Six Cal South teams returned to Southern California as US Youth Soccer National Presidents Cup Champions after a successful four-day tournament that took place in Auburndale, Fla. Westside Breakers and Eagles SC also had a successful stint in the tournament finishing as finalists.
The four-day tournament kicked off last Thursday as eight Cal South teams battled to earn their first three points in the national tournament. The Southern California association was well represented as Cal South had the most teams participating. However, the competition was fierce, as all the teams had to play their A-game to take the win. On Day 1, the Cal South teams finished off with six wins, one loss and one draw.
The following day, Beach FC was the first to clinch their ticket to the 13UG Final after a convincing 3-0 win, their second win in the tournament, on Day 2. Downtown LA SC (14UB), Santos Laguna (16UB), and Inter America Halcones (17/18UB) had to leave their ticket onto the next round until Day 3 where it was a must-win situation for both in order to make it to the next round. Fortunately, all eight Cal South teams moved on to well-represent Southern California in the Final Stage.
The day all teams had worked for came around on Finals Sunday, the hottest and most humid day of the tournament. However, the Cal South teams were determined to get the job done and bring back a trophy to Southern California. Facing one of the toughest teams they faced in the tournament, Inter America Halcones FC took their game with Ocean Township United (NJ) to extra time to decide a winner. Luckily, Halcones scored the goal they needed to become 17/18UB Champions.
Ventura County’s Eagles SC also battled hard with their opponent, FC United 2003 (IL). After ending extra time with a 3-3 draw, the 14U Girls moved on to penalty kicks where the Illinois team would top the Eagles for a 10-9 win.
Coach Cle Kooiman’s IE Surf also had a suspenseful final 17/18U Girls match. After a 1-1 draw with the Illinois Fusion in extra time, the game moved on to penalty kicks where fortune and hard work would be on their side as the match finished 6-5 in favor of the So Cal team.
With the six National Presidents Championship Teams, Cal South now adds 26 National Titles, and 52 Region IV Championship Titles.