Chicago City players and coaches headed to Minnesota to take part in the esteemed USA CUP.
The U9 Girls team had a fantastic week at the USA Cup and finished as runners up in the Gold bracket. The girls played some great soccer and showed strong character to battle hard throughout 5 games.
The U11 Girls team had a great showing at the USA Cup and made it through to the quarter finals of the knock out rounds. The majority of the team were U10s with little or no experience playing 9v9, but the girls stepped up to the challenge against some strong opposition and showed great progress throughout the week.
U9 Boys Blue had an unbelievable experience coming from 3-1 down in their first game to win 4-3 against one of the best U9 teams in the state of Minnesota, apparently hadn't lost yet this season. They managed to win all of their group games including a 3-0 win over a team from Jamaica. Unfortunately in the quarter final it went the other way after being 3-1 up at half time, the opposition got it back to 3-3 and it headed to extra time and finally penalties. Having missed 3/4 penalties it was like watching England all over again and I have never seen so many tears at the end of the game. Ethan Heinrich said it sounded like a heard of cows.
U11 Boys Blue also wont their first four games but unfortunately only played against local teams, no one particularly exciting. Looked very convincing in each game and played some fantastic soccer especially in the final third. Every single player had a turn in goal and we were also helped out with 4 guests - Nico, Julian, Logan and Devin, the last three being 2008 boys. Finished top of a strong bracket and had a bye to the semi-final. Lost 2-1 in the semi-final having hit the bar with literally the last kick of the game which would have taken it to extra time. Euro FC's first goal came from a headed assist and the German referee didn't know U11 Boys weren't allowed to head the ball so the goal stood. Controversy!
U12 Boys Blue went the complete opposite direction of the previous two teams and lost their first 3 which meant they had to go the long way round to the final and play 7 games total in 5 days. Their 3 losses were against strong sides, including a 2-0 defeat to Mexico in the opener. They finally got their first win at 7am on a cold wet Friday morning. They would win their quarter and semi final games pretty convincingly. In the final against another team from Illinois, they started strong and managed to get a 2-0 lead heading into half-time. The second half was admittedly one sided and the opposition team hit the bar, the post and Jackson Sprenger kept them in the game, definitely a game of two halves.
Huge congrats to all the players, parents and coaches involved on this amazing trip to Minnesota.