It was only a few weeks ago that the SFEA 2005 Girls lost a heartbreaking NorCal State Cup championship in the roulette of a penalty shootout. Well, the team, under the guidance of head coach Tom Atencio and the relentless support of a great parent group, has gone on to prove that it's not about how hard you fall, but how quickly you get back up.
This past weekend the girls went undefeated across four matches, including beating two ECNL sides and not allowing a goal in their final to matches, to claim the title at the US Club National Cup West Regionals in Davis.
The SFEA 2005 Girls now become the first San Francisco youth team to earn their way into the prestigious US Club National Cup Championships to be held July 19-23rd in Commerce City, Colorado at Dick Sporting Goods Park. It's an incredible accomplishment and everyone SFEA would like to congratulate the team, coach, and parents on realizing one of their big goals.
The National Cup is US Club Soccer’s cup-based national championship competition open to US Club members. To learn more please see the US Club website at https://www.usclubsoccer.org/national-cup-west-regional
Congratulations to the SFEA 2002 Boys, as well as the 2003 and 2005 Girls' teams, for claiming NorCal Champions League spots for the spring of 2019. Champions League divisions represent the highest level of play in northern California outside U.S. Soccer Development Academy play. All three teams had remarkable fall seasons that ended with them being in the critical top spots of their NPL 1 divisions.
For the 2002 Boys, NPL Champions League was our team goal for the fall," said Bobby Quinlan, head coach of the SFEA 2002 boys. As a group we created a set of values and expectations and it included Champions League play as a critical goal. I'm very proud of the team for working to be better each day, and now we look forward to competing for Champions League and State Cup titles this spring."
For the 2003 Girls it will be a second Champions League qualification in a row. Nonetheless, head coach Jeff Wilson knows that his 2003 girls cherish the high level competition. "The 2003 girls love competing against the very best players and clubs throughout Northern California. Like their accomplishments on the field, these girls are also successfully excelling in the classrooms of some of the most prestigious high schools in the bay area. They've learned to balance daily schedules filled with college preparatory courses as well as competition against the most accomplished soccer players around. It all adds up to these 2003 girls being prepared for many great things ahead."
Currently, the 2002 Boys and 2003 teams are on a winter break while most of their players participate in high school play. The 2005 girls, who have also qualified for Champions League, are continuing to train together as a group over the winter. "The 2005 Girls have really benefited with our club philosophy of mixing some training and play opportunties across age groups," said Tom Atencio, head coach of the 2005 Girls. "They go against the 2004 Girls quite often and that highly competitive environment carries them into games and in turn the Champions League for spring as well as our great results at 2018 Surf College Cup. In fact, across the 2004 and 2005 teams we have 8 players on the state PDP team, which is comparable to the very best ECNL teams in northern California. It's a credit to the girls themselves as well as the carefully considered training environment we've established to help them be the top players they want to become."
Good luck to all three teams this spring as they compete in the very highest divisions of Norcal play available.
US Club Soccer, the sanctioning body for NorCal soccer and top leagues all over the country, has selected the San Francisco Elite Academy as one of just 46 clubs nationwide (and the first in San Francisco) to earn the designation of being a Players First-licensed club.
US Club reviewed clubs nationwide and selected those that met or exceeded rigorous Players First standards related to Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety.
"We're really appreciative of this recognition from US Club," said Joe Dugan, President of the San Francisco Elite Academy. "Our club's core pillars align perfectly with the Player First philosophy. We've always been the San Francisco club trying to raise the bar for a competitive youth soccer experience. We understand that a club isn't only about wins and losses, but it's about creating a holistic environment for growth that benefits young people for the entire lives.
Visit our Players First page on the website for more details or read about Players First from US Club here.
The SF Elite Academy
Our mission is to provide an elite level program for soccer players in San Francisco.