The Braddock Road Warhawks stumbled yesterday at the U.S. Youth Soccer under-17 national championships in Orlando, losing 3-0 to the Claremont (Calif.) Stars. But the Virginia state and Northeast regional champions still have a strong chance of reaching Sunday's final.
The Warhawks (1-1) are tied for second in the four-team group with the Kansas City (Kan.) Legends (1-1) and own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Legends by virtue of their 2-0 win Tuesday. The top two teams will play for the title and the Warhawks still have a match to play Friday night against the winless Piedmont (N.C.) Stars Red.
Claremont (2-0), last year's national runner-up, took control of yesterday's match with a goal in the 12th minute by U.S. under-17 national team member Bryan Jackson. The margin was two by halftime.
Warhawks assistant coach Ryan Spencer said his team had trouble handling Claremont's aggressive, precise attacking play. "They took the ball right at us and we just didn't defend well. We were giving them too much space and we were constantly losing the ball in our half of the field," he said.