CCL United teams compete in 2017 Gothia Cup

(Via Club Champions League) – CCL United teams are composed of players from member clubs scouted at various Club Champions League games, showcases, and events throughout the year, and are then selected to attend an evaluation in front of CCL United coaches where the final rosters are selected.

Four CCL United teams competed in the 2017 Gothia Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden and all advanced out of group play, finishing the tournament with winning records. Beyond the soccer field, they explored the Swedish landscape, and were exposed to a new language, new styles, and new cuisines. Take a look below for a summary of the tournament from each team.

CCL United ’01 Girls (U16)

7 Games Played—5 Wins, 1 Loss, 1 Draw

The CCL United 01 Girls won their group with 10 points, which pushed them into the round of 16, where they won their first two playoff matches, and eventually lost in their semifinal game. They played their first match against Azalea BK from Sweden, winning 5-1. The girls conceded a minute into the first, which forced a shift in mentality. Soon enough, Sarah Rhiel (VA Legacy) tallied an equalizer in the 7th minute that put the girls in a position to control the game. Sofia Fox (VA Legacy) put the nail in the coffin after burying two more goals, making the game 3-1. Kara Poole (FC Frederick) and Sarah Rhiel each added one more goal before the game ended.

The second match was played against French side Ploermel FC. Another good performance gave the girls a 3-0 win, with goals from Molly Beegle (Beach FC), Camryn Koviak (Roanoke Star), and Kylie Devine (VA Legacy).

In their third match, the ‘01 Girls played another Swedish side, Vellinge IF, which was arguably their most competitive game of the tournament. Once again the girls were slow to start, and conceded an early goal in the 12th minute. Battling back to gain control of the match, the girls responded quickly, with Kara Poole grabbing the equalizer in the 22nd minute. That concluded the scoring for the match, and despite a hard fought second half, the game finished as a draw, 1-1.

The next two matches would again be played against a Swedish side—Eskilstuna United and IF Halby—with the girls winning both matches 4-0, giving them confidence as they pushed on to the round of 8. At this point the team had shown to be rather prolific in their goal scoring, averaging 3.4 goals per game.

The girls faced Norwegian side Kaupanger IL in the round of 8, and in the same high goal scoring fashion, won 6-0. The goals were scored by the following CCL players: Sofia Fox —5th minute, Kara Poole—10th minute, Molly Beegle—20th minute, Ciani Ricks (Beach FC)—41st and 61st minute, Sarah Rhiel—50th minute.

With a comfortable win in the round of 8, the girls moved on to play American side, Match Fit Academy from New Jersey. With another slow start, the ’01 girls conceded twice in the first 15 minutes—once in the 7th and once in the 12th. The two goals shocked the girls into action, and they were forced to raise their intensity and focus. Unfortunately, Match Fit grabbed one more goal in the 27th, against the run of play, after the girls had calmed down and started to play their game. The game finished in dramatic fashion, with the CCL ’01 girls completely dominating the second half. Molly Beegle pulled a goal back in the 59th, which completely changed the energy of the game. Two minutes later, in the 61st, Beegle scored again, and it looked like the CCL girls would go on to get the equalizer and win the game. The last 30 minutes CCL dominated play, and created a number of attacking chances, while Match Fit Academy worked to hold the lead. Despite an amazing effort, the girls were not able to find another goal, and Match Fit advanced to the finals, winning 3-2.

It was a great tournament overall for the team, with a goal scored average of 3.6, and goals conceded average of .71. Additionally, the girls did not concede a single goal in the second half of any match.

CCL United 00 Girls

5 Games Played—2 Wins, 2 Losses, 1 Draw

The CCL United 00 Girls Team placed 3rd in their group, which pushed them to the round of 8 for the Tipselit Division. Winning their first playoff match, they advanced into the semifinals, where they eventually lost.

The majority of the first half remained scoreless in their opening match against Swedish side FC Rosengard, until Idelys Vasquez (Beach FC) buried a goal in the 41st. Both teams struggled to keep possession, and the game was played in the middle third for the majority of the first 45 minutes. The game shifted gears in the second half, when FC Rosengard decided to press higher up the field with some of their attacking players. CCL struggled to adjust, and eventually conceded in the 59th minute, which would conclude the scoring for the match, ending 1-1.

The second match marked the ’00 girls first win of the tournament, defeating Norwegian side Stabaek Fotball 1-0. Sydney Staples (Loudoun) scored the only goal of the game in the 33rd minute, which proved to be enough for the girls to grab the win.

The third match was played against Swedish side Eskilstuna United, where the ‘00 Girls suffered their worst loss of the tournament. Eskilstuna United went on the scoreboard in the 7th minute, and then put in 4 additional goals, 3 of which came in the first half. CCL was able to pull two goals back, with Allyson Goetz (FC Frederick) scoring in the 56th, and Abigail Maltese (Loudoun) scoring in the 58th, but the scoring gap was too big, and the game ended 5-2.

CCL played their first playoff match against FC Belgrad from Serbia. The game was arguably the most exciting match played in the 17 Girls Tipselit Division—if not the entire tournament—with the ‘00 Girls winning 7-5. CCL took an early lead in the second minute with a goal from Sydney Staier (Arlington). Before the half finished, FC Belgrad equalized in the 21st, and then took the lead in the 38th, making the score 2-1 at halftime. CCL responded well at the start of the second, with another goal from Sydney Staier in the 53rd. In the 66th and 67th minutes CCL would score two more, once from Idleys Vasquez, and once more from Sydney Staier, giving her the hat trick. FC Belgrad was not ready to back down, and again pulled another goal back in the 68th. But with another quick response, CCL scored again in the 69th with a goal from Cameron Brown (Beach FC). Like déjà vu, FC Belgrad, once again, pulled another goal back in the 71st.; however, within the same minute CCL fired back, with Sydney Staples scoring the final goal of the match, and pushing CCL past FC Belgrad.

CCL played their semifinal match against the Right to Dream Academy from Ghana. The girls battled for the entirety of the match, and created a number of goal scoring chances, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Right to Dream had most of the ball, and with a goal in the 41st minute, they would advance to the championship match.

The CCL United 00 girls ended as semifinalists in the most competitive division of the tournament.

CCL United ’01 Boys

5 games played—3 wins, 2 losses

The CCL United ’01 Boys team finished second in their group, and advanced to the round of 64. Winning their first playoff math they continued through the round of 32, where they lost to German side Eimsbutteler TV.

Their first match proved to be more of a warm up game than anything, beating Swedish side Mantorps FF 8-0. Ryan Post (VA Legacy), started the scoring in the first 18 seconds of the match, and from there the scoring chart looked as follows: Brandon Mahon (SOCA) —8th, 13th, and 22nd; Alexander Robles (Loudoun)—17th; Michael Meese (VA Legacy)—28th; Tariq Moutaouakil (McLean)—31st, and 37th.

The second game of the tournament proved there was some inconsistency in the competitive level of the teams in CCL United’s group. CCL battled defensively and worked to create chances, but French side, Bordeaux Elite FC, controlled much of the game, and scored the only goal in the 11th minute, which was enough to give them the win.

The third match was played against Swedish side IK Zenith, which marked the second win for CCL. Despite the 4-1 score line, the game was pretty balanced with both teams creating opportunities, but CCL having a little more of the ball. Brandon Mahon and Jared DuBose (McLean) each scored a pair of goals, which was enough to keep the lead, and grab another win, pushing them into the round of 64.

Interestingly enough, the first playoff match against Guernsey Schools (Guernsey is a self governing island with British dependency) was the most lopsided game of the tournament. With a score of 10-0, a number of CCL players tallied points: Jared DuBose—2nd and 9th; Ryan Post—11th and 39th; Michael Meese—15th; Brandon Mahon—24th; Maxim Bjarnason—36th; Tariq Moutaoukil—45th; and Daniel Hoffman (VA Legacy)—48th and 53rd.

The final match for the CCL United ’01 boys was played against German side Eimsbutteler TV, and was by far the most exciting and competitive game of the tournament. A slow start from CCL allowed Eimsbutteler TV to get on the scoreboard in the first 35 seconds of the match and shortly after, in the 4th minute, they doubled their lead. Eventually, the boys were able to settle down, and competed very well for the rest of the match. Right before the half ended, Michael Meese tallied another goal, making it 2-1. A red card for Eimsbutteler TV 3 minutes into the second half created a shift in momentum, and allowed CCL to push numbers forward and start attacking. Despite creating a number of chances, the German team was committed to having all their players behind the ball, and CCL could not get the equalizing goal. It was a tough loss to endure, but the boys battled well, and showed great character to stay in the match after conceding two early goals.

CCL United ’00 Boys

4 games played—3 wins, 1 loss.

The CCL United ’00 Boys earned first place in their group without dropping a single point, until advancing to the round of 32 where they lost their first playoff match against Swedish side Torslanda IK 2.

CCL came out flying in their first match against Danish side Mabjerg IF, putting 4 goals in the net, and allowing none. Damani Osei (FC Richmond) started the scoring in the third minute, and was eventually followed by Justin Mittereder (FC Frederick) who put in another goal in the 25th. The CCL had most of the possession, and created a number of additional scoring chances. Daniel Kang (Arlington) and Tyus Jones (Fredericksburg FC) each contributed another goal, before the match ended 4-0.

In similar fashion, CCL won their second match against Swedish side Brynas IF, scoring 3 goals, and conceding 0. Daniel Kang opened the scoring in the second minute, with Baxter Hamilton (Potomac) doubling the lead in the 25th. The game began to get a little chippy, and the foul count rose as Brynas IF became more frustrated with the score. 5 yellow cards were given before the match ended, with Aidan Sullivan putting in the final goal in the 44th minute.

The final match in group play against Norwegian side Nordhordland BK was very even, with CCL grabbing the early lead in the 14th minute from a goal by Daniel Starr (SOCA). Nordhordland worked to find an equalizer for the rest of the match, but CCL was organized defensively and were able to see the game out for a 1-0 result.

Swedish side Torslanda IK showed to be CCL’s best opponent of the tournament, getting on the scoreboard in the second minute of the match. After conceding early, CCL battled for the rest of the second half, and created a couple opportunities to score, despite being out-possessed. Torslanda IK doubled their lead in the 37th, which forced the ’00 boys to change tactics, and start hunting for goals. In the 67th minute Kyle Stenzel (SOCA) scored his first goal of the tournament, but the Swedish defense would not allow any more. Again, it was a tough loss for the boys to suffer, but the league was incredibly proud of their performance, and their results in group play.