The Boys U14s and U15s had outstanding performances at the SC Del Sol WCDA College Showcase in Arizona with championship and third-place finishes, respectively. In addition, two Shadow players were announced this week as All-Tournament selections from the Region IV ODP Championships held in January.
SC Del Sol WCDA College Showcase
The President's Day holiday weekend featured a pair of strong performances on the road at the SC Del Sol WCDA College Showcase in Arizona. The BU14s brought home the championship, opening with a draw against Rio Rapids and running off wins against Arsenal Colorado, Colorado Storm and Lyons Township. The BU15s fell in their opener against local side Tuscon Soccer Academy but rebounded to finish third with wins over FC Portland, Colorado Storm and Colorado Edge. The U14s were led by Ray Serrano (10 goals) and Eric Shaporda (2 goals) as well as centerback Mundo Curiel, who stood strong playing every minute of the event. Highlighting the U14 performance was Camden VerStrate, who scored in every game, and Jaymon Manzi, who posted some shutout performances in his time in goal.
From the coaches...
Cameron Bushey (U14): "The weekend was obviously a success, and it always feels good to win a championship. The team has come a long way since we began the season in July, and this weekend, against opponents we had not seen before, we proved we could compete with anyone. We have strung together a stretch of good performances. Just ask our captain, Eli Armstrong, he will love to tell you that we are undefeated in 2016. The team was excellent this weekend, and I do not say that lightly. Ray (and Eric) did all our scoring, but genuinely the team scored those goals. And together we kept opponents from scoring more than we did. That is what it takes to win games, score more than the opponent, and it is also what let us advance first through the group. We advanced on the third tie-break: most goals scored. I do not usually like to single players out often, but Ray was a step above any player we saw all weekend. He is a special player, and no defender we played against had a good day when they had to deal with Ray. He is very good right now, and he has to continue to work to stay ahead. He is a good example, but players are hungry to be as good and better than he is. That is his challenge - and ours - to be better."
Mike Pellicio (U15): "Our boys played one bad spell that cost us an opportunity to play for the final in the end. However, we were mentally tough and played brilliant attacking soccer at times. The boys can be proud of the way they accounted for themselves against top regional competition.”
All-Tournament Teams for the 2016 ODP Region IV Championships
US Youth Soccer announced the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (US Youth Soccer ODP) All-Tournament Teams for the 2016 ODP Region IV Championships, which took place Jan. 7-10 at Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix.
Two Shadow players were recognized. Kaelyn Barnes (2000 girls) and Ray Serrano (2002 boys) were honored for their outstanding performances at the event.
The Tournament Teams were selected from US Youth Soccer Regional Coach evaluations. Throughout the event players attended training sessions and competed in matches in front of collegiate coaches for the opportunity to be selected to a higher level of play.