SB Soccer Club U17s unbeaten at USYS Nationals

Seeking its third national title in four years, the Santa Barbara Soccer Club’s Boys Under-17 team is 1-0-1 in its two pool-play matches at the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships in Tulsa, Okla.

Santa Barbara routed Baltimore Celtic 5-2 on Wednesday after playing Lehigh Valley United of Pennsylvania to a 0-0 draw in the opening match on Tuesday. SBSC completes pool play Thursday against South San Jose PAC Indios, who are 0-2. A win or tie will advance the team to the semifinals on Saturday.

This group of players has won USYS national titles at the U14 and U15 levels. It reached the semifinals as U16s last summer.

Tim Heiduk opened the scoring for Santa Barbara on Tuesday, collecting a pass from Brandon Sanchez and striking a solid shot from 17 yards into the upper corner.

Celtic equalized on a corner kick, as Santa Barbara was unable to clear the ball out of the box.
Santa Barbara took the lead for good when  Sanchez played a through ball to Sahid Conteh.  Conteh made a good timed run behind the Celtic’s back four, beat the goalkeeper to the ball, and dribbled past him to make the score 2-1.
Lucky Puengrod made it 3-1 in the second half off  an assist from Dennis Cole.
Celtic capitalized on a turnover in the midfield, caught SBSC’s defense unbalanced and scored on the counterattack to cut the deficit to 3-2.
Tony Andoyan restored the two-goal lead, taking a pass from Cole and beating the goalkeeper from 12 yards out. Andoyan scored again to complete the scoring.
“Tony had a solid game today, scoring two goals and giving us a solid target to work off from in the attack,” coach Rudy Ybarra said. “The team had a solid performance and seems to be getting better every half we play.”
Santa Barbara sits in first place in Group A with 4 points and has scored 5 goals, while allowing 2 goals. Second-place is Lehigh United with 4 points and a +2 goals.
The teams in Group B are Chicago Magic PSG, Dallas Premier, Arlington (Va.) Impact Red and Sunrise Elite of Florida.

Members of the Santa Barbara Soccer Club U17s are: Giovanny Acosta, Juan Pablo Alvarez, Antony Andoyan, Francisco Arroyo, Matthew Bautista, Dennis Cole, Sahid Conteh, Eric Contreras, Eduardo Delgado, Benjamin Garcia, Raul Guerrero, Michael Hawker, Tim Heiduk, Peter Kargbo, Celso Lagunas, Christian Lopez, Tanner Mees, Jules Pasco, Chairat “Lucky” Puengrod, Brandon Sanchez, Joel Serugo and Jose Zepeda.

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