Chuck Keers is the Executive Director of Oregon Youth Soccer Association.

Day 2 (Tuesday June 21, 2011)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Posted by: Chuck Keers
US Youth Soccer Far West Regionals
June 21, 2011
Day two at Regionals started without a cloud in the sky. The only thing visible besides clear blue sky was a half-moon trying to shine light on an already bright and shiny new day. 
The first game of the day for me was the U12 Boy’s game with the CFC Real Madrid playing the Cal South Pateadores. Real Madrid won yesterday and they needed this win to secure a place in the Quarter-Finals on Friday. The Pateadores scored first, but Real Madrid came back quickly with a beautiful 48 yard free kick by Stuart “Stevie” Aeschliman. The keeper got a hand on it but it hit the crossbar and went in. The score was tied 1-1. Not long after that Miguel Ponce Catarino turned and fired a rocket in traffic from the touch line. Miguel looked poised and confident in his execution. The half ended 2-1, Real Madrid. A stronger Cal South team came out on the field in the second half but neither team scored again. Benjamin Orozco, Madrid’s keeper, saved numerous goals, but none as great as the one-handed stab in the last minute of the game to send the ball over the crossbar and save the victory for the Boys of Real Madrid.
I watched some of the U18 Girls RVSC Fusion game against Cal South’s Real So Cal White. It was early in the second half when I arrived and I was told the score was “4 or 5 or 6 to 0,” in favor of Cal South. I saw Cal score another goal and admired the heart and fight in the young women of the Fusion, who never slowed down or let up. The final score was 9-0. 
It didn’t fare much better for the United SA Extreme U12 Girls team from Keizer when they went up against Cal South Surf Girls 98-99 White. It was 2-0 against the Extreme when I arrived and shortly thereafter it became 3-0. About halfway through the second half a Surf Girl hit a long crossing shot into the far post that was impossible to defend against. The final score was 4-0. The girls played hard against a very strong team from Southern California. The star of the game for the Extreme, in my humble opinion, was their keeper, Tessa Oster, who made too many great saves to count. According to her mom, yesterday she saved 15 of 18 shots on goal. Coach Mike Hmura said he has been very impressed with his entire team and especially the level of competition at Far West Regionals. He said it really gives the girls something to aspire to. He added that he thought, “Tess is a great, naturally talented athlete and he hoped her love for soccer continues to grow because he wasn’t sure if she really understands what a talent she is.” 
The U17 Girls Oregon Rush 93 Nike picked things back up again for Oregon in their game against the Maui United Soccer 94 Girls from Hawaii. The first foul of the game came at minute 15 and set up a PK by Alexandria “Alex” Carter that went in for what was the first goal of the game. A few minutes later Madison “Mattie” Shore nailed a header from a cross into the net. It was 2-0 Oregon Rush. At minute 42, Courtney Shearer pushed past the defense and scored from just outside the touchline into the left side of the goal. 3-0 Oregon Rush. The penultimate goal was scored by Maryn Beutler who took it in from 40 yards out, through fighting defenders all the way across the goal and then softly popped in the right side. It was 4-0 Oregon Rush and I figured they had the game in hand. I left to watch another game and missed the last goal that made the final score an impressive 5-0 win.
It was not all so rosy for every Rush team, however, as the Oregon Rush 96 Nike U14 Girls ran headlong into the Washington Crossfire Premier 96 A Baumgardt. The Crossfire scored in minute 16 and again in minute 22. Rush keeper Tia Hatton actually had a great game, making remarkable diving saves time after time. It was 2-0 at the half and again I moved on to another match. The final score turned out to be a disappointing 4-0. 
The U19 Girls THUSC Neon needed a win to stay in the hunt to Quarter-Finals and had to get past Utah’s La Roca Premier. When I arrived at the end of the first half it was 2-1, Neon. Alexis “Lexie” Frey scored first for the Neon off a cross from Hannah Kimsey. Danielle Brown scored goal number two with a solid strike from the 18. Hannah Scott just missed at minute 48 and Marissa Kovac also missed a close one just a few minutes later. The Neon looked bright as Marissa came back with a spectacular sliding shot that put the Neon up 3-1. That turned out to be the final goal of game and so the Neon has only tomorrow to get through to find the road to the top.
My last game of the day was U16 Boys CFC Atlas who was playing a very determined Downtown Rapids 95 Gold team from Nevada. The Rapids scored in the 26th minute with an own goal that bounced hard off of Mychael Thomas. There was nothing Mychael could have done as the ball was struck hard point blank and glanced off of his side. I stayed through the first half and was impressed by the Atlas. They were playing a team that appeared to be dominant, but had held them to only one goal. When I checked later I saw the final was 3-0. The score may not show it, but the boys played extremely well.

Day 1 (Monday June 20th, 2011)

Monday, June 20, 2011
Posted by: Chuck Keers
US Youth Soccer Far West Regionals
June 20, 2011
The US Youth Soccer Far West Regional Championships launched today at the Simplot Sports Complex in Boise Idaho. The preliminary rounds are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with Quarter-Finals on Friday, Semi-Finals on Saturday and the Finals on Sunday morning.
It was a beautiful and warm day in Boise this morning as the first of what would be over 4,000 young athletes arrived at the fields to begin what they hoped would be five days of competition leading to the most coveted youth soccer competition in the country, the US Youth Soccer National Championships. But they all had to get through the next five days…
I watched the first half of the U15 Girls game between the Oregon Rush 95 Girls and the Cal North Foothill MVLA Lightening. The game started at 8:00 AM and the Lightening lived up to their name by scoring two quick goals in the first 20 minutes. Ten minutes later they scored their third in what proved to be a long morning for the Rush. I did see Emma Malmquist, number 11 of the Rush, take a shot on goal that sailed just left. The girls showed metal and played hard but were no match for the clearly stronger Cal North team. The final score was 5-0.
It was a similar story with the Oregon U18 Boy’s RVSC Fuego, who faced the Nevada Neusport FC 93s. By the time I got there they were down 5-0 at the end of the first half. I saw number 23, Dakota Wolff, almost connect with a corner early in the second half. Number 10, Jesus Solorio, just missed a PK that bounced off the left post. Number 20, Kodie Artner, was one-on-one with the keeper who blocked a shot in front of the goal. The boys kept trying with Wolff again coming close with a rocket just over the crossbar. While they could not convert, the Fuego kept the Neusport FC 93 from scoring again, so the final was 5-0.
The U13 Girl’s Oregon Rush Girl’s Nike team lost a disappointing 1-0 game against the Idaho Coeur d’Alene Sting. The Sting scored in the third minute and from there it was scoreless for the rest of the game. Rush keeper Mikala Marquis, number 13 made a number of great saves, one that I saw was at minute 15 when she was one-on-one with an Idaho attacker. I also saw number 5, Amide Colleknon, fight hard for a shot that missed high at minute 25. It was a tough loss, but a very well-played game.
The news got better when the defending US Youth Soccer National Champions (at U18) Eastside United Liverpool Red took the field as U19 Boys to play the Utah Inter FC 92 Premier. This was a rematch of the 2010 FWR Finals and the Liverpool repeated their performance by showing the Inter FC who was boss. The dominance started slowly as the Liverpool missed a lot of shots on goal during the first half, which ended 0-0. They settled down in the second half when Tyler Pummel bounced one off of the Utah keeper and Mikhail Doholis got the bounce and drove it with confidence into the back of the net from ten yards out. A free kick about midway through the second half by Steven Evans sailed perfectly over the defenders and keeper into the net. The score was now 2-0. Doholis lofted a corner kick into traffic and Jacob Campbell sent it home to seal the deal at 3-0. That is how it ended. 
The WAFC Chivas, U13 Boy’s team played a difficult game against Washington’s Crossfire Premier 97 James. When I arrived about half-way through the second half the Chivas were down 4-0. I saw Chivas keeper Alan Cornejo-Montero make several terrific saves, but the one goal I did see by the Crossfire was an un-defendable header into the upper corner. The final score was Washington 6, Oregon 1. 
The U19 Girls THUSC Neon experienced something that should never happen during their game against Colorado’s U19 team. One of the Neon players, Taylor Coon, who received a red card during the State Cup Finals, was quietly sitting the game out in street clothes from the spectator side of the field when the referee told the team that his paperwork indicated that a different Taylor, Taylor Collinsworth, was the player who had to sit out. The team knew this was wrong, but it took 20 minutes of phone calls and administrative intervention by OYSA and Region IV staff before things could be made right. The score was 4-2 at the half and the game finished 3-5 with the victory going to Colorado.
The U17 Boys Valley FC Vipers fared better against the Washington Eastside FC 93 Red – Kovats. By the time I got to the game, Chasan Van Tassel had scored the first goal for the Vipers. About six minutes into the second half, a corner kick by Kan-Ho Brooks found Christopher Bridges who headed it into the net with authority. Michael Lanahan scored next and then Van Tassel scored not long after. The score was 4-0 when I had to leave to meet a plane. I don’t know the final score, but I am confident of a Viper victory.

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