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Cal South Teams Sweep Two Years Straight
PHOENIX, Ariz. (March 2, 2014) — Champion teams were crowned Sunday at the 2014 US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (US Youth Soccer ODP) Championships at the Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix, Ariz. California South teams swept all titles in the 1997 and 1998 Boys and Girls age groups, for a historical second consecutive year.
US Youth Soccer ODP Champions:
1997 Girls Champion – California South
1998 Girls Champion – California South
1997 Boys Champion – California South
1998 Boys Champion – California South
“I’m proud of all the teams,” said Cal South Director of Coaching Steve Hoffman. “They did fantastic. To come in and sweep two times at a national championship is just a wonderful thing and the credit goes to the club coaches and the parents. We’re blessed to coach them.”
The wins also earn the Cal South 1997 Girls and Boys teams their second consecutive US Youth Soccer ODP Championship.
Players try out for the high-level US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program through a series of trials at their US Youth Soccer State Association. Those selected are exposed to some of the nation's best coaches, trainers and facilities.
US Youth Soccer ODP is the original Olympic development program and the only elite player development program that can claim members of Major League Soccer and National Women’s Soccer League, as well as a majority of current and past national and youth national team members, as alumni. With programs in all 55 State Associations, as well as regional, national and international tournaments, US Youth Soccer ODP continues to offer development and exposure opportunities to any player, regardless of hometown or club affiliation.
Championship Match Highlights:
Cal South won the 1997 Girls championship after defeating Illinois 3-0. Kathleen Pingel opened the scoring early on in the 4th minute, and Peyton Perea added another first half goal in the 28th minute. Hayley Mayne shot the game winner in the 79th minute, and as the final whistle blew, the Cal South squad earned their second consecutive ODP Championship.
The 1997 Cal South Boys team also earned their second straight title after a challenging win over Iowa. Although the first half saw many chances, both sides went into halftime scoreless. The second half intensified even further, as both teams managed to get three goals each. Iowa’s Eduvie Ikoba broke the stalemate in the 53rd minute and Adam Nicholson scored for Iowa in the 71st minute. Cal South got three goals including a pair by Marco Bueno, which put him as the age group’s leading goal scorer. Just as Cal South was about to claim the title with a 3-2 advantage and a minute left in the game, Kenan Smajlovic was able to roll the ball into the net for Iowa, taking the game to penalty kicks. Cal South’s keeper outshined in penalty kicks by skillfully blocking two shots, and ultimately Cal South’s four PK’s beat Iowa’s two to give them the championship.
The 1998 Girls from Cal South defeated Virginia with a fortunate early goal. Kennedy Smith produced quick results for Cal South by scoring in the very first minute of play. Virginia’s players continued to play hard getting some chances, but were still unable to find the back of the net. The lone goal and strong Cal South defense held on for the remaining 89 minutes, meriting them with the championship.
Cal South defeated Maryland 4-0 to earn the 1998 Boys ODP Championship. The match saw early back to back goals within the first five minute of play by Sebastien Des Pres and Samuel Hefter. Milo Barton scored once more for Cal South before halftime getting a goal in the 35th minute. Andrew Forth also contributed to the win, scoring in the 60th minute.