Team Chemistry, Attitude and Energy prove successful
The FC Wisconsin U16, U17 and U18 RCP teams traveled to Cincinnati this past weekend April 20-22nd to take part in the Puma Blue Chip College Showcase.
The events central location was held at the Kings Hammer Soccer Complex and was host to over 250 of the top College Coaches from all Divisions looking to recruit some of the best players from across the country. Considered one of the top Showcases in the country the event was represented by over 165 clubs from across 25 different states.
FC Wisconsin U16 RCP Blue Chip Recap:
The FC Wisconsin U16 RCP team would open the event playing Indiana Fire. Both teams came out with excitement and energy and Juan Esparza would give FC Wisconsin a 1-0 lead, finishing well from the top of the box after good work by Collin Glancy. Indiana Fire would rally and after two defensive mistakes the Fire took a 2-1 lead into the interval. The team would come out and play some good soccer in the 2nd half connecting far more passes than their opponents, creating numerous chances. The team was rewarded late on as Eric Espino took the ball down and played through Vance Plecha who advanced 1v1 with the GK before coolly slotting home to tie the game 2-2. Both teams pushed for a late winner but the game ended in an entertaining tie.
Ohio Premier represented tough opponents the following day. In a hard fought game against two good teams FC would play some excellent soccer and created numerous chances but were unable to break the deadlock. The game would be in the balance until the last 10 minutes of play. After some excellent combination play Ethan Engelken was able to find Vance Plecha who rifled a shot at goal, and although the GK was initially able to save Plecha followed up and with the aid of a deflection finished well to give the team a 1-0 lead which would prove the only goal of the game. This was a hard fought win and would prove to be Ohio Premier’s only loss of the Showcase.
The third game saw the team take on the Croatia Jrs from Ohio. FC would start the game well, dominating possession and creating numerous chances but were unable to find a breakthrough as Croatia defended resolutely. In the 2nd half both teams continued to create chances and pushed for a winner but the game would ultimately end in a 0-0 stalemate. The game was marred by a serious knee injury to FC Goalkeeper Noah Lawless and everyone within the FC Family wishes him well with his recovery.
With the 0-0 tie the team would finish with an undefeated 1-0-2 record and showed some real glimpses of quality. The way this team came together and the development and improvement that took place over the course of the week was great to see and exciting for the future.
“The Blue Chip showcase was a tremendous experience for all the players when it came to exposure in front of college coaches. As a staff numerous coaches approached us from all collegiate levels. The positive comments and praise we received for how the teams played was extremely pleasing. I believe we are seeing how our methods at FC Wisconsin are appreciated by college coaches and this will continue to lead to long-term success for all our players”, Said Coach Marty Lataille.
FC Wisconsin U17 RCP Blue Chip Recap:
FC Wisconsin would start the event with a game against Internationals Impact from Ohio. The team started well and took a lead through Chris Carreon’s accomplished finish from the left hand side of the box. In a physical game FC would double their advantage on the stroke of half-time when Cole Goff was able to score from a well delivered set-piece from Chris Carreon to make the score 2-0. The 2nd half would see more pressure from FC with plenty of chances created, and Erich Legut would make the game safe with a cool finish to give the team a 3-0 win. This was an accomplished performance from the group and set them up nicely for a tough opponent the following day.
The 2nd game saw FC take on a very good Ohio Galaxies team ranked 7th in the State of Ohio. The game was a physical contest in the first half and at half time the team found themselves trailing 1-2 with the lone goal scored from AJ Casarez. FC would come out looking to get an early equalizer at the start of the 2nd half but after a defensive mistake found themselves go further behind and trail 1-3. However; the boys would rally and after a powerful finish from Erich Legut pulled a goal back, Timmy Gillingham would tie the game at 3-3 with a good finish inside the 18-yard box. FC would continue to now push for the winner and late in the game Sam Healey bravely drew a penalty, which Erich Legut stepped up to convert to seal a great comeback, and 4-3 win.
FC carried their momentum into the final game of the showcase dispatching Croatia Jr’s comfortably with a 4-1 win. Goals from AJ Casarez, Tyler McMahon, Fionnbharr Hartnett, and a sublime half volley from outside the box by Erich Legut sealed the win for the boys. David Valle and Hartnett would also pick up two assists each in the game.
The win would give the boys a perfect record of 3-0 and they would finish top of their group.
“The overall performance of the team was tremendous. Their willingness to work for one another and the attacking soccer that they played throughout the weekend drew much praise from college coaches in attendance but also opposing coaches. This was a big step forward for the group and we head into our remaining games this spring with a lot of confidence”, Said Coach Anthony Gonzales.
FC Wisconsin U18 RCP Blue Chip Recap:
The U18 RCP Team would open up the Showcase with a tough opponent in host club Kings Hammer. The game would prove to be a tight affair but FC would finally break the deadlock when Parker Schimmers fired home well from a Nick Baniukiewicz corner. FC would then continue to push forward and were able to make the game safe in the 2nd half when Max Siade-Cox was able to finish well after a scramble in the box. Both Cam Polley and Noah Reed combined for the shutout, which gave the team a solid start to the Showcase.
Day two would see the team face Michigan Jaguars who also entered the game 1-0 after defeating Wisconsin native North Shore United the previous day. The game would be a tense and physical affair with both teams competing hard and creating chances. The deadlock would be broken with a wonderful half volley strike from Nick Baniukiewicz from outside the box from a driven cross from Colin Hogan to put the team up 1-0. The Jaguars would respond and put the team under pressure but on the counter attack Nick Baniukiewicz would control a clearance from Parker Schimmers, steady himself and slotted a great through ball to Max Siade-Cox who coolly rounded the goalkeeper to make the score 2-0. The Jaguars would respond again and pulled a late goal back to make for a tense finish. The team would manage the last few minutes well though and a great defensive play from Chris Estrada helped maintain the 2-1 score-line for an excellent result.
The final day would see the team up against Pacesetter Soccer Club who were the Ohio State Cup Champions. This would prove a real test and was the toughest game for the group over the course of the weekend. Both teams created chances and played some good soccer throughout the game. Ben Herold and Carsten Murgas went close for FC, but pacesetters would eventually take the lead and would double their advantage late on for a 2-0 victory.
The boys still finished the Showcase with a winning record of 2-1 and showed well in front or hundreds of College coaches.
“This was a tough opponent for the team and unfortunately we fell just a little short in the end. However; over the course of the weekend the team has played some excellent soccer and really showed well in front of the College coaches, which is what this is all about. We are extremely pleased with how well they represented the club”, said Coach Michael Carreon.
“This was a great opportunity to showcase our teams and players in front of the best college coaches and programs in the country and we are extremely proud of how they all performed against excellent competition. Playing against top opponents from across the country only helps to aid our player’s individual and the teams overall development. All three teams took big steps forward this week and grew together on and off the field as teammates and will learn from the overall experience” said Coach Marty Lataille.
Congrats to all three of the FC Wisconsin RCP Teams on their achievements.