Boys soccer: Champions League semifinals preview — Jan. 12, 2023

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 are Saturday at Jesuit. The final is the same night at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg.

Here is the outlook for the two semifinal matches.

Tampa Prep (10-1) vs. Mitchell (14-2-2), 9 a.m.

The Terrapins, ranked first in Class 3A, seventh overall in the state and 17th nationally, lost for the first time last week in the final of the Tampa Bay Invitational. Defense has been Tampa Prep’s strength all season. The Terrapins started off by recording four straight shutouts. But they have to tighten up. Six of the eight goals they have allowed this season have come in the last three matches. The Mustangs started the season 14-0-2 before losing two straight matches at the Tampa Bay Invitational. On Thursday, Mitchell rebounded with a 3-1 victory over rival Land O’ Lakes. 

Stat leaders
CategoryTampa PrepMitchell
GoalsAsher Jones, 19Thomas Lutz, 14
AssistsSkylar Habib, 7Kaua Cardoso, 10
Goals against averageJB Montague, 7.000Alejandro Acosta, 0.464

Jesuit (12-0-3) vs. Osceola (11-1-1), 11 a.m.

The Tigers, ranked second in Class 5A, fourth overall in the state and 12th nationally by MaxPreps, remain undefeated after surviving a series of close calls at last week’s Tampa Bay Invitational. Jesuit beat Mitchell in the semifinals and Tampa Prep in the final each by a goal. To meet either team again in the Champions League final, the Tigers have to get past Osceola. After starting 2-1-1, the Warriors have won nine straight matches, outscoring foes by a combined 43-5. 

Stat leaders
GoalsPatrick Wiley, 14Carlo De Castro, 9
AssistsCarmine Dutch Iavarone, 8Zach Pillion, 6
Goals against averageJacob Killian, 0Maddox Cosentino, 0