Competing with his hometown club team, Sockers FC Chicago, Wisconsin sophomore Dirk Pearson won the Under-19 Boys 2005 US Youth Soccer National Championship on July 31. After advancing though the state and regional competitions, Pearson and the Sockers competed in the Final Four along with the Nomads (Calif.), Reston (Va.) and the Atlanta Fire (Ga.). The tournament was held at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex.
In the first game, Pearson scored the game-winning goal vs. the Nomads to advance and meet Reston. He assisted on the game-winner in that competition. In the championship game vs. Atlanta Fire, the Sockers battled to a 2-1 overtime win.
All the teams in the competition had athletes who play Division I or II college soccer. The Sockers FC Chicago had players from Wisconsin, UW-Milwaukee, Marquette, Northwestern, Michigan, Butler, Illinois-Chicago, Bucknell, Loyola-Chicago, U of Chicago, Charleston, Lewis University and West Virginia.
The tournament also crowned champions in other age groups ranging from Under-14 through Under-19 boys and girls. The 2005 US Youth Soccer National Championship Series, providing more than 129,000 players on over 7,200 teams from US Youth Soccers 55 State Associations the opportunity to showcase their soccer skills against the best competition in the nation while emphasizing teamwork, discipline and fair play, is the countrys most prestigious national youth soccer tournament. The US Youth Soccer National Championships cap a yearlong series of competitions for boys and girls teams in multiple age brackets.
2005 marks a special year for the Under-19 Boys age group at the US Youth Soccer National Championship as the national champions hoisted the James P. McGuire Cup, the oldest trophy in youth sport dating back to 1935 with the inaugural youth championships, on the 70th anniversary of the storied cup. The U.S. Soccer Federation initiated youth championships with the James P. McGuire Cup (Under-19 Boys) in 1935. Since its creation in 1974, US Youth Soccer has added 11 divisions to the National Championship tournament, most recently with the Under-14 and Under-15 Boys and Girls divisions in 2001 to create the series current format.
Complete tournament results are available at the US Youth Soccer web site.