3:00: It’s not just the U16 and U17 teams that are getting all of the attention from college coaches at the Jefferson Cup.
David Nikolic, assistant women’s coach at Northwestern University, was on hand at Striker Park to watch the U15 battle between Freestate Storm of Maryland and FC Virginia ECNL and was nice enough to talk about recruiting and offer advice.
“The recruiting pressure has sped up what we’re looking for,” the coach said after attending the 3-0 win by the Virginia club.
“We have to start looking at U15s for initial evaluation. There’s still a lot of development ahead of them, but it’s a preview of what we are looking for.”
Northwestern’s high academic standards requires the coaching staff to search all over the nation for recruits.
Before heading off to watch another game, the coach gave three important tips for players looking to make an impression.
“Be technically proficient with the ball under pressure, show fundamental tactical understanding on the field [and] show how good you are with the ball on the dribble,” Nikolic said.
2:30: Another update from Joe Dougherty:
They call it travel soccer for a reason. Just ask Brian Nail. The club director for Campton United of Illinois, Nail brought his team to the Jefferson Cup to face the kind of competition he often can’t find at home.
Nail’s U12 girls team flew into Washington’s Dulles International Airport on Thursday. They saw the sights of D.C., then drove to Richmond on Friday.
“We’re a team that has a lot of supportive parents who like to do fundraisers and travel,” Nail said. “We like to seek out the high level teams.”
In the past year Campton has played some of the top clubs in the nation, such as the Dallas Texans, Michigan Wolves and New Jersey’s PDA.
“We came to the Jeff Cup to play the best teams and to compete well.”
NOTE: For the latest updates on the tournament, click here!
1:45: Some results are starting to poor in. In U17 Elite action, Highland Wildcats of New Jersey, who lost yesterday, tied Tustin United Red of California, who also fell on Day 1. In U16 ECNL play, FC Delco (Pa) has continues its fiery start after winning 4-3 on Friday, but edging host club Richmond Strikers 1-0 at West Creek today.
Also, as always, we have a great gallery of pictures to view, which you can find here.
1:00: Want to see some lovely college soccer today for free? Several top programs are playing at Richmond City Stadium. Wrapping up now is Virginia vs. Virginia Tech, while NC State vs. Duke square off at 1 p.m. The games are free, and this is just the first half of the matches. Click here for more info.
12:15: The Soccer Wire correspondent Joe Dougherty is on site at Jefferson Cup’s Striker Park and has a few interesting bits to share:
Sometimes it’s the little things that enhance the experience of a youth cup. This year, take the scoreboards for example. At Striker Park, there are no paper scoreboards to be found. Instead, fans get to rest in the shade while viewing 11 30-inch high definition televisions. Nine of them provide game results and standings, while two others are recapping the NCAA Tournament on ESPN, so fans can keep track of March Madness and the Jefferson Cup simultaneously. In addition, lovely concessions are just steps away.
All the comforts of home, here at Striker Park.
11:45: Here is a look at some of Day 1′s best sounds:
By Jimmy LaRoue
Sounds, Part I–Liking the Atlantic Soccer League experience: Kevin Fabulich, said he is liking his Roanoke Star team in its first Atlantic Soccer League season, pleased that his U-16 girls can more regularly see higher-caliber competition. “They’re really enjoying it,” Fabulich said after his team lost 3-1 to YMS Storm in its opening match at SportsQuest Friday. “It’s a different pace of play, better quality. It exposes them to a lot of coaches that see them, and some better opponents.” He praised the ASL events that have taken place this season.
Sounds, Part II–Ian Oliver, DC Stoddert Mischief Blue coach, after a 3-0 win Jersey United Spartans, talking about balancing the needs of his players and the college coaches in attendance at the Jefferson Cup: “It’s tough, because it’s a long weekend. It’s the first game. You want to make sure that when they take the field for the third game, they’re not spent. You also want them to be seen, and the college coaches really don’t have time to spend the whole game, so it’s a balance. You want them to put the right amount of pressure on and get enough exposure, but not overwork them.”
Sounds, Part III–Making adjustments to get the win: Doug Edwards, FC Virginia’s U-15 Elite Clubs National League coach, said that after a scoreless first half against Richmond Strikers, something had to change: “I think we made life hard for ourselves at times in the sense that we weren’t as tight with possession as I would have liked in the first half,” Edwards said. “In the second half, we changed it to 4-4-2, from the original formation because we were lacking width, and it worked.”