WYSA ROUNDUP: ‘01 Explosion qualifies for Kepner Cup semifinals to be played at Gillette

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ASHEVILLE -— The Wilson Youth Soccer Association ‘01 Explosion 18U Boys team traveled nearly 300 miles last weekend, only to earn a much shorter trip to the North Carolina Youth Soccer Kepner Cup semifinals in three weeks.

The ‘01 Explosion went 2-1 to finish second in Group A at the Kepner Cup 18B Boys playoffs Saturday and Sunday at Asheville High School and Buncombe County Sports Park. The Explosion will meet Group B winner Fayetteville Soccer Club Force Blue in the semifinals Saturday, May 18, at Gillette Soccer Complex. Group A winner Onslow County Soccer Association Coastal Crew will face Group B runner-up North Carolina FC Gold South in the other semifinal. The winners will meet in the championship match Sunday, May 19, for the right to go to the U.S. Youth Soccer Presidents Cup Southern Regional in Round Rock, Texas, in June.

“The core of our team has shown strong commitment since we began training in December, and advancing to the final four is a nice reward,” said Explosion head coach Ian McMichael. “We played some of our best soccer of the year in our opening game this past weekend so our guys deserve a lot of credit. We are excited for the challenge of competing in the final four and we’ll continue to work in practice to improve as we prepare for what should be a fun weekend in Wilson.”

The Explosion, which finished fifth in the N.C. Youth Soccer Spring Classic League’s 18U Boys First Division East, knocked off Rutherford County Soccer Association Foothills FC 3-2 in the first game Saturday at Asheville High.

Wilson scored all three goals in the first half and hung on despite a pair of late goals by RSCA. Esai Torres-Torrango netted the first goal three minutes into the match with David Manzo on the assist. Kevin Mendoza finished a cross from Rene Salas in the 23rd minute and, two minutes before halftime, Carlo Garcia’s shot off a defender ricocheted into the goal.

In the second game Saturday, OSCA Coastal Crew Blue broke open a scoreless match through the first 28 minutes with three first-half goals on the way to a 5-0 defeat of the Explosion.

In the final game Sunday, needing to win to advance, the Explosion got goals from six different players on the way to a 6-1 conquest of NCFC Gold North. Scoring for Wilson were Jalen Pearce, Mendoza, Eric Barry, Chris Castro, Nate Foote and Garcia. Pearce provided two assists while Alberto Herrera and Salas also had one helper each.


CARY — The ‘04 Explosion finished its spring by winning the 15U Boys Blue Division at the Wake FC Tournament of Champions last weekend.

Wilson blanked NCFC Knights 5-0 and Wake FC Roma 7-0 in pool play Saturday at WakeMed Park before finishing the weekend unscored upon with a 3-0 defeat of Wake FC Earthquake in Sunday’s championship match.

Cesar Garcia headed in a cross from Dalton Comstock late in the first half for the Explosion’s first goal. Miguel Rodriguez and Ricardo Zambora scored late goals for the final margin.

The Explosion, which finished second in the N.C. Youth Soccer 15U Boys First Division East, concluded their season with a 14-3-3 mark, including 11 shutouts, while outscoring its opponents 48-13.


HOLLY SPRINGS — The ‘08 Explosion Black finished second in the Wake FC Tournament of Champions 11U Boys Blue Division last weekend, going 3-1.

Dominick Hamilton had a pair of goals for the ‘08 Explosion Black in its 4-2 defeat of Wake FC Bayern in the first match Saturday at Ting Park. Also scoring for Wilson were Conner Daniel and Austin Coughlin while Collins Pearson had an assist.

The Explosion’s only loss was a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Wake FC Monaco in Saturday’s second game. Adrian Salazar had Wilson’s lone goal with Pearson assisting again.

The Explosion rebounded to claim a 4-2 verdict over Wake FC Rapids with Salazar scoring twice and Grayson Coulter and Pearson notching a goal apiece.

The final game was a 6-4 Explosion triumph with six different players scoring for Wilson — Hamilton, Pearson, Daniel, Mason Fitch, Coughlin and Salazar. Salazar contributed two assists while Daniel, Pearson and Pierce Stone had one each.


Online registration has begun for the Wilson Youth Soccer Association’s 2019-20 season. Tryouts will begin Monday, May 13, and there will be a $10 fee for those who haven’t registered online at www.wilsonyouthsoccer.com.

The tryout schedule is Monday to Wednesday, May 13-15, for Academy (U8-10) boys and girls, U11-12 boys and U16 and up girls. The tryout dates for U13-15 boys and girls and U16 and up boys are Monday to Wednesday, May 20-22.

Specific times will and other information on parking, required equipment and other details will be emailed ahead of the tryout dates to those who register online.

All players seeking to play outside their assigned age group must submit an email request to Thomas Goines, WYSA Director of Coaching, before tryouts begin. Requests will be addressed on a case-by-case basis and are not guaranteed to be granted.

The age groups are as follows: Academy U8 (2012 birth year), Academy U9 (2011), Academy U10 (2010), U11 (2009), U12 (2008), U13 (2007), U14 (2006), U15 (2005), U16 (2004), U17 (2003), U18 (2002) and U19 (2001).