Congratulations to the following 10 of our 13 SFEA teams for making the round of 16 in Norcal State Cup!
2003 Girls NPL
2003 Girls Norcal
2004 Girls NPL
2006 Girls Norcal
2004 Boys Norcal
These teams will resume play on April 14th and 15th, and be fighting for a coveted spot in the final 8 teams of their age group and cup divisions.
As the premier destination for the city’s top soccer players, the San Francisco Elite Academy is proud of its many high school boys and girls players. On the boys’ side of our program, over the next week, a large number of SFEA players and coaches will face one another in high stakes games for the San Francisco high school, boys’ winter soccer playing season.
On Friday 1/19, at 3.30pm at Paul Goode Field, University High School will host Lick-Wilmerding and the match will host some 15 SFEA players and two SFEA coaches. University’s varsity team features 7 SF Elite Academy boys players--Nico Petry Mitchell, Luke Bronson, Henry Gorelik, Zeke Ume-Ukeje, Max Edelstein, Owen Flanagan, and Nicolas Galleno. On the Lick side, there are also 7 players from the SF Elite Academy--Nathan Logam, Will Roos, Harrison Gable, Max Beldner, Wyatt Young, Zeke Ruben-Moore, Ruben Rathje and Alex Koh-Bell.
It’s not just players going head to head. Chris Flanagan, SFEA’s Director of Soccer Operations and U19 coach, is the assistant coach at University. And Lick is led by Barry McCabe, SFEA’s Director of Athletic development and injury prevention.
The following Wednesday, on 1/24 at Kezar Stadium at 7pm, the intense sporting rivalry between Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep and St. Ignatius Prep continues when the teams meet in soccer. Beyond Sacred Heart longtime head coach, Jeff Wilson, SFEA’s Technical Director for Girls as well as head coach of two SFEA teams (2003 Boys and 2003 Girls), there will be some 16 SFEA players seeking honors in this annual rivalry match. SFEA players at Sacred Heart include Theo Malliaras, Parker Whitcomb, Ian Eadie, Luke Belber, Alec Perliss, Dash Biesemeyer, Eli Streiker-Hirt, Ellis Brenneman and Alex Bonnville; and, on the St. Ignatius side of the field Alex Bailey, Nick Brown, Kol Van Giesen, Chris Miglio, Armando Malton, Eric Connell and Reid Pollino will feature.
If you’re a fan of San Francisco youth soccer don’t miss these two rivalry high school matches and the chance to see some great winter soccer.
The San Francisco Elite Academy sent 7 teams to this year's premier national showcase, the Surf College Cup Showcase, and several made a statement about the quality of their team, players and coaches with terrific performances.
Leading the way was the 2001 Boys, which recently qualified for the spring NPL Champions League. The 2001 Boys won two matches and tied one at Surf, meaning they finished first in their group of six teams. During the showcase, seven different players claimed goals and the 2001 boys scored 9 goals over their three matches. Also, doing well in San Diego were the 99/00 Boys and 2002 Girls. Both teams finished third in their groups. The 99/00 boys went 1-1-1 to finish third among six teams, and the 2002 Girls went 2-1 to finish third among eight teams.
Best of all, each of SFEA's seven participating teams (99/00, 01, and 02 Boys, and 01, 02, 03, 04 Girls) got to play in a pristine playing setting that included over 500 participating college coaches. College coaches were regular fixtures along the sidelines of SFEA games and were introduced to SFEA players with team rosters with player information. Congratulations to all our SFEA teams for what was yet another good year at Surf College Cup.
The San Francisco Elite Academy is proud to announce that the 99/00 Boys NPL, 01 Boys NPL, 02 Boys NPL, and the 01 Girls NPL, 02 Girls NPL, 03 Girls NPL, and 04 Girls NPL all have been selected to attend one of the nation's most coveted soccer showcases--the 2017 Surf College Cup Showcase. This marks the second year running that SFEA has sent multiple teams to compete against some of the best players in the nation. Held over Thanksgiving weekend at two premier field facilities in San Diego, the Surf College Showcase is considered one of the two premier national showcases for youth soccer players and only accepts approximately 1 in 3 teams that apply. Typically, over 500 college coaches attend the event to scout youth soccer talent who play three games over a three-day period against some of the top soccer clubs in the country (see the graphic below). Congratulations to these seven teams and we hope they both enjoy and take advantage of this unique opportunity to compete against the "Best of the Best," which is a cornerstone of what makes the San Francisco Elite Academy unique in San Francisco.
On Sunday, the SF Elite Academy 2002 Boys traveled to the Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park for what would be the decisive match in the NPL 1 spring season. The SFEA 2002 Boys entered the match in second place and needed a win to secure the NPL1 title as then first-place Monarcas 02 Boys had already played their final match and held a two-point edge. In addition, Santa Clara Sporting 2002 Boys Green were just one point behind Elite in third, but also with a game in hand, meaning Sunday's hosts needed a win or tie to be in the driver's seat to claim the title themselves.
Played in perfect weather on the pristine grass field at the Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park, both teams served up a great display of soccer. Early on, Santa Clara appeared dangerous in the counter attack and nearly capitalized on several corner kicks using routines they had obviously worked on in training. SFEA first-half keeper Nicolas Galleno was forced into several big saves.
By the end of the half, however, SF Elite was getting the ball into the corners with numbers crashing into the Santa Clara box, which led to multiple golden chances, including a shot just over the post from wing Ellis Brenneman. The first half also saw an audacious outside of the foot chip shot by SFEA forward Aidan Hyde that just struck the wrong side of the left post.
While the half ended 0-0, early in the second SF Elite kept working the ball forward on a foundation of defensive pressure and decisive ball winning, especially from holding midfielder Reid Pollino. The break through finally came when midfielder Owen Flanagan, scored on a knuckling free kick that found the upper left net, untouched, from a strike of around 25 yards.
The goal spurred Santa Clara into action and soon the game opened up with quick counter attacks both directions. SF Elite was frustrated by what appeared a penalty only resulted in a free kick on the top of the box and a subsequent blocked try on goal. And then the increased pressure finally paid off for Santa Clara when SF Elite failed to build out of a corner clearance. A terrific one-on-one play deep in the box from a Santa Clara player led to a slotted goal from a tight angle, and the game was tied 1-1.
From there, both teams looked like possible winners. Santa Clara had several end-to-end chances but great center back play from SFEA's Thibault Jamey and Declan Pantankar (and supported by second-half keeper Alex Lopez) kept the score even. Then, with just a few minutes to play, William Murray, who had been moved into central striker from his normal left back position, broke onto a long pass to get in on goal. With a defender leaning into him from behind, William managed to punch the ball between the keepers legs and recover his balance in time to smash the ball into an empty net. A huge celebration erupted on the SF Elite sideline which led to a referee warning, and the last few minutes saw SF Elite defending a couple dangerous corners until the final whistle was blown.
Head coach Mauricio Diaz De Leon was delighted with the win, and he credited the moment meeting the team's growth at just the right time, saying, "It was the perfect day for soccer. Mother's Day, on an excellent pitch, with the chance to win something. This whole season we've talked about consistency and executing the simple things. Before the match started, I told them regardless of what happens, we're in this together. I couldn't be more proud of their response. The boys embraced the challenge and competed until the last minute. They played and fought together as one. It was great to see the smiles on their faces after the win. The team worked hard and earned every bit of the celebration. "
The 2-1 win pushed the SF Elite Academy 2002 Boys to a 5-1-1 league season and an unassailable position at the top of the NPL 1 table. And, remarkably, it marks the team's second league championship in a row as the SF Elite Academy 2002 Boys also won NPL 2 in the fall of 2016. The entire SF Elite Academy staff congratulates the team and Mauricio, and looks forward to more achievements ahead.
all photos courtesy of John Murray, rights reserved
The SF Elite Academy
Our mission is to provide an elite level program for soccer players in San Francisco.