Another successful Cal South Recreational All-Star Tournament of Champions is now in the books after two days of activity that concluded on Sunday evening at the SilverLakes Sports Complex in Norco, venue that hosted the event for the first time in its three-year history. All Cal South Districts were well represented throughout the tournament, with teams coming from all over Southern California including San Diego and Santa Maria.
“It was a great experience,” said Ricardo Alvarez, Big Bear FC U-10 coach. “We like to come down from the mountains, come out here and experience different weather. It was a bit windy, but it was a good experience, kids had fun and that’s all that matters.”
“We’re just happy to be here in Norco, such great facilities,” said Hector Tovar, Cal South Recreational Manager. “Too bad for the winds, but we had teams representing Districts 1 to Districts 7, Boys and Girls in age brackets U10, U12 and U14. Everyone seems to be having a great time and I am too!”
Recreational boys and girls players from ages 10 to 14 came together for the first time at the SilverLakes Sports Complex to begin activity on Saturday morning. While some teams had been training together for a full year, All-Star Teams were formed and began training in November.
In comparison to the previous two editions, an “Open Division” was added to this year’s tournament, allowing recreational teams that participated in Sanctioned Cal South Recreational Leagues to participate. The usual All-Star Teams are composed of the top recreational players from one recreational league that earned their way to the tournament through each District’s Commissioner’s Cup.
Regardless of the Division, players gave their best throughout the tournament, as well as demonstrating sportsmanship after each game with the traditional high-five line.
Aside from the winds that hit Norco, the first round of games was among the most memorable for many young players, not only helping their teams to victory, but also an opportunity to stand out amongst their teammates. Following the Recreational All-Star Tournament of Champions tradition, coaches from each team selected one player from the opposite team as the “Game MVP,” awarding these players a special coin for giving their all on the field.
“My experience has been amazing,” exclaimed Santa Maria Valley YSA All-Stars United forward Marissa Jordan, who received the Game MVP coin. “I’m just so glad I can be here; it means a lot to me. I just love playing with my team, having fun in hotels. It’s a lot of fun!”
After the conclusion of the group phase with three games played, the top two teams from each group moved on to the final to dispute the championship title, while the third and fourth placed teams matched up in a consolation match to officially decide the third and fourth place in the age group; players from the top four teams would receive medals, while the top three teams picked up trophies.
The smile on each player’s faces said it all, proving that the Cal South Recreational All-Star Tournament of Champions was a success and that this tournament proved to fulfill the main objective of recreational soccer, to practice a fun sport like soccer in a fun and safe environment.
Check out a few photos from this weekend’s Cal South Rec All-Star Tournament of Champions:
The Governors Youngers and Presidents Youngers Division of the 2016 Sports Authority State Cup concluded over the weekend, celebrated with the final championship games taking place at the SilverLakes Sports Complex in Norco, Calif.
Twenty-eight Cal South teams came out Sunday morning in what would be the busiest State Cup championship gameday in tournament history. By the end of the day, seven teams walked away with the most sought-after trophy, while the finalists celebrated a successful campaign that will help them moving forward. FC Bakersfield and Strikers FC-OC were the big winners over the weekend, adding two championship trophies to their repertoire.
The following are the champions and finalists from this weekend’s action:
Governors Youngers Division
Champion: Oceanside Breakers
Finalist: Liverpool SC
Champion: FC Bakersfield United
Finalist: AVSC Storm
Champion: FC Bakersfield United
Finalist: FC Golden State
Champion: NHB White
Finalist: Cal Elite
Presidents Youngers Division
Champion: Rebels Soccer Club
Finalist: Chula Vista FC
Champion: Albion SC
Finalist: LA Galaxy South Bay
Champion: SD Surf Academy Select
Finalist: Total Futbol Academy
Champion: Milan SC
Finalist: SouthWestern LA Hawks FC
Champion: CYSASL La Laja
Finalist: OC Nomads
Champion: SD Surf Academy
Finalist: Albion SC
Champion: Strikers FC- OC
Finalist: Beach FC
Champion: Strikers FC-OC
Finalist: So Cal Blues
Champion: Murrieta Surf
Finalist: Strikers FC North
Champion: Hawks G13 Academy
Finalist: LA Galaxy- Bakersfield
As each age division comes to a close, the best of the best prevail in the 2016 Sports Authority State Cup. Hundreds of miles driven around the best soccer fields in Southern California, time and dedication both on and off the pitch, all comes down to the final weekend.
Whether it was training day in and day out or learning from past experiences, ten Cal South teams claimed the top spot in the Presidents Youngers Division in one of the busiest weekends at the SilverLakes Sports Complex in Norco.
Among the championship teams was San Diego’s Albion SC. Lead by head coach and former Cal South player Angel Rodriguez, the Boys Under-10 team came up on top thanks to the use of their prior experience that helped them defeat their LA Galaxy South Bay counterparts.
“I think the biggest thing that makes them successful is that they’ve done a lot of travelling this year,” said Coach Rodriguez. “All year long they’ve been playing top teams. It prepares them mentally and it gives them that edge that not a lot of teams have.
“I played it as a kid, as a player, I played nine years in Cal South in State Cup; I didn’t win it, the closest I got was the quarterfinals. Now, winning as a coach, it’s a big success, it’s a dream come true,” he added.
But to get to be among the top two teams in State Cup is not an easy task. There were almost 100 teams looking to succeed in the tournament in each age group, and none will stop short of achieving their goal of reaching the top.
As described by Milan Academy and Boys Under-12 coach Guillermo Lomeli, playing in State Cup is easier said than done, having to play some of the best teams in the region, something that takes time and effort to successfully accomplish.
“It’s not easy coming to State Cup and being one of the finalists in the tournament. Out of 98 teams, it takes a lot of time, a lot of heart, and especially for the kids, it’s a lot of hustling, playing tough, some games are not easy,” Lomeli said.
Strikers FC coach Pete Aguirre has already tasted glory in this edition of State Cup. About three weeks ago, Coach Aguirre’s Girls Under-8 Team was crowned Mayors Division champion. Last Sunday, Aguirre did it again, this time with Strikers FC-OC’s Girls Under-10 Team in the Presidents Youngers Division, pointing to the team’s vision and philosophy as the recipe for success on the pitch.
“Our focus is on technical and fundamentals. We’re so big on the fundamentals, and obviously as they age, they find a bit more and more success. We like to think that us, just really honing in on the most important things in soccer, you’re seeing it pay off here,” Aguirre said.
With the conclusion of the youngers division, thousands of Cal South Olders Division teams will be looking to run the same luck as their younger counterparts and be crowned champions in their respective categories. For all the latest news and updates on the Sports Authority State Cup, follow Cal South on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
For 12 Cal South teams participating in the Sports Authority State Cup Governors Division, this weekend would symbolize the end of a journey. Whether the journey began eight months ago or two years ago, only six of those teams would be fortunate to lift a championship trophy.
After nine games, it would all come down to the last game. Total Futbol Academy, Real So Cal, PDSC, Beach FC, FC Valencia, and Legends FC would be the teams that would prevail and be crowned champions, while their opponents also celebrated the long journey to get to the championship match, becoming one of the best teams in their age division.
The following are the champions and finalists of this weekend’s action:
Champion - Total Futbol Academy Blue
Finalist - DMCV Sharks
Champion - Real So Cal NR White
Finalist - Oceanside Breakers
Champion - PDSC
Finalist - LA Salsa
Champion - Beach FC LB
Finalist - La Esperanza
Champion - Legends FC
Finalist - Valencia United
Champion - FC Valencia
Finalis - C.C. Condors
The Sports Authority State Cup will continue action this weekend with the Governors Youngers Division and Presidents Youngers Division coming to a close on Sunday at SilverLakes Sports Complex in Norco, Calif.
From Chula Vista to San Luis Obispo, each and every Cal South team participating in the 2016 Sports Authority State Cup put in the time and dedication to do their best on the pitch. At the end of the day, all that time, dedication, and support from their friends and families would pay off as they lifted the championship trophy.
While some coaches were adding another year of experience in State Cup action, Total Futbol Academy coach Jonathan Villa had the perfect run in his first year as a coach. In eight months, Villa turned his team around to go from beginning soccer players to State Cup Governors Youngers Division Boys Under-9 champions.
“At first we were struggling to win games because they were just learning how to play soccer,” Villa said about his team. “In every tournament [we played in], we would always lose in the finals, but in this tournament we won, we surprised people, they didn’t think we were going to win, but we worked hard.
“It means a lot to us; we worked hard [every day]. There were times when we would lose, parents had their hopes down, I had my hopes down; it was frustrating, but we got the win,” he added.
Travelling from the Coachella/Palm Desert area to SilverLakes Sports Complex in Norco, PDSC’s U10 Team had several obstacles along the way to the championship game. Going into the tournament and having the possibility of facing the bigger clubs, Coach Oscar Cervantes wasn’t sure his team would be quite ready for the challenge, but the team managed to prove their coach wrong.
“I feel that in the development of this team, they can win games that they’re supposed to,” Coach Cervantes said after the win. “After taking this step, I feel they’ve earned the confidence now where they can go and play with the big boys.
“The boys have been continuously working hard, every practice. We set this goal to win this tournament, from the beginning. Step one is accomplished and now we have to move on to bigger things,” he added.
For Real So Cal Coach Timothy Ward, winning the Governors Girls Under-9 championship was the perfect way to measure how far his team has come since their inception two years ago. In a hard-fought match, Real So Cal’s confidence helped the team prevail over their Oceanside Breakers counterparts.
“When I first got the team two years ago, I first told the parents that this team was not about winning championships, that if we focused on fundamentals and development, that maybe in time we’d have a chance to win something,” Ward told calsouth.com. “The first few months, we got our butt kicked in most tournaments we entered, and now to see this, to see the development and growth over the last two years, as a coach, it feels really good.”
With the conclusion of the youngers division, thousands of Cal South Olders Division teams will be looking to run the same luck as their younger counterparts and be crowned champions in their respective categories. For all the latest news and updates on the Sports Authority State Cup and all Cal South news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
There’s nothing more gratifying after a long season than to lift the Sports Authority State Cup trophy. For six Cal South clubs participating in the Mayors Division, that’s what happened on Sunday afternoon at the SilverLakes Soccer Complex in Norco, Calif.
The competition was at an all-time high and the stakes were even higher as Sunday morning rolled by for the championship games. Each team arrived early onto their designated field, anxiously waiting for the starting whistle to their match. As the minutes passed, the tension grew.
For Beach FC, the 2016 edition of the Sports Authority State Cup was an opportunity to turn things around. After being eliminated in the first round of last year’s tournament, the fire to go for gold flourished within each player. After eight games played, the U10 boys team defeated the SLOSC Fire B05 team 4-2, a complete turnaround as to how things finished last year.
“They’ve worked hard,” said Beach FC Coach Kieron Brimacombe. “They haven’t had the easiest season and we challenged them to carry on and they came out fighting every weekend. They came out and played in not the easiest of conditions, but they certainly deserve where they are now.”
For Strikers-OC, the task at hand was not going to be easy, but it wasn’t impossible. Heading in to State Cup action, the U8 girls team lead by Coach Pete Aguirre was undefeated in their season and were determined to maintain their streak despite playing up an age group. After a hard-fought final match against Legends FC, a single goal by Strikers allowed the team to win the match and capture the championship trophy.
“It definitely means a lot,” said Coach Aguirre. “It was a great end to an amazing season. This team has never lost a game and to enter a tournament undefeated and to end it that way, it is truly amazing.”
Over in the Girls U-11 age division between JUSA Jaguars and Scripps United, the match could’ve gone to either team. Even though the Jaguars were up 1-0, Scripps United proved to be strong opponents as they prolonged the game with a last minute equalizing goal that would take both teams to penalty kicks. However, it would be the Jaguars that would prevail from the 12-yard mark, winning 3-1.
“What made this team really special is the team unity, team chemistry,” Coach Paul Rygalski said about his team. “We played club tournaments throughout the year and we wanted to see how well we competed in the State Cup and mission accomplished.”
State Cup action continues as more teams will battle it out for a chance to lift the championship trophy this Saturday and Sunday at the SilverLakes Soccer Complex in Norco. For all the latest action and news on the Sports Authority State Cup, make sure to follow Cal South on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.