Kevin Mercado, Patrick Lee and Sasha Saneff each scored and Matt Goldman made three saves as the North Huntington Beach Football Club defeated the Pittsburgh Strikers, 3-0, Saturday to win the under-16 boys' U.S. Youth Soccer Assn. National Cup at the University of Richmond.
Mercado opened the scoring 20 minutes into the match, taking a cross from Charlie Lynch and chipping the ball over the goalie's head. North Huntington Beach's Lee made it, 2-0, 19 minutes later, heading in Lynch's free kick. Saneff scored five minutes into the second half on a one-touch volley off Jeremy Goldenetz's cross.
"The communication between the players was at its best," Coach George Mitton said. "I felt our outside (players Danny Judkins and Ricky Le) created and set up many opportunities. Both of them played extremely well, both offensively and defensively."
North Huntington Beach sweeper Ra Eang won the sportsmanship award. North Huntington Beach became the first Southern California team to win the under-16 title. The tournament has been held since 1976.
The Fountain Valley Spirit defeated the Texas Challenge, 3-0, in the third-place game of the girls' under-16 division.