FC Wisconsin would like to thank each of the players, families and coaching staffs who traveled from around the State of Wisconsin and beyond, through wintery conditions to participate in our successful inaugural year Winter Invitational Tournament! Thanks to you and the multitude of FC Wisconsin volunteer Tournament Staff members and organizers, the 2014 FC Wisconsin Invitational tournament was a smashing success. The tournament featured 84 teams outside of our club and a total of 98 teams overall. We hope the experiences for each participant was a valued one and look forward to seeing you on the fields either this spring or at future FC Wisconsin sponsored events.
FC Wisconsin Winter Invite Team Summaries:
The U11 Black faced very tough competition in a group that saw the 3 teams other than the undefeated group winner finish 1-2. Coach Draghicchio was proud of his players’ positive and competitive attitudes. “We persistently tried to make plays and create opportunities, said Draghicchio. “No doubt, we were unlucky to not find the net more in our first two games against Santa Fe and Chicago Magic.” Draghicchio was especially proud of his players who, along with several guest players from FC Wisconsin East Side, were able to gel and play with increased tenacity against FC Menasha Speed. In that match the U11 Black were able to make the most of our opportunities to score, control possession and limit Menasha’s opportunities. “I appreciate our players’ efforts and desire throughout the tournament, concluded Draghicchio.
The U11 Boys White finished the tourney with a 0-1-2 record. After a difficult start to the tourney in game 1, the teams played extremely well in their second and third games, coming close to beating the Chicago Magic in game 2 which ultimately ended in a 6-6 draw. We found our intensity in games 2 and 3 and dominated the offensive third by game 3. “The team had several guest players from our East Side team and a few guest players from other clubs. So, we are proud of the way we were able to come together as a collective over the course of the weekend,” remarked Coach Josh Provan.
After a weekend which also featured a futsal league match, Coach Jake Provan said, “A great weekend for our u12/13 girls - we won our first Futsal game over (Milwaukee) Kickers u13; the U13 team came in 2nd Place in the FCW Winter Invitational Tournament to the U13 FCW Eclipse; and the U12s also came in 2nd (they were tied for 1st place in points, but came in second after other factors)-a great weekend and results especially considering they played over six matches in one grueling weekend.”
The U12 Boys Black completed competitive indoor play with a 3 game sweep of their Winter Invitational Tournament opposition. The Championship victory brought their winter title haul to 3 of the 4 competitions in which they competed. Despite still missing 2 players, Erich Legut and Henry Shore to injury and illness respectively, Coach Chris McCreary was happy to have several players return to action after injury or participation in other winter sports. “Our 2nd match against USA Allouez Stampede was challenging in that we jumped out to an early lead and responded well to their surge late in the game. “Overall, I was happy that the boys continued to play the game with the right spirit of combativeness, combination play and moments of individual creativity.” Beyond the 6-4 victory over Allouez, the U12 Black defeated Strike FC Wisconsin 12-0 and Team Evanston 11-0.
The U13 Boys Black played 3 competitive matches in a closely contested division where the championship clinching team’s record was 1 win and 2 draws. Finishing with a 1-1-1 record, the U13 Boys Black stuttered to start and close out match 1 in which they were down 0-2 and later ahead 4-2 before eventually falling to Brookfield Red 5-4. “The number of chances that we missed to put game 1 beyond our opponent’s reach was truly impressive,” kidded Coach McCreary. “Taking nothing away from BSA’s effort to fight back, we were off our game, which was too bad because we played far better in the following 2 games and would have won it if not for the early stumble.” A hard fought 6-6 draw against Rockford, in which the U13 Black overcame a 2-4 deficit, was followed by a 5-3 win over Appleton SC Blue Vipers. The team looks forward to beginning preparations for a challenging and developmentally beneficial Spring NPL season.
The U13 Boys White showed steady progress throughout the Invitational as they battled to a 4-4 tie with Kenosha Crew in match 1; lost match 2 to a talented Chicago Magic U12 team, despite playing very well; and took advantage of the opportunity to balance their record with a positive result by defeating Wilmette Wings Premier (IL) 6-2, in match 3. “This group of players is beginning to buy in and show forward progress in terms of their decision making, this indoor season. I’m proud of the soccer they played this weekend. It was great to incorporate Christian, Luis and Raul from our FC Wisconsin East Side group. Each adapted well to playing with new teammates and contributed to the team’s success,” remarked Coach McCreary.
The U15 Boys Black finished second in their division falling only to the undefeated tournament champions. The team defeated Elm Grove and the Chicago Magic and finished second in the tournament’s U15 division.
For the Under 16 Boys Black, the Winter Invitational was the first bit of competitive action as a team. After starting the weekend with a loss and a tie, the group turned it around with two dominating performances to end the weekend 2-1-1.
This was also the U18 Boys Black first competitive action. Said Coach Marty LaTaille, “After the weekend, we finished with one win and two losses. They played very well against a very good Elm Grove U17 team only to come up short, but really showed what they are capable of come the Spring season.”
The U18 Boys White had a great weekend finishing 2-1 in the indoor tourney. The boys beat Sport Club on Friday night 5-4 with Danny Hasbani earning man-of-the match for his offensive display. On Saturday, the team coached by Brian Kimmel faced a very strong SC Waukesha team who had not been scored upon at that point in the tourney. After a very physical, back and forth contest Waukesha ended up prevailing 7-3. For the final game of the weekend, the U18 Boys White defeated Hoffman United 4-2. Reflecting, a pleased Coach Kimmel said , “We dominated play and finished the game with an outstanding second half. Man of the match was Mike Weiss. There are still a lot of improvements to be made, but this was a definite step forward for this team. I love the competitiveness and the coach-ability of the team.”