Eleven teams from Alexandria Soccer Association’s Futsal ID program competed in the United States Futsal Federation’s Northeast Regional Championship in Atlantic City, New Jersey over President’s Day weekend. Our eleven teams competed in a total of 39 games played over the course of four days.
The weekend was a marathon of games, scouting, coaching, recovery and non-stop play. We’re extremely proud of the effort from all of our players and we couldn’t be more thankful for our coaches, parents and supporters. Our Alexandria family continues to be a class act both on and off the court. “Taking eleven teams to Regionals, an unprecedented number for us, was both thrilling and nerve wracking,” said Futsal ID Director Will Hanna. “I have so much confidence in our staff though and we went into the weekend with a game plan. I couldn’t be happier with how we handled adversity, worked together, picked each other up and provided support. A tournament like this is both a chance to compete and a chance to learn and we did both. We asked a lot of our players and they rose to the challenge and every single kid left everything on the court. At the end of the day that’s really what counts.”
The U16 (02) Boys will have the chance to defend their National Championship title after bringing home the Northeast Regional title last weekend! The boys cruised through group stage play with two wins and one tie. They won a close match 3–2 against FC Copa Academy in the semifinal to advance them to the final. The final game, against Sole Futsal Academy Strikers, started out conservative with both teams assessing the competition. With the game tied 2–2 with 17 minutes left in the first half our boys began to break things open. Scoring several goals in succession as the result of some quick transitions, the team clinched the title 6–2.
Immediately following the victory, the U13s (05) boys took the court to compete for their own title. The U13s played more games than any other team with three group stage games, including a tactical battle against the 2017 National Champions, which resulted in a 3–2 victory that clinched the group stage and sent our team to the playoffs. The quarterfinal, semifinal and final games were all played on Monday.
After a well played and hard fought 39 minutes and 57 seconds, opponent NEFA — Malwee scored in the final 3 seconds of the game to clinch the title 3–2. Although a heart breaker, we know our boys will be back next year and they had an unbelievable showing in their first appearance at Regionals. The team’s success qualifies the group for Nationals in San Jose this July!
Early Monday morning our U15 (03) girls played a very good Slammers team in the semifinals. The Slammers jumped to quick lead and we ended the first half down 5–1. Coach Peja I. made several adjustments during halftime and the second half was a draw making the final game score 6–2. The Slammers went on to win the Regional Championship. The semifinal game was a great opportunity for our girls to experience ahigh level of play in their second appearance at Regionals.
The U9 Boys, U10 Boys, U11 Boys, U12 Boys and Girls, U14 Boys and Girls and U15 Boys all competed well but did not make it out their respective group stages. The U14 girls and U10 boys were both within one point of advancing to the semifinals.
It was the first regional appearance for each of the eight teams above and it was a huge learning opportunity for both coaches and players. Every single team worked hard, scored goals, adjusted to tough competition and now has a better understanding of where the bar is set.
Additionally, a tournament like this is of course an awesome opportunity for team bonding and social activities outside of competition. We loved seeing our kids get to enjoy a bit of downtime in between games. Jacqy Matlock, parent of a U13 boy said, “The boys grew closer during games, meals and free time together. The time together and tournament experience strengthened their determination and elevated their skills. Each boy made a deeper connection to their teammates and learned more about friendships.”
While we recover from the weekend and most of our players transition back to outdoor seasons we continue to discuss futsal tactics, replay games, dissect opportunities and relive the four days of competition. To be sure, we’re already looking forward to next season and the Futsal ID days which will take place in late July and early August.
For now though, the Road to Nationals begins for the U13s and U16s and we can’t wait to follow their journey!