By Charles Boehm
It’s been a good spring for Loudoun Soccer when it comes to the Virginia State Cup.
The Northern Va.-based club has already seen two of its teams reach the tournament’s semifinals in their respective age groups, as its 98 Girls Red and 99 Boys Red squads have earned trips to Virginia Beach to compete in the semifinals of the Under-13 Girls and Under-12 Boys 8v8 brackets, respectively.
Tomorrow their clubmates in the U-13 Boys category will try to make it a third, as Loudoun 98 Boys Red host Shenandoah Valley United Boys U13 Premier in a highly-anticipated State Cup quarterfinal at Lyndora Park in Ashburn, Va.
“We’re very excited to come this far. We know that any team that’s made it to the final eight is going to be a quality team,” 98 Boys Red coach Mark Ryan told The Soccer Wire this week. “We’re lucky enough to have a home game so we’re excited about that; we hope to have a lot of people out from the club supporting us, and as always, with every game we’ve played this year, we’re going to work as hard as we can and hopefully get the right result.
“Hopefully they can join the two teams in the ‘final four’ [stage].”
Ryan, who is also the director of Loudoun’s travel program, has spent nearly a year training his squad in a forward-leaning 4-4-2 formation that should give SVU all they can handle.
“We like to attack. We like to go at teams,” said Ryan. “We feel like we have a lot of pace, a lot of players that like to play and express themselves. We like to get forward and attack in numbers, use the strengths that we have going forward, and play the game in the other team’s half. That’s really what we’re worked on over the last eight, nine months and it’s started to show more and more this season.”
The Loudoun-SVU U-13 match is scheduled for 1 p.m. and is one of eight quarterfinals taking place across the state on Saturday. Finals weekend is set for May 19-20 at the Hampton Roads Soccer Complex in Virginia Beach.