Rochester U15 soccer team is N.C.-bound for prestigious national tournament
The Minnesota Rush U15 Boys Select team will play in the U.S. Youth Soccer National Presidents Cup tournament in Greensboro, N.C., next week.
The Minnesota Rush U15 Boys Select team has accomplished something that no other team in the 45-plus year history of the club has.
The team will be representing the entire Midwest Region at the U.S. Youth Soccer National Presidents Cup tournament in Greensboro, N.C., July 6-10. Only four teams across the country in each age group qualify for the event, and the Rush had to win both the state and regional tournaments to advance.
Their journey started back in late May in the Minnesota Presidents Cup tournament. A 3-1 win over the 2007 MN Eclipse Boys Premier U15 team in the final gave them the state Presidents Cup title and qualified them for the Midwest Region Presidents Cup tournament in St. Louis this past weekend.
Teams from 12 states were involved in the regional tournament. The Rush team had to get by teams from South Dakota, Illinois and Indiana to win their group and advance to the regional semifinals.
There they met a team from the Kansas City area, and the Rush pulled out an impressive 3-0 win to reach the final. The final was a tight match, with an early goal being the difference in a 1-0 victory over the Michigan state champion, a team that is affiliated with USL Championship side Detroit City FC’s youth club system.
The Rush’s reward for winning the regional title is a trip to North Carolina next month for the USYS Presidents Cup national tournament, where they will represent the Midwest region and face the winners of the East, South and Far West regions.
“I feel proud and excited for my team and the work we have put in day and night,” added team defender Gavin Rice. “I never thought we would go to something like this and it’s a dream come true.”
Opening ceremonies for the tournament will take place on July 6 and the team will have its first game the morning of July 7.
“It’s awesome to see all our team’s time and effort lead to an accomplishment like this,” Minnesota Rush U15 Boys Select midfielder Owen Spaeth said. “I think we are ready for Nationals and it’s really cool that we get the chance to do something no other team in our club has ever gotten to do and to represent the entire Midwest region in this tournament.”
“The boys had an outstanding showing at the regional tournament, battling great teams and the heat,” Kevin Lowery, the team’s head coach, said. “I’m super proud of their accomplishment and looking forward to seeing them compete for a national title.”