Well soccer fans, it’s that time of the year again – the 2013 soccerloco Surf College Cup is right around the corner! We know you’re anxious to get the inside scoop on the teams, players and scouts that will be making an appearance this year, so we’re here to fill you in.
The competition is heating up!
The overall competition this year is the best the soccerloco Surf College Cup has ever seen. Out of 329 applicants, 144 teams were chosen to play in this year’s tournament, which is four more than in past years due to the high volume of quality teams that applied. The brackets are so strong this year that the tournament had to decline seven State Champions, twelve State Finalists and eleven ECNL teams. With so many highly-skilled teams participating this year, you won’t want to miss a minute of the action taking place at the San Diego Polo Fields.
Taking the field – players to keep an eye on
This year, we have a number of finalists from the 2012 Surf College Cup returning to the field. So Cal Blues ECNL Girls U17 and U18 Super teams dominated in last year’s tournament, both snagging first place in the final round of their divisions. So Cal Blues is sure to impress again this year, as several of their players are committed to top 25 NCAA Colleges. On their U18 team, these players include seniors Kaitlin and Taylor Klawunder (Midfielders), who are both committed to Notre Dame, Alison Jahansouz (Goalkeeper), committed to Stanford, and Stephanie Malherbe (Midfielder), who is committed to Texas A&M. On their U17 team, junior Meredith Hummel (Goalkeeper) is committed to Texas A&M, and junior Anika Rodriguez (Forward) is committed to UCLA.
Other 2012 Surf College Cup top-performers competing again at this year’s tournament include the SD Surf Girls U17 Super, and Girls U18 Super and Gold teams, all of which took first in their brackets. Slammers FC Girls U17 and U18 Super teams, and West Coast FC Girls U16 and U17 Super teams also came in first in their brackets.
Another contender in the Girls U17 division is San Diego’s own Del Mar Sharks, who have had an amazing year so far competing in the National League. The team has been playing together since U12, which is a huge reason why they’ve been so successful. With fifteen of her twenty players already committed to colleges, Sharks Coach Felicia Kappes is very proud of her team and looks forward to competing in the tournament. Some of the top performers on her team include senior Hailey Harbison (Attacking Center Midfielder), who has committed to Santa Clara, and juniors Melissa Lowder (Goalkeeper) and Maegan Gibson (Forward), who have committed to Pepperdine and LMU, respectively.
The Sharks are looking forward to the 2013 soccerloco Surf College Cup because it’s one of the rare times they’ll be matched up against teams in the ECNL. National League and ECNL teams seldom get the opportunity to face-off against one another in tournaments, and with top teams in both leagues in attendance at the College Cup, the competition will be intense.
Another team expected to bring the heat this year is FC Dallas El Paso Premier, competing in the boys U17 division. The team has been playing together for the last three years, qualifying for several national tournaments along the way. Their coach, Ralph Sifuentes, is extremely proud of his team’s success and is looking forward to the soccerloco Surf College Cup as an opportunity for his players to get some exposure. “We prepare [our teams] to be great soccer players as well as students,” Sifuentes says, “All of our players would make an excellent addition to any college team.” Some of his star players include Senior Raul Fierro (Center Midfielder) and Junior Victor Diaz (Attacking Midfielder). Both players show outstanding dedication to the team and are praised by Sifuentes for their versatility in playing both offense and defense.
People to impress
The tournament is expected to host between 350-450 college and professional scouts, which means that these games will provide excellent exposure for players looking to score a scholarship offer, if they haven’t already. Among the list of confirmed attendees are scouts from some of the top-ranking NCAA colleges for 2013, including Boston University (women’s), University of Denver (women’s), Washington University (women’s), and Notre Dame de Namur University (men’s & women’s). The soccerloco Surf College Cup is also hosting both the US and Mexico women’s National team coaches and scouts.
College coaches that attend these tournaments tend to make anywhere between five and ten offers per year, depending on their needs. According to Notre Dame de Namur University Coach BJ Noble, coaches target these needs by position and take note of future prospects during their visits. “For us, it’s not always the marquee player we are looking for, but the right player for our program and University,” says Noble. “Every year we look forward to both the soccerloco Surf Cup and soccerloco Surf College Cup. We know that as a staff, we will see quality teams and players.”
According to the tournament director, it’s estimated that 70 percent of girls and 30 percent of boys receive some kind of college offer following the event.
Join us Nov. 29 – Dec. 1
We’re looking forward to watching these elite teams and players battle it out at the 2013 College Cup, which takes place Nov. 29 – Dec.1at the San Diego Polo Fields. Please join us as we cheer on the players, and be sure to visit soccerloco.com for the official Surf Cup gear and the best deals on soccer apparel and more.