The Baltimore Bays have been named the nation's top boys soccer club by Soccer America for a record fourth straight year.

The club won its record ninth U.S. Youth Soccer boys championship when the Under-19 Bays Chelsea team defeated the Chicago Fire Juniors, 2-0, to capture the 76th McGuire Cup at the 2011 National Championships this summer. It was the third national championship for the squad, which also won as U-14 and U-15 squads. The Bays club has won at least one national championship in each of the past six years.

Each year, Soccer America selects the top 30 clubs based on the success of their teams in national youth compeititions covering the previous three years and the selection of their players to national youth teams along with other national achievements. After the Bays, FC Dallas was ranked second, followed by the New York Red Bulls and Chicago Fire.

Kevin Healey is the Bays' president who oversees the entire club; Steve Nichols, who coaches age groups from U-15 through U-19, also is the club's director of coaches; and Brandon Quaranta (U-12 through U-14) and Mike Lookingland (U-8 through U-11) coach the younger teams.

"It's amazing what we've been able to accomplish, and I couldn't be any prouder of the players and coaches," Nichols said. "We have a great system in place with a lot of great leaders and great players. You can see the amazing things that can happen when the kids buy into it."


Recommended on Baltimore Sun