Internationals SC U-16 Girls defeated Pleaston Rage ECNL in the final. (Photo courtesy of Internationals SC)
Internationals SC Under-16 Girls team won its age group at the North American Cup last week.
The squad was one of four Internationals SC teams that were represented at the ECNL National Playoffs in Redmond, Wash. July 21-26.
“We are extremely excited to see our teams compete and win against the best,” Internationals SC founder, president, and director of coaching Zdravko Popovic said. “Each of the four teams representing the club in Seattle had different challenges to overcome and they did so with character and class. Our soccer was played at a high level and a fast pace, something we are looking forward to building on next season. Our players know what it is like to play against the best soccer players in the country and have shown we are a part of that elite group. Our goal is that all of our ECNL teams U-14 and above are competing in San Diego in 2019.”
The U-16 Girls came away undefeated, winning the North American Cup behind a 4-1 win against Pleasanton Rage ECNL (Pleasanton, Calif.) in the final. This came after three wins in the knockout stages, the first with a 5-2 victory over FC Boston ECNL (Braintree, Mass.) and two wins coming in the form of penalty shootouts, which saw Internationals players hold their nerve in both victories against Strikers FC ECNL (Laguna Hills, Calif.) and San Juan FC ECNL (Rancho Cordova, Calif.).
Internationals SC U-14s, who qualified for the Champions League, finished a second in their group, with a 1-1-1 record. The team played in three closely contested games and missed out on advancing by a win, finishing behind FC Stars of Acton, Mass., a team that qualified for the national final event after winning all four match. The U-14s won their opening game 1-0 against Colorado Storm ECNL (Centennial, Colo.) and tied San Diego Surf ENCL(San Diego, Calif.), 1-1.
The U-15 Internationals SC (2-1-0) won its first two North American Cup games in the finals, with 3-0 victory in the first round over Bethesda SC ECNL (Gaithersburg, Md.) and another penalty shootout victory in the second round over San Juan SC ECNL (Rancho Cordova, Calif.). The team’s run came to an end with a loss to Colorado Storm ECNL (Centennial, Colo.) in the semifinals.
The club’s oldest qualifying team, the U-17s, stepped up to it competition in the North American Cup, playing three highly contested and tightly fought games. The score line went against the team, with three one-goal losses vs. Tampa Bay United ECNL (Tampa, Fla.), Colorado Storm ECNL (Centennial, Colo.) and Match Fit Academy ECNL (Brick, N.J.).
“We are very proud of the way our teams represented themselves against some of the strongest teams in the country,” Internationals SC assistant director Mark Platts said. “All of our age groups played quality soccer, competed to the end, and left everything out on the soccer pitch.”