Tampa, Florida -- The WSA 2007 Boys returned from Florida last week as National Champions. Coach Jorge Perez's team came from one goal down in the National Championship with a ferocious final 30 minutes of play against Arlington SA to defeate the formidable side 3-1.
"As a coach I feel very fulfilled by the effort made by the children who became champions, who began this journey 8 years ago playing. The result of commitment to each other and work is a championship," reported Coach Jorge.
"I'm feeling really great. We played hard! We put our hearts into the game," reported an excited Yandel, The Side's goalkeeper throughout the event.
Yandel, post ceremony interview, protected the goal for The Side during the Championship run.
The WSA 2007 Boys had previously made marks on the national stage, reaching the Elite 8 of the ENPL National Tournament and the Final-4 of the US Club National Cup during the 2021 Summer. Determined to cross the finish line, and become the second star added to the club badge, the team put a season's worth of focus into the Super Y pathway.
WSA 07 qualified for the Super Y National Tournament by being crowned Champions of the Mid-South Conference through their unbeaten run this past summer.
The Conference Championship earned the team a bid to the Super Y National Finals to face off against the rest of the nation's SYL Conference Champions. The event was held in Tampa, Florida, the week of December 10-14.
WSA 07 opened their pool play at the SYL National Finals with a statement type of victory, claiming a 6-0 win on day 1 over Real Elite FC. Real Elite would only concede 2 more goals in their next 2 matches, marking the 6-goal output by The Side as significant. Not to allow that feat to lead to any mediocrity, the team defeated Cedar Stars Academy for a second consecutive multiple-goal victory, on match day 2 by a score of 4-2. The 2007 Boys then secured their spot in the National Semifinals with a 2-1 victory on match day 3 over SCOR Meulensteen.
WSA 07 Boys played on the front foot at Super Y Nationals scoring 18 goals in the event!
The team faced Ironbound SC, in the national semifinal match, and once again generated a multiple-goal victory with a 3-1 defeat.
Full of conifdence the squad headed to the National Championship match, with the desire to write their names into the history books. WSA 07 Boys would face Arlington SA in the National Championship match.
The team would fall behind in the match 1-0. However, the squad put together a total footballing effort over the last 25 minutes of regulation and found an equalizer with about 15 minutes to play, from long periods of sustained pressure and clever attacking play. That goal leveled the score 1-1, but it was the dominant midfield play that would foreshadow more to come.
Headed to overtime with momentum and confidence soaring, the team continued to mount pressure, and only 4 minutes into the first OT Noah would put The Side ahead 2-1. The goal seemed to seal the destiny, but for insurance, Noah would help his team go to 3-1 early in the 2nd OT and then it was simply a matter of time.
The WSA 2004 Boys team, who had reached the National Semifinals, and were eliminated the day before, had stayed to support their club-mates, and they rushed the field as time expired to conjoin in the celebration of the Championship!
Celebration after the full time whistle, as 04 Boys pile on to help the 07's celebrate the title!
"It is wonderful to be a part of the formation of future soccer stars and this our mission and everyone's vision. Thank you to my parents, team manager Lupita, the WSA Club, and Super Y, for the support offered," Coach Perez offered. WSA 2007 Boys will return after holiday to continue to train and prepare for upcoming matches in the EA, where the team will turn it's attention.
Both the 07 and 04 boys will still be able to chase national glory through the EA pathway. The 08 boys and 08 girls also competed well at the Super Y National Finals. The 05 and 07 girls rounded out 7 teams from The Side who qualified for the Super Y National Finals for 2021. In 2020 WSA led the nation with 9 National Qualifiers. This year, due to scheduling conflicts around other leagues, some of our WSA teams were unable to attend the SYL National Finals event, even though they had qualifyied as Conference Champions during the Summer (05 Girls, 07 Girls, 05 Boys).
Congratulations to all teams from WSA for representing the club and our local soccer community with class and pride during the entire Super Y event, from Conference play, all the way to the Awards Stage at the National Championship. The Side is proud!
WSA 2004 Boys, 2021 Super Y National Semifinalists (lost 1-0 in semis)