THE SIDE REPRESENTS AT 2019 NATIONAL CUP
Six Teams Chase History
WSA will be well represented at the 2019 National Cup, the culmination of a summer's worth of preseason play and the crowning of final national champions for the 2018-2019 youth soccer seasonal year. Six teams from WSA will land on Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City with players from the entire nation. Teams have reached this stage of US Club Soccer's National post season, the "Cup-Based" competition, through State or Regional Championships.
Every WSA team was seeded into the highest level of the event, which is another compliment to the club, and won that while well-deserved, players and staff know, now must be earned.
WSA had other teams, including WSA 00 Boys, WSA 01 Boys, WSA 02 Boys, WSA 03 Boys, and WSA 02 Girls, all invited and/or qualified for this event. The boys teams (00's, 02's, 03's) chose to attend the "Club-Based" national pathway, through the ENPL qualification. All in all, so far The Side has 13 National Qualifiers in the 2018-2019 seasonal year!
Let's take a quick look at the teams from The Side at National Cup 19, in Colorado this week.
WSA 01 GIRLS: The 2000 girls and 2002 girls both similarly lost narrow matches in the state finals, but still found an invitation waiting for the 2019 National Cup. The 2001 girls represents a convergence of these rosters for the National Cup tournament. The 02 girls, who missed a pen at the death of the 2nd OT in the state final, and then bowed out in penalty kick shootouts, will have experience on their side in the matches that are decided by fractions.
WSA 03 GIRLS: The WSA 03 Girls have had a great season, but with late season injuries to their forward lline had to recreate and reinvent goalscoring. The girls found their form at the 2019 South Central Regionals where they were crowned Regional Champions amongst a field of higly competitive teams. Taking their game to the next level at National Cup will be an enormous and a welcomed challenge for this group.
WSA 04 GIRLS: The WSA 04 Girls are back at Nationals for a second straight year, last year competing in the NPL Finals. The 04 Girls found their way here through a tough OPC State Cup bracket which required two hard fought 2-1 victories over their club-mates from WSA-OKC, and their OPC neighbors, NEOFC in the State Final. The 04 girls have not fully returned to health from a series of injuries, but they appear confident headed to Colorado.
WSA 05 GIRLS: The WSA 05 Girls will put an incredible streak of clean sheets on the line in game 1 at National Cup, and against what may be the top seeded team in National Cup. The 05's have found a grit and grind style that has continued to elevate the upstart group throughout the 2018-2019 year. To think about one year ago this team was trying to win promotion from the OPC Bronze statewide league. Now the National Cup is in sight. The girls seem prepped to RISE to the challenge.
WSA 04 BOYS: The WSA 04 Boys team has been one of several "heart stopping" teams at The Side the past two years. The group has narrowly lost state finals on 3 ocassions, twice in Penalty Kick Shootouts, and once in OT. One of those losses in a shootout a couple of years back, was to cross-town rival and ENPL National Champion, TSCH 04. The boys have a level they can achieve, and now putting it all together on the big stage, and in the big moment, is the key. Did they remove a monkey from their back with the 2019 State Championship? Either way, the boys know there's work to be done.
WSA 05 BOYS: The 05 Boys participate in the National Cup with the rest of the ENPL conferences chasing the 14U Boys only national title in US Club Soccer. While some of the older teams may have gone the "Club-Based" pathway, without that option at 14U it's one "winner takes all" trophy that is being hunted. The WSA 2005's will be in a field of the very best in the U.S. After winning the NPL Red River Conference Regular Season Championship by a margin of 21 points, and then gliding through the OPC State tournament to that Championship, the group knows they can compete. Likewise, after missing two regional titles in as many years on goal difference tie breakers, and also a loss in the Red River NPL Final-4 in a penalty shootout, the team is aware of what it takes to find the narrow margin often required at this level.
The Side wishes all of our teams all the best this weekend in Colorado at National Cup 19! Have a great experience, travel safe, and earn it!
C'MON YOU SIDE!