Mid Atlantic Division
If size is any measure of a division’s competitive nature, then the expanded Mid Atlantic Division is an absolute battleground. The first shot in this Mid-Atlantic war was fired when last year’s Metro Division merged with the Mid Atlantic. The newly aligned Mid Atlantic is now a beast of a division, containing 22 clubs, 13 of which are fielding teams in both boys and girls.
"I think it will do wonders for competition," said Super Nova FC Club Contact Barry Sheibley. "Quality clubs from the former Metro division have been added which will only add to the caliber of teams that have carried over from last year's division. The league has also gone the extra mile to coordinate scheduling so that travel is minimized and contained to several weekends. I think Matt [Weibe], Dan [Esmond], and their staff should be commended for their efforts in the spirit of competition within the Super Y-League."
Returning to the mix from the Mid Atlantic side will be three defending champions from 2005. The Match Fit Academy U15 and U17 Girls will be out to defend their titles and extend their unbeaten runs from a year ago while the renamed Red Bull New York U17B will be defending the organization’s only championship won under the MetroStars banner.
"Winning the Super Y-League Championship last season was definitely a terrific achievement for us here at Red Bull New York," said Paul O’Donnell, coach of the 2006 U17 New York Red Bulls. "We’re a part of a professional organization here. We go into each season expecting the best from our players."
The Red Bulls opened Super-Y league play with a 3-0 victory over FC Westchester on Saturday, April 1. "Anytime you get a three-goal decision against a quality opponent like FC Westchester you just have to be happy," said Red Bull New York U17 Coach Paul O’Donnell. "I didn’t expect a three goal win before the game. Last season we played them 0-0 until the final few minutes where we got a pair of goals right as time expired. I think the difference might have been the early goals."
The U16B Reading Rage will be out to return to the final for a second year in a row. The Rage fought their way through the 2005 Super Y-League North American Finals, going unbeaten in round robin play. In the semifinals Reading exploded for three goals and shut out offensive powerhouse HC United 3-0. The Rage finally bowed out in the finals to Schulz Academy 2-1.
"We couldn't be happier with the accomplishments of the U15 group last season," said Reading Rage Academy Director Derek Broadley. "The group had a great campaign, not only in the finals but also in their undefeated run through the Mid Atlantic Division. It was great to have some players from that team recognized individually like forward Gye Panuccio, who received a U17 National Team call-up following the Finals and Matt Makowski, who was named to the U15 Super Y-League ODP Select Team."
The U16B Reading Rage launch the 2006 season on Saturday, May 13 at Berks County Field where they will take on the South Jersey Barons.
"We're looking for some more good things from this group," said Broadley. "The bulk of last year's squad returns along with some new very talented players. We expect all the teams in the league to be improved this year and we look forward to competitive games week in and week out."
"The club as a whole is very excited about the realignment of the Mid Atlantic Region," said Broadley. "Combining with the Metro region is sure to bring more competitiveness across the board. It also affords us a more sensible travel schedule. Not only do our teams have the opportunity to compete against the youth teams of an MLS side in Red Bull New York but they also get to experience a bit of national soccer history by playing at places like Met Oval and against some of the oldest clubs in the country like Ironbound Sport Club."