Boys soccer: Semifinals, final for Champions League set for today

The bay area version of the Champions League is based on the popular tournament for professional club teams in Europe. The local event features the top high school boys soccer teams from the Tampa Bay area in a tournament at the start of the season. 

The semifinals and final are today at Jesuit. The tournament also has started a scholarship program called the Peek Family 12th Man Award, which gives $2,500 to the winner.

Each team in the Champions League submitted a candidate – someone who is “the heart and soul of their team.”  It did not have to be a starter.  A panel of three retired coaches representing the three-county area selected the winner.

Here is the schedule for today’s semifinals. The final will be at 8. 

Osceola (8-0-2) vs. Jesuit (8-1), 9 a.m.

Both teams are ranked among the top six in Class 5A by MaxPreps (The Warriors are No. 6 and the Tigers are No. 3). Expect a low scoring match. The two teams have allowed a combined 10 goals all season. 

Tampa Catholic (6-5-1) vs. Tampa Prep (7-0), 11 a.m.

This is the first meeting of the season between the private school rivals. The defending Class 3A state champion Crusaders are coming off a loss to Fort Myers Canterbury. The undefeated Terrapins are ranked No. 1 in 3A, No. 2 overall in the state and No. 6 nationally by MaxPreps.