Soccer standouts off to national tourney in Texas

Teagan Eldridge and Nick Phillips, area soccer standouts, are heading to Lone Star country to compete on the national stage.

The two are members of Washington Premier Football Club Boys 99 Black, a Puyallup-based team that qualified for the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships. The national tournament is set for July 25-30 at the Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco, Texas.

Eldridge will be an Enumclaw High senior in the fall. Phillips graduated in June from Sumner High.

From a potential field of 10,000 youth teams across the nation, the Texas tourney will host the final 96 still standing. Those teams will compete in 14 age groups, seven for boys and seven for girls, ranging in age from 13U to 19/20.

Of the 96 teams in Texas, 56 advanced via success through the annual U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship Series. Another 40 came through play in the U.S. Youth Soccer National League.

Eldridge, Phillips and their 18U teammates qualified via the latter route. The team won a pair of National League qualifying tournaments, emerging victorious in December 2016 in North Carolina and in March of this year in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Once in Texas, the local squad will square off against the three other teams in Group A. On July 25, the team will take on OP Green of Ohio; on Day 2, the competition will be Baltimore Celtic; and July 27 will bring a contest against UFA 99 Premier from Georgia. Teams will compile points during their three-game performance and, following a day off, the semifinals will be staged July 29 and the championship finale on July 30.

Phillips was a three-time selection to his all-league teams, garnering first-team honors in the spring. He had been a second-team selection following both his junior and sophomore seasons. Eldridge was a second-team selection when North Puget Sound League coaches picked their all-league teams following the spring season and had earned honorable mention following his sophomore year.

During the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships, live broadcasts of more than 80 games, daily highlight videos, photos, reports and complete results from the US Youth Soccer National Championships are available on http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org.