FC Strength Shines Through as Five Teams Qualify for Regional Playoffs
In what has been a tragic week for FC Wisconsin and all involved with the club, there was also immense strength, unity, support, and love for one another shown this past weekend in our teams’ performances across all age groups, leagues, and tournaments.
While our main thoughts and prayers remain with the Olla family at this time, we are proud to report that four of our Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) teams have qualified for the ENPL Regionals that will be hosted in Rockford June 28 – July 2. To advance to the Regionals, FC Wisconsin's ECNL teams had to finish in the top two of the Midwest Conference at the U14 age group, and the top three within the U15, U16, and U17 age groups. The club’s U14 ECNL team won its regular season championship, and the U16 ECNL team won its second consecutive regular season championship.
The ECNL Midwest Conference consists of eleven of the top clubs from across the Midwest region from the following states: Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and New York. Out of the 71 member ECNL Clubs, FC Wisconsin is one of only three clubs to have qualified this many teams to the ENPL Regionals - a fantastic achievement by all our players, families, and coaches.
Adding to the club's successes, FC Wisconsin’s U13 Pre-ECNL and Regional Competitive Program (RCP) teams had a superb showing at the recent Wisconsin State Cup. On Sunday, our U13 Pre-ECNL team won the State Cup Championship in a hard fought 3-1 victory over SC Waukesha. Our U13 Pre-ECNL age groups have now been in the final at this age group for the past three years - winning two State Championships. The USYS Regionals will take place in Saginaw, Michigan June 21 – June 26.
FC Wisconsin Co-Director of Coaching Ben Shepherd shared, “It is a massive accomplishment for the club to send four teams to the ENPL Regionals, and a testament to the all the players and coaches that put so much work in on a day-to-day basis. The success of the U13 Pre-ECNL and all the RCP teams also shows that our long-term player development curriculum and commitment to helping all players reach their goals is paying dividends for everyone associated with the club. While we are thrilled with all our teams’ successes, this past week has shown us all what it means to be a part of the FC Family. The strength, resilience, unity, and love that everyone associated with the club has shown each other and the Olla family makes us most proud.”
The U17 RCP team who finished second in their Midwest Regional League (MWC) this season, also advanced to the semi-finals, eventually losing on penalties to Madison FC. The U14, U15, and U18 RCP teams all came close to advancing out of the group stage as well - having everything to play for in their final games, which was a great effort from all involved.
Co-Director of Coaching Billy Solberg added, "Couldn't be more proud of how our families and players have come together at this time. We not only say 'FC Family,' but we live it. In terms of our on field success, we continue to stick to developing players. We have a great culture, atmosphere, and environment for learning. We train hard, yet our kids know we genuinely care about them on and off the field. Our culture sets us apart from any other club. We get to coach some pretty amazing kids."