Courtesy of USYS National League : MESA, Ariz. (March 14, 2022) — National League Florida wrapped up on Monday, as the National League P.R.O. teams in the 15U-19U Boys age groups played their final games of the event at Bell Bank Park, Powered by Legacy Sports USA in Mesa, Ariz.
Top-finishing National League P.R.O. teams (12 per gender age group) earn direct advancement to the USYS National Championships, and many of the results in Arizona proved to be crucial in determining which teams punched their tickets.
The competitive level of National League P.R.O. was on full display this weekend, as several berths to Nationals were decided on the final day of action in Arizona.
Arsenal FC of Pittsburgh 06B Premier (PA-W) is one of the sides that clinched its division title, and the PA West side is excited to get its first taste of the National Championships.
“It’s the first team for our club to make it to Nationals. That’s a good feeling for these guys,” Arsenal FC coach Jonathan Velotta said. “It will keep the focus a little bit longer having that carrot at the end of it. Having that opportunity at the end of the year to compete for something that meaningful is pretty special.”
The competitive level and platforms provided through National League P.R.O. and the Great Lakes Conference has helped Arsenal FC and its players grow and develop as a collective group and as individuals.
“They’ve developed a style and developed a culture,” Velotta said. “They were ready for this. The National League has provided us a platform for us to play more nationally competitive teams more often. It’s upped our preparation and made them a little more focused at practice — understanding what’s at stake at that level. It’s been a great progression for the team, and this is what we wanted.”