July 19, 2011
The Santa Clara Sporting ’94s ended the 2011 Schwan’s USA Cup as Finalists after taking their one loss of the tournament to the Albion SC White Team from San Diego who are the USYSA U15 Boys US National Champion Finalist. The USA Cup was an exhausting weekend of: building shaking thunder, lightning, pouring rain, dorm food, endless bus rides, then extereme hot humid heat today, and some pretty tough compeition.
Torrential rain, lightning and thunder were just some of the elements the Sporting 94 has to battle
The team won four straight games; defeated the St.Croix Team from Minnesota 2-1, beat the SC Waukesha Pumas from (Wisconsin State Champs) 5-1 and the LaRoca Team (Utah State Champs) 1-0 in bracket play. Santa Clara easily won their Semi-final match against Odyssey from Texas, but then we ran out of gas and legs, and lost 0-3 to Albion, the current US Champions from San Diego. It was the first tournament and set of games for the team since last May at the Dallas Cup Tournament, so the team played well considering the month-and-a-half break. The boys learned a lot from playing against Albion which demonstrated why they are National Champion Finalists.
Northwestern College in Minnesota was home to the U16 elite boys and girls team
Puma is a major sponsor of the Schwan’s USA Cup and provided all the U16 Elite (Boys and Girls) teams with free lodging and transportation at the event. The Sporting ’94s flew into St. Paul, Minnesota, and were greeted at the aiport by a friendly USA Cup staff, then were shuttled to Northwestern College where all the "elite U16 teams" stayed over the weekend. Players and coaches shared dorm rooms and ate at the campus cafeteria. Buses were running everyday to shuttle teams to games, and the overall organization was impeccable. The Schwan National Sports Center is home to 42 soccer fields, 8 ice rinks, a cycling velodrome, and they will soon build baseball facilities. Over 14,000 soccer players will compete this week in a Class 1 soccer tournament from U9-U18 with teams traveling from all over the globe.
Next up for the Sporting 94’s is to travel to San Diego and compete in the Surf Cup tournament, then host the U17 age group in the Santa Clara Sporting Invitational Tournament. The boys will compete in the Far West Regional League and the CCSL Premier League this Fall before breaking for high school soccer.