SAA Real Madrid U15 Boys: The Underdog
Submitted by Juan Carlos Sarabia, Team Manager
July 25, 2012
SAA Real Madrid U15 Boys have had, in the past two years, an acelerated climb to spotlight in our Region III of youth soccer. In 2011, when our team entered the Florida State Cup, we were anywere near the favorite team to beat, but against all odds we beat our archirival West Pines to win 2011 Florida State Cup. In 2012 we, again, won the highly competitive Florida State Cup, making us back-to-back champions.
In the same manner, with no favoritism to win Regionals, we traveled to Greenville, South Carolina to compete in the Region III Championships. Again, we ended up wining Regionals and punching the ticket to Nationals. We now arrive to Rock Hill to play in Nationals for the first time, and this time we expect that with same attitude we will find our way. Clearly, in our minds, we think we have a chance, a chance that could become a real thing.
One of our interesting things, and maybe one of the keys to our victories, is having successfully integrated players with different cultures and personalities coming from families with history in countries like Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, etc.
Fullerton Rangers: Ranger Repeat?
Submitted by Maureen Smith
July 24, 2012
This week in Rock Hill, South Carolina will be another test for the Fullerton Rangers U15 Boys, who have become one of the most respected U15 teams in the country over the last two years. Not only is their 15 month record of 71 wins, no losses, and three ties impressive, but the opponents they have silenced are among the best in the world. Averaging over three goals scored and less than a half goal conceded per game, the Rangers are a handful both offensively and defensively.
The Rangers are the first team in the 33-year history of the prestigious Dallas Cup to claim the championship two consecutive years, last year as U14 and just a few months ago as U15. The Dallas Cup showcases the Rangers’ capabilities against premier international clubs, including their recent championship match against the dominant Eintracht Frankfurt from Germany who entered the finals against the Rangers having posted 39 goals and conceding only two during pool play, the quarters, and semi-finals. The highly-favored German’s found themselves down 0-2 at the 78 minute mark, when they managed to score a single goal, falling 1-2 at the hands of the Rangers.
Fullerton plays a beautiful style of soccer; very quick, very tight, and very strong. They transition the ball seamlessly from defense to attack, with strong scorers in nearly every position on the field. There is no single player that an opponent can shut down to stop the Rangers, as they will simply rebuild the attack from another angle.
Jimmy Obleda, the Director of Coaching for the Fullerton Rangers Club and the Team Coach of the U15 Boys, comments: “I am very proud of the boys and what they have accomplished. They have worked very hard for the recognition they have received. Winning the Dallas Cup twice was a great feeling. Winning our second consecutive National Championship would be nothing short of incredible. So now we just play our game, one minute at a time.”
CUP Crew Jrs Gold: A Refocused 2012
Submitted by Darrin Ward
July 24, 2012
After a disappointing end to the 2011 season, finishing second in leagues and tournaments, CUP Crew Jrs Gold Boys refocused in 2012.
The season started in Alabama with CUP’s acceptance into the National League, but only because two teams above them declined the invitation. While CUP applied for the League, they were not expecting to be accepted. We all knew we had a good team, but were big underdogs going into the tournament. The first weekend in Alabama saw CUP off to an amazing start. CUP ran off three wins and a tie against one defending regional champion and three state champions, all while only giving up one goal. The second weekend was in Las Vegas, and while we were 3-0-1, we still had Gallagher, Albion, and Concorde to play. We had the most points, but not everyone was convinced. After a 3-0 win vs Gallagher and a 3-0 win vs Albion CUP, the team had clinched the National League. Not only did CUP win the National League, but the team went 6-0-1 and outscored the top teams in the country by a score of 20-3, what an amazing stat.
Next, CUP started MRL Premier play. Again, the team finished 6-0-1 atop the Premier standings with another impressive goal differential of 17-2. The League was highlighted by a 2-0 win over defending Region 2 champion Chicago Magic. The Magic had won the other side of the National League, so this victory stamped CUP as the unofficial champion of the entire National League. State Cup was not even on the radar yet, and already CUP Crew Jrs had qualified for the Regional Championships and the National Championships.
CUP struggled within their own state, losing to Champion Classics Eagles in the semifinals, knocked out of contention for a state championship. However, two weeks later CUP won the Ohio Cup, the US Club version of the state championship.
For all the accomplishments the team had up to that point, the single most amazing stat of the year happened during Regionals. CUP qualified as the MRL champion and went on to win the Region 2 championship beating the Chicago Magic 3-0 in the final. CUP did not give up one goal in all five games. The total aggregate goal scoring was 19 for and zero against! It is hard enough to win the Regionals, but to not give up a goal is unheard of.
The team is ready and prepared to put the final stamp on the season with a National Championship. This has been their goal ever since winning the National League in March. Preparation is done, now the time has come.
96 Blackhawks: Dedication, Commitment, & Perseverance
Submitted by Adam Burke
July 24, 2012
After defeating WAZA FC East, the State Semi Finalists out of Michigan (2-1), and Concorde Fire Elite, Georgia State Semi Finalists (3-0), the 96 Blackhawks Boys clinched a berth to the US Youth Soccer National Championships in South Carolina this July. They managed to capture the National League title with 16 goals for and only five goals against throughout their seven game stretch. This team has had to withstand incredible adversity from injury to depleted rosters to defeat the “best in the country” from Maryland, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Ohio. Their dedication, commitment, and perseverance are the foundation of this group. The team’s spot on top of the leaderboard has not been without a passionate drive from each and everyone of these young men.
Coach Adam Burke, Director of Coaching – Academy Division said, “The boys attention to detail, unwillingness to give up, and their relentless work ethic was the foundation for their success in this League”. The 96 Boys are the first boys team in the Scottsdale Soccer Club’s history to ever reach the USYS National Championship.
Challenger Crew Jrs. Black: One “Goal” this Season
Submitted by Stefano Costa
July 24, 2012
The Challenger Crew Jrs. Black U15 boys soccer team had one “goal” this season when they started practices back in November: to advance to the US Youth Soccer National Championships in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
The boys have trained three nights a week, two hours a night for the last eight months under the direction of Head Coach Gary “Gaz” Gilmour. On June 27th the boys achieved their goal, qualifying for the National Championship Tournament as one of the top six U15 boys teams in the United States.
The team played in the Midwest Regional League, a “qualifier” for the Nationals. In this League the team traveled to Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin, playing teams from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin. The team went undefeated with five wins and two ties, 15 goals for and six against, taking first place in the Premier Division. By doing so, the boys qualified for the Regional Tournament.
At the Regional Tournament the team squared off against 14 State Championship teams and two National League Champions in a round robin event . The boys finished with four wins and one loss, 14 goals for and two against, punching their ticket to the National Championship.
The boys have now set another goal: to win the National Championship. The team is slated to play against CUP Crew from Cincinnati, Chicago Magic, Fullerton Rangers from California, SAA Real Madrid Miami, and Manhattan SC Paris Saint-Germain at the end of July.
Challenger Crew Jrs. Black: Journey to Nationals
Submitted by Gary Gilmour
July 24, 2012
Challenger Crew Jrs. Black won the 2012 Spring Midwest Regional League Blue Division. After going undefeated in group play in the Ohio North State Cup, Challeger Crew Jrs. Black lost in the championship 1-0. In Region II Championships, players Ben Locke, Lawrence Karpeh, and Gage Jarvis were in the top ten of goal scorers. The team went undefeated through group play, losing in the semi-finals to the eventual champions. Challenger Crew Jrs. Black gained a berth to the 2012 US National Championships as the Region II representative after winning 4-0 in a 3rd place playoff game over Grand Rapids Crew Jrs.
The team’s coach, Gary “Gaz” Gilmour, played eight years as a professional youth player in Scotland with Dundee United, Motherwell, Clydebank, Rangers Falkirk, and finally Airdri United. He played 2½ years on the National Youth Team and captained his high school team for five years. He holds multiple licenses and certifications from the Scottish FA Coaching Education.