Soccer Club’s U-15 squad brings home President’s Cup

After winning the State Cup in San Bernardino in May, the Santa Barbara Soccer Club Boys U15 team dominated the competition in Pasco, Wash., last weekend to win the President’s Cup western regional tournament and qualify for the National Tournament, to be held in Raleigh, North Carolina, July 16-19.

The team gave up only one goal and scored 22 in four games against teams from Washington and Oregon. They defeated the Portland Oregon-based PCU Gunners 6-0 in the first game, notched a 4-1 win over Eastside FC (Seattle, Washington) in the second game, rolled to a 6-0 victory against Portland Oregon’s West Side Metro SWAT in the third game, and repeated the Game 1 outcome by taking down the PCU Gunners 6-0 again in the finals.

“The defensive line was solid throughout, giving up only one goal in four games, and our midfielders dominated play,” said coach Marco Medina, who filled in for regular coach and former UCSB standout Neil Jones, who is now an assistant coach at UCSB. “The boys played well all weekend, and off the field, they represented Santa Barbara well by conducting themselves like the gentlemen they are.”

As the Region IV qualifier, the President’s Cup was open to qualifying teams from Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. The U15 boys will now move on to play in the 2009 US Youth Soccer President’s Cup National Championships in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Cal South teams, including Santa Barbara dominated the tournament by taking 8 of 10 of the brackets to qualify for play in the final at North Carolina.

The team is comprised of players from Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Camarillo, Lompoc, Santa Ynez and San Luis Obispo. The players are Sachio Badham, Javier Buenrostro, Matthew Connely, Erick Cordova, Kai Gamble, Ricky Lopez, Jeffrey Lovato, Miguel Lucas, Muhammad Mehai, Kane Nania, Kenneth Pina, Ryan Richardson, Troy Ritter, Avery Schwartz, Paul Sullivan, Alex Uribe and Arturo Zaragoza.

The team paid for the Washington trip by selling raffle tickets for two second-row seats to a regular-season Lakers game next year. The team thanks all those who participated, including Joe Fink, a drum teacher at Mike’s Drum shop in Santa Barbara, who bought the winning ticket. Look for the team in their red SBSC jerseys outside local merchants over the next few weeks, as they raffle off another pair of prime seats to raise funds for the trip to North Carolina.