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By Steve Breazeale
After a long and successful club soccer season, the So Cal Blues youth soccer club saw three of their teams claim the Cal South State Cup in their respective age groups. After capturing the State Cup, the three teams earned an automatic bid to the US Youth Soccer Far West Regional Championship in Hawaii, which will be played from June 17 to 23 in Honolulu.
The Far West Regional features the top teams from each western state and the So Cal Blues girls U13, U14 and U19 teams, which are made up of several San Clemente residents, will represent California. A win in the regional stage will ensure a berth in the in the US Youth Soccer National Championship in July.
Regional competition will be unlike anything else the So Cal Blues players experience all year. The seven-day format is four days longer than a usual tournament, according to U13 coach and the club’s Co-Director of Coaching Tad Bobak. Aside from the tournament’s long schedule, the Blues players will be competing against some of the top teams in the nation.
“It will be taxing on the mind of the players, playing highly competitive teams in tough conditions,” Bobak said. “Knowing how to be a disciplined athlete is going to play a big role in their productivity.”
San Clemente residents on the So Cal Blues U13 team are: Lauren Brzykcy, Madelyn Desiano, Erika Wiles and Ellie Winkelmann.
Makenzie Bradley is the lone San Clemente resident on the club’s U14 squad. Bradley was part of an historic team that did not concede one goal in the Cal State Cup, which ended with a 1-0 shutout over Celtic Hoops in the finals on May 19.
San Clemente’s Naomi Willet (Notre Dame) and Janae Cousineau (Texas A&M) play for the club’s U19 squad, which is made up of college players who come home for the summer.
For updates on the So Cal Blues march through the Far West Regional tournament, visit www.sanclementetimes.com.