Coach Manuel and the 2001 Boys
Thanksgiving weekend saw a momentous occasion for our club, as this Thanksgiving weekend we entered the prestigious San Diego Surf Challenge Cup and Showcase.
In order to participate in Surf competition, teams must win other tournaments or by special invite only.
Our 2006 girls green team and 2001 boys green team represented Almaden FC at one of the most sought after and highly anticipated tournaments on the year. With an estimated 500+ college coaches present at the tournament there was much to play for at the highest of levels amongst some outstanding talent from all around the nation
Every team that represented AFC and GPS/Bayern gave outstanding performances
The 2006 girls had a tough weekend, they very unfortunate to come away with score lines unbefitting to their performances. The experiences the players have had through the tournament representing the club in their first Surf Cup experience including facing up to a team 21st in the nation. The 2001 Almaden boys were extremely competitive again coming away with one win and two losses, however, the manner of the performance was clear to see in the slim differences in score lines losing both games by one goal, which shows we can now compete at this level. As a result of winning their bracket, the 01 boys have now ranked #9 in Norcal, which is a great achievement
Technical Director John Devine was present over the weekend supporting all coaches and players alike.
“This tournament was a huge challenge as the step up in terms of levels and quality of teams/players was immense. Our players performed magnificently, the style of play, the character shown in difficult times was a joy to behold. Overall, all our teams were highly competitive and held their own in a top class environment. The players have represented this club with pride and passion with the manner of their performances and conduct on and off the field. The players who represented our club with GPS California again were fantastic. To play in one of the country’s most difficult and illustrious of tournaments, to mix and blend so well with players who they do not play with week in week out showed extraordinary character. I would like to thank GPS California General Manager Kurtis Millan and GPS San Diego Technical Director Phil Burns for their support, in particular, this week. Phil’s support of the goalkeepers was fantastic and offered a new level of quality to proceedings. Finally a huge thank you from myself to all the players and staff this weekend, coming up to my third year here I am genuinely delighted with the direction of the club and the support the club has given me in terms of building on the vision I had for the club along with club President Gordon Mackintosh and Patrick Stine Director of soccer”
Director of Coaching for AFC and GPS NorCal Adam Whaley added "We have seen a rapid grown of the GPS FC Bayern program since it’s launch in the fall of 2015, it’s very encouraging to see that we have now reached a phase to compete in the nations No1 voted college showcase competing against the nations top teams. In addition 6 players from AFC 2006-2002 age groups have been invited to the GPS national ID camp in South Carolina where they will fight for a position on the Gps FC Bayern national team.
I would like to thank all the players and families for the continued support and dedication to the program."
Almaden was not only represented by the 2006’s and 2001’s as John and Adam mentioned above, but Almaden had also sent a huge number of players, and coaching staff giving a full endorsement into the partnership and a clear vision that it gives with the opportunities both Almaden and GPS are able to provide one another.
There were successes for the 2006 boys representing GPS California had a great experience, and happened to be crowned Surf Challenge Cup Champions! Playing very attractive soccer, the boys progressed to the final without conceding a goal. After a hard fought 1-1 game in the final, the team won 4-2 on PK’s to beat a resilient SC Antelope team.
There was a very impressive display by the 2005 boys who managed to win every game scoring 10 goals in 3 games and conceding just 3 goals. The weekend started off very interestingly, with Friday’s warmup involving the players introducing themselves to each other. But that did not seem to affect them as soon as the first kick off took place. Playing terrific soccer throughout, we are very excited to see what the future holds for this group.
The 2003 boys went 1-1-1 during the showcase with the highlight being a 1-1 draw with Walnut Creek ranked 26th in the country and a 1-0 win over Albion SC who rank in the top 50 teams in California. The boys faced a wide array of challenges against quality opposition and were a credit to throughout.
The 2004 boys tied 2 games and lost 1, however, the undoubted success was the 3-3 draw with the nation's number 13th ranked team, PRFC Scottsdale, also the second-best team in Arizona by GotSoccer Rankings. There were tight games against AVSC Storm (0-0 Draw) and Los Angeles United Futbol Academy (2-1 loss).
The 2003 girls won all 3 of their games and scored a colossal 15 goals over the weekend for an impressive bunch of young ladies. In one of the highest scoring brackets within the showcase, there were 5-4 and 3-2 victories for the girls on the first day of play against two very strong teams both ranked 200 places above the girls at the start of the day. On Sunday, the girls walked away victorious in a convincing display against San Jose Surf.
The 2000 girls competed and held their own in what was a very difficult U19 bracket came away with a draw and two losses in three very tight games. The girls played teams all within the top 100 teams in the country, in addition to this playing a strong Broomfield Blast team who are currently ranked 21st. The quality and character put on display by the girls was hugely admired and was a bright moment of the weekend.
Finally, the 2005 girls went unbeaten throughout the showcase winning twice, after drawing their opening game of the weekend. The performances by the girls lead to two pleasing victories with fine technical displays, in particular against Union Sacramento FC who are ranked 16th in the nation.
The Almaden players who proudly represented our club at Surf Cup are:
2003 Boys - Ken Isaka
2004 Boys - Hudson Labossiere, Michael Munoz, Tanner Frank
2006 Boys- Leo Trollas, Connor Tharp
2005 Girls- Payton Eberle , Abbie Mackintosh, Taylor Farnum , Olivia Herning
2003 Girls - Beth Mackintosh, Carissa Stine, Shelby Scott, Emily Murphy, Kiaya Madorin, Jaden Carillo