2007 Surf Cup Champions
August 28, 2007

LAFC BU11 Summer Tournament Recap
Ending the season as State Champs made this tournament season even more intense. With teams raising their game to play us all of our boys had to work as possible to overcome each and every opponent. Here is our tournament review for this summer:

1) Slammers Tournament 2007—Finalist

Pool Play
Vs. Hotspurs Red of the Presidio League W 9-1
Vs. Stampede Red (SE) W 2-0
Semi Final
Vs. Real California (SE) W 1-0
Vs. West Coast (Gold) L 4-1
13 GF 5 GA

A great way for our boys to ease into tournament season. Many of the teams we played participated in the Spring League and various Latin Leagues. These were our first competitive games at 11v11 and the boys equipped themselves brilliantly. Playing against some of the top teams in Southern California helped us to implement some of the training we had been doing and helped put the finishing touches on our roster for the upcoming season. A break-out tournament for some of our new players notably Caleb “Rooney” Calvert, Ariel Ambriz, Esteban Chavez and Samuel Doctorian who has made the transition from our second team to the this team seamlessly.

2) Pateadores Cup 2007—Champion

Pool Play
Vs. Pats White (SE) W 7-0
Vs. Barca Blue (Gold) W 4-0
Vs. Elite Soccer League (Presidio) W 8-0
Vs. FC Blades (SE) Forfeit W 1-0
Vs. PV Raiders (Gold) W 7-0
27 GF 0 GA

Back-to-Back tournaments are tough for any team but the boys responded in the best possible fashion. With high competition in every game the results were remarkable. Huge wins against 2 gold teams and a silver elite team helped maintain the confidence of the squad. The goalscorers always seem to get the most credit but for a team not to concede a goal throughout a full tournament at this age group is unbelievable. A very comprehensive win against a fellow Gold bracket competitor confirmed us a one of the teams to beat again this year. Another added addition to our squad Milan Sanchez-Johnson shone in every game and gave us a glimpse of his potential with this team. Goalkeeper Esteban Chavez and defenders Timmy Bates, Elan Koenig, Michael Mojarro, Sam Doctorian and Captains Jeff Quezada and Sebby Velasco deserved huge praise for their stout defenders and aggressive play.

3) Surf Cup 2007—Champion

Pool Play
Vs. Surf (Presidio) W 1-0
Vs. PV Raiders (Gold) W 4-0
Vs. Santa Clara Sporting (Cal North) W 4-0
Semi Final
Vs. West Coast (Gold) W 6-0
Vs. CV Manchester (Presidio Champions) W 2-0
17 GF 0 GA

Wow! The Premier Tournament for Youth Soccer in the Western United States. This tournament puts together the most successful teams in each age group and allows them battle it out over 3 days to crown a champion. An 8am game against the tournament holders is a banana skin for any team especially when our boys had to travel to San Diego from La Canada on the day of the game. Waking up and giving it their all, our boys played composed soccer and even though the score line was very close our boys showed their class and skill and put on a show on the first day of competition. Next up were PV and after beating them 7-0 in the previous tournament they came out very strong and put us under a lot of pressure when we had possession of the ball. The introduction of Jorge Ruiz in the second half turned the game on its head. Battling sickness he came on and supplied cross after cross for the LAFC forwards to put the ball into the back of the net to give us a resounding 4-0 win.

Next up were Santa Clara Sporting from Northern California. A heated game followed and the LAFC boys showed great composure under aggressive and cynical play at times. The technical quality of Oscar Palma and Tommy Fraher helped the boys overcome their opponents and lead us in to the semi’s against one of the tournament favorites WCFC.

After our defeat at Slammers against West Coast we knew we had to alter our game plan and play our game rather than let WC dominate us physically. With a plan of getting the ball wide early and attacking down the flanks we were ready to do battle. Time and Time again we dominated possession and penetrated the WC backline with sharp passing and great combination play. With Jorge Ruiz and Rooney causing chaos down the flanks we attacked at will and dominated proceedings. Oscar Palma and Milan Sanchez-Johnson helped themselves to superb hat-tricks leading us to a resounding and extremely comfortable 6-0 win. A huge amount of praise goes to Timmy Bates who man-marked their most dangerous attacker for the entire game and helped the defense restrict WC to only 1 shot on goal. This showed the improvement of the boys over a 3 week period and gave us an insight of what this team is capable of on a large field playing 11v11.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, we didn’t concede one goal all tournament for the second tournament running. Playing against the highest competition possible the team as a whole defended extremely well and also cost our goalkeepers parents a new pair of cleats! The promise of “If you don’t concede a goal all tournament we will buy you any cleats you want” came to bite them in the backside!

4) West Coast Tournament—Champion

Pool Play
Vs. Del Mar Sharks (Presidio) W 3-1
Vs. Real So Cal (SE) W 3-0
Vs. Barca Blue (Gold) W 3-0
Semi Final
Vs. Stampede (Gold) W 3-1
Vs. West Coast (Gold) W 2-0
14 GF 2 GA

Another tournament stacked with quality teams is getting the boys ready for the upcoming season. With perhaps the strongest bracket in the tournament the boys played extremely well to come out as winners of their pool. The attacking play of our forward players, Milan, Rooney, Oscar, Jorge and Giggsy gave opponents a lot to deal with in every game. With niggling injuries we never had our squad at top condition all weekend but looking at how each player played you would never had guessed that was the case.

The final would again throw together what is perceived to be the top two teams at this age group. After the 6-0 drubbing at Surf Cup WCFC came out fired up and very aggressive in their play. Again our idea was to get the ball into wide areas and attack crosses with numbers. With Rooney struggling all weekend with a quad injury we asked him to play as a 3rd striker to restrict the amount of defending he was responsible for. The plan worked. Time and time again we penetrated WCFC down the flanks and produced some great service into the area for us to attack. With the score balanced at half-time 0-0 we decided to play more direct style into Jorge and Rooney and look to play the ball in the box earlier. It worked! Rooney, almost playing with one leg, arrived into the box at pace and produced the kind of finishes we all know he is capable of to score 2 great goals and give us the championship, with a nickname like Rooney we expect him to do this all season. An exceptional performance by Sebby Velasco allowed to us restrict the attacks from WCFC and the combination of Tommy Fraher and Ariel Ambriz in the centre of the park allowed us to take their best players out of the game.

I think we’re ready for the season now!

Totals: 18-1-0 / GF 71 / GA 7
3 Championships & 1 Finalist Performance
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