There are only seven teams in the history of Indiana Soccer that have made it to the Finals of the US Youth Soccer National Championships, and only one team that has won it. (In 2007 the U19 Girls CUSC Cyclones). It has been almost 10 years since Indiana put a team in the final round of the US Youth Soccer National Championships. But this year, the drought ended and Indiana Soccer proudly sends the FC Pride U14 Girls Elite to the Finals of the National Championships Series in Tulsa Oklahoma.
How They Got to Nationals: FC Pride advanced to the Region II Championships after winning a second consecutive Indiana State Cup. The team proceeded to go 2-0-1 in group play with a 12-to-5 goal differential. However, FC Pride met the National League Red Division Runner-up, CUP Gold 00/01 (OH-S), in the semifinals and lost, 2-1, in OT. Despite losing in the Regional Championships, FC Pride advanced to Nationals as the National League Blue Division Runner Up.
Team History: Coach Matt Blackbourne has over 20 years of coaching experience and has won over 10 State / Presidents championships combined. He has been with the core of this team since they were 7 and 8 years old at FC Pride. This particular team was formed by keeping together 10 players from FC Pride and seven from Carmel United to compete during the 2013-2014 seasonal year. Since then, the “girls in red” won the last two State Cups. The team has a record of 20 wins, 3 losses and 4 ties overall. One of their main characteristics is their winning mentality that craves scoring goals. FC Pride has a tremendous record this year winning the 2015 Indiana State Cup, Semifinalist in the 2015 Region II Championship and the 2015 National League – Blue Division Runner Up.
“Securing our spot with virtually the last kick of the final game in Las Vegas will never be done again. Perfect timing perfect place.” FC Pride U14 Girls Elite Head Coach Matt Blackbourne, stated. “Like any team that has success we rode our luck at the right time and never gave up fighting. It's been consistent with this team that the further they go the stronger they get. Win lose or draw all these kids are champions in my eyes.” Blackbourne, concluded.
Two key players to follow this year are Kelsie James who scored 5 goals in the 2014-2015 National League (3rd in the league) and scored 5 goals in the 2015 Region II Championships (2nd in the tournament), and Abby Isger who is part of the Region II Olympic Development Program (ODP).
“Wow!!!! It means everything to me to be here. Can't wait to represent Indiana.” Kelsey James, stated.
“I'm looking forward to the opportunity. I've never seen or played in an event with this size and magnitude.” Abby Isger, stated.
Indiana Soccer is very proud of this group of girls that have demonstrated professionalism on and off the field. The association thanks the club and coaching staff for their commitment, which made this team a successful and fun group. Finally, thanks to the parents for providing their support to not only have this experience, but more importantly, to give them the tools to be better soccer players and great human beings.
Follow the FC Pride U14 Girls Elite Playing the Semifinal of the 2015 US Youth Soccer National Championships vs. Dallas Kicks SC 01 from North Texas on Saturday, July 25th at 11:00am Eastern Time by clicking on the following link: National Championships. Follow them in Twitter at @fcpride01gelite.
To learn more about the Indiana Soccer Structure to get to the National Championship Series, click here
LIVE WITH GOALS