’t want to play them, good luck Jersey Knights.
- A link to the 2003 Boys Super Group Bracket
- A link to the 2003 Boys Premier Group Bracket
Please tell us your thoughts using the reply section below!